Tree of Life Blog

Engaging Culture with the wisdom and power of Christ!

Tag Archives: Christ

10 Scriptures that Can be used in nearly every mess

0

Image

 

We often learn lists of healing Scriptures, finance Scriptures, family Scriptures, etc. so that in specific crises we know what the Word says.  But if you are a new Christian or if you don’t know the Word as well as you should, or if you are facing multiple battles at once it is great to know that there are some Scriptures that will apply to EVERY situation.  These Scriptures should be learned, considered, meditated and declared in every mess you find yourself in.

10.  Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world. (1 John 4.4)

9.  My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory (Php. 4.19)

8. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8.31)

7. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8.32)

6. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8.37)

5. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Gal. 3.9)

4.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Gal. 3.13)

3. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3.1)

2. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Romans 5.1-2)

1. Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Cor. 2.14)

10 People You Can’t Help! (and you shouldn’t feel guilty about not helping)

0

You can’t save the world – you can’t help everyone. You are one person who has a finite amount of time, energy and influence. That is a harsh but true fact – and if you try and help everyone in the world then you will go loopy. God in His wisdom has ordained a ministry and a task for you – and that is all you need to do. If you invest your time in people you cannot help, then you will never have the time, resources or energy to help those who need your help. Here are ten groups of people you cannot help:

10. People who think they don’t have a problem.

9. People who think you are their problem.

8. People who refuse to be honest with you.

7. People who fail to honour you.

6. People who refuse to respect your boundaries.

5. People who refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

4. People who think their problem can never be solved (or that it is unique to them and worse than ANY other problem in the world…)

3. People who expect the whole world to bend around them and their needs but never make a compromise to find help.

2. People who accuse you of being judgmental when you are trying to help them onto a higher path (all paths are not equal).

1. People who expect you to invest time, finances, energy and life into solving their problem, but who don’t invest any themselves.

Shake the dust off your feet and go and find some people you can help! Selah!

An On Fire Christian Can Never Be Stopped

0

Steal from them and they will joyfully give you everything they own.

Force them to be your slave and they will happily be your servant.

Smack them on the nose and they will turn the other cheek again and again.

Kill them – it is simply gain.

Don’t kill them – they will simply live for Christ.

Put them in jail and they will use the time to commune with the Lord and write down their revelations which will then turn the world upside down.

An Onfire Christian can never be stopped.

Romans 1.24

0

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

This verse is remarkable in what it says, so I have included several translations to give you a real opportunity to meditate on it:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], (AMP)

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (NIV)

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. (NLT)

This word “gave them up”, translated as abandoned in the NLT, is the Greek word paradidomi. It is the same word used for Judas when he betrayed Christ (Matthew 10.4). However, it is not always used in the context of betrayal or abandoning.

It can be used to committing a trust to someone – for example in Matthew 25.20, it is used about giving money to someone to look after. In Acts 15.26 it is used to describe people committing and risking their lives for Christ. In 1 Cor. 13.3 it is used for giving up your life as a martyr.

It is even used for revelation knowledge. Paul in 1 Cor. 11.23 talking about communion says that what the Lord has delivered to me, I deliver to you. It is the same word. In Jude 3, Jude tells us that faith has been delivered to us.

So what is the context of this word which as we shall see as we read through Romans 1 is used three times in the next 5 verses. It is vital we understand what this word means to understand this verse and indeed this entire passage.

The word, looking at several classical Greek dictionaries, means to give up or let go of what you have been entrusted to look after. It can therefore mean betrayal, or it can mean a sacrifice. Now, has God betrayed us like Judas to Jesus or is God making a supreme sacrifice of love by giving us up?

I am sure it does not take a theologian to know that the nature of God is love (1 John 4.9) and that God, who cannot lie (Hebrews 6.8), could NEVER betray His creation.

So God is actually making a sacrifice here. He is doing the most loving thing that can be done.

Remember the context of this verse. In the previous two verses we find that we are talking about people who have stepped away from a living relationship with God and turned to idolatry.

As soon as someone turns to idolatry, God hands them over. He passes them on to someone else. He should be looking after every human on the planet, but when they willfully reject Him and turn to a false god, He passes them on. He gives them up.

And what does God give them up to? Uncleanness.

This is the start of the downward spiral of EVERY nation, EVERY community, EVERY individual, EVERY Christian that rejects God and creates a false god.

The first step is uncleanness.

Now, God gives you up out of love and sacrifice. God could come and visit you in ALL HIS GLORY and MAJESTY. You would fall at His feet and beg for His mercy and love. But God is not a bully who shows off His strength every chance He has. If you want to leave, He will NOT lock you in and imprison you. God never misuses the fact He is God. He always operates in love. God makes the most powerful sacrifice of all: He gives up His happiness in walking with you and sacrifices it so you can have free will and decide to ignore God and create a false god.

But, as soon as you are outside of God’s hand, uncleanness grabs hold of you. Uncleanness is the Greek word akatharsia and means impure motives. Have you noticed as soon as you try and do things apart from God’s will, God’s plan and God’s leading your motives go all over the place? You start to question yourself, you start to do things out of arrogance, to prove a point. You lose the security of knowing God is your source and your joy and your place of acceptance, so you start pushing about making people accept you, forcing people to like you, criticising people who succeed.

But then uncleanness develops and leads to dishonouring your body. Now yes this includes sexual immorality such as fornication, masterbation and homosexuality. And one of the things that happens as soon as you create false gods is sexual immorality. You lose the perspective that sex is for marriage, and marriage is for life.

Every false religion on the earth leads to sexual immorality. Whether it is a Muslim blowing himself up for 72 virgins, or a practiser of Wicca involved in a skyclad (naked) ritual, every false religion will lead to sexual immorality. This is a Scripture principle and cannot be denied.

If you are living an unclean life, you can try and fight it but you will fail. You will fail again and again. You might weep and repent each time, but you will not succeed in living clean. Because your problem is not uncleanness – uncleaness is the fruit.

Remember this truth: your problem is NEVER the fruit, it is ALWAYS the seed. If you don’t like the fruit, change seed.

Your problem is stepping away from God. Failing to glorify God, failing to thank Him for the things He has done for you, failing to control your imagination, and failing to fill yourself with the Word.

If you watch TV with adultery and “scenes of a sexual nature” you are filling yourself with the wrong seed, you are committing idolatry and you will end up in uncleanness. Fighting that harvest after sowing the wrong seed is nearly impossible.

You need to change your seed! Spend your time thanking God, glorifying God, and imagining your life of victory and meditating in the Word. Then change will be effortless. And fun!

If God has let you go and you are aware that uncleanness has grabbed you realize this: God let you go because YOU wanted to be let go. Want to be back with God and He will set you free, pour His love in your heart, rejoice over you with singing and enable you to live pure and clean in this world.

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

Some Glorious And Incomparable Promises Of The Bible (Thomas Ice)

0

This article is so important to us as Christians as it shows us the nature of God – God is reliable, consistent and can be trusted with our lives!  It also addresses the problem of Replacement Theology, which implies that God is not consistent or trust worthy and will help you know God more.

Enjoy!

Benjamin

During the firsthalf of World War II General Douglas MacArthur was forced to leave thePhilippines in the Pacific Theater by the Japanese. Upon his departure he made a promise to the Philippinopeople: “I will return.” GeneralMacArthur, through the strength and power of the American military was able tokeep his promise. If humanity canmake and keep promises of rescue and deliverance, how much more will our greatGod keep the glorious and incomparable promises He has made in His Word! Indeed, He has told us that He will oneday return and fulfill the great and many promises about the glorious future instore for those who know Him as their Savior.

Why are promisesimportant to God? Promises areimportant to God’s plan for history, because God keeps His word. History is a record of God’sfaithfulness to keep His promises. Thus, God delights in making seemingly impossible promises so that He,through the most difficult circumstances, demonstrates that He keeps Hispromises. Think of God’s record offaithfulness next time you are tempted by circumstances to go back on yourword. There are three greatpromises that God has made to His people that I want to examine in this article. These promises are Israel’s permanence,Christ’s second coming, and eternal life to all believers.

Promise of Israel’s Permanence

Scripture makesit clear that God’s integrity in history revolves around His chosen peopleIsrael. It is through Israel thatGod has chosen to leave His mark through out history. It is through Israel that God gave His Law, founded anation, caused His presence to dwell, mediated His Word, and sent the Savior ofthe world. It will be throughIsrael in the future that God will work to preach the gospel through out thewhole world, invoke the second coming, reign for a thousand years in Jerusalem,and place His eternal glory. Thus,God’s promise to Israel is that they have an eternal permanence in history andthroughout eternity (Jeremiah 31:35-36). Without Israel, the second coming cannot take place, since they must bethere for this glorious event to occur.

Replacement Theology

Most Americanevangelical Christians today have a high view of Jews and the modern state ofIsrael because of the positive influence of the dispensational premillennialview that national Israel has a future in the plan of God. Yet, there are those within Christendomwho deny that Israel has a permanent place in the plan of God. This view is known as replacementtheology.

What isreplacement theology? Replacementtheology is the view that the Church has permanently replaced Israel as theinstrument through which God works and that national Israel does not have afuture in the plan of God. This isalso known by the term “supersessionism.” Some replacement theologians may believe that individual Jews will beconverted and enter into the church (something that we all believe), but theydo not believe that God will literally fulfill the dozens of Old Testamentpromises to a converted national Israel in the future. Reconstructionist patriarch, R. J.Rushdoony uses the strongest language when he declares,

Thefall of Jerusalem, and the public rejection of physical Israel as the chosenpeople of God, meant also the deliverance of the true people of God, the churchof Christ, the elect, out of the bondage to Israel and Jerusalem, . . .[1]

Afurther heresy clouds premillennial interpretations of Scripture-theirexaltation of racism into a divine principle. Every attempt to bring the Jew back into prophecy as a Jewis to give race and works (for racial descent is a human work) a priorityover grace and Christ’swork and is nothing more or lessthan paganism. . . . There can be no compromise with this vicious heresy.[2]

Historical Development

As it should be,the nature of Israel’s future has become a watershed issue in biblicalinterpretation that has caused a polarization of positions that we findtoday. Today most Reformedinterpreters do not believe in a national future for Israel, even though manyhave held such a view over the last 400 years. Why? Early inthe systemization of any theological position the issues are undeveloped andless clear than later when the consistency of various positions are workedout. Thus it is natural for themature understanding of any theological issue to lead to polarization ofviewpoints as a result of interaction and debate between positions. The earlier Reformed position includeda blend of some Old Testament passages that were taken literally (i.e., thoseteaching a future conversion of Israel as a nation) and some that were not(i.e., details of Israel’s place of dominance during a future period ofhistory). On the one hand, as timepassed, those who stressed a literal understanding of Israel from the OldTestament became much more consistent in applying such an approach to allpassages relating to Israel’s destiny. On the other hand, those who thought literalism was taken too farretreated from whatever degree of literalness they did have and argued that thechurch fulfills Israel’s promises, thus there was no need for a national Israelin the future. Further,non-literal interpretation was viewed as the tool with which liberals deniedthe essentials of the faith. Thus,by World War II dispensationalism had come to virtually dominate evangelicalswho saw literal interpretation of the Bible as a primary support for orthodoxy.

After World WarII many of the battles between fundamentalism and liberalism began towane. Such an environment allowedfor less stigma attached to non literal interpretation within conservativecircles. However, today, as we seea decline in literal interpretation within Evangelicalism as a whole, we see anerosion among Evangelical scholars for support for modern Israel.

TheModern State of Israel

The fact that thelast 100 years has seen a world-wide regathering and reestablishment of thenation of Israel, which is now poised in just the setting required for therevealing of the Antichrist and the start of the tribulation, is God’s grandindicator that all of the other areas of world development are propheticallysignificant. Dr. Walvoord says,

Ofthe many peculiar phenomena which characterize the present generation,: fewevents can claim equal significance as far as Biblical prophecy is concernedwith that of the return of Israel to their land. It constitutes a preparation for the end of the age, thesetting for the coming of the Lord for His church, and the fulfillment ofIsrael’s prophetic destiny.[3]

What one believesabout the future of Israel is of utmost importance to one’s understanding ofthe Bible. I believe, without ashadow of doubt, that Old Testament promises made to national Israel willliterally be fulfilled in the future. This means the Bible teaches that God will return theJews to their land before the tribulation begins (Isaiah 11:11-12:6; Ezekiel20:33-44; 22:17-22; Zephaniah 2:1-3). This has been accomplished and the stage is set as a result of thecurrent existence of the modern state of Israel. The Bible also indicates that before Israel enters into hertime of national blessing she must first pass through the fire of thetribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30; Jeremiah. 30:5-9; Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah1:14-18). Even though the horrorsof the Holocaust under Hitler were of an unimaginable magnitude, the Bibleteaches that a time of even greater trial awaits Israel during thetribulation. Anti-Semitism willreach new heights, this time global in scope, in which two-thirds of worldJewry will be killed (Zechariah 13:7-9; Revelation 12). Through this time God will protect Hisremnant so that before His second advent “all Israel will be saved”(Romans 11:36). In fact, thesecond coming will include the purpose of God’s physical rescue of Israel fromworld persecution during Armageddon (Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 12-14; Matthew24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-21).

If nationalIsrael is a historical “has been,” then all of this is obviouslywrong. However, the Bible says shehas a future and world events will revolve around that tiny nation at thecenter of the earth. The world’sfocus already is upon Israel. Godhas preserved His people for a reason and it is not all bad. In spite of the fact that history isprogressing along the lines of God’s ordained pattern for Israel, we see therevival of replacement theology within conservative circles that will no doubtbe used in the future to fuel the fires of anti-Semitism, as it has in thepast. Your view of the future ofnational Israel is not just an academic exercise.

Promise of Christ’s Second Coming

Though many may not realize its significance, the return of Jesus Christ to planet Earth is themost important event that will occur in the future. But what do we know about the coming of Christ? Is it only a heart-felt hope andhistorical hype, or do we have a clear and certain word from God on this event?

The prophetic promise of the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth is the subject of manypassages in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. What are some of the more prominent texts? They include some of thefollowing: Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalm2; Isaiah 63:1-6; Daniel 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24-25;Mark 13; Luke 21; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 11:26; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 5:1-4; 2Thessalonians 1:6-2:12; 2 Peter 2:1-3:17; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-21.

The most graphicportrayal of Christ’s second coming is found in Revelation 19:11-21. In this extended passage Jesus Christis described as leading a procession of angels and saints or armies in heavento claim the earth, destroy the armies of the world, and defeat the Antichristand False Prophet.

This passage shows that Christ’s return will be one that entails great physicaldestruction and many deaths. Forthose who are not Christ’s own, it will be a terrifying and terribleevent. For those of us who knowHim as their Savior, it will be a time of great joy, vindication, andanticipation.

The Bible depicts the career of Christ as revolving around two major aspects. Titus 2:11-14 speaks of Christ’s twoappearances on earth. The firstphase is related to His coming in humiliation to die for the sins of mankind. The second phase is when He will comein power and glory to reign over all mankind. Hebrews 9:28 is a single verse that explains and contrastsChrist’s two comings. The writerof Hebrews says “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sinsof many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, tothose who eagerly await Him.” Jesus is coming again. Thisis a glorious promise and hope for all believers.

Promise of EternalLife

Eternal life is the gift of God given to all who believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted Hisoffer of salvation based upon His death and resurrection (John 10:10; Ephesians2:8-9). In the Bible, eternal life emphasizes a quality of life, a quality that can only be imparted by GodHimself. This life does not, ofcourse, make us God, we are and will always remain creatures, however, it is aquality of life that comes from the God who has the quality of eternality. Therefore, eternal life should not beconfused with endless or eternal existence which everyone will experience. Eternal existence will be common to theredeemed and the unredeemed, but the destinies will be very different. Christians will enter into heaven andthe presence of God; unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation20:11-15).

For those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are given the promise ofeternal life the moment we believe. John says, “the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He whohas the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have thelife” (1 John 5:11-13). If you havetrusted in Christ, then you have eternal life in the present that will continuethroughout eternity in heaven for the believer. Believers have the hope of eternal life in heave with ourLord for eternity.

Conclusion

Anyone familiar with God’s word knows that He has a wonderful plan for history and Hispeople. These are indeed gloriousand incomparable promises through which He implements His plan. What should the response of thebeliever be to God’s promises? ThePsalmist rightly advises, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation,and call upon the name of the Lord”(Psalm 116:12-13).

When we think about the significance of the glorious promises that our Lord has in store forus as His people we respond with a thankful heart. Let us remember that for the believer this present life ifthe worse things will ever be for us. But, for the unbeliever, this present life will be the best they willever experience. Let us claim theprecious promises that He has made to us in the present so that He will make usfit for eternity.

Some Mighty Facts (E W Kenyon)

2

Some Mighty Facts

by E.W. Kenyon

There are some things Eternal Life has given us. If we realized what we were in Christ and knew that we had the ability to be what God says we are, our lives would be transformed in a week.
    We do not understand what Redemption and the New Creation have made us.
    We do not realize what we are to the Father’s heart and what He is to us.
    Most of us are theological Christians instead of Bible Christians.
    We have theological experiences and are ever attempting to square the Word with those experiences.

 
         We have been taught there is no truth beyond our creed. We lock our people in a creed, making them prisoners of the theories of men born a hundred years ago. The Creed Christian is not a Bible Christian.
    Each creed must have the Bible translated to fit it.
    We have discovered a Christ who is greater than the creeds, a Redemption that is greater than the creeds, a New Birth that bursts the bonds of creedal Christianity and sets the prisoners free.
    We are discovering a type of Christianity that is better than the creeds, better than anything to which the creeds have given birth.
    The creeds, beautiful though they may be, are largely born of Sense Knowledge.

You Are Redeemed

    Romans 3:24: Through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to show His righteousness.
    Our Redemption, our Redeemer, is Christ. No one can rob you of your Redemption.
    If you take Christ as your Savior, He becomes your Redemption. You become independent of man.
    Your Redemption was God’s own work, and He Himself is satisfied with what He did in Christ.
    Eph. 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.
    Eph. 1:7: In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the redemption of our trespasses.
    If you have your Redemption, you are Redeemed.
    Your Redemption was through the blood of Jesus Christ
    You have the remission of your trespasses.
    Notice first, you have your Redemption in Christ. It is through the blood of the Son of God.
    You have remission from all that you ever did before you became a Christian.
    This Redemption is according to the riches of His grace.
    It is a perfect, a complete Redemption. It is not a beggarly Redemption, but a vast God-sized Redemption that glorifies God and glorifies Christ and honors every man who embraces it.
    Col. 1:13 14: “Who delivered us out of the authority of darkness.” That is Satan’s authority. If we are delivered out of his authority, he can no longer reign over us.
    Yet the great body of the Church is living under the dominion of the adversary as though it had never been Born Again. What is the matter?
    The creed to which we have subscribed has no actual Redemption in it. It has robbed the Church of its own Redemption by setting stakes of limitation.
    Col. 1:13: “Who delivered us out of the authority of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the son of his love!” He delivered us out of the authority of Satan, and He translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love.
    Put it in the first person. You are the one who has been delivered. You are the one who has been translated into God’s kingdom and family. In Christ you have your Redemption, the remission of everything that you ever did.
    It gives you the Nature of God and takes out of you the nature of the adversary.
    The New Birth settles the problem of your sin nature. All you ever did is wiped out. All you ever were has been destroyed.
    You are now an actual child of God just as Jesus was in His earth walk. You have the same standing that Jesus had, because Jesus is your standing. He has become your righteousness. God Himself becomes your standing.
    Romans 3:26: “That he might himself be righteous, and the righteousness of him that hath faith in Jesus!” (Lit. trans.)
    You have faith in Jesus as your Substitute. So God has become your righteousness.
    When you believe this, you will come out of bondage and weakness and failure into the fulness of this new Life in Christ.
    You are the sons of God. You are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. You are redeemed.
    I Cor. 6:20: “For ye were bought with a price.” Why do we become the slaves of wrong teaching, the slaves of Sense Knowledge? That price was the blood of Christ.
    There is no joint ownership between Christ and the world. You either belong to the devil or you belong to Christ. Christ purchased you with His own blood. I Pet. 1:18, 19: “Knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ.”
    It is the blood of the lamb without spot. You stand before the Father now a redeemed one, without condemnation. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, redeemed you.
    Every claim of justice has been paid. Jesus met the demands of justice and satisfied them. You are free.
    I Cor. 7:23: “Become not the bondservants of men!” That means that we are not to become the bondservants of the theories of men or the creeds of men. “Men” here means the man who walks in the senses. You crown Jesus as the Lord of your life. There is no other bondage but the bondage of love.
    John 8:36: “If therefore the son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” You are free from Satan’s dominion. You are a New Creation, a child of God. You have been redeemed from the hand of your enemy. You are to take this fact seriously. You are to order your life accordingly.
    Romans 6:14: “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Satan was defeated by your Master. That defeat stripped him of his ability to take you captive without your cooperation.
    The two phases of Christ’s ministry in Redemption are: Jesus paying the price of your Redemption, and defeating your enemy and setting you free.
    Col. 2:15: “Having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it!” He triumphed over the adversary. He defeated the enemy. His triumph was your triumph. That battle was your battle. He was not fighting for Himself.
    Hebrews 2:14: “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” He set you free. You are free. You are redeemed by God Himself.

You Are A New Creation

Next I want you to notice that you are a New Creation. This truth has never been given its place.
    All we have been taught was that God forgave us our sins and that by a second work of grace, sin was eradicated from us. But if we did wrong ignorantly or knowingly we had to be justified again. That justification permitted us to be justified with the devil’s nature in us.
    Another view is that God was unable to take out Satan’s nature when He gave us His Nature; so that when we were Born Again we had God’s Nature and the devil’s nature in us. We warred against the old nature in us. They said that we would be free when we died. Satan is the author of death. That would make Satan your savior. Far be the thought!
    All this teaching belongs to Sense Knowledge’s interpretation of the Word.
    Spiritual things are spiritually understood. I Cor. 2:12: “That we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
    The first thing that is given to you after Redemption is a New Nature. II Cor. 5:17 must ever stand as the key to this wonderful truth: “Wherefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all these things are of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.”
    You are a New Creation. The devil’s nature has been taken out of you. God’s Nature has taken its place.
    You are reconciled to the Father. You are brought into fellowship with the Father. Everything you were before, stopped being. All you were in Satan stopped being.
    The old things of weakness and failure are passed. This New Creation has no memory of the past creation. You are newly born. You are a new species. You are a New Creation in Christ Jesus.
    The Jew was blood-covered because his nature was antagonistic toward God. We are not blood-covered. We are made New Creations. We are cleansed by the blood. We need not be covered. We can stand free of sin-consciousness in His presence. just as Jesus did in His earth walk.
    The Holy Spirit has given birth to us. We are born of God. James 1:18: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” I John 4:4: “Ye are of God, my little children.” Eph.2:10: “We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus.”
    All this drives us to this conclusion: that this New Creation is something that God Himself has wrought, and that we are just what He says we are-the very sons of God.
    Romans 6:6 tells us that the man of sin is done away in the New Creation: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him. that the body of sin might be done away that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin.” The sin nature is gone. So many of us have tried to get rid of this old nature. We did not know that it was put away.
    The thing called the Adamic nature is spiritual death which has possession of our spirits. When we are made alive, made New Creations, that nature is done away.
    We are tempted, and in our babyhood state do foolish things. That is because our bodies have never yet been brought into subjection to our spirits. Desire may dwell in your physical body, but it is not sin until you have consented to an act that is forbidden in the Word. There is nothing wrong in your body. Sin lived in your spirit and in your mind. It does not abide in your body.
    When it says “sin in the flesh” it means sin in the senses. It is when your senses have gained the dominion over your spirit and mind.
    Romans 12:1, 2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this age; but be ye transfigured by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
    He desires that these senses shall be dedicated to Him after we are Born Again. It is an unseemly thing for your senses to rule your mind and your spirit. You know that if you have a sore foot that that foot rules all the rest of your body. That disease has gained the mastery so that your spirit and your mind become absolute slaves to the pain in the foot. The same thing is true if you have an unclean appetite, a habit. That habit gains the mastery over your whole being, if you do not hold it in subjection.
    The thing you should say to that foot is, “By His stripes, you are healed. In the Name of Jesus become well!” (from Isaiah 53). You say to the habit that has gained the mastery over your body and mind, “You have no right to hold dominion over me any longer. In the Name of Jesus Christ, depart!”
    You will be free.
    There is only one place for sin to actually reside, and that is in our spirits. Our spirits have been recreated. The sin nature has been taken out. I John 3:14: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren!” Satan’s nature is gone. God’s Nature is in us. This New Creation is of God. We know that we are His own.
    Nothing will cripple one so quickly as to deny this truth. Nothing will establish you and build your faith as quickly as to confess it. Confess it in your heart first. Confess it out loud in your room. Say it over and over again: “I am a child of God. I have God’s Nature. I am the righteousness of God in Christ!” Say it until the words become familiar to your spirit. Say it until your spirit and your words agree, until your whole being swings into harmony and into line with the Word of God.
    That miraculous passage in Hebrews 5:13 says, “For everyone that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe!” They have never sounded the depths of righteousness. They do not know what it means to have God justify them and to have a standing with the Father just like Jesus’ standing. They do not seem to grasp the significance of the reality of the New Creation.
    That New Creation is a part of God. It has partaken of God’s Nature. It has been made out of righteousness and holiness of truth. The New Creation is not a man-made thing. It is not a mental thing. It is a thing of God. Just as the angel said in Luke 1:35: “That holy thing that shall be born shall be the Son of God.” The Holy Spirit has given birth to you and you are one of the holy ones of God.
    You are that separated thing that belongs absolutely to the Father. You are now His very child. You can say, “My Father!” He whispers, “My child!”
    Romans 8:15: “For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” This is your continual confession of your relationship to Him and His to you. That will build faith into you.
    Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus!” God is your Father, your Protector, your Caretaker, and your Lord. You are in His family. Take your place. Play the part of a son.
    Let the world hear your confession. Every time you confess your sonship rights and your sonship place, you defeat the adversary. Sickness has no dominion over you. Disease has no dominion over you. Want and hunger and need have no dominion over you. You are now in the family of plenty.
    You are in the family where you lie down in green pastures and you are led by streams of sweet water. Your soul is restored from calamity, fear, and doubt; and fellowship and communion with Him is quiet and beautiful. You are walking, now in the paths of righteousness, taking advantage of your righteousness. You are doing the works of a righteous man. You are praying the prayers of a righteous man. James 5:16: “The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.”
    You are praying for the sick. You are casting out demons. Mark 16:17,18.
    You are living a life of victory because you are the righteousness of God in Christ.
    This in part is what Eternal Life gives us in Christ.

This page Copyright © 2001 Peter Wade. The Bible text in this publication, except where otherwise indicated, is from the King James Version. This article appears on the site: http://www.peterwade.com/.

How to Heal the Sick (Benjamin Conway)

0

Teach the Truth

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;   (Luke 6.17)

People need to hear to be healed.  The most important thing you can do to help someone receive their healing is to let them hear the truth.

There are three truths that every person who wants to receive their healing immediately needs to know:

  1. 1. Jesus Christ died on the cross taking their sicknesses and diseases
    1. Isaiah 53.4-6
    2. Matthew 8.16-17
    3. 1 Peter 2.24
    4. Galatians 3.13 and Deut. 28.61
  1. That according to the Word of God they are already healed
    1. 1 Peter 2.24
    2. Luke 13.12
    3. Mark 11.24
  1. That speaking faith-filled Words changes the physical realm
    1. Mark 11.23
    2. Acts 14.7-10
    3. Matthew 8.1-3

Now, if you are at a healing crusade, a good Bible teacher or preacher will have preached these three points and emphasised at least one of them.  If you are part of the ministry team, then your job will not necessarily be to teach these again or re-preach the sermon.  You may want to confirm the person has understood these points and heard them from the preaching and believes them.

If you are in the supermarket or in your house, the person may or may not be willing to listen to you.  You need to learn how to best present these truths as quickly as possible, using personal illustrations to yourself so that people can understand the point you are making.

Minister Life

Find out what is wrong with someone by asking them.  You can ask a couple of questions to confirm what is wrong, but don’t spend too long listening to symptoms and ailments.  Just know what you need to speak against and what organs you need to minister life to.

  1. Lay your hands on the person (Mark 16.17).  Touch is very powerful when it comes to healing as the life of God in you is transferred through physical touch (Matt. 8.1, 15)
  2. Command all sickness and pain and any other symptoms to leave the person immediately (Mark 11.23, Romans 5.17)
  3. Command every organ to function properly (James 3.2, John 5.8-9) in the name of Jesus (John 14.14)

Confirm Manifestation

Manifestation is just the word used for a healing or miracle moving from the spiritual realm to the physical realm.  After you have prayed with the person, ask them if there has been any change.  Remember though we are not asking to see if they are healed, they are healed (1 Pet. 2.24), we are asked to see if the healing has manifest (Mark 8.23-25).  Often I ask someone on a scale of 1 to 10, how much of the pain has gone.

If someone at this stage is completely healed, then rejoice with those that rejoice.  Be happy with the person and ensure they receive information on how to stay healed (either give them a teaching book such as God Wants You Well by Andrew Wommack or God’s Medicine Bottle by Derek Prince; arrange to meet them again at a set time – about a week; or take them to a good Bible believing church that knows how to teach faith).  Ensure YOU get THEIR contact details – a phone number or something – because you cannot rely on them to call you.

If the person is mostly healed, I would encourage them to thank the Lord for their healing and for them to continue to command the pain to be gone and their organs to function properly.  Again, ensure they receive information on how to stay healed.

If the person is about half healed, I would repeat step B myself, just like Jesus prayed again for the man in Mark 8.23-25.  Ask again how healed the person is – they should be mostly healed now.  If so, follow the guidelines above.

If the person is only a tiny bit healed, or feels no better at all, praying again at this stage may just discourage you and them.  At this stage, give them a good book on healing (as referenced above, or the mini-book Hear and Be Healed by Kenneth Hagin) or a list of Scriptures to meditate on for healing.  Ensure they get to hear more faith-filled messages on healing or study the Word more, then pray for them again at a later date.  In a crusade, if it is not the last night ensure they come back for another service and spend particular time paying attention to the healing message.  Again, get their details so you can see if they have spent time in the Word and meet them again to pray for them again.

Necessity of an Interval between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming

8

Necessity of an Interval between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming

 

by: Thomas Ice

 

Building upon the article “The Rapture & The Second Coming: An Important Distinction” in our previous issue of Pre-Trib Perspectives, we now will see that a gap of time is needed between the rapture and the second coming in order to facilitate certain events spoken of in the Bible. Such a needed time interval provides strong support for pretribulationism.

 

A PRE-TRIB INTERVAL

Numerous items in the New Testament can easily be harmonized by a pre-trib time gap of at least seven years, while other views, especially postribulationists, are forced to postulate scenarios that would not realistically allow for normal passage of time. The following events are best temporally harmonized with an interval of time as put forth by pretribulationism.1

 

THE BEMA JUDGMENT

2 Corinthians 5:10 teaches that all believers of this age must appear before the judgment seat of Christ in heaven. This event, often known as the “bema judgment” (see also Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:2-5) from the Greek word bema, is an event never mentioned in the detailed accounts connected with the second coming of Christ to the earth. Instead, the second coming brings with it God’s judgment of unbelievers, usually expressed by some form of the Greek word krinô. Thus, it can be established from the biblical text that the bema-judgment applies only to church age believers, while the krinô-judgment is for unbelievers.

The Bible indicates that each individual within the Body of Christ will appear before the bema in association with Christ’s return for the church (i.e., at the pretrib rapture). Dr. Robert Gromacki notes:

the judgment will occur immediately after the coming of Christ for believers. . . . Earlier, Paul wrote: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come . . . (I Cor. 4:5). Thus, this is not an ongoing judgment that each Christian experiences on earth or right after death. It is a once-for-all event that occurs right after the appearing of Christ (I Thess. 4:13-18).2

Since the normal transaction of such an evaluation would require some passage of time, the pre-trib gap of seven years nicely accounts for such a requirement.

 

CHRIST’S BRIDE IN HEAVEN

In conjunction with the bema judgment, Revelation 19:7-10 pictures the church as a bride who has been made ready for marriage (with “fine linen,” which represents “the righteous acts of the saints”) to her groom (Christ). The bride has already been clothed in preparation for her return at the second coming with Christ to the earth (Rev. 19:11-18). It follows that the church would already have to be complete and in heaven (because of the pre-trib rapture) in order to have been prepared in the way that Revelation 19 describes. This requires an interval of time which pretribulationism handles well.

Apparently the bride’s preparation and the bema judgment are different illustrations of the same event. The bema focuses on the process of judgment, while the bride pictures the results. Dr. Ed Hindson explains:

Whatever view one holds in regard to our Lord’s return, one thing is clear in prophetic Scripture, the marriage occurs in heaven (Rev. 19:7-9) before the triumphal return of Christ with His redeemed church at His side (Rev. 19:11-16).

Non-pretribulationists are at a virtual loss to explain how the church got to heaven prior to returning with Christ at the battle of Armageddon. At best, some suggest they are “caught up” after the Tribulation only to return immediately with the Lord. This arrangement, however, leaves little or no time for the wedding!3

 

THE 24 ELDERS IN HEAVEN

The 24 elders of Revelation 4:1-5:14 are best understood as representative of the church. Dr. Charles Ryrie explains:

In the New Testament, elders as the highest officials in the church do represent the whole church (cf. Acts 15:6; 20:28), and in the Old Testament, twenty-four elders were appointed by King David to represent the entire Levitical priesthood (I Chron. 24). When those twenty-four elders met together in the temple precincts in Jerusalem, the entire priestly house was represented. Thus it seems more likely that the elders represent redeemed human beings, . . . the church is included and is thus in heaven before the tribulation begins.4

If these elders refer to the church, then it would mean at least two things: 1) It would necessitate the rapture and reward of the church before the tribulation and would require a chronological gap for them to perform their heavenly duties during the seven-year tribulation. 2) It would also show that the completed church was already in heaven before events of the tribulation begin.

 

THE JUDGMENT OF GENTILES

It would be impossible for the judgment of the Gentiles to take place after the second coming if the rapture and second coming are not separated by a gap of time. How would both saved and unsaved, still in their natural bodies, be separated in judgment if all living believers are translated at the second coming? This would be impossible if the translation takes place at the second coming, but it is solved through a pretribulational gap.

Dr. John F. Walvoord points out that if “the translation took place in connection with the second coming to the earth, there would be no need of separating the sheep from the goats at a subsequent judgment, but the separation would have taken place in the very act of the translation of the believers before Christ actually sets up His throne on earth (Matt. 25:31).”5 Once again, such a “problem” is solved by taking a pretrib position with its gap of at least seven years.

 

POPULATING THE MILLENNIUM

At the second coming, non-martyred Believers who come to faith in Christ during the tribulation are not translated, but carry on ordinary occupations such as farming, building houses, and the bearing of children (Isa. 65:20-25) during the subsequent millennium. This would be impossible if all saints were translated at the second coming to the earth, as posttribulationists teach. Because pretribulationists have at least a seven-year interval between the removal of the church at the rapture and the return of Christ to the earth, this is not a problem because millions of people will be saved during the interval and thus be available to populate the millennium in their natural bodies in order to fulfill Scripture.

Dr. Steven McAvoy concludes:

The fact that the judgment of the nations occurs before the millennium and thus provides for the population of the millennial earth, constitutes a strong argument for pretribulationism. For a posttribulational rapture would leave no sheep for this judgment. If pretribulationalists are correct in placing this judgment before the millennium then posttribulationalism suffers a serious blow.6

 

ISRAEL’S FUTURE

A time interval is needed so that God’s program for the church, a time when Jew and Gentile are united in one body (cf. Eph. 2-3), will not become commingled in any way with His unfinished and future plan for Israel during the tribulation. Dr. Renald Showers notes:

All other views of the Rapture have the church going through at least part of the 70th week, meaning that all other views mix God’s 70-weeks program for Israel and Jerusalem together with His program for the church.7

A gap of time is needed after God completes His program with the church, so that He may conclude His plans for Israel. Only with an interval of seven years, as postulated by pretribulationists, can God’s program be harmonized in a non-conflicting manner.

 

CONCLUSION

The pretribulational rapture of the church not only fulfills a biblical need to see a distinction between the translation of church-age saints at the rapture, before the second coming, but it also handles without difficulty the necessity of a time-gap, which harmonizes a number of future biblical events. This requirement of a seven-year gap of time adds support to the likelihood that pretribulationism best reflects the biblical point of view.

 

ENDNOTES

1 Many of the points in this article are taken from John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question: Revised and Enlarged Edition (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), pp. 274-75.

2 Robert G. Gromacki, Stand Firm in the Faith: An Exposition of II Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978),pp. 84-85.

3 Edward E. Hindson, “The Rapture and the Return: Two Aspects of Christ’s Coming” in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, eds, When the Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), p. 156.

4 Charles C. Ryrie, Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), pp. 35-36.

5 Walvoord, The Rapture Question, p. 274.

6 Steven L. McAvoy, “A Critique of Robert Gundry’s Posttribulationalism” (Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986), p. 203.

7 Renald Showers, Maranatha Our Lord, Come! A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church (Bellmawr, N.J.: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1995), p. 243.

Run Through Romans (ch 5.18-21)

2

18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This is a wonderful continuation of what the word taught us in Romans 5.17: through Adam we were all made sinners, but through Christ’s life of perfect obedience that was offered up to the Lord for us, many people shall be made righteousness.  On the cross, Jesus was made sin so that we could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21) – to make it more real, I like to say it like this: Jesus who knew no sin became sin with our sin so that we who knew no righteousness could be made righteous with our righteousness.

That is one powerful realization: Jesus took our sin and became our sin on the cross.  Everything you have ever done wrong, every impure thought you have ever had, every lie you have ever told, every sin you have ever committed, every time you crossed the line, every time you acted like there was no line but you knew there was a line – every sin was placed on Him and He became sin with your sin.

No wonder He told the Father: if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.  No wonder as He died He yelled “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”  No wonder the sky was black and the earth was shaking.  He took your sin.  He took my sin.  He took the sin of the world.

Adam disobeyed and his nature became the nature of wrath, he was a child of satan and therefore took after his father, satan (read John 8 – I will post some articles expanding this at some point).  Adam’s whole nature changed – he was spiritually alive created with the spirit and breath of God inside him (Genesis 2.7) , and on the day he sinned he spiritually died losing his communion and love and life, and becoming bound with fear and guilt and shame and blame.

Since then every child of Adam (that is, every single human) has been born dead in their sins and trespasses, unable to please God, unable to serve God, unable to live in victory.  The only solution for this sin issue was if someone completely righteous, someone who never sinned, someone who was born differently so they were born spiritually alive.  Someone who lived their entire life without ever sinning and therefore never dying spiritually. 

And then that someone would have to offer up their life on our behalf, to take all of our sin, to carry it all into their body, and pay the total penalty for all of our sin.  And that is what Jesus did.  Because all the price has been paid for our sin, then we can be made righteous – not by doing anything right – but by believing in Jesus and realizing what He did and then receiving His righteous and His life which then transforms our spirit.   This experience is so life shattering it is called in the Bible being born again (John 3.3,5) – your whole inner nature changes from being dead to being alive, you stop having the nature of death and satan; and start enjoying the nature of God – being a partaker of the divine nature.

 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

This is Paul re-iterating that this salvation, this life of abundance, this partaking of the divine nature, this being born again, this being made totally righteous and being able to stand before God without sin, without fear, without a sense of judgment or sense of inferiority – being able to come boldly to the throne of grace has NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR MERIT.  The purpose of the law is not to make righteousness abound, but to make offence abound.

The rules and regulations that were in the Old Testament were not to make the people good, but to show them how bad they were.  The Ten Commandments are not to make you good, they cannot make you good, they just make you want to disobey them, they just show you that you fail.  They have no power to change your heart and your attitude.

What is wonderful about this verse is that the more you sin, the more grace there is.  The more you have disobeyed, the more goodness God extends to you.  It is not your goodness that causes God to move towards you and bless you, it is His grace.  Even if you have broken all 10 commandments, and sinned in huge massive ways: God’s grace is more massive.  It is greater.

If you go back to the law and try and obey God and try and be good and try and obey God, the more you do that the more you will fail, the more you will mess up, the more you will offend against God’s holy law.  However, if you come to God and just accept that He is good, that He loves you, that He blesses you – not because you have been good but because He is good and He is kind and He is lovely, you will find that His grace is greater than your sin.  As soon as you stop trying to be good and start to trust in the fact that God is good, then you will be more holy and more loving by accident than you have ever been on purpose.  Say it outloud until you believe it from the core of your being: “God’s grace abounds more than my sin.”

 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

You see sin rules over your life before you are a Christian.  You are dead spiritually and sin is your master.  Because sin is your master, satan can come into your life whenever he wants.  You were the tail and not the head – just following around the circumstances of life.  Whenever you managed to succeed in one area of your life, you started to fail in another. 

But when grace entered your life because you heard and believed your entire nature changed, your entire life changed.  You stopped being spiritually dead and started being spiritually alive, you stopped being a sinner and started being righteous.  You started enjoying eternal life, you started enjoying a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

You stopped being the tail and started being the head – you can speak to mountains and they move, you can walk in victory, you can rule and reign and love life.  That is the joy of being born again, that is the fun of being a Christian: being in right relationship with God (His Son), being in right relationship with the world (it’s dominator) and being in right relationship with satan (your foot on his head, not the other way around).

Now you might read this and say: hold on Ben – I am not experiencing this.  This does not describe my life.  Well it should.  It is what you are in the spirit.  If that is not manifesting and not flooding out of you then you need to do three things:

1. Think it.  Spend time in the Bible reading Scriptures about you reigning in life. 

2. Believe it.  Let your mind paint pictures of you reigning, of you enjoying a great relationship with God, about you walking in health and wealth and victory and joy.

3. Say it.  Mark 11.23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

You need to speak to everything in your life that is in your way, and you shall have what you say.

Next time we will begin to answer one of the most important questions that a study of Romans 5 brings up: if we have peace with God because of what Jesus did, and no matter how much we sin, God’s goodness and graciousness is more than our sin, can we live however we want and sin as much as we want?  The answer will probably not surprise you, but the Biblical reasons for the answer probably will.

If this has blessed you or if you have any questions, please comment on the post and I will respond to all comments.

Blessings and love,

Benjamin

Always Make Sure You Stop and Realize How Amazing Cool a Faith walk is!

1
Enjoy the Journey!

Enjoy the Journey!

%d bloggers like this: