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8 minute video collage…
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evangelicalism's confession… 13 minutes
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POWERWASH  2008.04

I Corinthians 6:9-11  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean, and you were consecrated (set apart, sanctified), and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Galatians 5:19-23  Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 6:7-8  Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

II Timothy 3:1-8 But Understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural affection (callous and inhuman), relentless; slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies their profession]. Avoid such people [turn away from them]. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a full recognition and knowledge of the Truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. [Exodus 7:11]

Romans 11:16-23  Now if the first handful of dough offered as the firstfruits [Abraham and the patriarchs] is consecrated (holy), so is the whole mass [the nation of Israel]; and if the root [Abraham] is consecrated (holy), so are to be the branches. [Numbers 15:19-21] But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree, then do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you. You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in! That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you stumble along foolishly, as did they]. Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away). And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

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  FORGIVE:  2008.04
 nasa: bear up.
 calach: pardon.
 afiemi: let go. (release)
 charizomai: graciously pardon.

Matthew 6:12
"And aphiemi us our debts, as we also have aphiemi our debtors."

Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26
"For if you aphiemi others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also aphiemi you. But if you do not aphiemi others, then your Father will not aphiemi your transgressions."

Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24
"But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to aphiemi sins " -- then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home."

Matthew 18:21
Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I aphiemi him? Up to seven times?"

Matthew 18:35
"My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not aphiemi his brother from your heart."

Mark 2:7
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can aphiemi sins but God alone?"

Mark 11:25
"Whenever you stand praying, aphiemi, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also aphiemi you your transgressions.

Luke 5:21
The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies ? Who can aphiemi sins, but God alone?"

Luke 11:4
"And aphiemi us our sins, For we ourselves also aphiemi everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation."

Luke 17:3-4
"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, aphiemi him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' aphiemi him."

Luke 23:34
But Jesus was saying, "Father, aphiemi them; for they do not know what they are doing."

John 20:23
"If you aphiemi the sins of any, their sins have been aphiemi them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."

II Corinthians 2:7
So that on the contrary you should rather charizomai and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

II Corinthians 2:10
But one whom you charizomai anything, I charizomai also; for indeed what I have charizomai, if I have charizomai anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.

II Corinthians 12:13
For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? charizomai me this wrong!

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, charizomai each other, just as God in Christ also has charizomai you.

Colossians 3:13
Bearing with one another, and charizomai each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord charizomai you, so also should you.

James 5:15
And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be aphiemi him.

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to aphiemi us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Letter in Denominational Desperation

Several people in my church are reading the book Simple Church. We may implement the concept of it to our church. Reverend Tom Hall spoke to us about the concept and a few people have been doing seminars on it. My church is Methodist and we have several parishioners who are 60 to 90 years old including myself at 60. I am a long time Methodist who grew up in this church. I am now involved with activities of the church and would hate to see my church fold after some 130 years. We do have some young people who go but are not active members [of our church] yet. He [Rev. Hall] has begun the concept in his church there or is working on it at least. My church does so much for the community and around the world in fact one couple has been to Angola a few times and she was to Haiti in 2010 an they both will go in June 2012. They love doing mission work and are great people, they work Chrysalis and Emmaus programs. Since my 2008 walk I have been involved with both as well in fact my church sent 5 youth to Chrysalis this year. Anyway that was why I was interested in Simple Church since I haven't read the book yet. So I looked online to see if there was anything on it.

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Mental Health For Demons

I'm a walking testimony of healing and deliverance from "bipolar disorder" and "mental illness". Churches and Christians can say whatever they want, and they do -- usually speaking from ignorance, religion and common teaching. But from my own experiences, I know mental illness is also spiritual warfare/demonic and not just a chemical imbalance. Generational curses are also real according to scripture. My friend who has also been diagnosed bipolar and mentally ill went to the hospital again, and I'm afraid what the world is going to do to her now. She needs her demons cast out according to Matthew 10:8. How often does the church follow in that scripture? It's sad!

I didn't find healing and deliverance right away. It took me over 4 years to find the truth! 4 years of trouble and a lot of problems. We can cover our problems with drugs. We can counsel our demons. How does that help? Does preaching to demons every Sunday do anything? Sad thing is, mental health organizations often medicate people and make them not to be able to think straight, like zombies, then sleeping too much. She needs deliverance and for her demons to be cast out. She does the sleeping too much, and I'm afraid her medication could have messed with her. And in the hospital, it will just continue! Her Catholic dad said… "don't perform an exorcism on her", but she needs demons cast out! And, so does the Catholic Church as a whole! Ignorant dad! Why do medical organizations insist her nasty behavior is "her illness"? When will we admit the truth in what it really is? She needs healing and deliverance in Jesus' name! When will the church obey Matthew 10:8? So many need more then just "a good message"; they need what Jesus gave them: healing and deliverance, which we have the ability to bring in the power of the Holy Spirit! Actually, Jesus said we would do "greater things". I get so much flack in the churches for my faith, and so many churches feel so dead. I hate religion!

My friend does crazy things and insults and is somewhat violent. I know it's her demons, and I continually pray for her. Please join me! But, how is being medicated any better? Then she's very quiet, has no personality, doesn't smile and sleeps all day. I'm tired of her being tormented! If she has memories and soul ties, let her deal with them and we will invite the Holy Spirit to do His work… don't put them in the distance with medication! I'm afraid for how long she's going to be in the hospital this time. Mental health organizations and hospitals are dangerous!
My friend's name is Heather.

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Answer To A Political Activist's Hell

Firstly, no man is saved by the doctrines of his choice or reason, but rather in the grace of Jesus of Nazareth.

June writes: Beware of the 7th Day Adventists - while they claim to be so peaceful, they deny the doctrines of eternal hell which Jesus taught as truth.

The fire of Ghenna itself is "into the ages" [rough translation: eternal]. This fire was "made ready" for the Adversary [Satan] and his messengers. [Matthew 25:41] We will observe them being tormented in that place. [Revelation 14]

Nothing Jesus taught demands that everyone will live forever somewhere. Judgment's punishment (into darkness) may be limited for some, or it may be everlasting for all who go to that place… we do not yet know. However, the early church did not specifically ascribe to "eternal torment" for human souls; that idea appears to have been a later invention of the RCC, possibly viz-a-viz progressive association: as example, something like this: Obama acts like a daemon. Therefore Obama is a devil; therefore, Obama will be tormented day and night forever like Satan's messengers. Therefore, anyone who sins like Obama will be tormented forever. Therefore, we have a teaching of eternal torment for fallen souls.

June writes: They [SDA] believe in the damnable doctrine that the "goat" in the levitical offerings was Satan.

This particular teaching, and for whether the Hebrew name "Azazel" (often translated "scapegoat") also rightly has the meaning of "Satan", is of little or no consequence from our "view from the bridge". Rather, the immediate work of Christ is for us foremost in propitiation; reconciling us to the Father.

God in Christ may actually use "investigative judgment"… fact is, with all power & authority, He will handle justice as He will, and surely apart from us telling Him how He must do things. On the Final Day, it will not occur that any one of us should be able to say, But Lord, because You said this, You must do that!

June writes: They [SDA] were formerly called Millerites and have tried to pervert the American Sabbath which is clearly Sunday, as defined in our Constitution, and the "Sundays Excepted" clause. This is because we honor the resurrection of Christ.

Not that the USA has respected her constitution, truly comprehends her inception, or moves to serve the One God of heaven and earth.

Jesus instructed us for how to remember His death, and how to regard His resurrection. He did not ask that we make His rising into a weekly Sabbath day. Patristic writings from the first & second century account the schism where part of the church broke away from the early Apostles in their practice of continuing to regard the last day of the week as a Sabbath.

Anyone is free to observe any day (as Paul so reminds us. Romans 14:5). Yet, do not imagine that Almighty God has since moved His Sabbaths for any cause which He has not specifically so stated. Neither do men hold the power to transfer His Sabbath viz-a-viz national, legislative or judicial action.

June has charged: They are a carnal branch of food cultists.

There are a good number of American citizens, unassociated with SDA, who are likewise interested in healthy eating habits. Why cast judgment?

June writes: Their head school in Collegedale carries NPR, the Communist-UN arm of broadcasting.

It would be more correct to associate NPR with socialism; while Social Security, not NPR, is the true darling of socialism in America, Cuba and elsewhere.

June writes: And they generally teach the UN doctrine of passivists. They, along with the so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses" and Mormons are a stain on our liberties given through Christ.

The liberty that is in Christ is a world apart from such as is required by John Locke.
[John 8:36]
{related link: answer to Barton}

Long before the UN, I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If any one wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.
---Jesus of Nazareth
Do we know Him?

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Breaking The Curses

I was born and brought up in an orthodox Hindu family, where we worshiped idols and gave priority to goddesses. We were very zealous about caste; we used to ridicule people of lower castes and tribal people. We even thought that Christians were also of the low caste. This is why we never allowed any Christians or low-caste people into our home, nor let alone touched them. We had our own isolated puja (prayer) room in our house, which contained 27 pictures of various idols. Twenty years ago our entire family was attacked by witch craft, performed by our neighbor. Consequently, my mother and I were demon possessed. For example, while we were starting to have our food, the cooked rice turned into worms. Many nights we couldn't sleep because we heard somebody knocking at our door at nights, but when we opened the door no one was there. In the morning, we woke up to see all our things scattered about. We approached many magicians to try to get rid of these problems and demons. We spent a lot of money and went to many Hindu temples to offer money and materials. But we couldn't find any deliverance; rather, the problems increased even more than before. At last, one Sunday all eight of our family members decided to commit suicide. But, there was a lady who was serving in a Catholic Church behind our home who passed through to our house. She asked us, "Why do you look very sad?" As she was talking to my grandmother, the lady entered our home and looked into our puja room. Then she said, "In this puja room you are keeping many gods, pictures and idols. Did any god died for your sins, except Jesus Christ?" Though we had read some books about Hinduism, we never found any god like Jesus, who died on the cross and who was resurrected from the dead.

Finally we confessed that Jesus is [Son of] the only God, who died for our sins. Miraculously, our family escaped from committing suicide. We obtained peace of mind, but, as we discovered later, not full deliverance from the demons. After some time, one of my motherís colleagues invited us for an all-night prayer meeting in Madras, which we attended for seven months. But on the seventh month, the demons attacked my mother and me more vigorously. Then a pastor told us about confession of sin and salvation through Christ. The same days my mother was delivered, but I was yet to receive any deliverance. My parents sincerely repented and were baptized. We went back home; burned all our idols, pictures, etc.

Three months after my parents' conversion, I was again terribly attached by the demons and laid in bed unconscious for seven days. Even my parents lost hope that I would gain consciousness again. But a man of God prayed without taking a drop of water for seven days, and I got life back. Throughout this event, all the rest of our family came to the Lord; and since that time, our entire family have been devoted only to Christ.
All this occurred in 1979.

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Faith Works: a conversation

Jim: I can sense from the little I know about you that you sincerely believe in Jesus. Exactly what do you believe? What do you say that a person must do in order to be saved by Him?

Ken: Hmmmmm... there are Bible verses that speak of what a person must do.

Jim: Do you think that God requires anything from you besides simply believing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins?

Ken: Yes, we believe that He requires more than that.

Jim: That's what I thought. Let me share a little bit with you from the Word, then. Let's look at Ephesians 2:8-9. It says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." Have you ever read that?

Ken: Oh, yes, definitely...

Jim: Well, you can see right here that salvation is a free gift. It's only by grace through faith. And so there are no works required. If there were works required, someone could boast, right?

Ken: Well...

Jim: John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." It doesn't say anything about doing works, does it? All you have to do is just believe. This is grace. And Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."

Ken: Well, that's not the message we heard.

Jim: What message have you heard?

Ken: One thing that the apostle John tells me is that if I don't obey the Son, I won't see life. And, in John 3:36, just 20 verses after John 3:16, we read, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." And then, from Hebrews 5:9, it tells me that the Son "became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him."

Jim: Yes, but you can't just take a couple of scriptures out of context!

Ken: And in Acts 3:22-23, Peter quotes Moses concerning our Savior, "To Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you," and, "every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." It seems like God is pretty serious about His Son being obeyed.

Jim: But you can't take those things and start making them prerequisites to salvation. Salvation is not by works, but by faith alone. You can't earn your salvation.

Ken: We're not talking about earning salvation. This salvation is about obeying the gospel, like it says in II Thessalonians 1:8, "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."

Jim: But that just means obedience in the sense that when you hear the gospel, you receive it by faith and accept its terms and believe what it says.

Ken: Not at all! What it means is that the good news doesn't consist of doctrines to be accepted in your mind, but rather commands to be obeyed in real life. God has a right to expect obedience, doesn't He? He's not unrighteous. He doesn't give commands that can't be obeyed by those who walk according to the Spirit, as we are reminded from Romans 8:1-10.

Jim: How can you say that? Nobody has ever been able to obey the Law!

Ken: Our Master did.

Jim: Yeah, but He was God.

Ken: He was a man: a Human being.

Jim: Then you're saying that He wasn't God? You're saying that he was just a perfect man who kept the Law?

Ken: We are saying that He is the divine Son of God. The Spirit we know says, "He came in the flesh," just as it says in I John 4:1-3. He suffered as a man; He loved as a man. But another spirit contrary is saying, "He did everything because He was God." And that Spirit does not confess His humanity, undermining obedience to Him by putting His example beyond the reach of us to follow. According to I John 4:1-3, that spirit is of the antichrist.

Jim: Well, all I'm trying to get at is this thing about having to keep the Law in order to be saved. Putting people under that kind of bondage is just what Paul was talking about in Galatians 1:6, when he said, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel." Paul goes on to explain that the "different gospel" he is speaking of is one that tries to find salvation through works of the Law, particularly circumcision. He says it most clearly in Galatians 5:4 and 6: "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace," and, "in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith worked through love."

Ken: That's absolutely right. Jim, we aren't saying that a person has to keep the Law in order to be justified. We are saying that God requires obedience. As Paul said in I Corinthians 7:19, "Circumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commandments is what counts."

Jim: But salvation is a free gift -- saved by grace through faith -- it is not the result of anything we do. That's what it says in Ephesians 2:8-9. How can salvation still be a free gift, if God requires more than just believing?

Ken: Eternal life is a free gift. So, who is it given to? A lot of people have come to think that eternal life is like those coupons you find in a little rack at the grocery store. There's a sign saying, "Free -- Take One!" Anybody who comes along and wants a coupon can have one, even if they never intend to acquire the product that the coupon is for, they can still have the coupon. Like this example, some people think that all they have to do is pick up their Eternal Life coupon and they've got their ticket to heaven: they've got Eternal Life, and the devil can't take them to hell no matter how much they disobey God and obey the devil. Just believe that Jesus died for sinners. "That's me," they say, "I don't want to die for my sin. I'll be glad to let Jesus pay for my sins. What a relief!" Anyone who thinks eternal life can be earned doesn't know how much it's worth. It's not even within our buying power. It can only come to us as a free gift, bestowed by the gracious God on those who are powerless to get it themselves. But He doesn't give eternal life to those who "believe" that Jesus died for their sins and yet continue living in disobedience. That's why Hebrews 5:9 says, "He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation..." and why Acts 5:32 speaks of "the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."

Jim: Well, I don't know about that. I think you're just interpreting one or two isolated verses to fit a doctrine of works. Start emphasizing anything other than grace and faith, and you'll find yourself in bondage to the Law to obey every jot and tittle.

Ken: So, have you come to know the Son of God apart from obedience to Him?

Jim: Yes, I have. I've come to know Him through faith.

Ken: How do you know that you've come to know Him? Is that just your own subjective feeling? Suppose someone told you that you may have assurance of knowing Him is if you obey His commands?

Jim: I'd say the same thing I'm saying to you now: "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law," and also "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:17.

Ken: What do you believe about this passage? I John 2:3-4. "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, 'I know Him,' but does not do what He commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." Do you think that John is talking about works here?

Jim: Let me see that...

Ken: You see, we don't believe that anyone is justified or comes to know Him through works of the Law, any more than you do. The apostle John certainly didn't put people under the Law.

Jim: But, I don't... I mean, I've read that before, but I never...

Ken: The "other gospel" that Paul opposed was one that tried to make people conform outwardly before they were changed inwardly, saying that circumcision was necessary in order to be saved. That doesn't mean that God didn't command us to do certain deeds, however. His commands are not optional. There's a penalty for disobedience.

Jim: I think I can see where I misunderstood you. I thought you were saying that you had to obey before you were justified. But you're saying that He expects obedience after you believe.

Ken: Not exactly. Believing isn't just an act of the mind, the will or emotions. You must trust absolutely in the Son of God and His message. In making that choice to trust, you are choosing to obey. And the first things you must obey is what our Master said you must do in order to be His disciple. In that obedience, you find life. Of course, you must receive His sacrifice. But you can't have it unless you receive His headship over your life. His headship means your own course must end by complete repentance -- turning away from what you are and where you were going. We should not forget that the kind of "belief" that isn't expressed in obedience carries with it no real assurance of salvation. James 2:14 says, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him?" And again in verse 24, he says, "You see that a person is justified by what he does, and not by faith alone."

Jim: What, then, does a person do to be saved?

Ken: It really isn't complicated. Romans 10:13-14 says, "Everyone who calls upon, invokes, the name of the Lord -- brings as his surname the Lord's own name -- will be saved."

Jim: That's it?

Ken: Keep reading; the next verse, verse 14, through verse 15: "And how can they believe in the One whom they have not heard? And you can they hear without someone declaring to them? And how can they be declaring [the evangel of good news] unless they are sent?"

Jim: Hmmmmm... So, how do we know whether someone is sent or not?

Ken: If someone is sent, he will be carrying out the commission of Mark 16:15: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." It's also written in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..."

Jim: That's a bit more than I first heard.

Ken: Today you see many people preaching a message that calls their hearers to believe, to ask Jesus into their heart, to say a sinner's prayer, etc. But few say, like the man preached to Paul in Acts 22:16, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name..."

Jim: Can't a person be saved without going through the ritual of baptism?

Ken: If baptism is a ritual, the only thing it could do would be to sever you from Christ -- like the ritual of circumcision. But if you obey the gospel in appealing to God for a clean conscience, baptism washes away your sins in the blood of the Lamb. Look at Acts 2:38, and see the place of baptism for those receiving the good news: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." If baptism would seem minor to you, certainly becoming a disciple isn't minor. And who today proclaims a message that calls people to do what the Son of God said they must do in order to be disciples?

Jim: What do you mean?

Ken: In Luke 14:33, He says, "No one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." And there are many things that our Master has commanded of us, because He loves us and desires that we be with Him where He is. In fact, Matthew 10:37-38 makes clear that if anyone doesn't find God's only Son worthy of abandoning everything, then that person is not worthy to follow Him.

Jim: But we were saying that eternal life is a free gift!

Ken: Eternal life results from a gospel that people actually leave possessions and relationships for. Giving up all is our response because the message and the messenger are bringing us out of the kingdom of darkness where everyone lives for self (like the Prince of Darkness does), and into the Kingdom of God where you love no longer for yourself, "but to Him who dies and rose again on your behalf." [II Corinthians 5:15] This seems like foolishness to some people, but it is the practical reality from our Master's words, "deny yourself and take up your cross." It is also the historical reality of disciples who obeyed those words and were saved.

Jim: So, who is truly sent to preach the gospel these days? The way you're talking, things look pretty gloomy.

Ken: One thing is for certain: Those who are sent don't put their own name, or any other name, other than the name of our King, on what they are doing. The Master said in John 7:18, "He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself; but he who works for the honor of the One who sent him is a man of truth; their is nothing false about him."

Jim: How can we know the message of a preacher is true?

Ken: Our Master has a wonderful answer for that question. He said in John 7:17, if any man is willing to do God's will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself." The Spirit of God searches hearts for people whose heart will turn toward the Father through the Son. He wants to help and empower them to do His will. For anyone who truly sets course to do God's will alone, then it says from John 7:17, God will see to it that such a person recognizes the messenger He is sending.

wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing


from http://www.tithingdebate.com/
The Trial of Pastor Jones:

Judge: Mr. Jones you have been charged with multiple counts of extortion. Your alleged crime spree covers 20 years and thousands of victims. You are being accused of defrauded people of money by means of fear and manipulation, telling them they had to tithe 10 percent of their income to your church, and that God would bless them if they did. How do you plead?

Mr. Jones: I plead "Not Guilty", your Honor. I have done nothing wrong. I have only preached what the Bible says. In the Bible Abraham tithed to Melchizedek and God blessed him for his faithful giving. The Bible even says he was rich in silver and gold.

Judge: Is it not true, Mr. Jones, that in Genesis chapter 13, verse 2, the Bible records that Abraham was rich with livestock, silver and gold?

Mr. Jones: Yes, you are exactly right; that's what I just told you.

Judge: Ok, we read about Abraham being a rich man in chapter 13, but it is not until Genesis chapter 14 that we read about Abraham's tithe to Melchizedek. So Abraham was already a rich man before he tithed to Melchizedek, wasn't he?

Mr. Jones: Yes, I suppose you are right.

Judge: So his riches were not the result of his tithe to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: No.

Judge: Mr. Jones, you also say God blessed him for his faithful giving. How many times is it recorded that Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: Well, just once.

Judge: So the Bible never declares that he gave week after week?

Mr. Jones: No, it does not.

Judge: Where did Abraham get the things that he gave to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: Well, the Bible says it was from the plunders of war.

Judge: So you are telling me that he gave from the plunders of war?

Mr. Jones: Yes, that's what the Bible says.

Judge: So he basically took things that were not really his in the first place, and gave them as the tithe?

Mr. Jones: That is what the scripture seems to indicate.

Judge: Is it recorded that he ever took anything from his own possessions and tithed them to Melchizedek or anyone else?

Mr. Jones: I guess not.

Judge: You guess not? Is it, or is it not, written that he ever gave any of his own possessions as a tithe to anyone?

Mr. Jones: No, it is not written anywhere that I have seen.

Judge: Is it recorded as to what exactly Abraham did give Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: I believe it says "plunder"?

Judge: So plunder could be any number of things?

Mr. Jones: Yes, I suppose

Judge: It could have been food, cattle, sheep; the people's possessions, or any number of things. It does not tell us that was all money, correct?

Mr. Jones: Yes you are correct, it does not say just money.

Judge: As a matter of fact, money is never mentioned in that account at all. Is that correct, Mr. Jones?

Mr. Jones: Yes, your Honor; money is never mentioned, just goods and food and people.

Judge: So there is no way you can say with any certainty that Abraham in fact gave Melchizedek any money at all?

Mr. Jones: That is right.

Judge: I have one last question for you, Mr. Jones: did God command Abraham to give this plunder tithe to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: No, it appears that he did this voluntarily.

Judge: So, are you trying to tell me that because of this voluntary, one time gift by Abraham, that may not have even consisted of money, all Christians everywhere are obligated to bring 10 percent of their weekly paycheck to a local church organization?

Judge: Considering all the evidence I would say you are beyond any shadow of a doubt guilty of deliberately trying to make the scriptures says things they have not said for financial gain.

Mr. Jones: Ok, your Honor, I can see how foolish I was to try and use the story of Melchizedeck to try and get the people to tithe money. But there are many other verses that will support my belief on tithing. Jacob said he would give God 10 percent of everything. I think we should follow his example.

Judge: Let's see what Jacob said. Please read for the court the verse you are talking about, Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones: In Genesis chapter 28 starting at verse 20 it says, "Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you."

Judge: You said we should follow Jacobs's example; is that right, Mr. Jones?

Mr. Jones: Yes that is right. He vowed to give a tenth and we should too.

Judge: Let me point out one thing for you, Mr. Jones: Jacob said he would give God a tenth only if He blessed him first. So as you said previously, we should follow Jacob's example and tell God that we will only give him a tenth if he blesses us first. Is that right?

Mr. Jones: That is not what I meant.

Judge: What did you mean, then?

Mr. Jones: That we should give God a tenth also.

Judge: Mr. Jones, you are trying to make the scripture say what you want it to say for your benefit. I would also like you to read for me where Jacob kept his vow with God. I would also like to know where he brought the tenth, because there was no temple or Levites to present it to at that time.

Mr. Jones: I cannot think of any scriptures that say where or if he ever tithed after his vow.

Judge: It seems fairly obvious to me that Jacob made a voluntary and conditional vow to God. This in no way can be used as a reason to demand others to bring their income to you or any other place.

Mr. Jones: I do have a few more scriptures that I believe will show that we are supposed to tithe.

Judge: You have not said anything yet to convince me one little bit that people are obligated to tithe money to the local churches and that you were justified in what you were doing. You have taken scripture and misapplied it to your beliefs and for your gain. However, I will allow you to present more evidence.

Mr. Jones: In the book of Malachi, chapter 3, starting at verse 8, it says, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But ye say, In what have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and prove me now with this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." So you see, your Honor, we are commanded to bring the tithes into the storehouse or God will curse us.

Judge: Answer me this, Mr. Jones: were you aware that God never required anyone to tithe money?

Mr. Jones: No, I didn't know that.

Judge: The tithe spoken of here was always edible products, never money.

Mr. Jones: Well, your Honor, that is because they didn't have money at the time, so God had them tithe food instead.

Judge: Not true. Money is first mentioned in Genesis, and Malachi was written hundreds of years later. God had them bring food in so that the Levites, the fatherless and widows may eat and be satisfied. The tithe was used mainly to take care of people. Also notice from the verse you quoted, that there may be food in my house. How do you completely overlook the word food in those verses?

Mr. Jones: I don't know.

Judge: Once again you have tried to completely take a scripture out of context and apply it to others for your benefit. Can you give me a single scripture where God changed the tithe from food to money?

Mr. Jones: I do not know of any.

Judge: So then, if God never changed it from food to money, who did?

Mr. Jones: Man must have.

Judge: Is this all the evidence for proof that you have?

Mr. Jones: I do have a New Testament scripture that will show that Jesus told us to tithe.

Judge: Ok, the court will hear it.

Mr. Jones: Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone." See! Jesus said we should be tithing.

Judge: Let me ask you a question: Who was Jesus talking to?

Mr. Jones: The scripture says, the scribes and Pharisees.

Judge: Are you a scribe or Pharisee?

Mr. Jones: Of course not.

Judge: I want you to take a look at that verse again. Also tell me, what were they tithing from?

Mr. Jones: The scripture says it was mint, dill and cumin.

Judge: Is money mentioned?

Mr. Jones: No, it was not.

Judge: Once again, it was edible products that they were tithing, not money. Do you have anything else you would like to say?

Mr. Jones: If people only tithed edible products, like the scripture says, then how would the church survive? We have our mortgage payment, utility bills, my salary and a host of other things that we have to pay each week. We depend on the money from the people.

Judge: The need does not justify the means. In other words, just because you have all these debts does not give you the right to twist and manipulate scripture and cause people to give under fear of being cursed by God to meet your needs.

Mr. Jones: I never realized these things before. I have always been taught that we had to tithe money to the local church and that is what I have taught. I can see now that I was completely wrong. I did not study the scripture with heart open to the truth. I only took man's word for it. Yes, I am guilty. I will not teach this error anymore.

Judge: Mr. Jones, I can see that you done this in ignorance and are repentant, this court today, without prejudice, will not hold you accountable. It is your responsibility to know the truth. Do not receive man's word any longer. Seek the Lord in all your giving.
Court adjourned.

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wolf out shopping for sheep's clothing

Paul's Gospel of The Kingdom:

Dear brother Robert,

Good to hear back from you. Yet, I respond in caveat: I admonish you, brother, that we all maintain "one accord" of the Spirit; that we all be of one mind.

Robert, as you have written, "Paul is our Apostle, he's the one we are following, as far as teachings goes, and yes, others, too, learned the 'In Christ Message' Timothy helped Paul in spreading the final gospel, too.", you thereby confess to schism; and that same to which Saul/Paul fiercely object. [I Corinthians 1 & 3] May we no longer reason by use of a former fleshly mind, as was once the case among the Lord's children in Corinth.

We are of Christ. He is the one we are following. If we say or do anything as Paul may, it is all inasmuch as he has followed Christ. Again, to set apart from Christ is to join party with division. God has not required of us that "I am of Paul", or "I am not of Paul".
[I Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1]

 you have also written:
"Paul got his gospel 'Directly from Jesus Christ'. By the way this IS the only Gospel Jesus Christ gave AFTER the cross! And, that gospel Paul preached is: 'Christ in you the hope of glory' Col 1:26,27."

This one message of good tidings, "Christ in you the hope of glory", is the same word as brought from Matthew 5, 13, 19… the coming in power of a kingdom within. A kingdom that is to be received "as a little child." [Mark 10:15] May the Holy Spirit grant you understanding in this, Robert, as His is above the way of invented sects and dispensations.

 you have also written:
"So why would Paul say that? My Gospel? To separate it from the 'Kingdom message' that was offered to the Jewish nation only!"

Then also, within your same process of rationale, why did Paul not plainly write of a separate "Kingdom message" brought for the Jewish nation? Instead, and to the contrary, he announces:

"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
[Colossians 3:11]

"For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
I Corinthians 3:9-11

Paul makes use of the possessive "I" (or, "my", as from Romans 2:16; 16:25; II Timothy 2:8…), and he also makes plain that the foundation he laid is Jesus Christ. Further, Paul shows Jesus Christ not only as the foundation, but also as the chief cornerstone of that foundation. [Ephesians 2:20] Can Jesus Christ be both the foundation, and also the Cornerstone of that foundation? Yes. And further still, those who are in Christ are described as part of the building; yes, even part of the foundation (which is Jesus Christ). As our Lord prayed, "that they may be One, even as we are One." From Ephesians 2:

"For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has 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 you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens 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 cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
[Ephesians 2:14-22]

As made mention before today, what was promised by God for our salvation is in/through Christ. Romans chapter 9, read in/by the Spirit of God, dispels all thought of a separate plan of salvation for peoples of the nations (gentiles). The promises are in Christ. We ought be found in Him. Christ is of the seed of Abraham; as also now are we, if/as we are found in Christ.
[Galatians 3]

And not only this, Paul continues to understand the Kingdom of God as his message from God:

And after they {Paul & Barnabas} had preached the gospel to that city {Iconium} and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
[Acts 14:21-22]

And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
[Acts 19:8]

"And now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see my face no more."
[Acts 20:25]

They came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he {Paul} was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. And some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 'Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn again, and I should heal them."' Let it be known to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen." [And when he had spoke these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.] And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
[Acts 28:23-31]

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us/you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption [through His blood], the forgiveness of sins.
[Colossians 1:9-14]

Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, send you his greetings; and also Barnabas' cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him); and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow-workers for the kingdom of God who are from circumcision; and they have proved to be an encouragement to me.
[Colossians 4:10-11]

We ourselves glory in you in the ekklesias/churches of God, for your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions with which you are bearing -- a display of the just judging of God, to deem you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering also, if so be that it is just of God to repay affliction to those afflicting you, and to you who are being afflicted, ease, with us, at the unveiling of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful messengers, in flaming fire, dealing out vengeance to those who are not acquainted with God and those who are not obeying the evangel of our Lord Jesus Christ -- who shall incur the justice of extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His strength -- whenever He may be coming to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all who believe (seeing that our testimony to you was believed) in that day. For which we are always praying also concerning you, that our God should be counting you worthy of the calling, and should be fulfilling every delight of goodness and work of faith in power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, in accord with the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
[II Thessalonians 1:4-12]

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
[II Timothy 4:1-2]

What man has taught contrary to these things?

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