Sunday, July 29, 2007

Looking for the answer

So here I am realizing that yes there is some form of reception of the Holy Spirit POST salvation. And that this reception empowers Christians to be something other than hypocrites. I don't know how it all works, yet, but I am learning. My Pastor - who I have disagreed with on this issue, that is until I honestly looked at Acts 8:14-17 It becomes apparent that you can be a "Sealed" believer, a Saved, Born Again Christian - and still not have fully received the Spirit. There is something about having the Spirit fall "on" you.

I have not "jumped off the deep end" here at all. I am totally against what is aptly called "Charismania" but I am completely for what the Bible says - even if I am often a hypocrite.

My Pastor gave me a good book to read by Chuck Smith called Charisma vs Charismania. I am SO glad he did, because it has put my heart further at rest. My dear Pastor, whom I love beyond what makes sense to me, has always shown himself to be about order and Truth. So I've been confused by his stance on this issue - seeing as I'm always right and all..... lol

Just now I found this book published on line for free reading. I'm blessed to be able to share it with you. There are two things that in his book that I'm still looking at to see if I can find agreement. I'll likely post more about them later, but for now I'm gonna be late for church. Doh!

Charisma vs Charismania by Chuck Smith

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Big birdosaur blues

New fossil creates problems for dino-to-bird evolution theories

The media has recently been buzzing with the latest claims of a dino-to-bird missing link, a 1,400-kg so-called ‘bird-like dinosaur’ from China dubbed Gigantoraptor erlianensis (meaning ‘giant thief from Erlian’ [a city in Inner Mongolia in China]). However, when you look at the report in Nature, you find that Gigantoraptor has done more to confuse evolutionists than confirm dino-to-bird evolution.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Walk - long over due update

Well as the title of this Blog implies it's really about where "I" am on my walk towards Christ. God is capital G - Good! He is faithful and true.

I'm sure many Christians can relate to the problem of sin calling to them. The constant tempter teasing your brain. Well, thanks be to God for His Grace, I have been set free of that which I could not conquer myself. A temptation that has hounded me, well for as long as I can remember. I have never experienced what it is like to be "delivered" from something before but I see a clean break all of the sudden.

I will share this much, because it applies to all issues - the break did not come of my efforts. It came from surrender and supplication. I read confirmation in Prov 18:23 today. He that is poor speaketh with supplications. Jesus says blessed are they who are poor in spirit in Mat 5:3 and Paul speaks of praying with supplications at all times. Interestingly enough, he even tells us, in Philippians 4:6-7 to be "careful" about nothing but instead to prayer and supplication - in other words be weak before the Lord and cast your cares on Him who is able to keep us from falling.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Waterfont Fun With The Gospel

While Friday night was about hostility and the faithfulness of God for our protection Saturday was about us being like an unmovable Ox. As in Prov 14:4 an Ox makes a mess but God's work gets done through it. We were shut down a couple times by the cops and security guards on Saturday. But all the while they were focused on us there was another team preaching the Gospel just out of sight of us. They were protected and given liberty because the "authorities" were too busy harassing us. We did not ask them to stay, they simply gathered around us continually as you'll see in the pics below.

Here is Todd of Open Air Campaigners doing a presentation with a sketch board. You'd be amazed at how effective this is.

I arrived a little later than most everyone else, here you can see me in the background getting prepared in the Word before I get involved.
Here's some of us talking with a cop who was hired to help security at the Tall Ships event.

Here I am with a group of security people. Not at all in violation of anything they had asked me not to do. They were simply drawn to me.

Here's Dennis taking some of the heat off of me.
We actually had a great day! And in the end some of those security guards got Tracts and left us with a smile and a wave! We didn't end up chatting with all of them - there were thousands of people for them to look after - but we are in prayer for them and I hope you will be too!

Update: It should be mentioned why the security guards, and the hired police officer were even talking to us in the first place. There was some question over whether Todd was allowed to be doing his presentation in the areas we were in. We were on Public owned ground (by all accounts even the Police Officer) but there was a special event going on. Vendors had been required to buy permits from a company in order to set up. Not all vendors had done so, but the "requirement" was there. When asked to move, we discussed with them, and then complied even though we felt we were fully with in the rights given us as Citizens of Canada.

Then we moved to the sidewalk, and the company again claimed it owned access to this area again so we then moved across the street.

In the end it all worked out great!

Is John's Gospel Enough?

Have you ever put off writing something you just knew had to be written? Knowing, not just believing, that there are more qualified, more intelligent, more eloquent and fluent writers who have much more right to take up the 102 or so daggers under every blogger's finger tips than you do – have you ever?

I find myself no longer able to hold back. Still it's my hope that, when all is typed the sum total will not be of my voice at all.

A new mantra is sounding in Christendom. And it goes something like this - “Jesus is the guaranteer of Eternal Life and that is what one must believe to be saved. John's Gospel is the end-all be-all for evangelism. The Gospel is not needed for Salvation, the presentation of the Gospel is merely a build up for the invitation or offer to believe in Jesus.”

I'm not one to enjoy employing “Straw-man Arguments” so I will attempt to refrain from stating anyone's purposes or argument. You can read some of what I am responding to here. My intention is not to bring about shame, or to even make accusation. Even if any be warranted. What's more, I am NOT writing this to bring about debate. And here is why.

You need not submit to Truth, it is True so with submission or not it applies to you. You can not argue with Truth, it is absolute. Truth does not consider any argument or thought against it. Truth is simply True. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I contend that the Evangelist & Apostle John, author of the Gospel of John, did explain we must believe the Gospel, not simply that Jesus is able to give Eternal Life. So, I intend on answering this new doctrine completely from John's Gospel. I also contend that if one seeks after God that this same one will find Him. That if one obeys the light given, that same one will be given more light. I agree with God that ALL scripture is needed to furnish the man of God unto all Good Works. That anyone who limits himself to one portion of Scripture for knowledge of ANY purpose is mistaken. Even I as I have written this all from John, is actually done from my fleshy pride. That I would not really on the full length of the Sword just so I can prove a point...

Preachers of this new mantra use John 20:31 as their evidence supreme. Stating that it indicates the Gospel of John “precisely and specifically expresses the terms for receiving eternal life”.

John 20:31 - but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his name.

When I read this verse I see that it lays out the Gospel. Yet when it is quoted in the referenced post above it is done so like this -

"...and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31)

With nearly 2/3rds of the verse omitted. Might this be connected to the fact that the man was arguing that you need not believe that Jesus is The Christ, and the Son of God to be saved. Yet even in the very verse used to proclaim this new doctrine as biblical, it is seen to be in violation of Scripture.

That Jesus is “The” Christ – The Anointed One of God. John had already explained this in John 1:29-33. The Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World anointed with the Holy Spirit.

That Jesus is the Son of God – or God's equal, God Himself. John 1:1, John 10:36-38.

Now we read in John these few titles for Jesus - The Christ, and the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of God, the Son of Man, the Bread of Life... there are many, these are but a few.

We see that Jesus is the Anointed one who is the Lamb of God, and that He “is” the Son of God. If you can read more than a single verse you know that this the Gospel. Jesus, a man, God Himself, therefore sinless, died for our sins as the Lamb that takes away the sin of the World, and rose again because He IS alive and IS the Son of God.

It takes no reading into the text to see this. Any student of the Word will see the Gospel written out in that one verse. John 20:31.But to continue with my contention that the Gospel of John does require the sinner to believe the Gospel to be saved I offer the following.

John 3 is Jesus explanation of the Gospel to Nicodemus. Nicodemus wants to know how you get saved. Jesus tells him one must be “born again” that is to be born not only of water (flesh birth) but also of the Spirit. This just confuses Nicodemus – and if you've ever witnessed you know that Nicodemus is not alone in being confused about it. I make argument that those who believe salvation comes without belief in the Gospel continue to be confused about it.

Jesus, rebukes the man for being a poor student, then explains how rebirth happens in a way that Nicodemus ought to understand. He uses a foreshadow of Himself on the Cross. John 3:12-16

Jesus tells him these are Heavenly things – v12, the Son of Man is from Heaven and can descend from it and rise to it v 13, as Moses lifted up the serpent on a staff in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up – Moses had to lift that serpent up because of the sins of Israel so that any who would look at the serpent on the staff would be saved – and Jesus says this is the same way He must be lifted up v 14, He was “given” so that anyone who believes on Him would have eternal life. v15-16

The Israelites who didn't look at the serpent lifted up on Moses' staff perished – no matter if they believed “in” the serpent or not. They did not see their sin lifted up – judged.

John 6 is also very clear. John 6:48-58. Jesus spoke of giving His flesh for them to have life if they believe in Him – eat His flesh and drink His blood. He out rights states this in John 6:53 -

Jesus therefore said to them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Unless ye shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of man, and drunk his blood, ye have no life in yourselves.

Unless you have eaten His flesh, and drunk His blood you have no life – let alone life eternal. Without the Gospel there is NO salvation.

The Gospel is that Jesus, the Lamb of God, God Himself, a flesh and blood man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, willingly went to the Cross to die for our sins, and rose again on the third day after and if you believe that He did these things for you and your sins, then you are saved eternally.

All of this is from the Gospel of John. As I started this, I believed I would have to explain the different dispensations, how trusting, or putting your faith in God has ALWAYS been the way of Salvation, that Salvation has ALWAYS been based on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that what God had said before was not complete for this Dispensation but that it was for those because the requirement is that we believe Him. I was going to go into Proverbs to show that the principle of self-judgment before salvation (of any kind) has always been in place and is so even today. I was going to go through Paul's epistles to show that he always preached the same Gospel and always claimed it had the same effect.

I had thought of appealing to the Apostle John's other writings to show how Jesus' worthiness as the Kinsman Redeemer is not being judged, assessed or even tested today – not by us or anyone but how that day is coming.

I also had intended on addressing the straw-man argument about what Judgment might look like for someone who believed a that “Jesus gives eternal life”.

But by God's will and provision, none of my efforts were required. Simply a quick dirty read through the Gospel of John shows that the Gospel is what is needed to be believed for salvation. In this the Gospel of John is sufficient and provides truth which is not found by trying to disprove what the rest of Scripture says.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Crazy Night On The Waterfront

So our rag-tag little team meet up with Kirk and Todd of Open Air Campaigners for the beginning of the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax. And I gotta tell you these guys know how to draw a crowd. What a cool night! It was amazing to see how hostile people were too. I mean we were threatened and called down to the lowest! Fun stuff! Hard to believe I used to be afraid of the things people might say or do.

You can't get mad at a blind man who bumps into something... and getting mad at a blind sinner for getting angry would make about as much sense. Had my life threatened tonight... by a drunk guy who claimed to be a Christian.. The coolest thing about it was one of the people I was talking with was referencing hypocritical Christians and we had a great example right there. Now - let me be up front here I have more than my fair share of experience with being a hypocrite myself. I spent most of my life pretending to be a Christian.

What's the difference between pretending and being one? Repentance. When you KNOW you need Jesus and He is your only hope - when you put THAT faith in Him.. then you don't need to pretend. See you know you're not a good person, and you know all the other real Christians know you're not.. and they themselves aren't. See if you're real, that's when you realize you don't have to pretend.

I linked to this the other day, but it's on my heart again. Take a listen to this one minute mp3.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

A Sight Of Apostacy In Proverbs

Before I talk about the subject at hand I want to address something very important to me, and you. Scripture has "depth" and by that I mean it's True on all levels. It's a great way of being able to recognize Scripture is not the wisdom of a man. Man can write something that is True on one level, usually, but the deeper the investigation gets the more man's writing falls apart. For example let's look at something that is clearly True when we look at the surface. 1+1=2. How can you argue with that? Well what if 1=2? (you say at first that it doesn't... but go with me here cause I may even get the chance to shock you in a moment) What if 1 does equal 2? Well if that were so then 1+1=4 would be true, and 1+1=2 would be false.

Am I absolutely nuts? Valid question... it is. I may be.. but take a look at the math equations by Ross Nordeem. Ross saw the truth of 1+1=2 just like nearly all right thinking men do. But he looked deeper and saw where what is plainly true to man becomes plainly wrong and false when investigated.

This is a great example of the Truth of Scripture and why it couldn't have been written by the wisdom of Man. I encourage believers and non-believers alike to look at Scripture to see this. The deeper you go into it the more Truth you find, the more you see all the Bible front to back agrees with it's self unlike any writing by a man could. Look at the original languages because really English is a blunt instrument and is nowhere near as "deep" as Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. If you're not amazed by what you see, think that this "Book" was written in pieces by more than 40 authors most of whom never met each other, over 1400 years, on different continents, who were of all walks of life from Kings to peasants, from lawyers to fathers - and it all harmonizes as though one author wrote it. That's because One Author did write it, just many different pens recorded what was being said like a secretary records notes.

Proverb 7 is used very often to teach about the dangers of lust and adultery. Which it does teach about. But if you look deeper you'll see that it also teaches about "apostasy" and false religion. The Bible in the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ speaks of the final One World Religion as the Harlot. That's a lesson for another day, but let's take that concept and look at the Proverb of the topic today.

Prov 7:18-21 Prov 9:1-6 and Prov 9:14-18 are our primary portions for today. Now please don't think this is a complete teaching on the subject at all.. not even scratching the surface but I want to speak a warning to some, and encouragement to others. And for the lost, I hope to show you consistency in a world where the Church has ignored your need to see that.

Apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia which means "a falling away or defection." Be warned of this, and guard your heart above all else! Prov 4:23 For it is so evil that no man could know it. Jer 19:9 The Apostate of today are those who have fallen away from the Truth of God's Word into religion and man's wisdom. The things that tickle mens hears but that leave us in bondage and grave danger.

In Prov 7:18 the harlot, the false religion, says "come let us revel" she goes on to talk about filling our lusts. She speaks of selfish behavior centered on our wants and needs. In verses 19 - 21 she explains why she wants to act this way. The Husband is gone a long way away, He's taken the money and she expects Him to return at a particular moment.

There is a lot here. Christ has said He will always be with us. Mat 28:20 and we shouldn't worry about our needs, as though He's taken the "moneybag" with Him because He'll always be with us. Heb 13:5

She thinks she can act however she wants because she doesn't believe He will come home and find her acting this way. She thinks she knows He's not coming today. Christ warns us that we don't know when He's coming. In fact while He was here in flesh He Himself didn't know the day He will return! Mat 24:36 Mat 13:32-33 we ought to be watching and looking carefully for His return. This should govern our behavior and our service. The concept is called the Imminency of Christ's return and Renald Showers is very good at explaining this.

We live in dangerous times because there are many who have lost the Fear of God who yet claim the name of Christ. They shout, whisper and appeal to us in ways that seem godly. But remember that what man says may seem true on the surface but still be completely false. God's Wisdom calls to us in Prov 9:1-6 and we see that false religion calls ever so similarly in Prov 9:14-18 it seems godly but the end is Death. Notice that the Harlot calls to those who are walking the right way and to those who are ignorant. She beacons all, so all must be on guard against false religion.

Be so very careful Brethren for we are at a dangerous time when we need to be sowing the Seed to the Lost and living as though Christ were coming tonight.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Dr. Kevin Bauder is thinking about the Gospel

I've been reading a series by Kevin Bauder over at SharperIron. He's been posting some clear thoughts about the Gospel and how we approach it. It's been a topic of great interest of late for me. The four part series opens with quoted two paragraphs below.

The topic is both simple and huge. The implications are eternal. The Gospel is simple to proclaim and understand, but really it's taken me years to just scratch the surface of beginning to fathom it. It's the pivotal point of History, the very thing that heralds life or death - forever. There comes a moment, I believe, for every Evangelist - self proclaimed or not - where they realize they are absolutely head over heals in love with the Gospel. Now I'm not surprised to hear people speak of Jesus that way. But the night when I realized I was completely in love with the Gospel I was shocked. It was an unexpected emotion, but it has held fast and really it's grown. So it's in that love that I share some links to Dr. Kevin Bauder's series. Here's the parts. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
What is the gospel? Perhaps we should not be surprised that people disagree in their answers to this question. As early as the middle of the first century, people were already proclaiming gospels that were different from the one Paul and the apostles had announced ( Gal 1:8-9 ). If new gospels were already being invented within a few years of Jesus’ death, surely the number of divergent gospels must have multiplied through the centuries.

Today we are faced with a multiplicity of gospels. The message of the gospel is understood in terms of political liberation, social reconstruction, initiation into a body of secret teaching, synergistic cooperation in the work of salvation, reshaping of consciousness, divinization of the individual, liberation from the feeling of embarrassed shame that is wrongly called “guilt,” and any number of other constructs.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Crossless Gospel?

Many of us are familiar with the warnings about adding to what God says in the Bible. Two examples being Prov 7:5-6 Rev 20:18-19 which also carries a warning about taking away from the Word (actually this applies to the Revelation but the concept is seen in the rest of scripture).

I see people adding to it all the time, but there haven't been a lot of times when I have seen people "taking away" from it. But recently I HAVE seen a most shocking example of it. And Lou is talking about it at his blog. The idea that some people who call themselves as part of the Free Grace movement have begun spreading and teaching a "Crossless gospel". Where a person need not know if Jesus died and rose again or not.

This is beyond simple error this is that which demands separation and excommunication. Oh that these people would repent of their dangerous false teaching. I'll be discussing this more over at Lou's blog.

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