Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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Say What?

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I couldn’t believe it. I read it and could not believe it. Surely they cannot believe this. Nonetheless, apparently they do.

What is it I could not believe? The following statement from the Seventh Day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs page:

8. Great Controversy:
All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe.1

Let’s think about this for just a moment. . . .

What is really stated in Item 8 quoted above? If we reword it slightly to make it more readable, but with the exact same meaning, it states this:

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan with regard to the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe.

Now, that is not much change, and “regarding” and “with regard to” mean exactly the same thing. Now, think about the reworded statement for just a moment . . . .  then answer the following question:

Is there any question in the Scripture regarding the character and nature of the LORD God?

His righteousness?

His Law?

His sovereignty over all things, whithersoever they are?

It strikes me that the statement, as written and published by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, is blasphemous as it impugns the very character and nature of the LORD. Yes, there is an implicit question raised in the statement because it states the “great controversy” regards or is with regard to, the character of God.

Now, the Scripture is VERY plain — there is NO, ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION about the character of the LORD God. Moreover, the conflict between Satan and Christ isn’t about that anyway. Do not the following passages suffice?

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. (Jonah 4:1-2)

And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:5-7)

But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9:7-10)

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isaiah 46:9-11)

I could go on, but it would be passage after passage of Scripture that plainly state the very same things the passages above state. Hence, I cannot believe the statement of the Seventh Day Adventists — it is incredibly WRONG. If they believe the Scripture at all, I fail to understand how they could make such a statement.

One last thing, the conflict between Satan and Christ is not about the character of God. Rather, it is about the redemption of man. How can we know this? Very simple:

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15)

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (Hebrews 2:14-16)

To be succinct, victory for Satan would be the prevention of salvation of man, and the proof that death is stronger than life. However, the Lord Jesus Christ hath already won the war, even before the world ever began:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

Hence, there is no “great controversy” or even any controversy at all — the salvation provided to man is a sure thing. The defeat of Satan was and is a sure thing. These are such sure and certain things that the Lamb was “slain from the foundation of the world.”

  1. http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html
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What must I know to be saved?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

This post arises out of a study that I am doing, and is tied to one of John Locke’s books, which is The Reasonableness of Christianity. In this book much argument is made of what one must know to be saved or born-again, and become a Christian. At the time I read the book (which was quite some years ago), I had not really considered what one MUST know to be saved. However, as time has passed and I have studied the Scripture, there are some things that everyone MUST know before one can have even the hope of salvation. The following questions are not concerned with the attributes one must have to be saved, (i.e. faith, and repentance), rather they are focused on KNOWLEDGE, or what one must KNOW with surety to be saved.

With the foregoing in mind, here are the questions:

  1. Who is Christ?
  2. Who is God?
  3. Who is man? (Who am I?)
  4. What is righteousness, and why am I not righteous?
  5. Why is God righteous? (What does mean to be righteous?)
  6. What is sin, and why am I a sinner?
  7. What can I do about my sin?
  8. What has (will) the LORD done (do) about my sin?
  9. What does it mean when the Scripture says I must “believe?”
  10. How can I know for certain that all the Scripture tells me is true?
  11. What am I really believing or trusting?

The questions leave considerable room for exploration of the Scripture and explanation of the answers. However, they are well worth answering, and by the time you are done, you will know all that is NECESSARY to know to be born again in Christ Jesus and have eternal life.

Now if you wish to argue about the questions, please take the time to answer them first BEFORE raising objection. Also, please use the King James Version of the Bible to do your study. Otherwise, you will get some very skewed and incomplete answers.

As far HOW the questions are to be answered, here is a hint:

When we ask “Who is God?” we do not speak of defining His ability, but rather examining His CHARACTER and NATURE.

May you find it profitable.


In Christ,

Bro. Paul

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 5

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

This is the fifth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



It is interesting to note, as pointed out in the last post, that the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn the scribes and Pharisees to Hell. Instead, He clearly stated they were bound for Hell, and they needed to determine how it is they were going to escape that damnation. This is manifestly not the same as praying for them to die and be sent to Hell to be tormented for all eternity. We should remember at this point that the Lord Jesus Christ does have the power both to kill, and to cast men into Hell. However, during His earthly ministry, He did not do either one. Rather, the LORD’s heart toward men is somewhat different, and is in direct contrast to someone who wishes that another would die and be cast into Hell.

To begin with, we should without question understand the following statement:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: . . . (Hebrews 9:27)

What the above states is that we all have one period of time to be reconciled to the LORD God — the life we live on this earth — that is all. Once the soul departs the body into eternity and the body ceases to function, bringing physical death, there is no more opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God. If one has chosen to refuse the gospel and reconciliation with the LORD God through the Lord Jesus Christ, then the opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God is forever lost, and one will stand in judgement before the LORD depending solely upon their record of life on this earth and their own righteousness as demonstrated by that record. Sadly for them, that record will be weighed against the commandments of the LORD God to show where they have erred and fallen short of the express commandments of the LORD. Hence, it is utter foolishness to ignore or disregard the gospel, resisting it unto death. That will guarantee eternal damnation and torment in Hell and the Lake of Fire.

By the above, the born-again Believer should be able to discern what attitude and heart they are supposed to have toward the lost — no matter how wicked they are. If someone claims to belong to Christ and does not earnestly desire that everyone come to Christ for salvation, then somewhere along the line they have missed understanding the heart of the LORD toward all men, which is expressed in the following passages of Scripture:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:1-6)

Need it be stated that the “due time” is now? Moreover, that it is the duty of the adopted children of the LORD to proclaim the gospel? Where in the above does it say that the Believer is to ask for the death and judgement of someone? Even if that is how we feel (the wanting of judgement to be brought upon someone), where does it fit in the above admonition to “first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men”? It doesn’t, does it? Therefore we, as born-again Believers, are to give place unto the LORD, and be obedient to His commands:

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” does not sound like “When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.” does it? No, the heart and attitude expressed in the two are poles apart in every respect, aren’t they? Hence, we should now understand the error of Steven L. Anderson (or anyone else) in praying for someone to die and be cast into Hell. It certainly is not the heart of the LORD as expressed in the following passage:

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)

Something is obviously being missed by Mr. Anderson, who claims to be a Believer and a preacher of the gospel — and that something appears to be the heart of the LORD God.

To be continued . . .

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 4

Friday, September 11th, 2009

This is the fourth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



As the preceding passages of Scripture have demonstrated clearly, the following ought to be clear for any born-again Believer:

Being ambassadors of Christ, citizens of the kingdom of God, and of the household of God, though the Believer still lives in the flesh on this earth, it is expected of the Believer that their life is dedicated to service to the LORD God. Moreover, since this is to be the focus of the Believer’s life, it should follow that the thinking of the Believer is to be oriented totally around the reality that they were left here to minister unto others and be ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Hence, everything, every situation the born-again Believer encounters, should be evaluated in light of this reality.

The above statement is the expected, reasonable service of a born-again Believer. Dedicating their life to serving the LORD and presenting the gospel in every aspect of their existence ought to be the norm. It should be borne in mind that no Believer is here for the enjoyment of life in America (or any other place) or to satisfy our hopes and aspirations in the flesh. Rather, the Believer is left here after salvation to serve the LORD and present the gospel of the kingdom of God to a nation that sorely needs it. Moreover, the whole pattern of thinking for the Believer should be set around this truth.

That being understood, we should then have a proper basis for examining whether we should pray that anyone die and go the Hell. We should also come to understand the heart and mind of anyone who prays that another person die and be cast into Hell. To this way of thinking, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.1(John 12:47-48)

And again from Matthew:

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:10-13)

The above passages of Scripture are records of statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ directly addressing those who are lost, which includes those who are utterly wicked as well. The point the Lord makes in both statements should not be missed by the Believer. It is imperative that the Believer understand his or her relationship with this world, otherwise the above quoted statements (and many others like them) are difficult to understand. There are two immediate things we can and should take from what the Lord Jesus Christ stated:

1. We are not the judges of who goes to Hell and who does not. Rather, it is the Scripture, the Bible, that determines that, based upon that individual’s failure to be obedient to the Scripture. When the Lord Jesus Christ stated “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” He is very plainly referring to the Scripture, and to the fact that the judgement of each and every individual who rejects the Scripture will occur at the end of this present world. By this, it should be clear that judgement is not given to the Believer, either in this present world, or in the world to come. In fact, judgement is not given to the Believer to judge other men to determine their eternal destiny, at any time, but especially not during this life.

2. When the Lord Jesus stated “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” and “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He is very clearly laying out the purpose of His life, and thus the purpose of the life of all who follow Him. Even at His worst denunciation of hypocrisy, as when He spoke to the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn them to Hell. Rather, He asked a very stiff question of them:

Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:31-33)

Notice the Lord Jesus Christ does not condemn them to hell for their wickedness. Rather, the question to them to resolve is “how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” It is as much as saying “Ye have done all these things that are evil, what can you expect? Moreover, how will you resolve your guilt before the LORD God?”

This is a far cry  from condemning them to Hell. Rather it is allowing the determination of their eternal destiny to rest squarely upon their shoulders.

To be continued . . .

  1. It should be understood that the judgement spoken of here is judgement of condemnation to destruction, which is not the same as judging whether someone’s thinking and actions are consistent with Scripture or not.
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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 3

Monday, September 7th, 2009

This is the third in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



As is now noted in Scripture, the born-again child of God is plainly considered a “stranger and pilgrim” on this earth. In fact, all believers, from the very beginning have been, and are, “strangers and pilgrims” on this earth and are “a peculiar people,” and “an holy nation.” It is clearly stated in Hebrews, Chapter 11, this began with Abel, and was plainly seen in the life of Abraham. Moreover, nothing has changed in the intervening millennia between Abel and now, and thus the fact that a born-again Believer is a stranger and pilgrim upon this earth continues to this day. This gives rise to the question about the allegiance of the believer, and where it primarily lies.

Now, I know that the vast majority of individuals out there, including a lot of “fundamental, independent Baptists” would say their allegiance lies with whatsoever country they happen to be a “citizen” of, meaning the country in which they physically reside. However, I must bring up the old cliche (which is a truism actually) of “Home is where the heart is.” What I mean by this is the question:

What makes an American, an American?

I ask that question because being an American is unique in the world, in that one is an American regardless of skin color, heritage, national origin, religion, or a host of other physical attributes that men look at. No, one is an American because one holds to a certain ideal — from the heart. Thus, being an American is a wonderful example and picture of a spiritual truth — that it is the total change in heart that makes one no longer a citizen of this world, as the Scripture plainly states:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Though the above passage speaks to Israel and the church as covenanted institutions of witness, it also speaks very plainly of the citizenship of the born-again Believer and states:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

By this, the Believer is NOT first and foremost a citizen of whatsoever country they happen to reside in. Rather, the Believer is first a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and second a citizen of whatsoever country they happen to reside in. It is this way because we are expressly told that we are, as born-again children of God, ambassadors to this world — and in the case of Steven Anderson (if so be he is born-again) and many others (myself included) — particularly to America:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:17-20)

Since it is the case that Scripture demonstrates plainly that Believers are ambassadors to whatsoever country the LORD happens to place them in; as a born-again Believer, one should also understand what this demands of them:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It always makes me smile to read the phrase “which is your reasonable service” . . .

To be continued . . .

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 2

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

This is the second in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



In looking at anything in Scripture, there must be a place to begin. With any subject in Scripture (or anything else for that matter) where you begin has a very great impact upon where you will end up, what conclusions you draw, and determinations you make concerning what is written. In short, where you begin is going to seriously affect your interpretation of Scripture. Thus, where we begin will also determine whether we are right or wrong before the LORD — and subsequently, whether we are in or out of the will of the LORD God. Additionally, the standard for saying what we say and doing what we do is not how men view us, our preaching, teaching, and our actions. Rather, it is whether the LORD God accepts what we say as being consistent with His word.1

Before we can make an accurate determination of whether it is right or not to call for the LORD God to slay someone and cast them into Hell for their behavior, we need to first establish what our own attitude and behavior ought to be. Now, I do not find Psalm 58 a proper place to begin to establish what our attitude and heart toward others ought to be. Why? Primarily because it is addressed to the wicked, and is a dissertation on judgement of the wicked. In short, it does not address the born-again child of God, and that child’s attitude and heart. To take it as an example of how one should set their heart and mind toward others is more than just a bit one-sided, and not balanced.

Thus, in beginning this examination of the Believer’s heart and mind and how it should be, we ought understand first that the LORD has already addressed in His word every situation we will ever encounter. Second, we should seek for a passage that does address a Believer’s heart, attitude, and behavior directly. Thus, we could understand from that point on, what the LORD God expects of us — His children. In addressing the Believer’s heart and mind (and thus attitude and behavior), I find in Scripture the following admonition with regard to the Believer’s interaction with this world:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Now, this admonition came as part of the instruction the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the twelve when He sent them out to preach the Gospel. . . .

Hmmm . . .

And just what were we left here for after we were born-again . . .?

Aside from the fact that calling for the LORD God to slay someone and cast them into Hell goes far beyond the bounds of being “harmless as doves,” there is the larger, more fundamental issue of the Believer’s relationship with, and to, the world. Without establishing that relationship, the above admonition sits without a context to give it the full import and sense the LORD intended. Therefore, let us establish firmly what relationship the Believer has with this world and the people in it, beginning with te following definitive passage from I Peter:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:9-12)

And again:

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:12-16)

I think the words “strangers,” and “pilgrims,” along with the phrases “a royal priesthood,” “an holy nation,” and “a peculiar people” ought to just stand out, especially since the idea of being a stranger and pilgrim is entirely foreign (no pun intended) to our basic nature, and also since the phrases speak of a people who are entirely different in the focus of their lives. Moreover, in the passage from Hebrews, Chapter 11, we are told that the heroes of the faith in the Old Testament sought an heavenly country, and had no desire to return to the country from whence they came. . .

To be continued . . .

  1. There is a word of warning here in case those who do not know, neither acknowledge the LORD God, think this is somehow a pass to preach and teach wrongly. The word of warning in Scripture is this:

    Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19-20)

    Therefore, be forewarned — there is a very heavy price to pay for being wrong when you teach and preach the word of the LORD.

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Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 1

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

This is the first in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis



On August 16th, Steve Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona delivered a message in which he plainly stated the following:

“Yeah, God appointed him to destroy this country for the wickedness of the United States of America. God appointed him because that’s what our country has turned into. That’s who we deserve as a president.

But let me tell you something: I don’t love Barack Obama. I don’t respect Barack Obama. I don’t obey Barack Obama. And I’d like Barack Obama to melt like a snail tonight. Because he needs to recompense, he needs to reap what he’s sown.

You see, any Christian will tell you that someone who commits murder should get the death penalty. Because that’s what it says in Genesis Chapter 9, that’s what it says in the Mosaic Law, that’s what it teaches us throughout the Bible. ‘Who so sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.’ ‘From the image of God created he Man.’

And when Barack Obama is gonna push his partial birth abortion, his salty saline solution abortion, hey, he deserves to be punished for what he’s done. I’m not going to pray for God to bless Barack Obama. This is my prayer tonight to Barack Obama.”1

And again:

“… And yet you’re going to tell me that I’m supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide, who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth abortion and all these different things — you’re gonna tell me I’m supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he’s in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nope. I’m not gonna pray for his good. I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to hell. When I go to bed tonight, that’s what I’m going to pray. And you say, ‘Are you just saying that?’ No. When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.

You say, ‘Why would you do that?’ That our country could be saved.”2

The above raises the questions:

Is it really our right and prerogative as born-again children of God, to pray that someone die and go to hell?

Is it Scripturally correct for a “Baptist pastor” to call for the LORD to smite President Barack Obama, and then use Psalm 58 for his justification?

Should we also openly call for judgement against this nation – or individuals in it?

Should we claim that the political leaders of this country are part of the “rulers of darkness” in this world?

What should we, as born-again believers in Christ, do with respect to situations such as this?

What should be our attitude and behavior be?

Without a doubt, we live in a most difficult time; without the wisdom of the LORD, we will not provide a right and proper witness to this country and its people. Without the wisdom of the LORD, we will end up subverting the will of the LORD in the things we say and do.

This series of articles is going to look into the issue of this pastor’s words, which spring out of his heart and mind, and will weigh them against the Scripture — the same King James Bible he uses.

To be continued . . .

  1. http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/gospel-hate-arizona-pastor-steve-and and on Youtube
  2. ibid
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A Heart Toward Our Enemies

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This message is now located on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Messages and Lessons page, or at the direct link: A Heart Toward Our Enemies

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Some Things Never Change

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Astoundingly, in this day and age, after all the Jews have suffered, they have the audacity to engage in religious persecution.

Court hears Messianic Jews’ suit against Beersheba chief rabbi

It seems that the Chief Rabbi and the orthodox Jews of Beersheba are no better than the Jews of the 1st century who persecuted the Christians then. It is little wonder that it is recorded in Scripture:

For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (I Thessalonians 2:14-16)

Some things never change.

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Spiritual Maturity?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

From time to time I receive notifications of the surveys Barna Group does relating to religion, and specifically Christians and Christianity. The title of the latest survey is “Many Churchgoers and Faith Leaders Struggle to Define Spiritual Maturity1

The results, though distressing, are not surprising. The sad truth is the results should not surprise anyone familiar with the study the Barna Group released on the 10th of April titled “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist”2

It is an essential and integral part of Scripture that the Holy Ghost exists, is a real person, and the third Person of the Godhead. It is also clear from Scripture that Satan exists and is a real person as well. Thus, without having a basic trust in the Scripture and what the Scripture teaches, how could anyone ever understand what spiritual maturity is, let alone try to get there?

When the study on the existence of the beliefs of “Christians” demonstrates the following:

Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten Christians (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective. A minority of Christians indicated that they believe Satan is real by disagreeing with the statement: one-quarter (26%) disagreed strongly and about one-tenth (9%) disagreed somewhat. The remaining 8% were not sure what they believe about the existence of Satan.

Although a core teaching of the Christian faith is the divinity and perfection of Jesus Christ, tens of millions of Christians do not accept that teaching.3 More than one-fifth (22%) strongly agreed that Jesus Christ sinned when He lived on earth, with an additional 17% agreeing somewhat.4 Holding the opposing view were 9% who disagreed somewhat5 and 46% who disagreed strongly. Six percent did not have an opinion on this matter6.

Much like their perceptions of Satan, most Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force, either. Overall, 38% strongly agreed and 20% agreed somewhat that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” Just one-third of Christians disagreed that the Holy Spirit is not a living force (9% disagreed somewhat, 25% disagreed strongly) while 9% were not sure.

Can we then really expect the following findings to be any different:

5. Pastors are surprisingly vague about the biblical references they use to chart spiritual maturity for people.

One of the reasons churches struggle with making disciples may relate to the lack of clarity that pastors have about the underlying biblical passages that address the process of spiritual maturity. This is most clearly reflected in the huge proportion of pastors who give generic responses when asked to identify the most important portions of the Bible that define spiritual maturity. In fact, one-third of pastors simply said “the whole Bible.” Other generic responses included “the gospels” (17%), the New Testament (15%), and Paul’s letters (10%). In all, the survey showed that three-quarters of pastors mentioned some type of generic answer to this query. In addition, one out of every five pastors gave a semi-generic response, such as “Romans” or the “life of Christ.”

As for verse-specific responses (mentioned by just one-fifth of pastors), the most common passages included: Galatians 5, John 3:16, Ephesians 4, Matthew 28, and Romans 12:1-2. Just 2% of pastors specifically identified the Galatians 5 passage relating to the “fruits of the Spirit,” which includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Theme specific answers represented just 7% of responses, including the Sermon on the Mount, the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, and the Beatitudes.7

The thing that is highlighted most prominently in both studies is the lack of Biblical knowledge and understanding — especially among Pastors. If pastors cannot properly identify spiritual maturity, how in the world are their congregations supposed to grow and be more spiritual? Simply put — they can’t. They are limited by the knowledge and understanding of the under-shepherds who are supposed to feed them.

It is amazing, yet it is not. The amazing part is that they continue to call themselves Christian, yet have little to no idea of what a Christian is, because they won’t read the Scriptures. One of the most important things a child of God must do, is read the Scriptures. This is not go read a book someone wrote about the Scriptures, but actually read the Scriptures themselves.

Why?

Because the Scriptures are the heart and mind of the LORD God toward man. In the 49th Psalm, the 107th Psalm, Isaiah, and many other places in Scripture, the heart of the LORD God toward man is plainly revealed, as it is here:

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. (Psalm 49:1-9)

And here:

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:1-11)

And again here:

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:10-11)

Additionally, there are many other passages that speak to the very same thought and desire of the LORD God that every single soul be saved and reconciled to Him. The LORD God would that every person repent and believe in Christ as their Saviour.

In like manner, the LORD God has published the standard for spiritual maturity. However, if one never reads the Scripture or only reads their “pet” books, or their pastor only preaches from certain books, and on certain subjects, then what do we expect? I would certainly hope that we would not expect spiritual maturity to appear out of thin air and without extensive instruction and admonition from the Scripture. The LORD God has provided in Scripture both the standard for spiritual maturity, and how to get there. He expects us to read the Scripture, be taught by it, and walk in its instruction. It is amazing how very easy it is to find both the standard, and how to get there. In fact, the standard for spiritual maturity ought to be obvious:

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

Moreover, the LORD gave indicators and markers so that we could know and understand how we are to work toward that maturity in Christ:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (II Peter 1:5-11)

And He expects all His children to work toward the end of being conformed to the image of Christ:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.8And this will we do, if God permit. (Hebrews 6:1-3)

Knowing that the end of it all is charity, the love of God being continually expressed in everything we do:

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (I Corinthians 13:4-13)

Understanding that the love spoken here is not the world’s kind of love, but the love of God in which we are rebuked, chastened, challenged and tried so that we may know of our witness and testimony, whether we are growing or not, and be reassured that we are indeed the children of God:

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

The problem is, most American “Christians” are without any chastisement at all. Hence, they cannot grow and be spiritually mature. How can this be said? The proof is in the surveys referenced and quoted above. How can one be a Christian when one does not even believe what the Scripture, which is the word of God, states? And how can one be a Christian when one does not honor the LORD and His word? After all, it is plain in the Scripture how high a position of honor the LORD God gives His word:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)

Thus, spiritual maturity begins in the word of God — the Scripture. Without the message of the gospel from Scripture, salvation in Christ and subsequently staying in the Scripture and learning, no spiritual growth can or will occur. The problem with American “Christians” is not that they are not growing spiritually like they should. The problem is that the express conditions for spiritual growth are simply not there. It is no wonder they can’t “put a finger” on spiritual growth and how to achieve it.

  1. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/264-many-churchgoers-and-faith-leaders-stru
    ggle-to-define-spiritual-maturity
  2. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/260-most-american-christians-do-not-believe-
    that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exis
  3. If you DO NOT accept this teaching and doctrine, you are NOT SAVED, and NOT a Christian — END OF STORY!
  4. The same note applies here.
  5. And the same applies here. Why? Because if Christ Jesus sinned, then he had his own sin to pay for, and could not pay for our sin. Secondly, if Jesus Christ could sin, then God could sin. If Jesus Christ did sin, then Jesus Christ, who is Almighty God in the flesh, is not Holy and Righteous, and thus God is not Holy and Righteous. And just what religion are these folks now?
  6. Christian? Really?
  7. There is not a one of these passages and verses mentioned that have to do with spiritual maturity. All the references given either apply to the church, or to attributes that are given to every believer at salvation. Spiritual growth is beyond just having attributes that you begin to use. Rather, it is about changing, not just the very way you act or your attitude, but your entire concept of existence, and the way you think about everything. In short, to be spiritually mature is to look at everything, including yourself, the way the LORD God knows everything to be, and letting that knowledge drive everything about your life.
  8. You know, these really are the “first things.” Yet, how many truly born again believers actually get beyond these?
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