Sunday, July 6, 2014

Different thoughts and quotes

[Apostates] being once turned aside from the truth and the fellowship of the faithful, lost all awe of God..." Thomas Manton

The old Puritan Manton, he said it so well. Apostates do not have a sense of awe about God. No, to them, God is a buddy to go to the zoo with, or sit on His lap, and who appears in the bathroom while they are shaving. Be in awe of Him, His majesty and power!

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I used to wonder why it is that so many of the false teachers tend to speak freely of God but not so much of Jesus. They rarely say the name of Jesus when they are teaching but instead they often say "God." Then I remembered this verse:

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

If they don't have the Holy Spirit they can't teach Jesus is Lord because they can't say it. Like when Jesus said at the Last Supper that one of them will betray Him, all 11 of the Disciples said Is it I, Lord? but Judas could not say that because he was apostate and he said "Is it I, Rabbi?" (Matthew 26:21-25). S. Lewis Johnson expounds a bit here
He goes on to say, “And no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” And I’d like to devote just a few minutes before we close to this because I think this is rather important. No one can call Jesus Lord. Now, the statement, Jesus is Lord, is very interesting because Lord — kurios is the New Testament word that is used to translate the tetragrammaton, the Yahweh of the Old Testament. When we say Jesus is Lord, we are saying Jesus is the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the covenant-keeping God. The God who made the covenant with Israel and drew them out of Egypt into the land and into the promises. And if we say Jesus is Lord, then we are saying Jesus is Jehovah. Now, we have — remember our studies on Hebrews, we know that the term “Jehovah” is a term that is applicable to all three persons of the Trinity. That’s one of the reasons — many reasons why we know our God is a Trinity. There is Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Spirit. So no one can say that Jesus is Jehovah. That very fact lets us know that when we call our Lord “Lord” we are talking about the one true God in the case of our Lord Jesus God the Son, the one God who subsists in three persons.
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In mid-November of 2012, God dropped a word so convicting on my heart through another teacher’s lesson...

God spoke to my heart one Saturday morning while I was preparing for Sunday school...

I believe God placed it on my heart to tell you...

What God began to say to me about five years ago and I'm telling you it is in me on such a trek with him that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, ...

All of the above quotes from Beth Moore. Visions, whispers, secret knowledge laid on of the heart, are NOT from Jesus. It is NO basis from which to teach. But we hear these phrases so often today, From false teachers, and from true converts. We should stop that habit. Here is John MacArthur with a good word of advice on How To Identify Terrorists in the Church
"...False teachers inevitably have to have a source for their deception. And they have to have a source that's believable. They have to have a source that has some authority, or that is convincing. So they can't just say, "I think..." They can't just say, "I feel..." They can't just say, "We've got a committee in our group and we came up with this deal." The really effective false teachers and apostates will inevitably tell you God communicates to them in secret ways, in their dreams, in their visions. These are revelatory experiences. Apostate false teachers from Joseph Smith to Benny Hinn and everybody in between claim that God speaks to them in their dreams, in their visions. And this, of course, transcends the necessity to be submissive to the Word of God which is not in their hearts anyway. And it gives them the illusion of authority and God gets blamed for all their aberrations. They reject the Word of God.
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Did you know? Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. In Exodus 21:32 we learn that 30 pieces of silver was the price of a slave.

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I liked these from several different Twitter friends:

The purpose of the Bible is to reveal who God is, His will for mankind, & to document the prophecies about, arrival of & ministry of Jesus.

Socrates said, "Know yourself." Marcus Aurelius said, "Control yourself." Orient sages said, "Give yourself." Christ said, "Deny yourself."

You may think there's no reason to take an interest in eternity, but sooner or later, eternity will take an interest in you.

Succinct!

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Cartoonist Adam4d has some thoughts on if Jesus had listened to Joel Osteen's advice

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Finally, this thought: As Christians we so desperately want the lost to come to know Jesus as Lord, we sometimes continue in presenting the beautiful Gospel beyond the time when we should not. After a certain point, the Holy Spirit will have His way, either pushing the person's heart more into being reprobate, or will soften it to salvation. But if we persist all that will happen is they will trample the truth and we might sin in our frustration. Know when to leave it alone.


SDG!

19 comments :

  1. Therein lies the fundamental problem with the Charismatic movement. If you work yourself up to the point where you babble in some ecstatic gibberish, you've got the "baptism in the Holy Spirit," and now you can "operate in the fullness of the Spirit." But until then, you're in the slow class. You're on the outside looking in. You're a scrawny, 97-pound spiritual weakling, clutching your boring old Bible and wondering what's going on.

    I was raised in a Pentecostal church (Assemblies of God) in central Illinois in the 60s and early 70s, and I still distinctly remember the atmosphere. For us teenage boys, getting the baptism in the Holy Spirit was the spiritual equivalent of growing a moustache. Once you "broke through" and could manage the tongue-talking thing, you were no longer part of the jeans-and-sweatshirt crowd. No sir. Next thing you know, you were wearing *slacks* on Sunday morning. Oh, baby. And you were chatting with the prettiest girls after church, too.

    But all I got was saved. Duh. What a disappointment I turned out to be. I prayed. I tarried. I longed to let loose a rippling flow of Rhonda-gotta-Hondas like the big boys.

    Nothing. Nada. I didn't get it...and *I just didn't get it.* I couldn't understand why the Holy Spirit would fill some people and not others. I assumed the Holy Spirit had me pegged as a loser, and down deep I knew I would never get it--and I drifted away. Oh well. Mr. Saved-As-By-Fire, that's me. Sigh.

    But that all changed about 10 years ago. When the time was right, the Holy Spirit reeled me back in, and the long arm of the Lord grabbed one more wandering lamb.

    "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)

    Sorry for waxing anecdotal, but my point is that this is why I hate and distrust the Charismatic movement so deeply. This is why I can't stand it when people start in with "the Spirit revealed this to me" or "God told me yada yada yada." This type of Charismatic nonsense is rooted in pride and fueled by the flesh, and has been and continues to be used by Satan to lead people away from the stark simplicity of the Gospel, the unspeakable glory of being saved by His grace, and the supreme sufficiency of God's Word.

    Anything that gets you seeking a mystical or ecstatic experience rather than seeking God in His Word is dangerous. I can't say it any plainer.

    I simply ignore the Beth Moores of the world. God will deal with them.

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  2. Greg, you're such a fine writer! (You, too, of course, Elizabeth!) I love this blog.

    While Greg sees charasmania all over this, I couldn't help thinking of Church of Christ ( the part about always talking about God, but never Jesus!!) I spent a good chunk of the wee hours reading the CARM forum about Church of Christ & what it did for (or to) people.... and as the comments continued, MAN ALIVE did people start getting judgmental!!

    Anyway, my step mother & her family is COC and I've got friends who are (or were). Some of the things they teach I can go along with as it's very Biblical. But other things?

    1. I find it amazingly IRONIC that they call themselves, the Church of CHRIST -- and yet never even mention Jesus' name!! WOW and OW...
    2. the tenets for salvation, though based on Scripture (believe, confess, repent, and I forget 4 & 5) ~ yet never once is JESUS mentioned!! His dying, burial, RESURRECTION!! His grace, doing it in our place!!
    2. They totally do not believe in the pre-trib rapture
    3. They think they are the ONLY ones even going to heaven.... yet don't proselytize (sp??).
    4. They seem to have every bit (if not more) "unspoken and unwritten" RULES than even the rcc.
    5. You must come to service EVERY SINGLE TIME there is one -- or else you are sinning & in danger of hell.
    I could go on. While I'm sure most are wanting to please the Lord, yet I see the whole kit-n-caboodle as being extremely over the top judgmental if you (in their eyes) get the least little bit out of line!

    One EX COC member told me that they practically cause their own members to lie (a sin in itself) because if you miss church, you'll get a call and you'd better have an "I was nearly at death's door" excuse!!

    Personally even for the parts I agree with them on, knowing these things, I would never step foot in a COC!!

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    1. Thank you, Reva. It's very kind of you to say that.

      It's a shock, I know, but I'm afraid I stated something in a way that might have come across a bit strong. I don't mean to sound like I hate and distrust everybody who speaks in tongues--I just hate and distrust some of the things the movement has spawned within the body of Christ.

      To be honest, the Charismatic movement is still a sensitive issue for me personally, because (obviously) my parents are part of it. My mother (81) speaks in tongues occasionally, and she's the godliest person I ever met. I know everyone says that about their mothers, but in my case it just happens to be true. So, I don't want to criticize anyone who is involved in it because the vast majority are sincere, born-again believers who have merely been exposed to some bad doctrine, in my opinion. And no, I've never said that to my mother, thanks for asking.

      Besides, God has to keep reminding me about every three of four minutes that I have a ways to go before I presume to start passing out correction of any kind. =8o

      Sadly, that hasn't always stopped me in the past...but I'm getting better.

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    2. That was a good comment Greg, I agree with Reva. I'm so sorry about your mother and the Charismatic sway she is under. It is sooo heartbreaking, that is the singular theme I'm getting is so many comments and on twitter. People are heartbroken for friends and family who are either not believers or are apostatizing or are following false doctrines...

      Nevertheless, whether one believes that the vast majority Charismatics are good people under a false sway or not, the end result is the same: "And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Mt 15:14)

      So keep praying for her and talking to her about it. :)

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  3. Elizabeth,

    There have been several times when the Lord has used you to minister to me, through your words aptly spoken. Today is such a day:

    "Finally, this thought: As Christians we so desperately want the lost to come to know Jesus as Lord, we sometimes continue in presenting the beautiful Gospel beyond the time when we should not. After a certain point, the Holy Spirit will have His way, either pushing the person's heart more into being reprobate, or will soften it to salvation. But if we persist all that will happen is they will trample the truth and we might sin in our frustration. Know when to leave it alone."

    Last night at Bible study, I ended up having a heart to heart talk to another dear sister about this very truth. That sometimes God is done with someone, and if He has let go, so must we. But the secret things belong to the Lord... and He doesn't tell us specifically who He has let go... so how do we know when to stop? We want to have hope, but like you said, sometimes there sadly is no more hope.

    ALSO, you said "I used to wonder why it is that so many of the false teachers tend to speak freely of God but not so much of Jesus. They rarely say the name of Jesus when they are teaching but instead they often say "God.""

    YES! That's another point we discussed last night. How the false teachers won't glorify the name or work of Jesus Christ. A false convert may speak of "god" and "faith" and even claim "christianity" (all lower case intentionally, to show they are not the real thing), but you won't see the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in the false convert's life, nor will you see evidence of the false convert glorifying the name of Jesus Christ, or desiring to obey Him.

    -Carolyn

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    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks so much for the recap of your bible study. It is encouraging to me to know that fellow believers are discussing these things in real life. In that way, you minister to me!

      I was very much struck by the part of the verse where Judas said "Is it I, Rabbi?" and when I paired it with the Corinthians verse I spent a long time mulling it. (Past midnight).

      "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

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    2. Thanks Elizabeth. I never realized how Judas said "rabbi" not "Lord". And how you pulled that with 1 Cor 12:3.

      I do have a question - how do we know when to let go and stop praying for someone? Like the passage that says "there is a sin unto death, I say do not pray for such a one". (My paraphrase of 1 John 5:16) That was what we were struggling with last night - wanting to have hope, knowing people can be saved even at their last breath, but also knowing some are given over by God with no more hope.

      -Carolyn

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    3. To Carolyn, If you are praying and witnessing to that person yourself, you will find that there are some people who express an obvious disdain for the gospel. It truly it is an insult to Jesus Himself for us to continue to offer the gospel in that situation. Jesus never begged anyone to follow Him. I can understand wanting to be really careful not to give up prematurely but speaking from my own experience, you'll know. When you encounter someone who is so full of the devil that they all but spit at you when the gospel is presented, you'll usually find there is an utter disdain there and pride, when someone has been turned over to their own rebellion by the Lord. It's not irritation, it's not impatience, and they will have a particular dislike of the Name of Jesus when a true disciple of the Lord speaks it.
      To Elizabeth, I am grateful to see you make that statement because it is not one that is often recognized. Convincing people and convicting them, is the job of the Holy Spirit. It is only our job to give the Gospel to them. What they do in light of it, goes upon their own account. So to the question of "when do we stop praying" we can continue to pray for them until their last breath (or our own, whichever comes first) but we will never "talk anyone into the kingdom". Doesn't happen! Thanks for another good article Elizabeth.

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    4. Thanks Serving Him. I know what you mean, about casting pearls... it is definitely an insult to Christ to continue to witness to those who express outright and intense disdain for Him. I think I may have encountered the type of person of whom you speak... it can be very challenging to bear witness to all that hatred.

      -Carolyn

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  4. "Socrates said, "Know yourself." Marcus Aurelius said, "Control yourself." Orient sages said, "Give yourself." Christ said, "Deny yourself."

    I like that!

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  5. Stated,

    “...how do we know when to let go...”

    Matthew 10:14 states, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”

    Those who will not hear, will not see, or will not receive, must be left to themselves. Paul states that some, we are “To deliver unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (I Cor. 5:5), “that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim. 1:20), and “that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (II Tim. 2:26).

    Also stated,

    “...and stop praying for someone? Like the passage that says 'there is a sin unto death, I say do not pray for such a one'. (My paraphrase of 1 John 5:16)”

    For a former believer who has committed a “sin unto death” (i.e., spiritual death), the church cannot pray with assurance that God will give more grace and life. This type of sin involves willful transgression which comes from a deliberate refusal to obey God. Such persons, having died spiritually, can only be given life if they repent of sin and turn to God. We must pray that God will so direct the circumstances of their lives that they may have an adequate opportunity to accept once more the salvation of God in Christ.

    Further stated,

    “...That was what we were struggling with last night - wanting to have hope, knowing people can be saved even at their last breath, but also knowing some are given over by God with no more hope.”

    Persons who become sincerely concerned about their spiritual condition and find in their hearts the desire to return to God in repentance, have sure evidence they have not committed unpardonable sin (“sin unto death”). Scriptures clearly affirm that God is “not willing that any should perish” (II Pt. 3:9) and declare that God will receive all who were once under saving grace if they repent and return to Him (Gal. 5:4 with 4:19; I Cor. 5:1-5 with II Cor. 2:5-11).

    There is a limit to the patience of God (I Jn. 5:16). This point of no return cannot be defined in advance. Hence, the only safeguard against the peril of committing a “sin that leads to death” is found in the admonition, “Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb. 3:7-8).

    Mario

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    1. Hi Mario, thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciated your scriptural reminder about shaking the dust off - and I agree, God often shows us that is the only route we can take with a hardened, impenitent soul.

      "For a former believer who has committed a “sin unto death” (i.e., spiritual death)"...

      However here are you suggesting that a true believer (someone who has been genuinely born again) can die spiritually and end up in hell, as in loss of salvation?

      -Carolyn

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  6. Stated,

    “...are you suggesting that a true believer (someone who has been genuinely born again) can die spiritually and end up in hell, as in loss of salvation”

    In love, gentleness, and meekness, I, through the truth of scripture, will try my best to answer your question.

    “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12).

    “Brethren” (Gk. adelphoi) has the meaning of “a fellow-Christian. The apostle Paul found it suitable to use “brethren” in acknowledging a fellow Christian. In fact, Paul used adelphoi in that sense 130 times, usually to address his hearers as in the above scripture.

    “Departing” (Gk. aphistemi) has a meaning of to withdraw from, abstain from, desert, fall away, or turn from what one has formerly turned to. In the N.T., its use parallels that of the Septuagint and carries considerable theological significance as “to fall away, become apostate. This apostasy is pictured as falling away from God. This also is the clear intent in the above scripture.

    “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life...” (Rev. 3:5).

    An overcomer (Gk. nikon) is one who, by God's grace overcomes sin, the world, and Satan, or we are overcome by them and are ultimately cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). Clearly any person who experiences the new birth, but later refuses to persevere in faith and to overcome, will have his name taken out of the book of life. To have one's name blotted out of the book of life is to lose eternal life itself (Rev. 2:10-11).

    Mario

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    1. Hi Mario,

      Thank you for answering so kindly. I was wondering about your statement also. That's why I was glad Carolyn asked

      The Rev 3:5 actually shows us the opposite of how you are taking the verse. Once a person is a believer (overcomer) Jesus will NEVER blot out their name from the book. It is to comfort us that our salvation is eternally secure. I repeat, our salvation is eternally secure.

      Here is an essay on it expounding the verses
      http://www.compellingtruth.org/erased-book-life.html
      "Can a person's name be erased from the Book of Life?"
      (Answer, NO)

      The Hebrews 3:12 verse is talking about apostasy that's hidden, which identifies a NON-believer. Think Judas. Let's state the verse with his name in it:

      “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, [Like Judas,] in departing from the living God”

      You identified a "former believer'. There is no such thing. Jesus' sheep are eternally His, no one can snatch them out of His hand

      I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28.

      Thinking that one can be a true believer but then reject God or fall away is to say that our salvation is in our hands, it is not. It wasn't at the beginning whereupon we were dead in sins and Jesus instilled in us the spirit of repentance, and it sustains us throughout, until His glory and we are translated in eternal life as His bride. From start to finish, salvation is of God, not man.

      As John MacArthur said of eternal security: "If we could lose our salvation, we *would*." Therefore it is a good thing it is not up to us. The Spirit is in us, sealing us, for the Day the deposit is redeemed and we inherit our glory. (Eph 4:30). No mere man can UNseal what God has sealed.

      If you are a believer, you're eternally guaranteed life eternal with Jesus. Your name will not be blotted out.

      Here is an essay answering a good question:
      If our salvation is eternally secure, why does the Bible warn so strongly against apostasy?
      http://www.gotquestions.org/apostasy-salvation.html#ixzz36vnaGW75

      The Doctrine of Eternal Security is clear in the bible. I will not entertain discussion about it, so as not to frighten the younger sheep reading this blog, nor to put a stumbling block against anyone else. Please take these comments to heart, pray, research, and believe.

      I say again, God is sovereign, He chooses, He sustains, and He brings home those whom He will. We cannot resist the call to salvation and we cannot throw it away once called. His grace is irresistible, and irrefutable.

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    2. Mario,

      Unfortunately your exposition of the above Scriptures is in err. This being Elizabeth's blog, my comment will be short, but Scripture does indeed teach eternal security, not loss of salvation. The overcomer Rev 3:5 is the one who is in Christ (1 John 5:4-5), and the one who is in Christ is in Him permanently and eternally (John 10:28). There is no falling away of a true believer.

      Those who claim Christ but "don't persevere" are indicating that they were never truly born again in the first place (1 John 2:19).

      Elizabeth I am sure has some good references you can study... right now all that comes to mind for me are some MacArthur sermons... but my attention needs to be elsewhere right now. If I have time and anything else comes to mind, I will try to revisit this post.

      http://www.gty.org/search/eternal%20security

      -Carolyn

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    3. thanks Carolyn, it is a good resource that you shared. I think between your comment and mine we said what needed to be said and that will end it.

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  7. I've been thinking over this post and the comments since first reading through it. I'm wondering if I do not have an understanding on 1Cor. passage. *Obvious* false teachers use the name of Jesus all. the. time. I heard Kenneth Copeland leading people in prayer to accept Jesus as Lord. Benny Hinn states Jesus is Lord. This has always confused me.

    Any thoughts to help me understand?

    Liz

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    1. here is a thought: http://jesusalive.cc/ques76.htm

      Google was my friend.

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    2. Excellent! Thank you!

      Liz

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