Daily Bible Nugget #457, Jude 3

The Nugget:

Jude 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

My Comment:

Pastor Anderson, one of my Facebook contacts/friends, posted an interesting challenge to everyone to become actively engaged in learning about false cults, false teachers, and false   prophets. Many of these groups and individuals are very well-versed in their viewpoint, and are well-trained when it comes to reaching out in a convincing way to others who do not know the Bible as well as they should.

My Response:

Thank you for encouraging those truly in the Body of Christ to dig deeper into the Bible.
 
It is impossible to obey the command that we are to “contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) if we are not well-taught ourselves.
 
One way to get motivated to take up this kind of study is to actually witness to others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
I’m talking about active witnessing outside of the doors of your church building. We often strike up friendly conversations with strangers about many other things. That is a good start. But we must press forward and reach the lost souls about us in our sphere of influence before it is eternally too late.
 
How can you do this? Sometimes it is appropriate to give a person a good Gospel tract.
 
Sometimes it is helpful to ask a question to start a conversation.
 
Sometimes you may be able to ask a simple question like “Are you interested in spiritual things?”
 
Very often, people who know you and observe how you live out your Christian life in the workplace will themselves bring questions to you. When they do the questioning, you surely then have a legitimate opening to share your faith by answering their question.

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Daily Bible Nugget #456, Acts 17:11

The Nugget:

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 

My Comment:

I was just now motivated to write a comment on Facebook in response to some good Scripture shared by my Facebook friend, Cris Jackson. She shares the “good stuff” several times a day, and puts me to shame when it comes to on-line productivity!

Here is what I wrote:

We are not getting the Lord’s ideas, thoughts, and wisdom unless we are feeding upon His written Word as it is found in the Bible.
 
Just as we eat physical food on a very regular basis, so we need to take in spiritual food on a regular basis.
 
If we ate physical food with the same regularity as we take in spiritual food for ourselves from the Bible itself, some of us would have no problem watching our weight! And some more of us just might be very sickly.
 
How do you expect to have robust spiritual life without taking in spiritual food as regularly as we take the time to eat our necessary physical food? Let us not kid ourselves. We make time to do what is important to ourselves. No one else can do our “spiritual eating” for us!
 
How we spend our time is a good measure of what our priorities are.

Here is what she wrote:

We are not getting the Lord’s ideas, thoughts, nor wisdom unless we are committed, abiding, surrendered! (Proverbs 16:3) “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Psalm 37:5) “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 4:5) “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD.”
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Daily Bible Nugget #455, Ephesians 2:12

The Nugget:

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 

My Comment:

I find in my reading and listening that many Christians, both lay persons and pastors and teachers, are fundamentally mistaken about what the Bible teaches about Bible  prophecy.

Ephesians 2:12 is of course very near, in terms of context, to the much more familiar Ephesians 2:8, 9, 10. It should be just as well known and understood, but it clearly is not.

The Covenants of Scripture are an important key to understanding the plan of God in history and promise. Some theologies seem to invent covenants that are not expressly stated in Scripture, and ignore, downplay, or deny the Covenants that are definitely stated as such in Scripture.

A careful study of the cross references I have placed in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury would be a great help to understanding just what the Bible has to say about these important matters.

Ephesians 2:12

at that time. Eph 2:13, Eph 5:8, Rom 11:30, 1Co 12:2.

without Christ. %Eph 2:13, Eph 5:8, Mat 3:9, +*Joh 10:16; *Joh 15:5; *Joh 15:6, *Act 4:12, 1 Cor 12:2, Col 1:21; Col 3:7.

aliens. or, having been estranged from. Gr. apallotrioō (S# G575). Eph 4:18 g. Exo 12:43; Exo 12:45, Lev 22:25, Jos 5:9; Jos 6:23, Ezr 4:3, Isa 61:5, Eze 13:9; Eze 14:5; Eze 14:7, Gal 2:15; Gal 4:8, Col 1:21 g. Heb 11:34.

commonwealth of Israel. Eph 2:19, Num 9:10; Num 23:9, Deut 4:7; Deut 6:21; Deut 23:8, Psa 147:2; Psa 147:20, Isa 49:8; Isa 63:19, Act 22:28 g. 1Cor 10:18, Php 3:5.

strangers. Gr. xenos (S# G3581). Eph 2:19 g. +Gen 23:4 (S# H1616, S# H8453). +Exo 12:43 (S# H5236). =Lev 22:10, 1Ch 22:2, 2 Chron 6:32, Isa 14:1, Mat 25:35 g, Mat 25:38 g, Mat 25:43 g, Mat 25:44 g. Mat 27:7 g. Act 17:18 g, Act 17:21 g. Rom 16:23 g (host). Heb 11:13 g. Heb 13:9 g. 1Pe 1:1; 1Pe 4:12 g. 3Jn 1:5 g.

the covenants. +**Gen 12:2 note *Gen 15:18; +*Gen 17:7-9, Exo 19:5; Exo 24:3-11, Num 18:19, +**2Sa 7:10 note. *Psa 89:3, etc. +**Isa 55:3, **Jer 31:31-34; *Jer 33:20-26, Eze 37:26, Luk 1:72-73, *Act 3:25, Rom 2:14; Rom 9:1; +Rom 9:4; Rom 9:5; Rom 9:8, +*Gal 3:16; +*Gal 3:17.

of promise. or, the promise. +Act 26:6, Rom 15:8.

having no hope. +Eph 1:18, Job 7:6, Pro 15:29, Jer 14:8; Jer 17:13, Mat 15:26; Mat 20:7, Mar 7:27-28, Joh 4:22, Act 26:6-7; Act 27:20; Act 28:20, %+*Rom 15:4, %*Col 1:5, %*Col 1:27, 1Th 4:13, *2Th 2:16, 1Ti 1:1, %*Heb 6:18, %*Heb 6:19, %*1Pe 1:3; %*1Pe 1:21; *1Pe 3:15, 1Jn 3:3.

without God. 2 Chron 15:3. Psa 10:4, Psa 14:1, Isa 44:6; Isa 45:4; Isa 45:20, Hos 3:4, **Luk 10:22, Act 14:15-16; Act 17:23; Act 19:35, +*Rom 1:18-20; +*Rom 1:28-32; +*Rom 2:12; *Rom 10:13-15, +*1Cor 8:4-6; 1Cor 10:19-20; 1Cor 12:2, Gal 4:8, 1Th 4:5.

world. Gr. kosmos, +Mat 4:8.

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Daily Bible Nugget #454, Exodus 23:2

The Nugget:

Exo 23:2  Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: 

My Comment:

By a strict interpretation, this passage has primary reference to how God wants those who are His to stand up strictly for truth in court, and in the words of the Common English Version, “even if everyone else is dishonest and stands in the way of justice.”

But as a practical matter, I see additional meaningful applications of this commandment.

God does not want us joining with a crowd of others with the intent to do what is clearly evil. I think that for the most part, student protests that disrupt the educational process in school or college, or that interfere with the free speech rights of others that wish to express a contrary opinion, violate this commandment and are not pleasing to God.

I thought about this verse when, earlier this month, it was announced in the news and on the Internet that there were to be protests in 142 cities across the United States from July 2 through July 4, protests which potentially would erupt in violence against persons and the destruction of property. Thankfully, as far as I know, those protests were peaceful and not violent.

Fifty years ago today I was driving home to Detroit from the Maranatha Bible Conference grounds near Muskegon, Michigan, where I had spent a week with members of my high school Sunday school class. We had all stayed at Mrs. Boyd’s cottage there and had wonderful times of Bible study and instruction with her, and good messages and music in conjunction with the services held at the conference itself.

As we drove home Sunday afternoon, the teenagers wanted me to change the station I was listening to so they could hear the kind of music they liked. I declined to follow their request, and left the classical music station on.

But that means none of us had so much as an inkling of what was going on in the current news.

I passed several large convoys of military vehicles on the freeway, but thought nothing of it since there is a large Michigan National Guard base, camp Grayling, somewhere in the vicinity of where we were.

I was planning to treat my riders to a hamburger or whatever they wished to get before we got all the way home. But when we got to the border of Detroit, the freeway was eerily empty. My students said that maybe we should just go straight home. As we continued on the freeway, we saw many fires on both sides of the freeway in the neighborhoods near Wayne State University.

When we reached the first student’s home, her parents asked how did we ever manage to enter Detroit? They said all the freeways were supposed to be closed to traffic and they had been wondering how we were going to get back home safely.

Then we found out that the 1967 riots in Detroit had started earlier that day and were continuing even then. The military forces had taken over Clark Park near where we lived, just two blocks north of my apartment, with tanks, tents, and all. I think none of us will ever forget that ride home in the late afternoon of July 23, 1967.

Watching the goings-on and the antics of the rioters and their destructive actions, I saw a good many whites engaged in looting, not just black people.

Unfortunately, needful resources for many communities were completely destroyed by fire, grocery stores in particular. I really do not think those neighborhoods have fully recovered yet from the destruction done by the rioters then.

I personally do not believe that such violence and destruction is ever warranted. It is surely condemned by the Word of God, especially Exodus 23:2.

There are better solutions at hand, foremost of which is for the churches and the Bible believing Christians to get the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ out to the young people, and everyone, in those neighborhoods. Genuine Christians never behave in this fashion. But well-taught Christians do know the teaching of the Bible well enough to share the truth, and bring about genuine justice as more people come to true faith in Christ.

 

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Does the Bible itself teach Eternal Security?

This is a very controversial topic indeed!

Be very careful what you believe about the doctrines you have been taught at church and elsewhere. Often, very sincere teachers share with us what they have been taught, and sometimes our teachers are mistaken.

When it comes to understanding Bible doctrines, mistakes arise from (1) not considering all the evidence in the Bible that touches on the subject;  (2) leaving out vital evidence that, when understood, makes a great difference in how Bible truth should be expressed;  (3) failing to account for cultural factors that shed additional light on what the Bible records;  (4) failing to account for grammatical factors that more precisely define exactly what the Bible declares or promises; (5) bringing to the Bible a doctrinal framework that does not conform to what the Bible itself actually says or emphasizes.

On Facebook my good friend Cris Jackson shared the following post on June 27, 2017:

ETERNAL SECURITY: Some think you can lose your salvation. Lets see the word of God says about this. (John 10) 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.” (Sounds very secure to me lets read on Ephesians 4:30) “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are “sealed” unto the day of redemption.”

(Sounds very secured to me sealed lets read on Luke 8:13) “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” (So the question is the person that fell away were they ever saved? 1 John 2:19) “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Please read all comments below for more clear in-depth teaching. Also pray and ask God to show you the Spirit will testify. I did not understand it at first neither but Holy Spirit showed me and testified to it. God bless.

Cris Jackson followed the above opening comment with the following briefer comments:

John 6:37
All that the Father giveth
me shall come to me; and

him that cometh to me I will
in no wise cast out.

This great promise clearly teaches
eternal security of the born again
believer (John 17:2).

Once Saved, Always Saved / Eternal Security For a Christian to lose salvation, he would have to be un-born again. 1 Peter 1:23 says “being born again… by the word of God.” You may disobey your earthly parents, but you are still their child. Likewise, you may disobey your heavenly Father, but you are still his child.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

Lastly, Cris Jackson cited the following from James L. Melton, The Bible Believer’s Helpful Little Handbook:  A Handy Reference Guide for Plain Folks Like Us, pages 13-14

 Eternal Security
The Eternal Security doctrine is the “once saved, always saved” doctrine that so many people have trouble believing because it just doesn’t sound logical.
Actually, it is VERY logical and very scriptural as well.

My eternal security in Christ is based on my RELATIONSHIP with God, not my fellowship with Him.
I am not saved because I fear God and serve Him, but rather because I have entered into a Father/Son relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was once a child of the Devil and a child of wrath (John 8:44; Eph. 2:3), but now I am a son of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:14; Gal. 4:5). Upon receiving Christ as my Saviour,
I was SEALED with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22),
and I am KEPT by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5), not by my own power.
Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5; Mat. 28:20),
because He BOUGHT me with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).
If I choose to be a disobedient child, then my Father in Heaven will CHASTEN me (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 11:30-32), but I will remain a saved and sealed son of God (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13; Rom. 8:38-39; Phil. 1:6; John 6:37; 10:28-29).

Here is my initial response on the discussion thread:

 ‘Once saved, always saved’ is heresy. Unconditional eternal security is heresy. Of course, both are unbiblical in the extreme. What the Bible does teach is the absolute eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever. Luke 8:13 clearly teaches that it is possible to stop believing.

The moods and tenses in the Greek text of the New Testament are very clear on this matter.

John 10:27 clearly specifies that the promise given in John 10:28 pertains to those who continue to hear His voice and continue to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who practices the sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In the Bible there is such a doctrine called ‘apostasy.’ That being the case (check your Bible; check Nave’s Topical Bible to see a long listing of verses in the Bible declaring this doctrine), the unqualified assertion ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ must be mistaken. For documentation of the relevant underlying Greek grammar, see the extensive notes in the Lavender’s New Testament, a most valuable resource for getting these things correct!”

Cris Jackson responded to me as follows:

Pastor Jerome Smith help me understand so is it in the wording. I want to make sure we are on the same page. What I have said in the above teaching is if you truly belong to Christ this will be evident. If you don’t belong to Him even though you were in church but you left that will be evident as well. Also are you saying that it’s possible for a believer to stop believing? What did Christ mean exactly when He said they cant be plucked out of His hand. What’s the difference between eternal security and absolute security? They both sound the same to me just different words. Luke 8:13 the question is were they truly saved? Let me add I am not saying a person who practices sin has eternal security as most teach that is not what I am saying here.”

I replied:

 If you truly belong to Christ, you will have experienced regenerative change (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). You have become a new creature in Christ. You have become a new creation. The effect of the blood of Christ is far superior to the effect of the Levitical sacrifices in the Old Testament: Hebrews 10:4, 11 tells us that those Old Testament sacrifices could not take away or remove sin. The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary has more power than those OT sacrifices did. It truly does remove or take away sin in this life. When we are saved, genuinely saved, we have a new nature. The Holy Spirit seals us, fills us, baptizes us (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18).

A truly saved person will not practice the sins named in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 and its parallel passages. A truly saved person may sin (1 John 2:1, 2), but if truly saved he or she will repent and ask for forgiveness.

In Luke 8:13, Jesus specifically states that the persons described “believed for a while.” That means they truly believed. But the “for a while” lets you know that those persons failed to continue to believe, for whatever reasons specified in the context: “in times of temptation [they] fall away.”

The contrast I am pointing out here is between “unconditional eternal security” (often expressed as “Once saved, always saved”) and what I call “absolute eternal security” possessed by believers who continue to believe and obey the Gospel.

When Jesus gave the promise in John 10:29 that “no one is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” he has reference ONLY to those who meet the conditions specified in John 10:27, which specifies the kind of believers He has reference to: those who CONTINUE to hear His voice, and those who CONTINUE to follow Him. The necessary condition that we have a continuing faith is specified in the Greek text because this is the force of the present tense used here in the Greek. The concept includes the fact that such a person continues to obey.

In John 10:28 a more accurate translation from the Greek text for the KJV “and they shall never perish” would properly read “and they MAY never perish.” The MAY more accurately conveys the subjunctive mood of the Greek text at this point. The subjunctive mood states that there is a CONTINGENCY involved. The CONTINGENCY is what is stated in the preceding context at John 10:27, the necessity to continue hearing, continue obeying, continue following.

What kind of “following” is Jesus talking about? A related verse helps clarify the issue. John 12:26 reads in the KJV,

Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

The expression “let him follow me” is more accurately translated from the Greek text to read “he must always follow Me” as in the Lavender’s New Testament. The Greek construction here is called “the imperative of obligation,” regarding which Dr. Lavender comments, “Pay attention to this powerful imperative of obligation, must always follow” (note h, page 179).

Therefore, the promise of security applies only to those who continue to hear and continue to follow. Scripture asserts the absolute security of the believer, not the unbeliever. Where do I get the ABSOLUTE from? That is based on the very strongest negation in Greek that is possible to express when Jesus promised “they may never, never perish forever” in John 10:28.”

Cris Jackson responded:

 Jerome Smith Pastor with all due respect we there is no way you can be a true believer and fall away Christ said His Father gave us to Him so if He loses us that means God messed up somewhere. I’ve taken all here and I’m going to let the Holy Spirit speak to me more about this as time goes on. I thank everyone for their comments and spiritual insight. My belief is you can’t belong to Christ and he lose you. You can’t belong to Christ and continue to sin. A change is going to happen. If a person has been in church for years and believe what they heard and fell away never to return this leads me back to that Scripture that they never was of us. Even if a person backslides the Lord is married to them. 

I replied:

“Cris Jackson, you need to go back and carefully read the FACTS and EVIDENCE I carefully marshaled from Scripture itself in my post answering your questions immediately above. Jesus Himself directly said there were some who “believed for a while.” That means they truly believed. Jesus said they believed until the difficulties of the testing they experienced overwhelmed them and they “fell away.” Falling away is a direct reference to the fact that they “became apostate,” as expressed in the Friberg Greek Lexicon in defining the term used in Luke 8:13.

In my own careful study of Scripture I have noted two kinds or categories of apostasy: (1) moral apostasy, such as the willful and continuing practice of sin as specified in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; (2) doctrinal apostasy, such as denying the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ as specified in John 8:24.

You are mistaken in your thinking when you state “No way can you be a true believer and fall away. Christ said His Father gave us to Him SO IF HE LOSES US THAT MEANS GOD MESSED UP SOMEWHERE.”

No, it explicitly states that it is the individual who fails to meet the specified CONTINGENCY expressed by “MAY not perish” and defined in the preceding context as being the requirement to CONTINUE hearing and obeying, and CONTINUE following who messed up.

There is NO WAY to successfully argue against the statements inspired by God Himself that are unquestionably present in the divinely inspired Greek text of the New Testament. In order to accurately understand the doctrine of Scripture you must understand the grammar of the Greek text that underlies our English translations of that text. I have carefully shared with you that understanding for the passages we have been considering.”

Cris Jackson replied,

 Jerome Smith As I said I will take all that has been presented here and let the Holy Spirit do the rest as my Pastor always says if you think you can lose your salvation then you better hurry up and get it back 

I replied:

“Your pastor is right about that! I don’t plan on losing mine. I am sure you don’t plan on losing yours either! The issue is that true believers continue in their faith, as stated in Colossians 1:23. But we must continue to be “grounded and settled,” and not “move away from the hope of the Gospel.”

Cris Jackson responded,

 Jerome Smith you said the key word true believers there are those who believe that are not true and they fall away. I think the Scriptures say they are forever learning but never able to come to the full understanding of the truth… I will study what you have presented and let the Holy Spirit bring the clarity the seeds has been planted. 

I responded:

 “Now you see the point! But only if you truly understand that it is possible, though not usual or likely, that a person who truly believed came to a point in their life where they stopped believing, stopped obeying, and stopped following. Jesus said there are such persons. The Greek grammar states this is possible, so that is why warnings against falling away or apostasy are present in the New Testament. This shows why it is important that we obey Hebrews 3:12, 13. I obeyed that many years ago even as an English teacher, and you know one of the results.

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;”

Cris Jackson replied:

Jerome Smith will that fall into line with this Scripture? (2 John 2:8) 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, refusing to confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9Anyone who runs ahead without remaining in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever remains in His teaching has both the Father and the Son.…”

I replied,

Cris Jackson, that is a perfect example of what I meant by the passages in the New Testament that warn against doctrinal apostasy.

Cris Jackson responded with the following question:

Jerome Smith so what does this verse mean (John 10:28) “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I answered,

John 10:28 means exactly what I explained it to mean in my comments above. Note particularly that the “shall” is a wrong translation of the Greek subjunctive mood here, so it should read “may not perish.” May points to the preceding contingencies or requirements that must be met for the promise to each individual to hold true. If you continue to hear and obey, and continue to follow, then the promise of John 10:28 holds true and applies to you. If you do not continue to meet the contingency then the promise no longer is valid for you until you do.”

Cris Jackson responded,

 Jerome Smith ok I got cha”

 

Notice particularly that my “argument” is based upon a strict grammatical exegesis of the verses involved in the discussion of Eternal Security. When we are careful to observe and account for then apply the significance of the subjunctive mood found in the Greek text of the New Testament, we arrive at an accurate understanding of what the truth conveyed in the New Testament declares about our security in Christ.

May I express a special “Thank You” to Cris Jackson for bringing up such an important subject and for her allowing me to participate in her Facebook discussion.

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #453, 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Nugget:

1Th 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

My Comment:

We must carefully check on all claims made about what the Bible teaches. Any claim must be backed by direct reference to the Bible.

We must be most careful about accepting as true what we have always been taught by others about what the Bible teaches.

This can be a very painful and shocking exercise at times. I remember when I first experienced the problem of learning that what I thought was true turned out to be wrong! I was studying Ephesians 5:18. I discovered that the expression used there translated “but be filled with the Spirit” in the King James Version ought rather to be rendered “but be filled by the Spirit.” This is a shocking difference, and if you don’t sense the significance of this difference, read the note I have written for this verse in either The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury and you will get the point. At the time I first saw this, I laid out on the living room floor of my apartment all the book resources I had that touched upon this verse. After laboriously reading all of them, I was convinced that the best evidence requires this change from “with” to “by” and means we are not filled with the Holy Spirit like a cup is filled with milk, but rather we are filled by the Holy Spirit with gifts for service to others.

Very recently one of my Facebook friends posted the following striking comment taken from A. W. Pink:

“Not all of the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin as the wrath of God let loose upon his Son.”  A. W. Pink

Now I must say that I have found many things written by Mr. A. W. Pink very helpful, especially his earlier writings. I have cited Mr. Pink at least twice in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, at Leviticus 23:17 and at Isaiah 53:7. There may be other citations that I do not recall. I have found his commentary on the Gospel of John helpful. One of my favorite works of his is a relatively small volume on The Divine Inspiration of the Bible and another titled Interpretation of the Scriptures. I have many more of his titles in printed book form. So, I am not attacking the person, but the statement made by the person when I address what is said in the quotation immediately above.

The idea that God the Father “let loose upon His Son” the “wrath of God” is not found anywhere in the Bible that I can find.

This is a popular but very mistaken view of what transpired when Jesus was on the Cross. Nowhere in the Bible does the Bible state that Jesus was punished for our sin. If Jesus paid the penalty, to whom was the penalty paid? Chapter and Verse Please!

The words “penalty” and “paid” are nowhere in Scripture associated with the work Christ did on our behalf on the Cross, so far as I have been able to find using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible.

If it were true that Jesus suffered the wrath of God for us, that God the Father poured out His wrath upon His Son, that would divide the Trinity. The thought is blasphemy, and not the Gospel presented in the New Testament.

As for the penalty for sin, God established just what that penalty was from the very beginning (see Genesis 2:16, 17). The penalty for sin is and has always been spiritual death.

Those who leave this life in the state of spiritual death will suffer for all eternity the punishment originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). That dreadful punishment takes place in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).

The more accurate view of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ is to affirm that He voluntarily (John 10:18) bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) as both our Priest and the Sacrifice, thus Priestly-Sacrificial Atonement, for He Himself is declared to be both the Sacrifice and the Atonement for our sin in 1 John 2:2, “And He, Himself, is Atonement concerning our sins; but not concerning ours only, but also concerning the world as a whole” (Lavender New Testament).

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Why so much division in the body of Christ?

The Nugget:

Joh_17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

My Comment:

I thought it might be good to share my response to a Facebook post by Cris Jackson, where she has written:

Why is there so much division in the body of Christ? In this world people need two things Christ and love! I will never understand why there are cliques in the body of Christ, they wont let certain people in, that’s not Christ like. In (John 15:19) It says the world takes care of its own, we should do the same as Christians. We are held to a higher standard. How will we ever win souls to Christ without love and respect? We don’t know what people have been through or endured! We owe it to all to respect and love, never disrespect anyone! It does not mean we have to compromise who we are in Christ, or accept a

persons sins. We are to love and challenge them to come higher, speaking the truth in love. That person out there sleeping around, that person out there on drugs, that thief, liar, cheat, that person taking their clothes off for a living, they need love! Remember what Jesus told the thief on the cross, after he repented? (Luke 23:43) And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” It’s God’s grace we’re not still out there! If you read up on Meerkats, if they are kicked out of their clan they die from lack of love. What do you think is happening to humans? (John 15:12) “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Lets Be Apart Of The Solution Not The Problem~

My Response:
Some of the division stems from doctrinal disagreements. Most of those would be resolved if all parties would come to the Bible as their source of authority and interpret it according to the rules of interpretation I posted in the October 2010 archives at Real Bible Study.
 
Some division stems from what you address, social cliques in the church. It is fine to have groups of friends with whom we more closely associate, but it becomes wrong when we fail to welcome and fully admit into our fellowship newcomers to our church. Part of the problem underlying that failure is sociological. Some churches have been identified as “village churches.” These are characterized by the fact that only those who were born into the congregation nine months before delivery are welcome. Newcomers are shunned, and never admitted into the inner circle. The other kind of church has been called the “camp church.” These churches are comprised of individuals who are there for spiritual reasons, who are eager to grow spiritually, and who are there for genuinely Christian fellowship, who love to study the Bible and dig deeper into its truths.
 
A central verse that directly relates to this issue is Romans 15:7,
 
Rom 15:7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 
 
Failure to receive one another is a very, very serious matter. I have written a full exposition of the cross references given for Romans 15:7 at my website. You can find it easily by accessing the next to last category displayed at the right, under “Verse-by-Verse Studies.”
 
Too many of our churches are not structured for fellowship. Sitting in a pew seeing only the backs of the heads of those in front of us on Sunday morning is not Christian fellowship. Actual fellowship probably does not take place in any group larger than ten or so persons. These things must be addressed in the light of what the Bible teaches. We have become so bound by our unwritten traditions that we have lost sight of what the Gospel is all about.
 
Every Christian, not just the Pastor, is to share the Gospel with others in their circle of contacts and influence as the Lord makes this possible. This sharing takes place outside of church, not just in church. I saw in a most recent Barna study that the majority of professing Christians do not seem to grasp the truth that they are responsible to reach others with the Gospel.
 
A major and unmentionable problem, if not an actually forbidden topic in the church, is that we ourselves may sometimes be mistaken in our understanding of the Bible, but because we believe what we have always been taught, we may actually be wrong! We need to be open to what the Bible itself actually teaches, and be willing to be humble enough to recognize when we have been mistaken, and be willing to correct our thinking based upon newly learned but well documented truth newly learned from the Bible that contradicts what we thought we understood!
Posted in Doctrinal Discussions | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Are Animals Saved in Heaven?

An article about this subject is posted at

Are Animals Saved in Heaven?

The first paragraph contains the statement:

However, although the Bible is mostly silent on this matter, latter-day revelation and modern prophets have made it clear that animals will be in heaven and that all living things will be saved by Jesus Christ. Simply stated, God saves all that he creates!

Most animal lovers would enjoy seeing the picture that heads the article. But one must consider the source of the article to be able to evaluate if what the article says about the subject is true. The article is from the Meridian Magazine, “Latter-day Saints Shaping Their World.” A side column is headed “Join Mormons worldwide to stand true in a changing world.” That much information should be enough to alert any discerning reader that from a Biblical standpoint, the information in the article will not be in line with what the Bible itself teaches.

The article begins with the statement:

Recently, I saw several of my friends on social media comforted by a news article reporting that the Catholic Pope believes animals will be saved in heaven. 

When determining the truth or falsity of a Bible doctrine as taught by a particular “teaching authority,” we must compare the doctrine to the teaching of the Bible itself. The Bible is divinely inspired. No human teaching authorities can lay claim to being divinely inspired. The Bible is the only valid teaching authority available to us today.

Almost every church, denomination, religion, Sunday school teacher and even Bible believing pastor is mistaken about what the Bible teaches about heaven.

First of all, not everyone is going to heaven. Only those who have truly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ will be there. Furthermore, those that will be in heaven must be saved, that is, must be born again, while they are “down here.” To be saved, we must believe that Jesus Christ arose bodily from the dead on the Third Day. We must confess Jesus Christ as our Lord (Romans 10:9, 10). We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (1 John 5:10, 11, 12). This means we must believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that He was God in human flesh (Colossians 2:9). We must be holy in our walk or our life as Christians, for without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

Second of all, Jesus told us plainly that there are few who will be saved, and that many who think they are saved will learn to their horror and chagrin too late that they are not saved:

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Notice the last clause:  “and few there be that find it.” A number of other Bible passages emphasize and confirm this truth (Matthew 20:16;  Isaiah 24:6;  Jeremiah 5:1;  Ezekiel 22:30;  Ezekiel 33:31;  Mark 10:24, 25;  Luke 9:26; Luke 13:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30;   Luke 18:8;  1 Peter 4:18;  1 John 2:3, 4).

Jesus further warned:

Mat 7:21  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. 

Mat 7:22  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? 

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

When it comes time to enter heaven, it will be far more pleasant to hear the encouraging words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) than to hear the divine sentence of judgment, “I never knew you.”

Third of all–and this is where most do not get it right–heaven is not our final eternal destination. It is true that believers who die now during this age enter heaven immediately upon death (Luke 23:43), just as Jesus promised the dying thief who on his cross believed in Jesus Christ. By the way, that statement of Jesus from the cross alerts us to the truth that we continue in conscious existence immediately after death, a Bible fact that many false cults like the Jehovah Witnesses and some denominations like the Seventh Day Adventists get wrong.

But though it is true now that those who die with true faith in Jesus Christ go immediately to be with Christ in heaven (Philippians 1:23), that is not where we will spend eternity. Jesus Christ plainly taught otherwise:

Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Note carefully that the promised inheritance is eternal (Hebrews 9:15).

Many mistakenly believe that the earth will be destroyed, perhaps in a great conflagration, then God will create a new heaven and a new earth from scratch. This idea is based upon a mistaken interpretation of 2 Peter 3:12, 13.  If that were the case, then God would be contradicting major provisions of both the Abrahamic and the Davidic Covenants. Rather, the Bible clearly states that the earth “abideth forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). This statement in Ecclesiastes is confirmed by other statements in Scripture (Psalm 89:36, 37;  Psalm 104:5;  Psalm 148:6) which affirm that God has established the earth forever and forever (Psalm 148:6).

The Bible also declares that there will be flesh and blood human beings living on this earth forever and forever (Psalm 72:5). They will be the subjects of God’s eternal kingdom on this earth. Those who have truly believed on Christ will be the inheritors of God’s eternal kingdom on this earth (Matthew 25:34;  1 Corinthians 6:9, 10;  1 Corinthians 15:50;  Galatians 5:21).

Jesus Christ will rule over this kingdom upon this earth forever and forever, not merely for 1000 years, as most Bible teachers and pastors mistakenly suggest. Somehow, they forgot what was said in Luke 1:31, 32, 33,

Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 

Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 

Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 

Notice the statement:  “of his kingdom there shall be no end,” which clearly defines the preceding “for ever” as meant in its eternal sense, as other passages in the Bible confirm (2 Samuel 7:13, 16;  1 Kings 11:39;  1 Chronicles 17:14;  Psalm 72:5;  Isaiah 9:7;  Daniel 2:44;  7:14, 27;  Micah 4:7;  2 Peter 1:11;  Revelation 11:15).

Will there be animals in this eternal earthly kingdom of heaven? Most certainly there will be (Isaiah 65:25). The animals will be at that time restored from the conditions of the Fall, and live peacefully. Until then, Paul informs us that the whole creation groans and awaits that future time of restoration (Romans 8:22 and context).

But there is no valid evidence in the Bible to support the affirmation of some that animals, such as our beloved pets, will experience resurrection and be in heaven with us.

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Daily Bible Nugget #452, Matthew 21:43

The Nugget:

Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 

My Comment:

This is one of my favorite verses about Bible prophecy. I suspect that most Christians, even pastors, have missed its significance.

Evidently the Muslims are aware of this verse, and have come up with a most interesting but mistaken interpretation or explanation of this verse.

In the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” today, one of the Muslim participants had this to say about Matthew 21:43,

“The kingdom of God has been taken away from You (Christians) [and has been given] to Muslims. You can battle the Bible.”

My Response:

 Mustapha Ibraheem, you have cited a very important verse–one of my favorite.

Jesus was speaking to the Jews when He said this. He was not speaking of Christians at all.

The Kingdom of God which Jesus spoke of was promised to the Jews as seen in the provisions of both the Abrahamic Covenant and the Davidic Covenant.

The Kingdom of God was taken away from the Jews temporarily because they rejected their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Bible plainly declares that when Jesus Christ returns in power and great glory and saves the Jews from their enemies, that then the Jews will recognize Who He is, and will believe in Him.

At that time, and not before then, the Kingdom of God will be restored to the Jews in fulfillment of much Bible prophecy contained in the Covenants God made with Abraham and with David.

All this happened in fulfillment of Bible prophecy found in Micah 5:3.

Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. 
Mic 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
 

Notice the statement, “Therefore will he give them up, UNTIL the time.”

Matthew 21:43 is the fulfillment of this prophecy because our Lord Jesus Christ declared to the Jews in Matthew 21:43,

Mat 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The Kingdom of God was taken from the Jews, and given to those who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible further reveals that it is the true believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who will inherit the Kingdom of God. The Jewish nation in that future day will be the subjects of that Kingdom in the land of Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ will reign forever and forever in that eternal kingdom here on this earth.

Thank you, Mustapha Ibraheem, for bringing forward such a significant verse from the Bible.

Any questions? Any comments? Feel free to leave them below!

I have explained Matthew 23:41 before on this site. Here is the link:
http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=2039
You might wish to read more there.

Posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Bible Prophecy, Daily Bible Nuggets, False Religions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #451, John 11:27

The Nugget:

Joh 11:27  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

My Comment:

CONSIDER THE QUESTION: Did Jesus Himself really claim to be the Son of God?

Discussions in the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” touch upon this question.

Muslims firmly believe that God can have no son.

One of the Muslim participants in all sincerity warned Christians:

“Please don’t say “son of God” because God [can] have no parents, sisters, or brothers. So please be careful. If not, you will see your reward.”

I responded:

Abdulrahaman Sabiru Haruna, I know that is what Muslims sincerely believe, because that is what they have been taught.

The Bible declares otherwise. Jesus is called the Son of God in the Bible. Since true Christians believe the Bible, they must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to be saved. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon them.

1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 

Jesus Christ Himself claimed to be the Son of God. If Jesus made a false claim, then He could not be a prophet sent by God, but a liar, who was deceived himself.

Joh 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 
Joh 9:36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 
Joh 9:37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 

Even the enemies of Jesus Christ testified to the fact that Jesus said He was the Son of God:

Mat 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 

To say Jesus is the Son of God does not mean we say that God has parents, sisters, brothers, or a mother. Jesus Christ has always been the Son of God. The Jews understood well that when their Messiah would come, that He would be the Son of God.

Joh 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 

Now, notice I have given you direct evidence from the Bible that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. To believe otherwise is to not believe the Bible.

 

Posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Daily Bible Nuggets, Doctrinal Discussions, False Religions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment