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Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “Denominations”

Holy Spirit Indwelling Delusion

Many in “Christianity” believe the Holy Spirit personally “indwells” them after having been adopted by God through faith.  They take this position after having read various passages in the New Testament such as Acts 2:38 where a promises is made to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” or perhaps Romans 8:11 “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you”.

I submit to you that the many are deluded.  For instance, the use of Romans 8 to support their argument is flawed for the reason that Paul is continuing his argument from Chapter 7 that the Law of Moses is dead, having no jurisdiction over mankind anymore. Stated very clearly he says: “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). The “Spirit of life” is a metaphor for the gospel message; the “law of sin and death” is a metaphor for the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses could not and was not designed to set men free from sin, for as the Hebrews writer put it: “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). The blood sacrifices of the Law of Moses were for the Israel’s “sin and death” but from the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 it is the gospel word that sets men free from sin through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross, for the gospel is the “…implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).  No wonder then John the Baptist cried out speaking metaphorically of Him, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John1:29).

Be sure to recognise metaphors used in the Bible before jumping to conclusions. In this case the Holy Spirit does not literally indwell but the “Spirit of life” which is the gospel message does. For more on salvation issues see essential pattern

Graham


How the Holy Spirit Leads Men Today

Just how does the Holy Spirit lead a person in this present age? Many mistakenly think that their own subjective feelings are the supernatural action of the Holy Spirit. If this were so, how would a person distinguish between his natural inner feelings and those brought on supernaturally? Solomon warns, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Prov. 28:26). Again, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25). These two passages reveal that our inner feelings are not a reliable source in determining right from wrong.

This is especially true in respect to morals, and learning what the Lord would have us to do. Our outlook on life philosophically is determined by how we were raised, experiences in life, knowledge obtained by observation and by what we were taught. From these sources we develop a philosophy to guide us in life. This internal understanding of right and wrong may not coincide with the inspired Word of God. That’s the reason different people who think their inner feelings mean they are guided by the Holy Spirit arrive at opposite concepts from each other and from what the Bible actually teaches. These conflicting claims of being guided by the Holy Spirit cannot be blamed upon the Lord. The Apostle Paul informs us that, “… God is not the author of confusion…” (1 Cor. 14:33).

In reality, how does the third person in the Godhead communicate unto mankind? From the beginning of time Divine messages were always delivered in a language understood by the recipients of those messages. A person has never received communication from Heaven by way of his inner feeling. How did Adam and Eve come to knowledge of the will of God for them in the Garden of Eden? It was by words. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).

Several passages of scripture reveal that the Holy Spirit used words to communicate. David declared, “The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). The Apostle Peter said, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus” (Acts 1:16). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…” (1 Tim. 4:1).

The Holy Spirit did not communicate heavenly messages to every person, but rather inspired certain men as spokesmen. Moses received the Decalogue for the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. The Apostle John pointed out that “…the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). During the Mosaic dispensation God chose certain men as prophets to deliver His Word to the Israelites. The Apostle Peter, in referring to the writers of the Old Testament, said, “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21). At Hebrews 1:1, the scripture states, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. For the New Testament dispensation Jesus Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit unto the apostles to guide them unto all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). Not only did the apostles and the New Testament prophets speak by inspiration, but they also wrote as guided unto all truth (2 Tim. 3:16-17). At First Corinthians 2:10-13, the Apostle Paul pointed out that the very words he wrote were the words of the Holy Spirit. The days of miracles and receiving messages from heaven supernaturally ceased at the close of the first century (1 Cor. 13:8-10; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19). The Bible is the complete revelation of the Heavenly Father for mankind’s eternal redemption. Those who claim to be led directly by the Holy Spirit today are either deceived or false prophets (Matt. 7:15; 1 John 4:1).

Dub Mowery

NOTE: Dub Mowery preaches for the Pittsburg church of Christ, Pittsburg, Texas.  His preaching experience began in March of 1955; forty-eight of those years have been full time.

 

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Ok, so you believe in Jesus, huh?

Many people throughout the past couple of thousand years have believed in Jesus Christ. In fact, many believed in Him before He was “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Yes, that’s right, they believed the Law and the Prophets that not only spoke of His coming but that He would also abolish the Law of Moses and fulfil the Prophets’ prophecies of which one was to “make a new covenant” (cf Jeremiah 31:31ff; Matthew 5:17 and Colossian 2:14) and God’s people would have a “new name” (Isaiah 62:2; Acts 11:26; I Peter 4:16).

It is one thing to believe in someone and another thing to do as he says. This is precisely what Jesus was getting at in Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Contextually He addresses the religious hypocrites of His day:

  • The rich who live it up yet ignore the poor.
  • The religious who are respected by their fellow man but are guilty of believing in false teachers.
  • The seemingly pious men of love but are really bigots of the highest degree.
  • The outward generous looking who, in reality, are seeking a reward of some kind for that generosity.

Oh, they believe, alright, so long as it fits their definition of belief.

It is no different today. Let’s see, what about this list below, do you fit one or more of the following? Are you one who announces belief in Christ but yet your actions actually deny Him?

  • You might be one who says one can be a Christian without the need to attend church. Really? Jesus says: He would build his church (Matthew 16:18), Paul said Jesus purchased the church with the blood shed at Calvary (Acts 20:28).  So, the Saviour goes to such lengths for His followers only for you to say it is not necessary – think again.  The church; that is, those called out from the world aka disciples were “first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian unless you have been added to the church of Christ for Christian and the church are one and the same.

  • You might be one who says one can belong to a denomination such as the Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist etc and be recognised as a Christian. Really? How can this be when Jesus only promised to build His “church” [singular]. There is no mention of churches with names such as that which encompass today’s so-called “Christianity”. In fact, before 1500 AD the vast majority had not yet come into existence. Until after this date Henry the VIII had not stolen the Roman Catholic chattels and started the Church of England. Calvin had not written his theses of repudiation of corrupt Roman Catholic dogma, nor had Luther pinned his theses up on their door at Wittenberg.  John Wesley had not formulated his methodology of study that led to followers in what is called the Methodist Discipline nor had John Smyth gone into apostasy from the church of Christ to form what is now known as the Baptist Church and so on we could go. Even the Roman Catholic Church did not come into being until well after the Council of Nicea (c. 325 AD) despite their claim that Peter was the first Pope as per the nonsense they derive from Matthew 16:18. Besides all of this, Paul condemned sectarianism in I Corinthians 1:10-17; Galatians 1:6-9.

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian and a member of a man-made denomination; the very idea is foreign to the New Testament. There is only one church of Christ provable because they follow only that which the New Testament authorises, for “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:11).

  • You might be one who says your religious leader, who might be known as say “Pastor”, “Reverend”, “Pope” or whatever title your church has designated those to  lead you, will tell the truth on how and what I should do to be a Christian. Really? Jesus said that if you truly love Him you will keep his commands (John 14:15). Paul said it is up to you, as an individual, to determine the truth by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). You, personally, will be judged at the end of time by this standard which is whether you have rejected or kept the word of Christ (John 12:48). You, not your advisor, must do a self examination to see if you are really in the faith (II Corinthians 13:5). Besides, how can you trust men or, as is fashionable in these post-modern times, women leaders to advise you correctly when they cannot even understand this basic teaching of Jesus: “be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:8). Paul says women are to remain silent and not usurp authority given exclusively for men to lead (I Corinthians 14:34; I Timothy 2:12ff).

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian on the advice of men; rather it is the “word implanted [which] is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). You see, your faith can only come about in an authentic way by hearing and applying that faith which God has given through Christ (Romans 10:17) precisely that which the church of Christ practices.

There is much more that one can point to in order to prove you are not a Christian such as whether you have submitted to the New Testament plan of salvation or whether your church is scripturally organised but I am sure you get the picture.

Here is a little tip: check out the search engine of this site and type in church of the Bible or what must I do to become a Christian or does God approve of denominations and then study the scriptures provided and see if these things are so.

Graham

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