Friday, August 6, 2010

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SANCTIFIED?

"For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Leviticus 11:44)

Here the Lord is telling us that if we eat certain things our temple (1Corinthians 6:19)  becomes defiled and we become an abomination to our God.  In an effort to avoid these situations and circumstances we are to, "therefore 'sanctify' yourselves."

There is nothing holy about the word sanctify. The definition of sanctified is not holy or righteous, but rather to set apart, or separated.

"Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine." (Exodus 13:2
Samuel the priest as well as Jesus Christ (and others) were sanctified after this manner.





"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:1-3)

God sanctified the Sabbath day, therefore the 7th day of the week should be set apart from the rest of the week. Simply put you shouldn't do the things that you normally do on the Sabbath. Everything about the day is supposed to be different. In the 10 Commandments we are told that No work should be done. The 7th day is designed to be our Day of Worship. The day that Christians in general (and ALL those whom believe in the God of the Bible in particular) should assemble together (Hebrews 10:25).  
Some would have my readers believe that the Sabbath day and the rules that outline the proper observance thereof was nailed to the cross with Christ. I wonder how then would they explain the 66th chapter of Isaiah where after the Kingdom of God begins, after the New heaven and New earth have come, that, "it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD." (66:23

I have also heard Catholic as well as Protestant preachers say that those laws were for the nation of Israel only. I wonder then how those preachers would explain the 56th chapter of Isaiah.
"Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil... Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." (Isaiah 56:1-8)


Another thing that sanctifies the people of God from the rest of the world, (according to the Bible) are the things that we eat (or are allowed to eat). This post began with a verse out of the 11th chapter of Leviticus. The entire chapter lines out those things that will 'defile' the temple of your body, as well as some things that will make us an "Abomination" in the sight of God.

"And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination." (v.10-11)




"Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 


This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:  To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
(v.43-47)





FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes): Twice in this set of scriptures, the Lord equates what we eat with being holy. And that we are commanded to be holy because He is holy.   I would like to take this time to point out that NOWHERE in the Bible is it written that smoke of any kind whatsoever will defile the temple of your body. That type of reasoning comes from the mind of man (studying sermons instead of Bibles). People are caught up making tobacco and alcohol a sin, when sin is outlined in the Bible.
For the Biblical definition of sin click here

 This is how the people of God 'Sanctify' themselves from the world. Not by becoming Monks and Nuns in seclusion from the world (how then can they carry out 'the Great Commission'?) but by following the scripture. The proof is in the pudding. When you talk to someone about the Sabbath Day, or the Dietary Law the 1st thing they assume is that you are Jewish. That is because historically the only people that Sanctify themselves were the people of God -The Children Of Israel- or what we commonly call the Jews.
However we read today that the son of the stranger (one whom is not from among the children of Israel) should keep the Sabbath day as well. There is only 1 Law for the Jew and the Gentile. 1 Law for Israel, as well as for the entire species of Man (the species of Man is male and female).

It is very important that we use the Word. Those that sanctify themselves without the Word are in danger.
 "For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
(Isaiah 66:16-18)
These people Isaiah mentions try to circumvent the sanctification of God and assume that since God created it, it must be ok to eat. Those that sanctify themselves and eat 'swines flesh' will be consumed together with those who commit other abominations.

Imagine being one of those people who believes that homosexuality is an abomination unto God (it is). All of your life you evangelize against alternative lifestyles and when Jesus returns, He places you in the lake of fire, right next to a homosexual because you have sanctified yourself and ate swine's flesh. 
 
---STUDY THE BIBLE... NOT THE SERMONS---


"One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you." (Exodus 12:49)

"Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 24:22)

"Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them." (Numbers 15:29)

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:1-6)

And Finally,

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  
(Hebrews 13:8)


May the Lord add a blessing to the reading, studying, and understanding of His Word...



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Additional Scriptures

Numbers 15:16

Exodus 19:9-23/28:40-42/29:36

Joshua 7:12-14 

1pETER 3:15

*John 17:17*

 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SPEAKING IN TONGUES



I have conversations with a lot of different kinds of people. People who study Metaphysics who claim the proper magnetic field will save humanity, to folks in the 5% nation who call themselves God, and believe that knowing how many miles there are between the Earth and the Moon has a purpose outside of astronomy class. Even those who claim to be Christian, but have No Knowledge or Understanding about Christ whatsoever.

One of the most lively conversations surrounds the topic speaking in tongues. Some say that it was the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost came that the Church took over from the nation of Israel.
Some say that unless a person speaks in some unknown tongue they cannot receive salvation. As if speaking in tongues is some kind of proof of God s approval of a particular man or woman.
Others have made the subject of speaking in tongues so spooky and magical, the whole topic has become a joke and a point of ridicule.



In this clip we see a woman claiming to be singing happy birthday in an unknown tongue. Her "prayer language.":-/
Let s examine this train of thought....

First and most importantly speaking in tongues is a sign for NON-BELIEVERS
"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not..." (1Corinthians 14:22)


Now in Acts chapter 2 (v.1-18) while Peter was speaking a rushing wind came and fiery tongues appeared by each of the people there. These tongues were there for the purpose of translation. Peter spoke a Galilen dialect, but Israelites  from all over the world heard in every language (the language of their individual homeland).
Also notice towards the end of the Chapter Peter quotes Joel. After reading Joel chap 2 you will notice  that instead of talking about speaking in tongues Joel's prophecy mentioned that The Spirit of God will be poured out.

The question then becomes, what happens when the Lord pours out His spirit upon you?

"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you" (Proverbs 1:22-23). When the spirit is poured out on you, you will KNOW (have knowledge of something).... Namely knowledge of His Word.

 IF YOU DON'T KNOW HIS WORD, THEN WHAT SPIRIT IS POURED ON YOU??

This is what Jesus spoke about..  

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:53-63).
THE WORDS ARE SPIRIT! AND THEY ARE LIFE!




¿HOW?


Reading the Bible!  
God is pouring out His spirit upon you right now thru your computer screen. Through His Word.


Now just think for a moment. If something doesn't teach you how to get Salvation or edify you, what's the purpose? What is it good for??

 "...he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries... He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1Corinthians 14:1-4).


God wants us to edify the flock. He told Peter 3 times to "feed my sheep."


"I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying"  (v.5)

 Unknown languages helps no one. Even Paul admits it.

"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." (v.19)


If u can't understand the tongue how can you try the spirit? (1John 4:1)

But some say: if the spirit come upon you, and you prophesy it must be from God... Is it??

"And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand" (1Samuel 18:10)
An evil spirit came on Saul and made him prophesy!

FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes):  You can't try a spirit you can't understand. 
What if that evil spirit comes upon the preacher, and he says repeat after me, and in a language you don't understand tells you to curse God and die. You just might repeat it. :-O

 *[did you notice that the evil spirit came "From God"]...




"Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord" (1Corinthians 14:20-21).

This is quoted from the 28th chapter of Isaiah.
Instead of only Hebrew, or Aramaic God will speak thru other languages. Hence the Bible is written in almost every language known to man.

Why?
God knew Israel would be scattered into all nations. Therefore whatever nation we find ourselves in, God will speak in that language.

Four Winds of Heaven PLUS An Analysis of the Rapture, Saved and Born Again 


THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER: "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" (1Corinthians 14:22-23)

Now I have to ask the question, who requires a sign?

"Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" (Matthew 12:38-39)
This is why those that believe do not require a sign.

CONSIDER THIS: Even the sign Jesus gave, people don't believe.
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (v.40)

They say Jesus died good Friday evening and rose from the dead Easter Sunday morning.
That's 1 day and 2 nights, far from the 3days and 3nights that He said.

May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of His Word...


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

:UNPLUGGED: PART3


"... Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 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:"
  (Galatians 3:1-13

In this last installment of The Apostle Paul UNplugged we will focus on the "works of the law."
The works of the law are often condemned in the New Testament, and because Paul does not always speak plainly many conclude that he is speaking of the Commandments of God. This however, is not the case.

We have already learned that we must establish the law, and that we will be judged by Christ out of the law. So we must first ask the question... What is the Curse of the Law?

"And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations;
 Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering.  And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance...  And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offeringAnd the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.
 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.  But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." (Numbers 15:22-31)

When you broke the Commandments of God, you fell under the curse. Meaning you then had to sacrifice (take something that was worth money [bullocks & goats] and give it away) something as a sign for your repentance, for violation of God's Commandments.

"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... Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." (Galatians 3:13-19)

This law that Paul is speaking of, is the law of Animal Sacrifice.  This is the law that was added because of transgressions. When God spoke the 10 Commandments he added no more:
"These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me." (Deuternonmy 5:22)

But after the people entered into the covenant (contract) with the Lord, Moses went up to receive the Commandments written on the tables of stone, meanwhile Aaron made a golden calf for the people to worship, placing them in direct violation of the first 3 Commandments. It was because of this incident that the law of Animal Sacrifice or the law of works came into existence.

EVERYTHING written in the Old Testament is for us to learn and understand. It all had a purpose: to give us a better understanding of The Most High and His Christ.
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Romans 5:4)

So then now we understand what law Paul is referring to when he mentions,  
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3:19-25)



After Jesus came we were no longer required to kill animals for our sins, animal sacrifice was our 'schoolmaster' to teach us what Christ would do and represent. 
The Apostle to the Gentiles gives us further details:
Can you now decipher which law he is speaking of?



"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:" (Hebrews 10:1-4)

Because the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins The Father prepared a body for Jesus. This was not made up in the New Testament. Remember the Old Testament is for our learning. So let us learn where this was written /decided.


"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest." (Psalms 40:4-9)

Jesus sacrificed His life to save ours because it was the will of God.

"In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:6-10)

He took away the laws of Animal Sacrifce; The Law of Works, to establish the law of faith; Faith in Christ. Now-a-days, if we break any of the Commandments of God, we need only repent, turn away from our unrighteous ways, and believe that Christ is willing and able to forgive and justify us before the Father.


FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes): We as believers (yet not eyewitnesses) must be very careful when reading the writings of Paul.  We must remember the Apostle Paul was a very learned man. A Pharisee meaning he grew up learning all the scriptures concerning the Messiah and is therefore able to go into a much deeper discussion than Peter, John, or James.

Peter also testifies to this fact, and issues the church a proper warning:
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2Peter 3:15-18)

This is why Paul is always misquoted and misunderstood. His writings are not for babes in the word. But for those who have been seasoned in the scriptures, those whom can rightfully divide the Word of Truth!

May the Lord add a blessing to the reading and Understanding of His Word...


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Additional Scriptures:
Isaiah 53:1-12

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

:UNPLUGGED: Part2


"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

These last few verses of the 2nd chapter of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians furthers our understanding of the purpose of the Apostles initial, minimal restrictions on the Gentiles.
The Gentiles were pagans, born and raised, the Natural man. The Natural man cannot understand circumcision. As a man, I assure you that, in order for a grown man (over 18) to get circumcised he must have some knowledge and understanding about why and its purpose. Before someone can be asked to change their dietary habits, they must know(ledge) something about why its important. Even baptism seems like foolishness to the Natural man, because Baptism is an outward sign of an inward decision. Therefore it serves no natural purpose to the natural man.


In Chap.3 he goes on to say:



"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

"For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour."  (1Corinthians 3:1-8)

This type of behavior is still in practice today.
People believe what they believe despite what the Bible says, because of 'what my pastor said.'
Paul spoke to the gentiles like babes in the word because that's what they were. And he knew they did not have a Bible (new or old testament) that they could go home and read at their leisure.


"Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 



 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1Corinthians 1:10-16)
 This scripture is the foundation for this blog... STUDYTHEBIBLENOTTHESERMON

We learned yesterday that after Paul and the disciples have laid only the most basic of the Commandments on the Gentiles, he still thought it necessary to tell them that unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God.

What is Unrighteousness?
How do we as believers in the Bible define what is righteous and unrighteous behavior??

... Of Course we look to the scriptures and let the Bible interpret itself.

"And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us." (Deuteronomy 6:24-25)



It is the doing of the Commandments that make you righteous. And it is a persons lifestyle of not obeying the commandments that is their own judgment and deems them therefore unrighteous.

"For there is no respect of persons with God. 
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;  For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:12-13)

Believers will be judged by the law. Righteous enter the Kingdom, unrighteous enter the Lake of Fire.
And those who don't even believe we should be keeping the law will perish without the law.
Just as it is in the world. If you know the law of red lights (stop), and break the law of red lights (do not stop)you will be judged guilty and fined within the parameters of the laws of your county.
If you do not know the law of red lights (stop), and break the law of red lights (do not stop) you will be judged guilty and/or negligent and will likely still be fined within the parameters of the laws of your county.
In traffic court in Chciago the judge is known for saying,
"Ignorance of the Law is not an excuse for breaking the law."

I conquer, and the Judge of ALL Mankind feels the same way!

"Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing... Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:1-4)

Taking this scripture at face value it appears that Paul is even condemning Timothy; whom Paul himself circumcised, according to what we learned in Part 1 of :unplugged: (Acts 15-16). 

No. Paul is simply relating that being circumcised does not give you space to not believe in Christ. We are not justified by the law, we do the law because we were Commanded to. So that, we might live. and things will go well with us (Deuteronomy 6:24-25). We are justified by the fact that we believe in the law. For it was written in the law that Christ would come. 

It is because of a belief/faith in Christ that the Gentiles would have been circumcised. They obviously wouldn't do it because of Abraham or Moses, but once Christ came, and was preached by the Apostles and knowledge and faith was gained, the people would then begin to keep the Commandments.   He goes on to say:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

Through the grace of God we are able to place faith in the fact that Christ came and did all those things that were written of Him by Moses and the prophets and that in doing that is able to remove the sins committed in the past.

 "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."

Because Jesus was righteous (did the Commandments), He can justify our mistakes, shortcomings, and pitfalls because of our faith in him. The law of faith; we do the Commandments because although we are not perfect like Jesus, He will justify our imperfections through our faith in Him.

 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faithDo we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."
(Romans 3:23-31)

Yes! We were justified upon hearing the Word/Gospel and believing, since we were justified before we understood all the things that were required of us, does that mean that we shouldn't do the Commandments?
God forbid: We (being those that are justified) will be the main ones doing the Commandments!

"For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. 
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
(Romans 2:25-29/3:1-2)




FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes): Being circumcised only matters if you keep the Commandments of God. Obviously in keeping the Commandments of God you would be led to circumcision because it is a token of the covenant that God made with Abraham (the promise of Christ was also made to Abraham in him keeping this covenant). Basically the Bible here divides the people of God who are circumcised and those pagan nations who also believed in circumcison, and thru that procedure they became holy. There is only 1 way to be holy and that is to do the Word of God. It is therefore safe to say that if a believer wants to get circumcised he is probably holy because only through the Word of God would a grown man let someone take a knife to his manhood...

May the Lord add a blessing to the doing of His Word



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Monday, August 2, 2010

THE APOSTLE PAUL: 'UNPLUGGED'

Grotto of The Apostle Paul

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
(2Timothy 3:14-17)

Here the Apostle Paul is writing his second letter to Timothy and he reminds Timothy that he has known the holy scriptures from childhood.
How is this possible?
The New Testament was written down until years after all of the events took place. The holy scriptures that Timothy has known from childhood is what we now call 'the Old Testament.' Some would have my readers to believe that some (if not all) of the things written in the Old Testament does not apply to Christians, or 'the Church'.
According to Paul, when he wrote to Timothy, the Old Testament (holy scriptures) makes you wise enough to receive salvation, if you have faith In Jesus the Christ...

So Let's Explore...

"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question... And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name... Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." Acts 15:1-21

There are several points of argument in this set of scriptures. And if left at face value, I can even understand that if you focus on only this chapter you would conclude that circumcision is not necessary. Unfortunately in concluding doctrine on only this chapter you would also have to admit that we are able to steal. According to Only this chapter the Gentiles (and subsequently the entire Christian Church) were/are permitted to kill. To blaspheme the Holy Spirit, or to take the Lord's name in vain, not honor mother & father, etc.


That sentence is highlighted in blue, so that we may remember 4 things the Apostles agreed the Gentiles should stay away from.
Why would the followers of Jesus say this? Knowing that Jesus is quoted as saying, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Matthew 5:17).

1st we must explore the theory of circumcision first in conjunction with the human psyche. 



In the United States the majority of males are circumcised by default. Imagine however, becoming a grown man, maybe never having even heard of circumcision. Foreigners come from far away lands and preach the Gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God. You hear about the wonderful works of Christ, about He and the Father's love for mankind, and eventually you decide to follow Christ to receive salvation. Imagine that soon thereafter others that preach Christ, come and tell you that in order to follow Christ, i.e be saved,  "I GOTTA CUT YA!"



Complete turn off right? As a man I can testify to how attached I am to my genitals. It has to be a very serious concern for anyone (especially male) to be anywhere near my manhood. I'm talking like prostate cancer serious!

First of all it should be noted that, these restrictions were permitted for babes in the Word of God. The commandments highlighted in blue was something that you could tell someone whom has only heard about Christ's life (not how His life relates to Abraham, Israel as a nation or the world as a whole), that they had to adhere to without reading them the entire Bible. 4 things that would in essence put you on the road toward salvation. 
Not the end-all, be-all.
It was not necessary then, nor is it necessary now as ministers of the Gospel, to impose the law of God. That is what the Word was printed for. So that everyone could see for themselves and make their choice to everlasting life, or the 2nd deathAlthough during this time period the people did not own their own copy of the Scriptures, James recognized that they do have preachers. This he pointed out in the sentence highlighted in Red. Every week on the Sabbath they people who preach the law of God. That which Moses wrote, and what the prophets wrote. So in time as they lived their lives with the milk of the Word and continued to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood, eventually their respective preachers would get around to teaching the importance of the circumcision as well as all the other topics contained in the scripture (as will I).

Did Paul live his life by those standards? No. In the very next chapter of Acts, he circumcises Timothy, who was a Greek.
"Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek." (Acts 16:1-3)
Some take the last verse to mean that Paul circumcised Timothy for 'fear' of the Jews. If that thought popped into your head while reading this, I would encourage you to do a deep research on Paul (Saul of Tarsus) to do so start here. I will just say that Paul was extreme in all that he did and showed no signs of fear toward anyone else, including Caesar. The fact that Timothy was a Gentile was of no matter as Timothy was to be Paul's assistant and eventual preacher, and church leader.

Throughout the New Testament Paul goes beyond the original four that they agreed upon
"I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat" (1Corinthians 5:1-11).


Now in his letters to "the brethren of the Church" those whom believe in God and His Christ, he says that you should not even eat with someone who is covetous, a railer, drunkard, or an extortioner. Way past the original four rules that they set for the Gentiles.

The Apostle Peter also did not leave the requirements for salvation at those highlighted in blue. "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings" (1Peter 2:1).
None of these were agreed upon in Acts 15.




FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes): Conversely all of these things mentioned by Peter and Paul are ALL quotes from the Old Testament. This is, because of course, Genesis-Malachi  was their there ONLY source of refrence. The only way to preach Christ. This is why every statement of or about salvation, doctrine, or the latter days can be verified and substantiated by Moses and/or the prophets. It would be therefore impossible to contradict the Old Testament. Doing that would by default contradict the very foundation that the 'Church' was built upon.

May The Lord add a blessing to the study of His Word...


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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Old Covenant / New Covenant...Whats the difference?



"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31)

It is commonly said (in sermons) that we as Christians are under the new covenant. It is also taught (in sermons) that under the new covenant, the Law God (the Commandments) is null and void.  Our God is a God of Covenants. Therefore we will take a look at the covenants.

God's first covenant in the Bible was with Noah, and all the animals that were with him.
"...Behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth" (Genesis 9:8-12).
And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. (v.17)


And the token of the Covenant was; the Rainbow 
                               
 "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth... And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth" (Genesis 9:13-16).






A covenant was also made with Abraham.
"And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, as for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations" (Genesis 17:1-4).

The covenant was made with Abraham but was established thru Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the people that he led out of Egypt.

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations" (Genesis 17:5-9).

Because of the covenant, Abraham's descendents were promised the promise land (the curse of Canaan [http://studythebiblenotthesermon.blogspot.com/2009/12/curse-of-ham.html]).

And the token of the covenant was the Circumcision.
"This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken MY covenant"
(Genesis 17:10-14). 

The covenant that God made with the nation of Israel, thru Moses is commonly called the old Covenant. Let’s see what this Old Covenant consists of:

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables THE WORDS OF THE COVENANT, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS" (Exodus 34:27-28).
The stone tablets also called the tablets of testimony were/are the words of the Old Covenant.



The first mention of a New Covenant was made by the prophet Jeremiah (not Paul). Amazingly it says nothing about Jesus changing the laws given to Moses. In fact it says just the opposite.

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 31:31-32).

The Old Covenant was broken almost immediately after it was made at Mt. Sinai after the people left Egypt. Because of this transgression Animal Sacrifices was instituted. This is the law (animal sacrifice) that was added because of transgression. (Galatians 3:19).

So finally; what is this 'New Covenant'??

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33)

LET IT BE KNOWN: This is the reason Jesus did not come and destroy the law!

Instead He fulfilled it!

**Now fulfillment by the Messiah does not mean we are exempt from the law. It means that we now have to fulfill the law in our generations.*


But which law?
Those same 10 commandments.  Which are a summary of the law. Notice nowhere in the 10 commandments does it say to sacrifice a bull or goat.

FOOD 4 THOUGHT
(you do the dishes): The Apostle Paul or the writings of the Apostle are usually used by people to try and negate the Royal Law of God. Paul did not start some new thing through his ministry. He also testified that the New Covenant was the same law as the Old Covenant written in our minds, versus written on tablets of stone. The fault was with the "people," not with the law. And Paul points that out:


"For if that first covenant had been faultless, and then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people"
(Hebrews 8:7-10).


May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of His word...





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Additional Scriptures...

Jeremiah 33:24-26 - Covenant made with day and night (sun and moon)

2Chronicles 6:14- God will keep His side of the Covenant

2 Chronicles 7:17-19 / Psalm 132:11-13 - Covenant with David; his seed (Jesus) will always rule Israel (even after the resurrection)