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Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “Holy Spirit”

The truth about sectarian christianity

According to the apostle Paul “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14;33). Yet, today, there are hundreds of sects of “Christianity” all claiming to follow Jesus Christ and most if not all have a variation upon that theme. Is this how God wants it? Is this a “true and undefiled religion” (James 1:27)?

Listen to this preacher, Michael Hatcher and see if his lesson answers those questions.

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Thought for the week

I Shall See God

Job, that ancient patriarch and prophet issues forth words of confidence that the grave is not the end of life with these words: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). How could this man, whom modern scholars wrongly consign to a people of superstition and ignorance, know about a redeemer who would buy back his soul in an all too obvious resurrected form? I say obvious because the man himself says his skin will be destroyed. Could it be that the Hebrews’ writer has, among others, Job in mind when he pens, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1)? Could it be that Job, like his fellow patriarch Abraham, was confident of mind “… that God was able to raise… even from the dead…” (Hebrews 11:19)? The answer to these questions is the same as that recorded in faith’s chapter of fame in Hebrews 11 that each of the faithful have these precursory words “By faith” attached to their actions. By faith Job knew there would come a time when a High Priest will come and sympathise with our weakness because he would be tempted “as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15) and therefore have all the necessary qualifications to redeem. By faith Job knew as the only way to please God, for “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6), for this it has always been “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; cf, Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 10:17).

Our confidence in the resurrection is boosted by this man of knowledge so-much-so that we, too, “shall see God” by following the words of Christ “…whom [God] hath appointed heir of all things…” (Hebrews 1:2). He is the “chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (I Peter 2:6). The apostle Paul maintained that the resurrection was at the heart of the Christian faith. He questioned the futility of some by taking on the way without this fundamental objective in mind by saying, “if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (I Corinthians 15:13-14). Paul’s confidence was firmly entrenched in the resurrection of a man’s soul with these words: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus… For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 4:14; 5:1). This should not surprise us since Jesus emphatically promised such to those worried they might not find the way home to heaven, for after assuring them He was going to prepare for them a place to reside in the resurrection, He promised, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). Oh, and just in case you need a little more reassurance then, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). For the apostle Paul, the resurrection of Christ is solid proof that He will indeed keep His promise, for he says that Christ not only appeared to the twelve apostles but “…he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (I Corinthians 15:6-8). Jesus said he that “seeth” (John 6:40) is one that is able to discern God is proved as unchangeable in the past (Hebrews 6:17) and will prove unchangeable in raising the faithful to an imperishable state in the future according to I Corinthians 15:33, for we that “seeth” trust by faith in the witness of God’s word that “…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

The ancient paths of the Bible conscript men and women of faith in all dispensations to testify of the resurrection’s reality. Just as they had faith and confidence in seeing God so too, we, through faith can confidently say, “I will see God”.

Graham

Godhead United In Word and Deed

In this week’s thought for the week let’s consider the unity of The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who make the Divine Godhead of the Bible.

The idea that each of the Godhead is divorced of the thought and actions of the other is strange to say the least. For instance, some say that Jesus is love but God the Father is wrath. So, they suggest through implication that God the Father is not love, hmm!
This nonsense has grown, in my opinion, from the thought that people only want love and not the consequence of sin which is wrath.

To show that all three of the Godhead are united in all they think and do, let us consider three separate verses dealing with the topic of sanctification.

• Jude 1 “Sanctified by God the Father.” The Father sets the Christian apart.
• I Corinthians 1:2 “Sanctified in Christ.” Jesus sets the Christian apart.
• I Peter 1:2 “Through sanctification of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit sets the Christian apart.

Each of the Godhead is in total harmony regarding the sanctification of Christians which is just as true with all the other workings of the Godhead, for Jesus acts just as wrathfully (Revelation 6:16) as God the Father (John 3:36) as much as the Holy Spirit is just as grieved at sin ( Ephesians 4:30) as Jesus is grieved (Mark 3:5).

Jesus said in His prayer to God the Father “that they (the holy apostles GJW) all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). The purpose of Jesus’ words is to show He is united in thought and deed in order to create faith in unbelievers, for the opposite creates disorder and confusion which leads to faulty ideas such as this thought opened with.

God bless as you travel and study through His word.
Graham.

The truth; i.e., God’s word will set you free from sin


A preacher back in 1958 had the following to say about the truth of God’s word that changeth not over the years in much the same manner as God Who declares: “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. [This in order that] In the exercise of His will He brought us [that is those who have obeyed his word] forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:17-18).

Let us sit back and hear what Melvin Vaughan had to say all those years ago.
Of all those things which are important and essential to man’s spiritual welfare, there is no single item that can affect him more significantly than his attitude toward the truth.
The truth, in a special sense, was made known by the coming of the Lord: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). It is not surprising that the Lord had so much to say about the truth and what it can do for men. The Lord pointed out that the truth leads men to the freedom most needed: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31,32). The truth revealed and applied is the means by which God “sanctified” or sets man aside in His service as the Lord indicated in His prayer: “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth”3 (John 17:17). So important is the truth to men that the major function of the Comforter or Holy Spirit was to remind the disciples of the truth Jesus had taught them during his ministry (John 14: 26), and to guide the apostles “. . . into all truth” (John 16:13).

The Truth Shall Make You Free

( Melvin L. Vaughan – 1958)

Those to whom the Holy Spirit was sent emphasised the importance of truth. James writes of the “word of truth” as the means by which his readers had been “begotten of God” (James 1:18). Paul reminded the Ephesians that the salvation they enjoyed was the end result of their response to the truth delivered to them (Eph.1:13). Peter points to the truth as the means by which man becomes justified before God: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto the unfeigned love of the brethren see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Pet. 22, 23).

Even though the importance of the truth has been emphasized and its source clearly identified with the will of God; it has been denied, ignored, ridiculed, and misrepresented by men. Those who have sought to uphold the truth have been persecuted, oppressed and even put to death because of their devotion to the truth which they held to be unalterable.
The word of God renders to man an invaluable service by pointing out to him the truth with regard to his state, the limitations of his ability, his great need, and the solution to that need. Paul in examining the spiritual state of the people apart from Christ concluded that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is identified in the Bible as including both the “transgression” of God’s law (1 John 3:4), and the failure or refusal to fulfil a known duty to God: “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

To recognise the fact of sin and its existence, even in one’s self, is of little significance until it is known that sin is the barrier that separates man from God. “Behold,” the prophet has written, “The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy that he cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1,2).
Here is the truth about man’s state and need. He becomes guilty of sin because he has violated Divine law. Because he is guilty of sin he is alienated from God and should he die in this condition he is forever and eternally excluded from the joys of heaven. A disagreeable picture, to be sure. and unfortunate indeed is the person whose knowledge of the truth goes no further than this!

Man does not have within himself the means or knowledge by which he can free himself from these sins and become reconciled to God. Jeremiah had long since reminded Israel of this: “The way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jer.10: 29). To provide the means, God sent His Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the world; to provide the guidance, the Son brought the truth. In the Son is revealed the truth by which alone it is possible to have access to God: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus had said: “. . . if ye continue in my word . . . ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The truth does provide freedom from ignorance by making both knowledge and understanding available: “The entrance of thy word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). The truth provides freedom from uncertainty by making the pathway visible: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathway.” (Psalm 119:105.) The truth makes known the possibility of attaining freedom from sin by showing how the barrier between man and God can be removed: “. . . if ye continue in my word . . . ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32). The truth provides this freedom from sin in reality as man obeys the truth: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obedience to the truth . . .” (1 Pet. 1:22, 23).

The good news of freedom from sin through the sacrifice of Christ and obedience to the truth is called “the gospel” (1 Cor.15:1-4).

For the truth to become to you what it can, and what the Lord desires it to become, it must be sought in the words of the Lord and His apostles (John 8: 31,32). This truth must be approached reverently, respectfully, and open-mindedly that it might produce faith. (Rom. 10: 17; 2 Thess.2:10-12). The response of which a believer involves the turning from sin and error to truth and righteousness inspired by gratitude for His mercy and the desire to please him (Rom.2: 4). The removal of the guilt resulting from sin is to be found where the Lord placed it in His death where His blood was shed. According to the truth the penitent believer is “baptized into his death” (Rom.6:3,4), “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). It is here that he is made “free from sin” (Rom.6:18), has his sins “washed away” (Acts 22:16), enters Christ (Gal.3:27), and becomes a “new creature” (2 Cor.5:17).
The church, which is composed of the saved (Acts 2:47), is to be the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim.3:15). The ‘disciple indeed” is to “let his light so shine before men that others may see his good works and glorify his Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16). The teacher must uphold the truth at all times in its purity and fullness as revealed by the Lord (2 Tim.2: 2; Jude 3).

Love and devotion to the truth leads the new creature to walk in the steps of him who “. . . left us an example. . . .” That he might “draw near with full assurance of faith having his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and his body washed with pure water” (Heb.10:22).
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed in Him: If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31,32).

  • Will you recognise according to God’s standard that you are caught up in sin and need to rectify it?
  • Will you follow the steps provided by the unchangeable word that leads to freedom from sin?
  • Will you enter the church that is Christ’s body where the truth that sets you free is a “pillar and ground”?
  • If you are willing to follow, let it be known to Christ’s church that gathers in your neighborhood or reply to this post and let “us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).

The onus is on you to prove it

The apostle Paul said to make sure that one “Prove all things” (I Thessalonians 5:21). Just because something is widely accepted as being true and is therefore the supposed starting point i.e., an axiom, doesn’t prove anything. If it is true then you are under obligation to “prove” it.

The apostle Peter told the 1st Century church to do as much regarding their faith. He said they were obligated to give a “reason” for their “hope” (I Peter 3:15).  For instance the axiom “God is love” needs to be proven with valid reasoning if it is to be convincing. After all faith in such, according to Paul, can only come about by hearing God’s word (Romans 1:17; 10:17) which implies a reasoning mind.

The axiom that is widely accepted as being true is that of organic evolution. That is life somehow started from a single cell and grew to the complexity of life we see before us today.  If that be true then the adherent must prove it to be so.

Here is an excellent article that might help to explain why I say such and help you as well (that is, of course, if you have the willingness of mind to indulge:)

Graham

Refuting those who say Jesus will return to reign on Earth

Many who subscribe to the unscriptural position that Jesus is coming back to earth and will reign on the throne of David in Jerusalem will surely be disappointed according to this outline.

The fact is, the Bible is mans only guide to matters concerning the Kingdom of God and it clearly implies the premillennial doctrine is fantasy.

Graham

Before you cross your Rubicon

To cross the Rubicon is a metaphor meaning to deliberately go beyond the point of no return.

An interesting article that may open your eyes can be read here

Think about the consequences before you leap!

Graham

What About This Holy Spirit Baptism?

The Holiness Movement that has evolved from the Methodist religion have certainly muddied the scriptural waters when it comes to baptism especially Holy Spirit baptism.  Their perversion of Matthew 3:11 is a prime example.

So, what did John the Baptist mean by what he stated in this verse.  I believe Michael Hatcher’s sermon puts it all into perspective.

New Testament Church

The following is a chart of information concerning the New Testament church as described in the scriptures. It was constructed by Charles Burke, gospel preacher in Bisbee, Arizona. It is an excellent teaching tool for use in teaching the establishment and organization of the Lord’s church.

1) The Reign Of The New Testament Church

  • In Prophecy – Isaiah 2:2-3
  • In Preparation – Matthew 16:13-18
  • Its Establishment – Acts 2:1-47
  • Its Existence – Hebrews 12:22-29
  • Its Destination – 1 Corinthians 15:24-29

2) The Spiritual Nature Of The New Testament Church

  • A Spiritual House – 1 Tim. 3:15
  • A Spiritual Temple – Ephesians 2:19-22
  • A Spiritual Assembly – Hebrews 12:23
  • A Spiritual Body – 1 Corinthians 12:13
  • A Spiritual Kingdom – John 18:36

3) The Divine Relationship Which Exists Between Christ And The NT Church

  • The Builder – Matthew 16:18
  • The Purchaser – Ephesians 5:25
  • The Head – Ephesians 5:22-32
  • The Foundation – 1 Corinthians 3:11
  • The Saviour – Ephesians 5:23

4) The Divine Relationship Which Exists Between The NT Church And Christ

  • The Bride – Ephesians 5:23-32
  • The Body – Colossians 1:24
  • The Kingdom – John 18:36
  • The Flock – Acts 20:28
  • The Candlestick – Rev. 1:12-20

5) The Divine Names Of The NT Church

  • The Church of God – 1 Corinthians 1:2
  • The Church of Christ – Romans 16:16
  • The Church of The Firstborn – Hebrews 12:23
  • The Church – Ephesians 3:10
  • The Kingdom – Matthew 16:19

6) The Biblical Names Of The Members Of The NT Church

  • Christians – 1 Peter 4:16
  • The Children of God – Gal. 3:26
  • Brethren – Gal. 6:1
  • Saints – Romans 1:7
  • Disciples – Acts 11:26

7) Membership Into The NT Church

  • Hear – Romans 10:17
  • Faith – Hebrews 11:6
  • Repentance – Acts 17:30-31
  • Confession – Acts 8:37
  • Baptism – Acts 2:38

8) The True Worship Service Of The NT Church

  • Communion – Acts 20:7
  • Prayer – Acts 2:42
  • Singing – Ephesians 5:19
  • Giving – 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
  • Preaching – 2 Timothy 4:1-4

9) The True Organization Of The NT Church

  • Elders (aka pastors, elders, bishops, overseers) – 1 Tim. 3:1-7, Eph. 4:11; Phil. 1:1; Acts 20:28
  • Deacons – 1 Tim. 3:8-13
  • Preacher(s) – 2 Timothy 4:1-5
  • Teachers – Hebrews 5:12-14
  • Members – 1 Corinthians 12:23-27

10) The Purpose Of The NT Church

  • To Evangelize – Matthew 28:18-20
  • To Restore – Gal. 6:1
  • To Worship – Matthew 4:10
  • To Serve – Hebrews 12:28-29
  • To Minister – Gal. 6:10

11) The Divine Authority Of The NT Church

  • Christ Our Saviour – Luke 2:8-13
  • Christ Our Mediator – 1 Tim. 2:5
  • Christ Our Lawgiver – Matthew 28:18-20
  • Christ Our Ruler – Ephesians 1:22-23
  • Christ Our Judge – 2 Corinthians 5:10

12) The Divine Acceptance Of The NT Church

  • Glorious – Ephesians 5:25-27
  • Spotless – 2 Peter 2:1-3
  • Holy – Gal. 1:6-9
  • Faultless – 2 Peter 3:16-17
  • Flawless – Jude 1:1

Conclusion
Let us pray that as we consider the above scriptures relating to the church of our Lord, we will always remember that we (the church – Ephesians 5:23, 30) are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (marginal reading – or a purchased people); that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

For more information see Essential Pattern

 

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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