Little Children and The Kingdom of God

But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD BELONGS TO SUCH AS THESE. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Lord Jesus to the parents of the little children- Luke 18: 16-17 (emphasis added)

This morning the pastor shared this Scripture in his sermon and it reminded me of the following statement by the commentariat Matthew Henry:

“The Holy Spirit is given to us to make us like little children.”

What a great truth to live by. May we become like little children in our relationship with our Heavenly Father; trusting, believing, receiving from and loving Him, as little children in relationship with their earthly fathers.

Carl

The Way of A Fruitful Life

“Let any one who has a garden ask the gardener what makes the plants grow so luxuriantly, what makes them produce such sweet and pretty flowers. He will answer, ” The warm summer sun and the damp dew of evening, the cold north wind and the drenching rain, — these all help forward the growth of your plants. Were it not for each, the flowers would not be so bright and blooming.”

Just so it is with the children of God, who are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” Sometimes they are in trouble; affliction of some kind comes upon them, which tries them, and makes them to grow in faith and patience. Then, again, the Lord raises them up, causing his face to shine upon them, just as the sun warms and revives the earth when the winter is past.

Oh, yes, the Lord’s people require both the north and the south wind to blow upon them, that they may bring forth much fruit to the glory and praise of God.

“Awake, O north wind; and come thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” (Caut. iv, 16)”

From Martin Luther edited by Miss Whately (1897)

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12: 11)

May the blessings of God be upon your life as you experience all the trials and tribulation that living in this world brings. May your “garden” bring forth much fruit.

Carl

Wisdom Calls – The Conclusion of All Things

King Solomon, aka “The Preacher”, gives you and I hard-earned advice on what is important in living out our life. Being very, very rich and not always obedient to the Lord, Solomon investigated all of life’s pleasures and came to the following conclusion.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Now let’s look at the Amplified Bible’s translation of the same Scripture. The richness of the Hebrew amplification is stunning and far reaching when you apply it to the way you live your life. The authors of the Amplified Bible say that this is what a Hebrew person understands when he reads this Scripture.

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil. [Matt. 12:36; Acts 17:30, 31; Rom. 2:16; I Cor. 4:5.]

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Take a few moments and dwell on this Scripture. It is worthy of your pondering and meditation.

A short definition of the fear of the Lord is a healthy, overwhelming, profound, adoring, awed respect of the Lord. It is not a negative practice. As a matter of fact, Scripture tells us it is our treasure. We will discuss that later.

May we New Testament believers follow Apostle Paul’s instructions:

“THEREFORE, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God. ”

2 Cor. 7:1 Amplified Bible

Thank you for your time and interest. Comments welcome!

Be blessed and protected in Christ Jesus!

Carl

The Blessed — According To Psalm 1

While antiquing with my wife I found a small, black, worn book on a piece of furniture which turned out to be The Amplified Old Testament (Part Two- Job to Malachi – 1962) The translation’s purpose is “intended to reveal, together with the single English equivalent to each key Hebrew word, any other clarifying shades of meaning that many have been concealed by the traditional word-for-word method of translation.”

Martin Luther, who “spiritualized Germany and made the German language” with his translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, stated this about the Hebrew Scriptures:

“The words of the Hebrew tongue have a peculiar energy. It is impossible to convey so much so briefly in any other language. To render them intelligibly we must not attempt to give word for word, but only aim at the sense and the ‘original Authors] idea.” (Table Talk)

Evidently, the Hebrew language contains so much more in one word than our English language. Similar, I guess, to the Greek language in which the New Testament was written.

With this in mind, I wanted to share with you Psalm 1 out of the Amplified version so you can enjoy all of the shades of meanings. We recently shared a post on Christian meditation entitled …the righteous will flourish like a green leaf which was based on Psalm 1. Enjoy. Carl

“Blessed –happy, fortunate, prosperous and enviable–is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful and the mockers gather.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law –the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God — he habitually meditates, ponders and studies by day and by night. [2 Tim. 3:16; Gal 3:1-29; Rom 13:8-10]

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted and tended by the streams of water, ready to bring forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not fade or wither, and everything he does shall prosper and come to maturity. [Jer.17:7, 8.]

Not so the wicked — those disobedient and living without God are not so. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked, those disobedient and living without God, shall not stand justified in the judgement; nor sinners in the congregation of the (consistently) righteous — those who are upright and in right standing with God.

For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the (consistently) righteous; but the way of the ungodly — those living outside God’s will — shall perish, end in ruin and come to nought.

Is The New Spirituality Correct About The Existence of Sin?

New age gurus, spirit guides, higher selfs, Ascended Masters, Cosmic Christs, “Master Jesus”, and other spirit entities teach their adherents that there is no sin, the person controls their destiny, and, since the adherent is god himself (so they teach), there is no coming judgement for sin only evolving into a higher plane of being.

This is a great deception like has never been seen in the western world before. Tens of millions, both religious and non-religious, are believing these doctrines of demons. Pew Research Center’s survey (December 2017) found that 60% of self-identified American Christians held at least one New Age belief. The evil spirits who masquerade as these entities know the truth. They are leading these people to the same destruction that awaits them.

To counter the New Age lies about there being no “sin” and “future judgement”, please consider the following:

  • There is a Day of Reckoning
  • There are Books containing the record of our sins.
  • You can pay for your own sins.
  • There is a better way.

THERE IS A DAY OF RECKONING

The truth is that there is a judgement of the dead. The following biblical Scriptures give us a glimpse of this yet to come event:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Revelation 20:11-12

And

I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.

A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10

This is the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of time. Holy God is the Judge and “thousands upon thousands” holy angels are attending Him. The others are the physically dead who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior.

There are several books present. One is the book of Life which contains the names of the redeemed. These are the saved who have trusted in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.  His death on the cross paid for their sins. This book will be opened to see if the person’s name is listed as “redeemed”.

THERE ARE OTHER BOOKS CONTAINING RECORDS OF OUR SINS

The scripture also says “and books were opened”. What are these books? Well, these books contain our sins, more specifically our ungodly deeds. Not only our ungodly deeds though but our ungodly words also. Listen to Jesus’ half-brother Jude and Jesus Himself:

 “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”   Jude 14-15

Concerning our “words” Jesus Himself said:

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”      Matthew 12:36

So God has a record of not only a person’s ungodly deeds but his ungodly words also. Not only does “sin” exist, but there is a Holy God who is keeping track of each person’s “sin”. That is very sobering. Every ungodly thing you or I have ever done or said is written down in heaven.

Just think about standing alone before the Holy God of all creation and His Holy Host and being judged. All of our sinful deeds and words being revealed in such an pure and holy company and we’re having to answer for our actions!

THERE ARE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES IF YOU PAY FOR YOUR OWN SINS

This judgement will be a horrible for the person who has rejected Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins.  There is no way of escape. The person is already physically dead and the “second death” now looms before him. Payday has come.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

Since the person has rejected God’s payment for their sins, now they have to pay. He rejected God’s Love Gift to the world that paid for the world’s sins.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”   John 3: 16-17

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:8-10

This very Judge the person is standing before is the very One who was in-Christ on the cross reconciling the world to Himself. In other words, the Judge has already paid for the person’s sins but they rejected this free gift of salvation.

“… that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…”  II Cor. 5:20

All hope will now flee away.  Despair. Terror. No ONE will escape.

The consequence of choosing to pay for your own sins, is to experience the “second death”. At the end of the person’s judgement and his guilt has been proven before a Holy God and the host of heaven, an angel will come forth and cast the person into the lake of fire where they will spend eternity.

This is how people will pay for their sins if they reject Christ.

This lake of fire was created by God for the devil and his angels, not man. God never intended for man to go there. This is what the new age spirit guides, Ascended Masters, higher selfs, false prophets and other spirit entities do not want you to know.

BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son in to the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

Lord Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and God sent Him into the world for this purpose.

…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Therefore, repent (change your mind) of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today and be saved from the wrath of God that is coming. When I did this earlier in my life, God had an angel write in my sin account, PAID IN FULL BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.

Listen to what a murderer who repented and was saved, said about this:

And when you were dead in your transgressions…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 and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

Do you want your “certificate of debt” to be cancelled? Or do you want to stand before a Holy God and pay the “certificate of debt” yourself with your eternal well-being?

Flee to the cross of Jesus Christ. The proof that God accepted His sacrifice for your and my sins is that He raised Jesus from the dead.  He is now interceding for the believers in heaven.

Put your trust in what He did for you. Ask Him to save you and forgive you for all of your sins. And to come into your life and be your Lord.

The evil spirits that are deceiving millions in the New Spirituality or New Age movement know all of this. That is why they are working such deception and taking millions of souls captive through their lies. They know what awaits them, they can not repent and be saved.

But you can. Seize the opportunity before it is too late.

“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

May your sins be covered by the precious blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Carl

YOGA: Is It Exercise or Religion – Does It Matter

(Pastor John Lindell of the 10,000 member James River Church in Ozark, Missouri recently preached a sermon on New Age practices including yoga.  I applaud Pastor Lindell for having the conviction to address New Age or New Spirituality practices that are deceiving Christians and our fellow Americans.  Following is a booklet entitled YOGA: Is It Exercise or Religion – Does It Matter by Ray Yungen from Lighthouse Trials.  I pray the article answers questions some are having about this seemingly innocent practice. God Bless.  Carl)

“It is a moment that troubles me even now. Once, when I was giving a presentation at a Christian college about New Age spirituality, I noticed a student roll her eyes when I mentioned the term, Yoga. It was a small gesture, yet it spoke volumes—as if to say, “Give me a break! It’s just exercises!” I surmised from her response that she was a Yoga practitioner or had at least been exposed to the subject and believed that participation in Yoga had no negative impact on one’s spiritual life. After all, the young lady was attending a Christian college, so she likely presumed she was discerning enough to know whether a practice was pagan or not. But she gave no biblical evaluation of Yoga, and rather wordlessly defended it. Unfortunately, this trend to accept Yoga and other New Age practices has only continued to accelerate within Christian colleges, ministries, and even churches.

Just Exercise?

Currently, an estimated 24 million people in the United States are regularly involved with some form of Yoga.1 In the town where I live, the high majority of health clubs, including the YMCA, YWCA, and the local community college, offer Yoga classes. According to a new survey by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease and Prevention, nearly ten percent of U.S. adults and three percent of children participated in yoga in 2012.”2 Most of these adults may be vaguely aware of the Hindu component of Yoga but see that as being irrelevant to taking Yoga classes. Many people doing the asanas, or postures, seem to feel that these exercises are devoid of any religious connotation.”

To read the compete articles click here.

The Power of The Gospel: “Such Were Some of You”

The apostle, Paul, today will give us insight into how God’s power can deliver people from bondage. I pray this blesses you and yours.

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, [10] nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. …

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB (emphasis added)

In this scripture Paul is writing to the Corinth church in Greece. He is telling them people who practice certain sins will not “inherit the kingdom of God” or in today’s vernacular, “will not go to heaven when they die”.

This Corinth was the “new” Corinth created by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar as a retirement city for veterans of his Roman legions. The “old” Corinth was destroyed a hundred years before by Emperor Achaiacus, for rebellion and its citizens were sold into slavery. It was this “old”Corinth that contained the temple of the goddess Aphrodite, with its 1,000 – 10,000 (the number varies) temple prostitutes. In Paul’s day it was still a very immoral, wicked city. In the Hellenistic Greek world, the term “Corinthian” was associated with whore mongering and prostitution.

Into this immoral culture came Paul, preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the sins of the world; the Light shining in the darkness. Through His preaching, the power of God was released and many pagans trusted in Christ for salvation. As a result of their faith in Christ, they were born again.

Being born again CHANGED them. CHANGED them from the sinful people he had listed in verse 9 and 10. He says of them in verse 11:

“Such were some of you….”

God working in their lives caused:

Adulterers to quit sleeping with other people’s spouses and to become faithful to their spouse.

Fornicators stopped sleeping around, instead learning to possess their own vessel (body) in sanctification and honor (I Thess. 4: 4 ) and glorifying God in their bodies (I Cor. 6: 20).

Idolaters stopped worshipping demon inspired false gods and started worshipping the one and only True God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Homosexuals stopped sleeping with men and recognized the God-given natural function of the female (Romans 1: 7), in a marriage context.

The effeminate men quit playing the part of the female in the homosexual relationship and became the men God created them to be.

Thieves stopped stealing from others and started giving to others.

Drunkards stopped abusing alcoholic drink, resulting in soberness.

The covetous changed from “acting unethically to obtain more,” to being satisfied with what they had. They probably became givers.

Swindlers stopped extorting people to obtain money and other things. These also probably became givers.

Revilers stopped speaking rudely of others, maligning people’s character.

Paul goes on to say that this CHANGE happened in the Corinthians because when they were born again God did three things to each one of them. He:

1. “…washed…” them – Titus 3:5 says the following

“He saved us ….. by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

2. “…sanctified…” them – God set them apart from sin to Himself resulting in a willingness to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. They separated themselves from sin and grew in personal holiness.

3. They “…were justified..” – based on their faith in Christ, God declares them righteous before Him. They received the Holy Spirit in themselves.

CHANGE came in these people’s lives (and ours) because they were “washed, sanctified and were justified”. It is the work of a loving, forgiving God who loved us enough to send His Son to the Cross for our sins so we could be saved from the guilty and penalty of our sins and be CHANGED.

In closing, the Shantung revival in northern China (1920 – 30s) was a work of the Holy Spirit. He used a Miss Marie Monsen, a Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, to awaken the missionaries and the Chinese church.

She asked everyone she met if they had been born again. As you can imagine, many missionaries and church members were greatly offended. But God used this and her teaching on sin to remove the blinders from the church members. Many were just religious and had never been born again by the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, they had not CHANGED.

Others realized that at some point in their Christian walk, they had stopped confessing their sins; thereby, stopping the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The CHANGING had stopped.

You see, being religious will not really CHANGE you. In Colossians 2:20-23 Paul is speaking about religious decrees (don’t eat this, don’t touch this, etc.) and he shows the futility of such man-made religion in verse 23:

“These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self -abasement and severe treatment of the body, BUT ARE OF NO VALUE AGAINST FLESHLY INDULGENCE.” (Emphasis added)

Trusting only in the work of Christ on the Cross can break the bondage in a person’s life. Jesus said you MUST be biblically born again to experience victory over fleshly indulgences. Paul, in our opening scripture is saying that the Corinth believers used to be controlled by fleshy indulgences but God CHANGED them. They, like many church members and pagans today, were practicing many forms of sexual sin and other wicked things but God set them free from their bondage.

Have you been CHANGED, my friend? Have you been biblically born again through faith, and faith alone, in the work of Christ! If you have not, today is a good day to ask Jesus to save you from your sins and to be washed, sanctified and justified by the Holy Spirit.

Don’t settle for “religion” or the “traditions of men”. The Lord Jesus is vastly different from “religion”. He is True Life and Freedom.

Carl