Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Natural Man vs The Spiritual Man

When a man thinks that his intellect is above Jehovah God and he does not have the Holy Spirit, he cannot understand the Bible. He only believes in his five senses and nothing supernatural. He does not understand that Jesus is God in the flesh thus he cannot understand that Jesus was before the beginning, before Adam and every human civilization including Egypt, the first world power.Even Nimrod in the book of Genesis was before Egypt.
 
A serious study of the bible shows these truths. Some people claim that Christianity is a European or "white man's religion" They don't understand that the Europeans or Americans who used Christianity to oppress and enslave black people are false Christians; and they will have their end in hell in the lake of fire - according to the Bible. They need to repent. The real enemy of black people is satan, the kingdom of darkness and all those who follow him including those who worship and bow to the idols in secret organizations. The natural man looks at external things like skin color but the spiritual man looks at the world view of the person - Christian or Human.

I believe that Christians should not debate continuously with those  whose world view is opposed to ours, (which is faith in Jesus Christ). They say the Bible is not God's Word. At some point the debate will become circular so we must use
wisdom. Just ensure that you share that they need to FIRST receive Jesus. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. The natural man's foundation is man's word as opposed the God's Word.

The Bible says: "But the natural, non-spiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God; for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them], because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.” -‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Saturday, October 31, 2015

HALLOWEEN: SATAN BEHIND THE MASK

Every year, on the evening of Oct. 31, millions of families celebrate a distinctly odd holiday known as Halloween. For your own good, you need to know what lurks behind the mask of Halloween.

by Jerold Aust

Halloween is undoubtedly one of the strangest holidays people celebrate, with its symbolism of witches, devils, skeletons, bats and black cats. Is it not a little bizarre that children are taught to dress up as ghosts and monsters to go from house to house demanding "trick or treat!" (with the threat of a trick or prank constituting a playful form of extortion)? While tricks are no longer the norm in most places, it used to be common in many areas that refusal to give trick-or-treaters candy invited minor acts of vandalism, such as having one's windows marred with a bar of soap, trash dumped on the lawn, toilet paper unrolled across tree limbs, and raw eggs thrown against the house and car.

Where, how and when did such strange customs begin? And why do they continue?
Many parents encourage their children to celebrate Halloween, assuming it to be harmless and innocent fun. But why? Would parents honor this holiday if they knew what's behind it—behind the mask?

Halloween's origins
Few people really understand the origins of Halloween. However, many clues are obvious from the trappings of the holiday—witches, ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns, skeletons and the like.
History shows that behind the dark mask of this popular children's holiday reside the terrors of an ancient Celtic festival renamed All Hallows Eve. It was originally a holiday marking the mythical time when the dead supposedly rose from their graves to walk the earth.
The Encyclopedia of Religion then explains the origin of the bizarre customs that survive in today's Halloween: "Divination activities remained a popular practice. Adults, dressed in fantastic disguises and masks, imitated supernatural beings and visited homes where occupants would offer tributes of food and drink to them. A fear of nocturnal creatures, such as bats and owls, persisted, since these animals were believed to communicate with the spirits of the dead".

Today, says The Encyclopedia of Religion, "modern Halloween activities have centered on mischief making and masquerading in costumes, often resembling otherworldly characters. Folk customs, now treated as games (such as bobbing for apples), have continued from the various divination practices of the ancient celebrants of this occasion. Supernatural figures (such as the ghost, the witch, the vampire, the devil) play a key role in supplying an aura of the mysterious to the evening, whether or not they originally had an association with the festival. "Children are particularly susceptible to the imagery of Halloween, as can be seen in their fascination with the demonic likeness of a carved and illuminated pumpkin, known as the jack-o'-lantern. In recent times, children have taken up the practice of dressing in Halloween costumes and visiting homes in search of edible and monetary treats, lightly threatening to play a trick on the owner if a treat is not produced . . .
"There also has been renewed interest in Halloween as a time when adults can also cross cultural boundaries and shed their identities by indulging in an uninhibited evening of frivolity. Thus, the basic Celtic quality of the festival as an evening of annual escape from normal realities and expectations has remained into the twentieth century" (p. 177).

God unmasks Halloween
Does the Bible have anything to say about strange customs and holidays such as this? In fact, it does—and none of it is good. While God's Holy Days in the Bible celebrate the role of Jesus Christ in bringing mankind to salvation in the eternal family of God, 


Halloween is a celebration of the opposite—of demonism, witchcraft, death and evil spirits. God's Word makes it clear that no one should dare entertain witchcraft or act as a sorcerer. "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD" (Deuteronomy 18:10-11, emphasis added throughout).

God pronounced death on any Israelites who would dare dally with demonism or Satanism: "A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:27). "You shall not permit a sorceress to live" (Exodus 22:18).

Why such a harsh penalty?
God did not want such perverted, demonic practices to spread among His people and corrupt others. "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst" (Deuteronomy 13:5).

Would God be against something as harmless as Halloween, especially since it allows children to have fun and enjoy a little entertainment? Can't we let them have a little harmless fun? Frankly, Halloween is anything but harmless. It focuses one's attention on witchcraft and demonism, which flies in the face of the holy God Almighty! When parents not only allow but also encourage their children to celebrate witches and goblins, they are teaching them that it's acceptable to deal in demonism. And we have seen what God thinks of that. God is a God of light and truth (1 John 1:5). Satan, "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4), is a very real being—a being of darkness, deception and death (Revelation 12:9; John 8:44). We are to have nothing to do with his ways. Do not assume that Halloween is a harmless holiday. God hates mankind's dabbling in the spirit world of Satan and his demons! If there were no other reason available, that should be enough. But there are more reasons. Halloween keeps humankind, and many Christians, confused, disoriented and separated from the one and only true God.

God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Nor is He the author of Halloween or any other "Christianized" pagan holidays (Amos 5:21). Why would the only true God who loves mankind support any worldly holiday that blinds human beings to Him and His truth and that holds men, women and children captive to deception?

What does God expect from you on Halloween?
You now know what lurks behind Halloween's mask: Satan the devil! God will one day unmask the ritual and tradition of Halloween to all people (Hebrews 8:10-11).

If you believe that God exists and you understand that He is highly offended by the holidays designed and perpetuated by the god of this age, then you have a choice: whether you will begin honoring God the way He expects to be honored and be blessed for doing it, or whether you will ignore the truth revealed in history and His Word. Don't wait!

God is not a god of masks, but a God of truth. God says that if you honor Him, He will honor you (1 Samuel 2:30). Ignore God and He will leave you subject to the god of this world and all that entails. God expects all who love and honor Him to repent from dead works and turn in faith toward Him, the only true God.

- Excerpted from Good News Magazine

Friday, October 16, 2015

The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit.


Sometimes we need understanding about Christians being "filled with the Spirit" The scripture in John 14:16-17 says "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you"

This statement by Jesus is profound yet simple as a typical method of the teaching technique of Jesus. It might seem contradictory for Jesus to say the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. But when you evaluate it you realize the great truth. This scripture is not about salvation but about receiving the Holy Spirit. Salvation requires receiving Jesus FIRST, (i.e. baptism in Jesus or baptism into the Body of Christ or  about the receiving the Word). Only after that miraculous transaction of salvation can one be filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus only saved people can receive the Holy Spirit, even one second after receiving Jesus Christ. So the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit but must first receive Jesus Christ. When you receive Jesus you are no longer a part of the world but now qualify to receive the Holy Spirit. Thus the world cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14-17 is a classic example of how a person must FIRST receive salvation (v14 - receive the Word; v16-baptized in the name of The Lord Jesus) THEN receive the Holy Ghost.


Some may ask "What about the Old Testament where the Holy Spirit used men like Samson and Elijah to perform miracles and great acts of faith?"
Note in those cases the Holy Spirit came upon them but not "fill" them. The Holy Spirit indwells or lives in the New Testament believer but overshadows people prior to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Only Christians can be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Word of Comfort for Those Who are Grieving

The Promise, Patience and the Perfect Love of God in the Middle of Grief or Death of a Loved One



2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slow in fulfilling His promise, in the sense in which some men speak of     slowness. But He bears patiently with you, His desire being that no one should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

I want to share three things about God’s character: His Promise, His Patience and His Prefect Love in a time of grief.

His Promise
God does what He promises. He keeps His Word. If He promises to heal you, He will answer so just ask Him in faith, believing and not doubting. But remember that your timing and His timing are not the same. Need Him to comfort you? Just ask Him. He promised in the Book of Joshua 1: 5 “that He would never leave you nor forsake you”. This is especially in time of trouble, pain, sadness and loss. So we ask God for what we need in faith and believe Him and His Word. Need peace? Ask God for it! Comfort? Strength? Ask God for it because it’s available. Because it’s what He promises. People cannot give you peace but God can. People cannot give you strength But God can. Need Restoration? Need Comfort? Ask Him. So remember what the Word said: The Lord is not slow in fulfilling His promise. God always keeps His Word.

His Patience
God is patient. He is concerned about everything that concerns you. Your health, your loss, your sadness, your grief, and your restoration.  But He bears patiently with you. He is patient because He understands us. For example we can examine the environment at a funeral. Some come to a funeral to see family and friends they have not seen in years. Some come to comfort the family. Some just come to see. But God has another purpose. He wants to show that there is life even in death. Life in those who are dead to Him and His Word. I mean spiritually dead. The body may be physically dead, but if you don’t know Christ you are spiritually dead even when your body is alive.  But God is patient and want you to know that you can easily make this change by simply accepting Jesus Christ. Don’t let the opportunity pass. God gives us between 70 and 120 years on earth. This is not much time compared to eternity. Let us take lessons from every loss before Christ returns.

His Perfect Love
God loves you. He does not put requirements like man does for His love. We may love people because they are from the same family, same church, same community, same nationality, same educational level, same economic or social background. The Bible says in John 3: 16  “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton son, that whosoever, believeth on Him, should not perish but have eternal life”. 

Also God does not  only love Christians and the church, but the whole world. He loves every human on the planet. His love has no limit.

The word Whosoever" is important. God wants to emphasize who He’s talking about - the world, the society at large. What does He want? He wants you saved through Jesus Christ. That is why he sent His son Jesus into the world to die and pay for all the sins of all humanity once and for all. He desires that we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of our life and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10: 9-10). He will not force anyone to accept Christ - it is a decision that each individual must make. The result of this positive decision is salvation and everlasting life. There may be physical death but you will have eternal life. Death does not eliminate eternal life. Why? Because Jesus by His death and and resurrection, has conquered death and the grave. 


This give us confidence that there is eternal life with God after death. So we will not fear, we will not worry, we will not let grief or sadness control us forever. Grief is for a time, sadness is for a time, loss is for a time. In the middle of our loss and grief, hold on to the Promises of God, the Patience of God and the Perfect love of God. 

May His promise, patience and love give you strength. So remember the Promises of God, the Patience of God and the Perfect Love of God. In them is strength and comfort.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tolerance or Acceptance – What do you think?

2 Timothy 3: 1-5  1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (NIV) 

This scripture was written by the Apostle Paul over 2,000 years ago and when we look at the condition of the world today, we can say these things happening right before our eyes. 
There is a way of thinking that is the foundation for what we see today and it is called anti-Christ thinking. Anti-Christ simply means any idea or lifestyle that is against Jesus Christ. One of those ideas that is prevalent in our society today is Tolerance and Acceptance. Too many people want to excuse the practice of sin with slogans like “God loves everybody” “Do what feels good to you” “Do you” and “Don’t judge” So I want to address this idea of Tolerance and Acceptance.

If I told you 60 years ago, (the 1950s), that there would be a concerted attempt to remove Jesus Christ from every aspect of American life, you would say I am crazy. Yet today, a teacher can lose her job by talking about the historical Jesus in public schools. There are people who want the phrase “in God we trust” be removed from the US dollar bills. Also several states are removing the “Ten Commandments” and any Biblical symbols from courthouses.

If I told you 60 years ago (the 1950s) that a day would come when men could marry men and women marry women in America, you would say I was crazy. But in 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States made this the law of the land. This is in total contradiction to the God’s Word which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The society has its views and God has His view as written in His Word. Obviously more and more secular leaders in power no longer believe the pledge of allegiance that America is no longer "...one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" 

What is happening to America? Where are we going? We are in moral decline and perhaps we can no longer be considered the moral leader of the world. We, along with South Korea, are the countries with the most Christian missionaries around the world. But our moral decline is threatening our position. We promote the gospel via TV more than any other country so we are a target for the enemies of Christianity (i.e. kingdom of darkness). Satan already has the world and he is after the church.  I want to join others to sounding the alarm but also to state categorically that this environment is fertile ground to stand up for the gospel and win souls for the Kingdom of God.

In order to understand what happening, I need to identify some of the false anti-Christ ideas that are influencing this moral decay. Anti-Christ simply means any idea that is against Christ.

Authority of the Bible – Society says that Bible is outdated, is written by man, and is one of the holy books. But the Bible says in 2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Religion – Society says that all religions are the same and all lead to salvation. And we all serve the same god. God, Allah, Buddha etc. are all the same. But the Bible says in Deut. 8:19 “...if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish." 



The world says that truth is relative and there is no absolute truth. Our culture has done a number on the idea of truth. It teaches that truth and morality are relative which depends on the individual. In other words, there is no such thing as absolute truth.  But the Bible says in John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Note Jesus is not one of the ways - He is the only way. Jesus said it and Christians believe it and that settles it for us.
Role of personal relationships – pleasing people and what’s popular is the way to advance in society. But the Bible says in Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God?   or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the   servant of Christ.
Spirituality and Oneness with a higher consciousness, the universe, force or spirit. None of this is the same as the God of the Bible.
Tolerance and Acceptance – Christians must accept other beliefs because those beliefs are popular and accepted by most of society, otherwise you are intolerant, hateful and bigoted.   But the Bible says in John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments

While Christians can recognize the right of others to have different beliefs, we cannot allow those beliefs to go unchallenged for one simple reason: it is not loving, and Jesus calls us to love.

Acceptance and Tolerance:
One of the first excuses people use when they want to justify sinful activity is that God loves everybody. Of course they are correct, God does love everybody. However God also hates sin and wrongdoing and cannot have it around Him. If you are linked to sinful practices, you will feel the penalty when God judges the sin because you are connected to it. He requires confession and repentance (which is acknowledgement of sin and change of direction). But people and society want Christians to tolerate sin. Now tolerance means to recognize that people have different beliefs and that they have a right to do so. However, tolerance in America can now mean accepting that other beliefs are true even if they go against the Bible. In other words, Christians must accept beliefs and practices that the Bible says are wrong, evil and even an abomination. Christians cannot accept sin as legitimate, even if it is the law of the land such as the law approving abortion.

We Christians expect others to have different beliefs about the Bible, God and Jesus Christ. We are not surprised that some people don’t believe in the earth was created in six days.

In Romans 1:18-25 the Bible explains that the complexity of God's design of nature (the stars, earth, trees, seasons, billions of insects with complex design) are all proof and evidence of His creation, but many will refuse to believe what their eyes tell them. So we can tolerate their unbelief. So Christians are to tolerate others when they have different beliefs about God. But tolerance does not mean agreement or acceptance!

But in today’s world, do we Christians get tolerance in return? The answer is a big fat NO. In April of 2013 a professional basketball player came out and stated that he was gay. Immediately, the majority of the media and many leading sports and entertainment people celebrated his  “courage”. They asked a Christian sports reporter to give his opinion and he stated that he was opposed to gay behavior because he believed the Bible. The reporter was ridiculed as being hateful, bigoted and narrow-minded. In other words he must not have a worldview that is different. What’s going on here? What about freedom of expression? Are we Christians now going to be harassed and called names because of our beliefs? The society is demanding that Christians tolerate and accept beliefs that are contrary or opposed to the Bible. Christians cannot do that. Our Bible says:

Luke 6:22-23  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Jesus said in John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

In other words when the world hates us, we need to remember they do so because they hated Christ first. What is this now? I am a Christian, you ask me my view, I give you my view which is based on my belief system the Bible. And the response I get is that I am narrow minded, hateful and biased. Are we getting to the place where the Bible will be declared as hate speech? I am sounding the alarm. Don’t take your freedom of religion for granted. It is foolish to expect tolerance and acceptance from others toward our Christian beliefs, even if they demand tolerance and acceptance for their own beliefs. The Bible tells us clearly: if we expect or look for tolerance from the world – Think Again - we will not get it.

This tolerance and acceptance of sinful practices is a growing demand against the Christian faith. But how do we respond to this intolerance towards us? We go to our life manual - the Bible

Matt 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 

So we are to love our enemies and pray for them. We do not play by the society’s rules. Our response to intolerance must not be anger, fear and hate. Instead, we express the love of Christ which we have in us. Sometimes too many Christians respond to unbelievers with hate and so alienate them. This is contrary to scripture. We show love for the person but reject the sinful practices. Tragically, the our society no longer defines "tolerance" as the recognition that others have a right to different beliefs and opinions. It now means complete acceptance of those beliefs even if those beliefs contradicts our Christian beliefs. But this makes no sense because to accept this type of tolerance eliminates my personal opinion or belief. Christians are not to endorse, support or accept any social or religious beliefs that go against what the Bible teaches. This means that Christians are going to face discrimination for their beliefs in school, colleges, jobs, courts, media, business, community organizations etc. The challenges are coming if they are not here yet. I am sounding the alarm and I know that I am not alone. The Christian is and must continue to sound the alarm.

The problem with tolerance and acceptance today is that it rejects the possibility that absolute truth exists. The Bible teaches that truth does exist, that God is truth, and that we are to follow in His truth.  John 1:14 and 17 says that Jesus, who came from the Father, gives us truth.  John 8:32 says that the truth sets us free from the control of sin.

The Bible is also clear regarding those who hide or distort the truth in the name of tolerance. Romans 1:18 says whoever suppresses the truth will receive the wrath of GodIn Matt 28:19-20 Jesus says that our mission is to teach others of the truth about Him1 Cor 13:6  says, "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."

So it’s not surprising that the secular society will call Christians narrow minded, bigots and intolerant. Should a Christian be tolerant of others beliefs? Yes. The Bible teaches that many will reject Jesus Christ. We should be prepared to accept that, as well as the fact that those who reject God will reject His followers. Christians should not endorse the belief that all religions lead to God, that truth is a personal construct, or that everyone's beliefs are valid. Jesus is the truth. Christians are called to tolerate – and to love – people without accepting their beliefs. So we overcome evil with good and the love in us will win the unbeliever. We are not giving up on America. Christians will stand up for truth in love.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 "Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Seeking The Truth about Good Friday

How do you calculate three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning? 



Since I became Christian and really began to read the Bible, I have asked the question - Did Jesus die on Good Friday? I know that I am stepping on some traditional church toes. Some Christians feel that you are almost committing a sin to ask questions like these. But I have always been a person who asks questions when something seems off. The Bible tells us that we must be ready with an answer to questions:
  
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 

I see no sin here but only an appetite for the truth. If I must be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks me why I am a believer in Christ, then I must also be ready to give an answer to anyone who questions anything in the Bible.

So how do you calculate three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning?

I have read many answers, even by some theologians I admire, who try to explain how to calculate three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning. I have spoken to friends also to no satisfaction. The main explanation is that any part of a day was considered as a day as the custom of the Jews in those times. Some have used the event in Acts 10 when Peter was directed by the Holy Spirit to see Cornelius, a Roman centurion. Cornelius had previously had a vision in which he was instructed to summon Peter to his home. They calculated the time it took Peter to meet Cornelius to determine the "true" meaning of a day (specifically Acts 10:30 based on the words of Cornelius).  Their conclusion? - any part of a day is considered a day.





My response is - How about the words of Jesus to settle the matter? Look at these verses: 

Matt 12: 39-40 But He answered and saith to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

John 11: 9-11 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because light is not in him" These things He said and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up"

Jesus makes it very clear - 12 hours in a day and 12 hours in the night! This is plain speaking. This is important because Christians must adhere to the Bible. If skeptics and unbelievers can find us preaching and practicing something that is contrary to the Bible, they will think that the Bible has contradictions. The Bible does not. It is important to get it right since Good Friday is a huge event in Christian practice today. It is required, (in my opinion), for us to memorialize the death of Christ on the cross because He took on Himself the sin of every human being who ever lived or will live in the future. However we must be consistent with the Bible.
 
This is something for 
Christians to contemplate. If anyone can show me how to get three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday - please show me.  The words of Jesus can never be wrong.