But we have the mind of Christ

Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him? Isaiah 40:13, NASB

When we observe Christian leaders operate according to the world’s standards and methods, with pastors taking on roles other than shepherd of the sheep then responding to righteous criticism with further deception, what we are actually witnessing are professing Christians not walking within the wisdom that is available to all true believers via the mind of Christ. This same situation is seen in all who have been deceived by and drawn into the “Innovation Cult” as well. That would include those proponents of easy-believism in all its forms. We see it in “church organizations” that are built around a personality, rather than following a shepherd of the sheep who is obediently following the Lord as he should. When a Christian leader becomes the focus rather than Christ in a ministry then we see this idolatry begin to take shape. How often do we see one of these personalities build up a large church then when he moves on to the next church the one he built just falls apart? This should not be, and is indicative of a form of Christianity that is built around this personality cultic focus rather than around following Christ.

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Rulers of the darkness of this world

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10–12, NASB

As we study Ephesians 6:10–20, which in most New Testaments is labeled as “The Armor of God” or something similar, we need to pay close attention to the reason God has given us this armor and, therefore, why it is necessary for us to put it on and keep it on at all time. The Church and God’s truth are continually under attack by our enemy. We take up this whole armor in order to stand firm in the evil day. Well, this is most definitely an evil day when truth is seen as something to be bargained away or shunned, while lies and that which is only appears to be the truth is elevated as if it is the truth. Because of this, we must become discerning and wise; therefore, we must consistently wear this armor.

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He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians 2:9–15, NASB

The mark of one who has been truly made alive together with Christ is not sinless perfection, but rather one who is actually fighting the “good fight” of being a living sacrifice and walking in repentance. That being said, let’s look at two passages in which is found the only New Testament occurrences of the Greek Word συζωοποιέω or suzōopoieō, “to make alive together with another; to make a sharer of the quickening of another.”

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The regenerate believer’s incompatibility with sin

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1–3, NASB

It is imperative that Christians have a correct and viable theology of suffering. These health, wealth, and prosperity preachers in our time will disagree of course, but let them. We have God’s truth, His Word, held in objective context held up against their subjective, ear-tickling smoke and mirrors false religion. Oh, there may indeed be some “spirituality” going on in there, but to proclaim, “God is here!” or “God is in this!” or “We are having a revival, come and join us!” is the very act of man elevating himself above God, telling Him what to do and when.

However, I digress. God has always used suffering in the lives of His people to sanctify them, to draw them to prayer, to purify them, to grow them spiritually, and to direct their paths. Paul called some of his suffering a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan (2 Corinthians 12), but allowed by God to keep him from exalting himself because of his great knowledge. When we learn to view the seriousness of our sin as Paul did and God’s glory as imperative then we will begin to understand that sin in the life of a Christian is an anathema in a realistic, daily sense rather than in some sort of abstract give and take.

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Never take your own revenge … “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him A drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19–21, NASB

It is the duty of all believers to serve the Lord by being good soldiers, ready for battle to stand and contend for His Truth no matter the cost. However, there are right and wrong ways this is done. It is vital for the apologist to know the truth, and that is found only in God’s Word. Yes, some godly Christians speak and write truth from God’s Word, but the primary source for us is the Word of God. This is why it is vital that believers sit at the feet of good and godly teachers of God’s truth that they may know and love His pure doctrines. I have seen so many good Christians attempt to stand up to apologists for some man-centered version of our faith, but they are not prepared. This usually ends badly. The reason this happens is that these good people use tactics born in the flesh rather than from the humble, and wise heart that is submitted totally to the will of God. The enemy is an expert at inciting people to react emotionally to what they perceive as wrong, and this can lead to snippy arguments that produce only bad fruit.

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Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

Romans 4:7–8, NASB

The Church – the genuine Church that is – is made up of people whose sins have been forgiven by our merciful God. What is the basis for this forgiveness? Are these God has forgiven more worthy than those outside the Church? Let us look at the paradox of our holy, righteous, and just God who proclaims that He will not forgive those who have sinned against Him, but who does show mercy to some.

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Persecution is the natural result of teaching or preaching God’s Word without compromise

You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

John 15:14–19, NASB

A study of the book of Acts reveals that as Christianity spread as the Apostles obediently made disciples wherever they went, it was always accompanied by persecution. The hotter the persecution the more encouraged the brethren became. While that is not logical to the fallen mind, that is exactly how God grew His church. In the early second century, the bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John, was brought to the Roman authorities and ordered to confess that Caesar is lord. Polycarp was eighty-six years old at this point. All he had to do was utter that statement as he offered a pinch of incense to Caesar, but he refused. He was martyred by fire.

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Who are and who are not children of God?

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:11–19, NASB

All in Christ have much in common no matter what doctrines they hold. Therefore, this post’s focus is on the marvelous outcome of our salvation that we are Children of God and because of that we have a “purifying hope” in Christ.

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Concern for the souls of men is not prevented by a belief in what we call the Doctrines of Grace

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:1–10, NASB

I am in no way backing off of the fact that I am a Calvinist. God is sovereign. He is perfect. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and immutable. He is holy, righteous, and just. Did I mention that he is sovereign? Yes, He most certainly is that and if you study – honestly study – holy sacred Scripture with the goal of finding God’s truth, and not seeking an excuse to justify your own belief system, you have to come away from an exclusive, totally exegetical study of it grounded in the presupposition that God is righteous and just, and that man is His creation to do with as He pleases.

Also, any attempt to place the free will of man over and above the sovereign will of God is an act of rebellion, and causes men to interpret scripture from an alien hermeneutic, leading them to totally misunderstand God and His will. As I have posted several articles lately about Reformation theology, I have also received many “communications” from certain people who find it “offensive.” I have been doing this a long time, and I hope you have noticed that I no longer allow “arguing” of any kind on my blog. Debate and arguing are not the same thing. No one in the offended camp wants to debate…

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There is only one true Gospel

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond- servant of Christ.

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:8–12, NASB

The title of this article may surprise many. There are many professing Christians in our time time who take the stance that no one can know everything about the gospel. They say that we must be tolerant of others views of salvation because the gospel is inherently unknowable. Several years ago, I may have become confused by that argument, but not anymore. Our God is very precise and He does things His way in His timing and always for His glory.

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Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1–2, NASB

In our daily Christian walk it is a rare day in which we take every thought capture and, through our active repentance, successfully deny ourselves through every circumstance. I don’t think I could claim that I have successfully done this the majority of the time. However, our God is wise and omniscient. It should be a matter of great rejoicing on our part that our perseverance is in His hands and is based on the work of the Holy Trinity on our behalf, not on our will power.

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What is the relationship of believers to Christ?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25–27, NASB

There are really only two groups of people in the world. There are those who are branches bearing fruit in the True Vine who is Christ, and then there are those who are either totally separate from the vine in their rejection of Gospel or are branches in the True Vine who bear no fruit. Those branches which bear fruit have been cleansed by the washing of water with the word by Christ. Their sins are forgiven. The other group has not been cleansed so remain in their sins even though they appear to be in the True Vine.

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Is Christianity a life based in experience, or is it a doctrine?

In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 1 Timothy 4:6, NASB

From January 1986 until the late fall of 2005, I probably would have, if asked, responded to the question in the title that Christianity is a life – or at least a relationship – while doctrine, though unnecessary, helps us understand that. I didn’t really believe during that time that doctrine was of any real value. Why? My whole understanding of Christianity was that it was based on my experience. For some odd reason I didn’t think much past that in an attempt to understand why my experience would be so radically different than other Christians’ experience.

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Liberal Christianity is not Christian

At the core of all of what we recognize as apostate christianity in our time is something really no different than the liberalism that was fought by the theologians in the late 19th Century, such as Charles Spurgeon, and those in the early 20th Century, such as J. Gresham Machen.

Over the last few days on Facebook, for instance, I have witnessed posts showing people holding up signs in front of them professing that they are Christians, but then thanking God for abortionists. In other cases, there are pretty much the same “so-called Christian” groups abandoning everything doctrinally that would line them up with Christian orthodoxy, including the inerrancy of the Bible and its authority. Since they have abandoned the authority of the Bible, they have also rejected all orthodox doctrines that are offensive to secularism.

Of course, ever since our Lord ascended into heaven, the Church has been under attack by wolves. There has never been a time in its history when it was perfect. There have always been false teachers teaching false doctrine to false professors.

In the early part of the 20th Century, J. Gresham Machen was embroiled in a very severe attack on orthodoxy by determined liberals attempting to take over the Presbyterian Church, USA. It seemed like he was contending alone but, of course, he was not alone – he had the Holy Spirit, and those whom God drew to listen, believe, and come from the darkness of compromise to follow Dr. Machen into continued obedient Christian orthodoxy.

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He who eats this bread will live forever

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:53–58, NASB

In January 1986 God intervened in my life with eternal results. He called me to Himself. He regenerated me. He justified me. He sanctified me. He adopted me. He changed me forever. However, I was a baby Christian. I had only a vague concept of what God had done on my behalf. I really did not have a clear understanding of this thing we call Christianity. All I knew was that before that wonderful day I did not care too much for church. My concept of the proper Christian life was one of being religious, but that religion had to meet certain criteria. However, after God saved me, my concept changed radically. I suddenly found that I loved God and His people. I loved hearing Bible centered sermons and being in Bible study classes. I had a deep desire to know God’s will that I may obey Him in all things. However, that earlier concept of the proper Christian life was still with me, that is, that one’s religiosity was what determined one’s right standing before God.

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But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed

Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

Isaiah 52:13–15, NASB

In his fine book Escape from Reason, Francis Schaeffer analyzed 20th Century philosophy, science, art, and popular culture to get to the “cause,” if you will, of the decline of reason, which was and is still shaping our society. Modern thought in our time, it seems, has been diverted from an eternal, heavenly focus to one that is entirely geared to the temporal. Part of his thesis is that the advent of humanistic philosophy and reason began with Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274). He contends that, prior to Aquinas, the heavenly things were all-important, but since his teaching and discussion of “nature and grace,” the focus of human thought has made the temporal all–important, with the heavenly becoming only an abstract “unreality.”

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Jesus is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. Matthew 28:1–4, NASB

Jesus is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! According to Paul in his first epistle to the church in Corinth, the doctrine of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the lynchpin of our faith.

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 1 Corinthians 15:13–14, NASB

If the resurrection of Christ is not true then Christianity is based on a myth and our faith is in vain. Therefore, we must hold tightly to the fact that our Lord is Risen. On the morning of our Lord’s resurrection there were several people who witnessed different aspects of it. Their responses to it varied drastically.

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Holy, holy, holy

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings:with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah 6:1–3, ESV

In the English translations of the Old Testament when we encounter the word “Lord” we are actually reading the Hebrew word Adhōnāy. On the other hand, when we read the word “LORD,” it is is completely different Hebrew word, Yehōwāh. Adhōnāy is actually a title for God meaning “sovereign one.” Yehōwāh is the sacred name of God. It was the name He used to reveal Himself to Moses at the burning bush. Yehōwāh is the unspeakable name, the holy name of God. The Hebrew scribes wrote it as YHWH. Therefore, it is referred to as the sacred tetragrammaton, the unspeakable four letters. Adhōnāy is the plural noun form of Ādhōn, which, when used in reference to God, means Lord. However, Adhōnāy is plural but singular in meaning. This speaks of the Holy Trinity, i.e. one God in three persons.

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The high cost of discipleship and the superiority of Christ

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1–4, NASB

The Church in the early part of the 21st century is very sick. This sickness has not happened all at once. Instead, it is the result of centuries of compromise after compromise on the part of Christian leaders and their followers to adapt the Gospel and Church doctrines to conform to what men want. As a result, the Church has lost its savor. It is no longer salty. The countries in Europe where the Reformers restored the Gospel at the cost of untold numbers of martyrs would not now be considered Christian at all.

In the United States, the visible Church still has some influence in politics and society, but is that what the Church is supposed to be about? The segment of the American Church that would consider itself evangelical has become so doctrinally shallow that most of the members as well as their leadership have no idea what they really believe. If they were confronted with the Arminianism/semi-Pelagianism vs. Calvinism debate, they would be clueless about what each side believes and does not believe. In fact, they are so spiritually shallow, they don’t understand why it is important to know what you believe and why you believe it.

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Straining forward toward the goal

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

1 Corinthians 2:3–7, NASB

When we observe those “Christian leaders” espousing the social activism of new evangelicalism, which is rooted in semi-Pelagianism and Humanism, it should make us wonder at what motivates them. Why would these people seek to create a new version of Christianity? I suppose it is that they see that what they are seeking to replace has “failed” because so many young people want nothing to do with it. Therefore, they desire to create a new Christianity that uses the marketing techniques of the world and entertainment to entice people to be part of a church that is new and exciting. Gone is any call to repent of sins. Sin is hardly, if ever, mentioned. Instead of calling on God for mercy and seeking the Son for salvation from the Father’s coming judgment, they are told to come to Jesus and let Him into their lives so He can make their life better.

What are the leaders of this movement missing? What is wrong with what they are doing? It is not wrong to want to reach the lost with the Gospel. No, we should be doing that, but it is very wrong to make every Sunday morning into a show that only appeals to the flesh. Instead of worshipping our Lord God in reverential fear, they have a rock concert. The leaders of this movement may indeed create large churches and international ministries by doing what they do, but is it right?

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The Christian’s first love

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord,

“I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
Your following after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.

Jeremiah 2:1–2, NASB

As I think back on that startling, abrupt, life-changing time immediately following God graciously bringing me into knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, justifying me, and placing me on that narrow road of sanctification, I remember my deep devotion to all things related to my faith. Some of those things were obviously part of the trappings of religiosity but, primarily, I remember not being able to get enough of God’s Word, and that is still the case. He has since that time chiseled and burned away much of the dross and worthless stuff from me that hindered me in my pilgrimage. It should be no surprise though that much of what was taken away were things, ministries, and people that I clung to desperately thinking they were vital parts of what made up “my walk.” In my case, my “first love,” which at times had diminished as I served religious things and worked at my religion with much vigor, has actually grown much deeper as the focus has been removed from all that to simply loving and obeying my Lord.

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Justification, law, and grace

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah 64:6, NASB

Since the inception of this ministry, I have been approached by many concerned people who are convinced that they have sinned one too many times and have forfeited their salvation. They were being continually antagonized about their sin by a voice within. In every case, after some careful questioning, I learned that each of them have been part of a church or denomination whose doctrine of justification is a blend of grace and law, faith and works. Also, as I attempted to explain that justification is by faith alone according to the grace of God, each of them responded in disbelief and that usually ended the conversation. When I tried to share with them that the unregenerate are not troubled by their sin this way it fell on deaf ears. This has always been one of the most heartbreaking aspects of ministering like this. It has left me, at times, very frustrated and angry at those false teachers, those wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, whose false doctrines have left their followers spiritually confused, hurt, and unable to grasp the truth.

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Pride, self-deception, and humility

“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’

Obadiah 1:3, NASB

Adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon titled Self-Deceived.

Human pride is incredibly deceitful. It can so deceive its host that he or she may well believe they are the truly humble. It is true of all proud people, for pride is self-deceit. Some reading this may be proud. In fact, it is those who believe they have no pride who are most likely the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed.

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We must resolve in our hearts to proclaim the whole counsel of God’s truth, in season and out of season

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals. Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:17–19, NASB

There was a time when the English and American cultures were decidedly “Christian.” Those days are long gone. Whatever it is that God is doing through this, the remnant of genuine believers within the visible Church must awaken and become prepared for what is coming. We cannot be complacent any longer. Why? No matter where we turn, we either encounter growing apostasy within the visible Church or neo-pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or New Agers being included in the “many ways to God.” Atheism is gaining ground all over the Western World.

The Christian world view is no longer prevalent in the West. It is under attack from every direction. What should be astounding to us, however, is that what is replacing it is highly irrational. It claims tolerance yet will not tolerate Christians having a say in anything. Personally, I see these trends as the beginnings of a very hostile environment for the uncompromising Christian. While that may be something we look to with foreboding, I believe it is going to be used by God to cleanse His Church in preparation for the return of her Bridegroom.

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Jesus and His betrayer

Jesus said to him, “The one having been bathed does not have need except to wash his feet, but is wholly clean, and you are clean, but not all.” For He knew the one betraying Him, therefore, He said, “Not all are clean.” John 13:10–11, translated from the NA28 Greek text

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ὁ λελουμένος οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν εἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας νίψασθαι, ἀλλʼ ἔστιν καθαρὸς ὅλος· καὶ ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε, ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ πάντες. ᾔδει γὰρ τὸν παραδιδόντα αὐτόν· διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν ὅτι οὐχὶ πάντες καθαροί ἐστε. John 13:10–11, NA28

We have been discussing the rampant apostasy in the “visible church.” While it seems that is is much worse now than it as ever been, let us never forget that the genuine Church has been infiltrated and mixed together with unbelievers, heretics, and apostates from the very beginning. In the passage above we see that one of the our Lord’s own chosen disciples, one of the 12, would betray Him. However, in John 13:18 our also makes it clear that this betrayal would fulfill Old Testament prophecies about an insider betraying Him.

I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ John 13:18, NASB

Now, we enter that part of John’s account of our Lord’s last Passover Feast in which His betrayer is sent away to do his deed. In contrast, our Lord reveals that those who truly belong to Him follow the commandment from God to love one another. Then He reveals to Peter that, even though Peter declares that he would rather die than leave the Lord, he will deny that he even knows Jesus three times this very night. Let us take a closer look.

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