Sunday, August 26, 2007

Why I Got Baptised Again Today

Updated: 29 Aug 2007 - added email from Kevin

I was Baptised today. :)

I went through the process of Baptism in the Spring of 1995. Yet over the last two years I've been asking myself was I actually saved then. I had been asking the wrong person. God answered today as I listened to Exodus.

Before I was "dunked" in Porter's Lake I was asked 4 questions. What where you like before you were saved, what brought you to Salvation, what has your life been like since, and what do you expect your life to be like in the future.

I was a hypocrite - playing the part of a religious man.

God exposed my hypocrisy, and left nowhere else but Him to run to and that was 2 years ago today I believe - strange eh?

My life since Sunday, 26 Sept 2005 when God took my repentant heart and saved it, has been crazy. It's been a ride, my faith has been stretched to the limit. But He has kept me.

What do I expect of the future? I don't know. I know only that one day I will stand face to face with the Lord in Glory - and know as I have been known.

So what in Exodus brought me to this? Well the debate was - was I really saved back then? I had no "fruit".. I lived in deep sin... I was horrible to people.. I did not love.. I had no concern for the Salvation of others. But I had prayed a little prayer... I had thought I was "saved" even though I had no idea what it meant. Today God revealed that no I was not saved - I had not repented and put my faith in Christ alone.

Here is the section of Scripture that He used to show me this today - just an hour before our Church was to have a Baptismal Service. I was out for a jog listening to Exodus when Chapter 4 came God silenced the rest of the world so I could listen to it.

Exodus 4:1-17
1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”
2 So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”He said, “A rod.”
3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand),
5 “that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6 Furthermore the LORD said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow.
7 And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh.
8 “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign.
9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river[a] and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.”
10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
11 So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?
12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do.
16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.
17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

God took the thing that Moses used to get the most out of his own strength - his walking stick (the rod), and showed Moses that his reliance on it was sin by turning it into a snake. God asked Moses what it was - Moses was ignorant to what it really was and God showed him. Moses was fearful of the snake - but God say take it by the tail and when Moses did it became a rod again. Now it was a rod of God's strength.

God then made what He was showing Moses even more clear by having him reach into his heart, then pull his hand out to see the disease of sin that was in there, and God then showed him the that He had cleaned it!

Then God told Moses that he must do this sign in Egypt. Moses didn't think he was able that God should send Aaron instead. But God was about to really show Moses what He meant by the rod becoming a snake and then a rod again. It is by God's strength that Moses did go to Egypt to lead His people out of captivity. It is by God's strength that even today Moses - through the Law - shows us the true nature of our hearts so that we will know we must rely on God and not ourselves.

As I was listening I was asking God to make this clear - why was it so important to me I wanted to know. He spoke, in the way only He can, that this is what I had never done before two years ago. I had never reached into my heart to see it's diseased state, I had not thrown down the reliance I had on myself and started to rely on Him. I hadn't pulled my hand out of my chest to see it clean. In short, I hadn't repented and put my faith in Him until just two years ago.

So, my baptism in the Spring of 1995 was an act of religion and not faith. It was not real. I got home from my jog, and my wife from her run (cause she is FAST!) and we sped off to the service which we had thought of going to watch - but now I had an appointment and a purpose to be there. Just like Moses had to go perform this sign in Egypt I had to go perform this sign in Porter's Lake. I had to get Baptised for real, to proclaim that I am in His death and I am in His resurrection!

And that's why I got Baptised again today.

UPDATE: My dear old friend (lol) and Brother in the Lord who has a really cool first name sent this along through email. He is in a different country right now and we have only been able to connect in person once in the last few years - to explain some of his wording. This e-mail has been edited to remove some personal details. I personally like the part where he says to "keep kicking butt" ;)


just a quick note to say hi and congratulate you on your public profession of faith. I stop by your blog occasionally and have been very happy to see the progress you have made. I have seen you go a little offline at times aka secondary filling, but do great work in your defense of the Gospel ( The Cross less issue). I will state one thing though and as per normal you know I am terrible at trying to say things without sounding belligerent.

Your statement on not being saved before 25 Sep 2005 is to put it quite simply, ludicrous. At what point did you think the ‘quality’ of your conversion had anything to do with the meritless gift of salvation bestowed upon a believer. Have you given up on individual versus corporate election, with God providing enough volition to ensure responsibility (soft determinism)? Or did you decide that this time you really repented so therefore merited being saved? That sounds like a ‘religious experience’ but it doesn’t jive with what you have written to date or advice you have given others. I have seen people saved who’s lives that instant were different and others that took time for the Spirit to work, but none the less in time they were transformed. I have just looked at some emails from you from years ago and remembered some of our conversations and you most certainly were a Christian. Not a fruitful one for sure as you continued to ignore the Spirit and live separated from the Father due to Sin in your life. Do you honestly think that before Sep 2005 your prayers were not being heard? The Lord put you in a position to face the consequences of your actions and via the process you have learned about repentance and the necessity to be repentant in order to maintain your walk. I sincerely believe you have confused salvation with your preparation for Discipleship, two separate things as you well know. Looking at one of your very old emails, your worry about witnessing effectively still makes me smile – you were always so hard on yourself. Kevin it is wonderful that you are in a position to be of service for the Lord and you are doing great. Please do not let this email be a bummer for you, it’s just an observation and you can do with it what you do wish.

Keep kicking butt bro, I believe the Lord has a purpose for you and you are well on your way!

It's not often I receive such an encouraging letter. Brother Kevin makes some very good points.. and brings up an issue that has been of interest to me recently - Election.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

What if you had cancer?

People who have cancer go through a period of denial - this is pride thinking they can beat it on their own, or even that it's not real, or THEY won't die of it.

Eventually they tell someone about it - this is repentance of their pride.

Then they trust in Someone who has the cure - this is repentance unto life.

Then though their bodies have been ravaged from the cancer they are separated from the death that would have come to them - this is Salvation.

So then what?

Other people are still going to die from Cancer right? Does everyone that has cancer actually know they have cancer?

Should they -

Walk around healthy so everyone can see there's "something different" about them and ask them about it? In the hopes that by being an example of the Cure others will want the cure too?

Possible problems with this is, only a very few people in the world knew they were ever sick in the first place.. and those people are probably in denial about their diseases too.

OR should they -

Go looking for sick people anywhere they might be and show them their sickness so that they too can be sparred the death that will come to them if they ignore the disease they may not even know they have?

Possible problems with this includes the really strange truth that sick people who don't know they are sick often don't like it when someone suggests they might be dying. However, once they find out it's true they are overjoyed that you took the chance to tell them. Because had you not told them - they would have died.

Think about it this way, what if YOU were the one who had cancer and didn't know?

Got a minute to think about it?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lord of your life or Lord of the universe?

I've been spending so much time thinking and studying about the Gospel in response to a recent idea that you can somehow get saved without knowing about the Cross that I had almost forgotten the insidious attack on the Word that Lordship Salvation is.

The topic came up again at a familiar spot. I'm going to basically copy and past some posts I made on a forum here. This is the thrust of the point -Jesus is Savior of the Sinner unto Rebirth and Lord of the Disciple unto Maturity in His Image. The issue in case you are not aware is some persons preach that it's impossible to be saved unless you have "submitted to Jesus' Lordship" This however has yet to be adequately defined. Not surprisingly, it tends to have a different meanings depending on who's preaching and who's being preached to.

Paul is very clear about WHAT the Gospel is. He is also very clear that to be saved we must "obey" it, which is to believe it, trust it is so.

I Cor 15:1-8 NKJV
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

This is THE Gospel by which we are saved. You'll notice that Repentance is here in verse 3.You'll notice that Faith is here - verse 1-2.You also OUGHT to notice there is zero reference to Christ's Lordship. Jesus is referenced as God's Anointed (Christ) which John the Baptist explained as being the "Lamb of God"

There are lots of doctrines in the Bible and Jesus Christ's Lordship is surely one of them. Jesus IS Lord and will return as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The Gospel is as precious a doctrine, teaching and entity as there is in the Bible. It is what we sow that we might reap Eternal Life. There can be no common ground with error on this most holy of subjects.

We are told to preach the Gospel of Reconciliation - that of Christ having paid the price for us and having raised from the dead. We are not told to preach Christ's Lordship. A person is saved when they put their faith in the Savior. If you protray the Savior as Lord, and that the person must submit to "Lordship" to be saved you are ONLY putting a stumbling block in front of their feet.

JESUS IS LORD - He'll take care of it. In fact Heb 12 promises that He'll take care of it. So we ought to get over ourselves.We can not do a better work than the Lord can. Jesus IS Lord and He WILL exert His Lordship. He doesn't need our help. All we're truly doing if we preach this false doctrine is robbing yourselves of good fruit.

Please check out the links on the left about the Gospel, and Repentance.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Eye Has It

Wired backward? I think not. Scientists have recently realized the Human Eye is an example of incredible design.

Not only is the inverted wiring of our eyes a good design, necessary for proper functioning, it is also coordinated with an ingenious fiber optic plate. So the vertebrate eye has the advantage of a rich blood supply behind the receptors without the disadvantage of nerves blocking out light. Such fine coordination of parts makes sense with a Master Coordinator, while it’s a puzzle for evolutionists.
Check out the full article at CMI

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Victor Wooten does Amazing Grace

This blog is also supposed to be about my love of the Bass Guitar and this just makes a nice mix. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good discussion on the "Crossless Gospel"

Lou is hosting a discussion on the Crossless Gospel and proper Biblical understanding of how people have been saved throughout the dispensations.

I don't want to comment too much here because there is valuable conversation going on at Lou's Blog and I'd rather you see it all in context.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Non-Destructive Testing?

For a period of 18 Months one of my duties as an Aircraft Technician deployed with the Canadian Forces was to carry out "Non-Destructive Testing" (NDT) on a few critical parts of the CH124 Sea King. Now NDT is an important safety enhancer to the operations of Aircraft around the world. Incidentally it's also what is done on bridges to make sure we know they are safe to drive on, unlike this bridge in Minnesota.

The point of NDT is to test the strength or "serviceability" of something without damaging it. One method uses "Liquid Penetrant" that is colored to help an inspector see cracks in metal so small that you can't see them unless the glow in the dark liquid shows you them. Tiny cracks can make seemingly strong parts fail, resulting in terrible accidents.

This is man's wisdom. If we were to bend the metal to see where it breaks, it would be broken and useless to us. Effectively we would have simply caused the item to fail.. not checked to see if it's safe to use.

God's wisdom is a bit different. He already knows us through and through. When He is testing us, it's not so He can find out where our breaking point is. Not at all. He's showing us how strong our Faith is. And the cool thing is, He's not looking to show us the cracks. No, again, not at all. He's looking to show us the incredible strength.

Where man uses "non-destructive" testing, God uses fire. Prov 17:3 and Prov 25:2-5 show this quickly. God's purpose for testing our Faith with the trials of life can be seen in 1 Peter 1:3-12 Showing us how strong our Faith is, empowers us to live life and to glorify Him.

What's more, the "purifying" process of using fire to burn off the "dross" in the lives of Believers actually strengthens our Faith. So, while NDT reveals defects and can not improve the item being tested, God's testing actually shows the strength and strengthens!

This is why Peter tells us we can and ought rejoice during trials in our life!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Special Invitation

I don't know you.. so how can I give you a special invitation? Well, most "special" invitations are given to a person who is considered special (uniquely in a position to do something..) well this invitation isn't like that. You're just like everyone else, and I'm not inviting you to give me anything or support me in any way - unlike most "special" invitations. This invitation is special and unique that way, and in others.

Since I don't know you I can't personalize this, so I'm going to rely on things that I know are true of you, because they are true of me and of every other person I've ever met. I'm gonna "chance it" that while you're special in your own unique way, you are also just as human as I am.

Many of you will have heard this "invitation" before. I want to start right off by apologizing to you for all the nutty ways it's been presented to you.. and more for all the times it's been used to get something from you. I'm truly sorry. You don't know me either.. so would you just take my word for that?

Here it is - we're all sinners and we're all accountable for our sins. We're all going to die and we're all going to stand in judgment. The price of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:23 Are you 100% sure that if you died tonight that you'd go to Heaven?

Some of you stopped reading at the last paragraph, yet there are some who have continued. Please let me help you to make sense of this. I'm not asking you to commit intellectual suicide. Really what I'm asking is for you to just be honest for a couple of minutes. It won't take long.

The promise made above is based on the Gospel which is.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

You'll notice, that just as in Romans 6:23 someone had to die for our sins. Yes "our" sins. You are also a sinner, just like I am. Someone who had no sin had to die to pay the price for you and I. If He would have had sin of His own He would have had to have died for His own sins. Since He was sinless - never did anything wrong at all - He didn't have to die but instead chose to on our behalf. God Himself, knowing we couldn't fix our own problem of guilt came here to not only live as we live but also to willingly die for OUR sins.

But are you really a sinner? I know I am, but let's see if you can find out about you. Because, you won't be able to take the Cure unless you honestly see you have the sickness. There IS a Cure, be sure. This might be painful, but it is needed so you will be able to make sense of what I've quoted above.

Regardless of the situation have you ever lied about anything for any reason? Be honest now, it's between you and God. You've got no one to impress.

Regardless of the situation have you ever stolen anything of any value for any reason? Again, be honest. Have you ever taken anything that doesn't belong to you? Cut off early from work? You can think of the situations that apply to you.

Have you ever lusted after someone, looked at them and wanted them sexually or took sexual pleasure from looking at or listening to them?

OK, now that's about the things you and I have done and they are bad enough. Because we can't go back in time to change them and the price to be paid is waiting for us when we die. But even beyond the things we do, God who is the Good Judge of the Universe, is concerned about who we really are.

So, looking forward. Can you imagine any situation were you'd be willing to lie for any reason? The classic example that most people give trying to show that lying can be ok is when it comes to protecting a woman who's being chased by lying about which way she went or where she is. There are several variations but the idea is that it's better to lie than to tell the truth that might get her hurt. This just goes to show how corrupt our thinking has become. Notice I use the word "our" including myself. The "best" option would be to protect her. If we were a "good" person we wouldn't think to lie we'd protect the woman to keep her from being hurt.

Looking forward again, can you imagine any situation where you might be willing to steal something?

How about looking ahead in time to see if you can imagine a situation where you might lust after someone?

If you've been honest, you can see that it's in your nature to lie, steal and lust. If "the price of sin is death" doesn't make these offenses seem serious enough to you check out the way Holy God sees them.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for
murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars,
their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur,
which is the second death.
See, "all" liars. We suppose there are "white lies" and "black lies" and shades of "grey" but God says that every single person who is a liar will share in the Lake of Fire, what He calls "the Second Death."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men
who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
We see here that thieves will not inherit the Kingdom of God. They will not see Heaven.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If we even just look at someone with "lustful intent" we have committed Adultery in our hearts. Which means this is who we really are.

Want to try something else? Have you ever been angry at someone? Or could you imagine becoming angry with someone in the future?
Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Getting angry is equated with Murder in God's eyes.

OK this is getting long, and at this point it's starting to not look so good for you and I. I know I'm guilty of all of the above. And after having spoken with hundreds of people about this topic and working with an organization who's main purpose is to have this conversation I can confidently guess that you too are guilty of all the above.

We're going to die and we're going to be judged by the only truly "Good" Judge in the Universe.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
We just looked at our performance compared to three of the 10 Commandments fairly closely and at the end I tagged on a 4th. You can read them yourself in Exodus 20:1-21 These 10 Commandments reveal God's "Moral Absolutes" to us. It's absolutely wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery and murder. There is never a situation where any of these are the "right" thing to do. Yet we have all done them. What's more God is going to Judge us according to His Moral Absolutes and in our own selves we would be found Guilty.

I quoted the "Gospel" to you near the start of this. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 That Christ Died for our sins, was buried and rose again three days later. All in accordance to what the Scriptures predicted and demanded thousands of years before He was even born. He was seen by more than 500 people on at least 12 occasions in His bodily flesh - really alive. And when these accounts were written down most of the people who had seen Him were still alive.

It's up to you at this moment. You know you are a sinner. You know that because of your sins, and your sinful nature - the real you - that God must cast you into the Lake of Fire - the Second Death on Judgment Day. But He didn't create you to kill you. He created you to have glorious fellowship that He might lavish you with Holy Love and that you might love Him back and to glorify Him. He takes no pleasure in anyone that must die the Second Death.

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live,
declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back
from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
You part is this, do it right now. Believe on Jesus Christ for your salvation. Judge yourself, that you are a sinner ( this is Repentance which you can learn more about in this post ), and Trust that the payment of that has been made by Jesus Christ. That He did rise from death three days after having died for your sins. Put your faith in Him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Going back to the beginning of this post;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and know for sure;

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

If somehow the seriousness of this has escaped you, consider that God thought it was serious enough to die for. To experience not only death, but death on a Cross.

Put your faith in Him. He paid the price you can't afford. If you haven't already done so while reading this, may I suggest you follow the model that King David gave us when he was caught in terrible sin. This man, a great sinner, was called by God - "A man after my own heart" in 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22

David gave us this example to follow in repentance of our sins;

Psalm 51
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Then start reading the Bible daily and obey what it says. A good place to start is the Book of John.

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