"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "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

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Monday, January 16, 2012

JESUS IS GOD – The WORD Incarnate a.k.a. the MESSIAH of Israel – Part THREE





By James Fire

In exploring the Deity of Jesus Christ as being co-equal to the Father, the subject of the Trinity inevitably and necessarily comes up. While the word ‘trinity’ never appears in the Scripture, the conceptual and spiritual truth of it are everywhere in Scripture and reinforces the doctrine of Christ’s Deity (and that of the Holy Spirit as well).


TRIUNITY of GOD – THREE PERSONS IN ONE GODHEAD

Along with the following treatment on the triune nature of the Godhead, here is an excellent series (five audio files) on
The Trinity by Koinonia House with Chuck Missler on his radio program 66/40 - In this presentation Dr. Missler shows how all three Persons of the Trinity were involved in the creation, in the resurrection of Christ, the indwelling of the believer, and how the many appellations of Scripture, describing God are attributed to all three Members of the Godhead.Should you wish to read, rather than listen to this presentation, you may do so in this summary article here (a concise treatment): The Trinity: One God or Three?.Deut 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might
.


“ . . .The Bible clearly teaches that there is one God. However, we have seen that the Messiah is called ‘God with us,’ ‘the Mighty God,’ ‘the LORD our Righteousness,’ and that he is served and worshipped by all people and even God’s angels during the [coming] kingdom age. We have also found evidence that the Messiah will be a physical manifestation of God or God in the flesh.”

How can we reconcile the truth of God being one, and yet also three? This is where the truth of the triune nature of God is revealed, and as early as Genesis chapter one (in the Hebrew). As has already been stated, the name of God used throughout Scripture is “El” and in the very first verse of Genesis we have the following:
Gen 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
.


There are two points of interest in this verse; firstly is the word for God: one would expect that the Hebrew word here would also be “El” as found elsewhere, and yet the word used is “Eloheim” instead. In Hebrew, by adding the suffix “im” it changes the word from the singular to the plural form. The word “El” is God; “Eloheim” would therefore mean “Gods”. However no where in Scripture is true Deity revealed as a pantheon, that is, a multiplicity of gods such as the ancient pagan cultures worshipped (the most commonly known is the Greek and Roman pantheon), so what is being revealed here at the very onset of Genesis?

Secondly, the word for “created” here used in Hebrew is “barah” which is in the singular form; in virtually all languages, and especially Hebrew, the verb must agree with the noun, and yet here the noun is in the plural form, the verb in the singular. Is God accustomed to inspire His writers to use bad grammar? Hardly; rather this is a clue to reveal the very nature of the Godhead!

Another insight into the triune nature of God:
Gen 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth
.

Mark Eastman remarks:

“According to this fascinating verse, man was created by God (Eloheim) in his own image. However, there is something provocative and unexpected in this verse. Prior to the creation of man we find a conversation between God (Eloheim) and an unidentified being (“let US make man in OUR image”). Who is this person with whom God is speaking?

“… First, the being is able to speak with God ‘on his own turf’ that is, in the realm of timeless eternity. We know this because man had not yet been created. Therefore, God was not talking to an earthly intelligence. He must have been speaking to a being that exists in the supernatural, eternal realm.

“Secondly, this being apparently has the same kind of creative ability as God. This describes a cooperative effort between Eloheim and the person with whom he is speaking. Finally, the likeness or image of this being is comparable to God’s.”

The assertion to disprove these allusions of a triune Deity is that God was speaking to the angels (who were presumably created prior to the physical universe (Job 34: 4-7)), but angels cannot create (barah) as does God, nor are they in the image of God, nor is man created in angelic likeness – therefore this argument is invalid.

So who is this mysterious person that is on par with God Himself?
No one other but God Himself, represented in another Person.
Revisiting the verse from Deuteronomy, Dr. Eastman rightly points something out that must be understood regarding the Oneness of God –
Deu 6:4

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD
:


The Hebrew word used for “one” here is not the numerical ‘one’ (that would be “yachiyd” or “one and only one;” in English this word is often translated as “only;” take for example the passage in Genesis 22:2 in reference to Abraham’s son Isaac, his “only (yachiyd) son;” See also Zech. 12;10), but rather a ‘united one’ (“echad”) or one might say a unit.

When a football game is engaged, there are two teams out in the field; yet there are a number of players, half of each belonging to one of those teams. One team or unit, many players: the players are distinct from one another, they have their own names, their own number, their own record, but still belong to a whole (unit).

The same can be seen in Genesis 2:24 where the man and wife are seen as one (echad) flesh, but comprising of two distinct bodies. The marriage is a unit of two, man and wife.

Likewise in Genesis 11:6, the LORD God observes that the people at Babel “are one (echad) people…” An entire population of distinct, self-contained individuals, and yet collectively seen as “one (echad)”.

The Holy Spirit could well have inspired Moses to use the Hebrew word yachiyd rather than echad if He meant to emphasize that God indeed is a singular, distinct Person with no equal, the only One of Israel; yet such was not the case – the word indeed is echad, expressing a unity, a compound one.

This is further demonstrated in Ecclesiastes, as well as Isaiah –
Ecc 12:1

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Isa 54:5

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called
.


In both cases the plural form of “Creator” and “Maker” is used (Young’s Literal Translation, 1898 ed.)! Note particularly in the passage from Isaiah that the prophet uses three different appellations for God – the LORD of hosts, thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel and The God of the whole earth, perhaps a further demonstration of the tri-unity of God.


GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON –

Dr. Eastman concludes the following in regards to all the above findings:

“How can all this be true and yet there be only one true God? The only possible answer is that God is a plural being manifested in at least two Persons, one of which must be the Messiah!

“In the entire history of the world there is only one person who has even made claims compatible with the criteria we have examined. His name was [and is] Jesus of Nazareth. During the life of Jesus of Nazareth, he claimed equality with God. In fact, he was tried and condemned by the Sanhedrin for this very claim. Yet, the claims of Jesus were totally compatible with the scriptural paradoxes we have just examined.”
Jhn 10:30-33

I and my Father are one.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God
.


Five controversial words in vs. 30 that are just as potent as the three (“JESUS is GOD”) that my brother in Christ has on his van and lap top, and yet even here in this verse from the Gospel of John we understand that the word used for “one” here in the Greek is also defined as “a compound unit of one”.

The Jews understood what Jesus was claiming, because they said as much as the very reason why they wanted to stone Him: “…because that you, being a man make yourself God.” They knew He was claiming Deity!

Yet Jehovah Witnesses and other cults are quick to point out that Jesus here was supposedly correcting them by saying that He was only the “SON of God” (vs. 36), but NOT God Himself.
Yet Scripture also points out concerning Jesus, the Son of God that He is …
Jhn 1:14, 18

. . . the Word . . . made flesh, and [and that He] dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him
.

Note that term: “the only begotten Son of the Father” in reference to the Word made flesh, that is Jesus Christ, of whom it was said that the “Word was God” (vs. 1).
I would like the reader to consider something with me:

When a man and woman come together and have a child, that child is a human being just as their parents are: an infant, not a mature being to be sure, but nevertheless a human.
When an ostrich has offspring, they are also ostriches; the same goes for fish, the birds and the bees. Each of the offspring will grow and possess the same qualities, given time, as their parents once they are fully developed and mature.

Jesus, being the Son of GOD, being the ONLY BEGOTTEN of the Father would not be anything different than the Father (God), any more than any human begotten infant would be different from their parents (that is, human). There is a distinct difference however that must be acknowledged in the use of this analogy:

Any creature in the world is subject to time, thus there is a time of their birth, time requirements for development and maturity, a time in which the offspring will excel the abilities of their aging parents, a time in which the offspring themselves will procreate offspring of their own, and eventually become aged themselves and a time in which they die.

Jesus Christ however, being the only begotten of the Father would share in the same qualities as the Father. As the Father is God, so is the Son; as the Father is timeless and self-existing in eternity, so is the Son (thus the Son in His Divinity is without beginning and, or end [rather, He is called the Alpha and the Omega], and so is outside of the limitations and influences of time) – He Himself has no beginning or ending as would one who is created, because He would share in the trait of eternal existence with the Father; He would not be immature or underdeveloped nor have a need to mature and grow as He is already Perfect and Immutable, just like His Father.

The fact that Scripture specifically states that He is one (echad – a unified whole) with the Father demonstrates that He is an equal member of and in no way inferior to, the other members of the Godhead.

Certainly He allowed Himself a submissive role to the Father for the purpose of being what Scripture portrays Him as “the Servant of the LORD (Isaiah 42: 1-7)” and that He might learn (experientially) obedience through suffering (Heb. 5: 7-9), but these are those things He endured in His humanity and by no means detracts from His Divinity.

The LORD Jesus also stated in this Gospel:
Jhn 8:24, 56-58

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am
.


Note in vs. 24 the word “he” is in brackets; in the original Greek this word does not appear, so what Jesus was saying is “if you believe not that I AM, you shall dies in your sins.”

Likewise in vs. 58, He again says “I Am” in a rather peculiar fashion. If Jesus is indeed a pre-existent Person, one might expect Him to say, “I was before Abraham” or even “before Abraham, I was” but instead He says “I AM” in a perfect present-tense, declaring that He existed for all time and beyond. These of course are the famous words issued from the burning bush that Moses encountered. The Law giver and prophet asked God:
Exd 3:13-14

. . . Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you
.

“I AM” . . . there is no doubt as to the claim of Jesus, that He in fact stated that He is God; and at that point of declaration the Jewish leaders performed their customary underscoring of His statement by attempting to stone Him (for blasphemy).

Thomas declared Jesus as his Lord and his God in John 20:28; Philip was told by the LORD Jesus Himself that because he has seen Him (Jesus) he has seen the Father in John 14:9; just prior to this Jesus declared that He Himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life – not that He was showing the way, or revealing the truth, or exhibiting a manner of life to be modeled, but that He Himself integrally is all of these (a claim no other religious leader has ever made; Jesus of Nazareth is exclusive in this claim, and has verified it by His teachings, His power, His fulfilling of Messianic prophecies* and His resurrection from the dead.

*For an excellent resource in the study of the myriad of multitudinous prophecies regarding the Messiah, please read
All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer, some incredibly power packed chapters steeped in Scriptural evidences, proving that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies and is indeed the Messiah of Israel!

(A book review of Herbert Lockyer’s work on this subject would be a worthy series of articles on TTUF in their own right! LORD permitting, we shall endeavor to do so.)

It’s also noteworthy that the LORD Jesus accepted worship from others which is strictly forbidden by the aforementioned verse in Deut. 8:19. He declared in His prayer to the Father (John 17: 5) that He existed in heaven, in eternity, prior to the creation of the world.

John 1: 1-3, 14 when compared with Genesis 1:1, 26 reveals the reasonable conclusion that “in the beginning” Jesus, the Word made flesh, was with the Father and that they were co-Creators.

Dr. Norman Geisler has written much about the Deity of Christ in The BAKER Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and we now turn to the segment pertinent to our article:

“Central to Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is, God manifest in human flesh. The evidence for this is as follows:

1. Truth about reality is knowable.
2. Opposites cannot both be true.
3. God exists.
4. Miracles are possible.
5. A miracle is an act of God to confirm the truth of God claimed by a messenger of God.
6. The New Testament documents are reliable.
7. In the New Testament Jesus claimed to be God.
8. Jesus proved to be God by an unprecedented convergence of miracles.
9. Therefore, Jesus [is] God in human flesh.”

Dr. Geisler’s work dealt previously with the first six points above, so he focuses at this point on 7 through 8, and so shall we . . . in the next article in this series! Until then, the LORD bless and keep you in His grace and peace!
Read more!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Eight: Part One

Chapter Eight: Not Living in the ‘Condo’s’ Anymore!~~ By James Fire

Note: Due to the fact that this chapter has almost 40 verses, this study will be presented in two parts.

As mentioned before in our last study, conducted several weeks ago, it was stated: “The book of Romans is sometimes compared to a temple with its many chambers and rooms of deep theological and doctrinal truths; in this analogy, Chapter Eight is seen the highest spires and towers of that temple as the heights of its glories are unmatched anywhere else in the epistle, or much of the New Testament for that matter!”

So let us begin our study!

Rom 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit
.

After such a long treatise on the sinfulness of humanity and the irrevocable slavery in such, this chapter comes as a strong, invigorating gust of refreshing air! When I first came to the realization that because of what the LORD Jesus accomplished on the cross, I am no longer condemned by a Holy God for my unholy sins and transgressions, it was a joy beyond compare, as well as a blessed, steadfast and sure hope! Such is possible for the people of this world, if only they would repent and turn their lives over to the LORD of Glory, Who is also the Savior and Shepherd of our souls!

The condemnation of the holy Law of God would have sealed the sentence upon us sinful souls, but such no longer applies to those of us who “are in Christ Jesus” . . . and how does one know whether or not one is actually in Christ? The latter half of this verse indicates this: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”. This is not to say that by walking in the Spirit, that this results in no condemnation, but rather it’s because we are not condemned, but saved by grace, born of God’s Spirit (regenerated, born again, etc.) that we are now enabled to walk in the Spirit.

The very word ‘walk’ in the Greek is defined as “walking as in the demonstration to the ability of doing so”. Of course “to walk” in a biblical sense refers to what we might call ‘the walk of life’. Our very lives demonstrate where we are coming from; those who walk after the Spirit are those born of the Spirit (of God); those who walk after the flesh are those born of the flesh (fallen humanity). See also John 3: 5-7; Is. 42: 5; Ez. 36: 27; Gal. 5: 16-26.

It’s important to note that this verse which states that those who walk AFTER the Spirit, do not walk (live) perfectly and never, ever sin again; even grown adults who have been walking all of their lives, can occasionally stumble and fall (something we did repeatedly as toddlers until we mastered the ability to walk).

Likewise we Christians can fall occasionally into sin, but then it’s vital to confess and repent from such sin, get ‘washed in the blood’ as the old hymns would say, and be restored to fellowship with our heavenly Father. This is what’s been called ‘keeping short accounts with God’, and this is vital for if we don’t maintain this sort of conduct, the enemy would bludgeon us with guilt and condemnation for sinning ‘yet AGAIN’ in any particular area, and he will do everything he can to keep us ‘living in the condo’s’ instead of coming Home to our Abba!

Consider the prodigal son and how he was greeted by his own father when once sin had done its work and left the young man bereft of both possessions and (seemingly) position – though the latter was not the case at all as he didn’t lose his ‘sonship’: only blessed time of fellowship with his father (Luke 15: 11-32).

Rom 8:2-4

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit
.

“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus…” We are seeing a lot of mention of “law” in these passages: the Law of Moses, the law of sin, the law of faith, etc. Dr. Scofield has much to say in this regard:

“Six ‘laws’ are to be distinguished in Romans: The law of Moses, which condemns Romans 3:19 ‘law’ as a principle Romans 3:21 the law of faith, which excludes self-righteousness Romans 3:27 the law of sin in the members, which is victorious over the law of the mind Romans 7:21, 23, 25 the law of the mind, which consents to the law of Moses but cannot do it because of the law of sin in the members Romans 7:16, 23 and the ‘law of the Spirit,’ having power to deliver the believer from the law of sin which is in his members, and his conscience from condemnation by the Mosaic law. Moreover the Spirit works in the yielded believer the very righteousness which Moses' law requires Romans 8:2, 4.”There is a lot of talk today, and apparently with increasingly substantial evidence regarding the loss of our freedoms here in America today; yet as alarming and disconcerting as this is, may we recognize and express our thanks to God for the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus and the law of the Spirit!
These are irrevocable, non-negotiable and totally accessible to the child of God. True, our bodies will know of sin, and its resulting ruination that eventually leads to death, but even here, the Scriptures state that for the saints, such is merely “sleep” (1 Cor. 15: 18-20); that is, sleep from which they will one Day be awakened!

It is of the greatest comfort and strength to know that no matter what transpires in these last days, no matter how dire and tragic things may become, the ultimate destiny for us saints is total and absolute freedom and victory in the eternal life freely granted to us by our precious LORD Jesus Christ that is also mentioned in vs. 21 (Is. 61:1-2a; John 8:32; 2 Cor. 3:17 and remember the warning to not abuse such freedom as found in Gal. 5:13)! We do well to meditate on this enormous victory we share in the LORD during these darkening days!

Commenting on vs. 3, I find it interesting that Thomas Edison was reportedly diligent in finding the right sort of filament that would work to bring illumination to his new invention: the light bulb. It seemed that when he ran electricity through various materials, they would burn out! That is, until he found the right sort of filament, that could endure the power, and by it, bring forth light. The flaw was not in the electricity, but in the many failed (over 300!) filaments!

It’s very much like that with us! The holy Law of God is good, and holy and righteous: there is absolutely nothing wrong with it in the least! However, to attempt to infuse such holy power through fallen man would not bring the Light of the LORD, nor illuminate our darkened minds with the truth and grace of our LORD! It would only serve in our destructive incineration!
Just as electricity was weak in the inappropriate filaments in Edison’s laboratory, so too was the Law of God weak in the inappropriateness of our flesh – so the LORD Jesus Christ came, and for sin and it’s curse was condemned in His flesh, bearing the destructive power of it all as well as the holy judgment of God.
In exchange, He gave us His righteousness, which according to the Law was a perfect righteousness, and because of this, we have ‘the right stuff’ that can be infused by the power of God without it destroying us, but rather enabling us to live in the Light of the LORD and become brilliant beacons of blessings to those still lost in the darkness!

Rom 8:4



That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.



With ‘the right stuff’ that is the Holy Spirit and all the virtues a.k.a. fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), we Christians can live (albeit not perfectly, but progressively better into spiritual maturity) that which was intended by the ‘spirit of the Law’ which God delivered to Moses.
Please understand, that it’s not my intention to encourage any one to live by the Law (there are over 600 of them in the Old Testament!) instead of by grace, but rather simply to understand that by the grace of God and the Spirit Who inhabits us and was afforded to us by Christ Jesus and His Sacrifice at Calvary, that we can live righteous lives that reflect the purity and holiness as represented in the Law of God! As the above verse indicates, those who walk “after the Spirit” may indeed fulfill the “righteousness of the Law”!

For more verses on the believer’s walk, see the following: Rom. 6:4; 2 Cor. 5:7; Eph. 4:1; 5:2, 15; 1 Jhn. 1:7; 2:6; 2 Jhn. 4; 3 Jhn. 3; also Gen. 17:1; 1 Kings 2:4; 2 Kings 20:3; Ps. 26: 3; 56:13 and 86:11.

Rom 8:5-8

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God
.



A squirrel is mindful about gathering nuts; moles are mindful about tunneling; birds about building nests, and bees about nectar. Each of God’s creatures has a distinct nature that drives them to pursue various activities and conduct.

The fallen creatures that represent humanity have been deformed from God’s intention and because of this depraved nature, we too are driven to pursue various activities and conduct: that is, the animal appetites of basic and legitimate needs such as air, food and water (but these become illegitimate when esteemed higher than our supreme need for God Himself and His will in our lives) but also of sinful desires, pleasures and activities expressly forbidden by God.

The late Anton LaVey, high priest of the First Church of Satan observed that “…that which is considered a ‘sin’ by the [Christian] church is only natural for man [and that] he should not deny himself his true nature.”

Much as I disagree with his premise and overall philosophy as a Satanist, there is a small measure of truth in what he said; it would be unnatural for a sinner to not sin, since a sinful nature is what he possesses! Those “of the flesh” will and do “mind the things of the flesh” that is, the things of this world and the kingdom of darkness, rather than the things of God and His kingdom. That is why a new nature must be instilled in us, so that once conceived, we begin to grow in our interests, desires and drives – the things of the Spirit of God.

The carnal mind, the thoughts and intentions of one who is a sinner, is adversarial to the thoughts and intentions of God; they are not merely slightly at variance to one another, but diametrically opposed, and if such a mind is left unchecked and left to its own devices, what is the end result? Ultimately, it’s that which is found in vs. 6 of this text: death. Yet this is not speaking solely of physical death, but spiritual death, and all that this entails.
Being spiritually dead, we suffer such destructive losses as the death of a marriage, the death of physical well being and health, the death of friendships, of integrity and trust placed in us by others, etc, etc. It’s the sort of ruinous depravity as spoken of early on in Genesis:

Gen 6:5

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually
.


You can’t change the nature of a pig; oh, you could put floppy doggy ears on it, teach it to bark, bury bones and chase cats with a lot of training, but you have only reformed its appearance; you’ve done nothing to transform the nature of that beast! It’s still a pig dressed up in doggie duds!

This is how it is with religion; religion can only take what is already present in man and rearrange and modify him into a seemingly more moral man! Yet nothing has been done, indeed can be done, to transform his nature; he’s all dressed up in his ‘Sunday’s finest’ but still with the raging wicked imagination of an evil heart! Just as our text states plainly:

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”So much for religion then, huh? Sometimes when a stranger sees me reading my Bible (usually on the city buses), they will ask me, “Are you religious?” Admittedly I’m a bit mischievous when I say that “I am entirely opposed to religion in all its forms. No, I’m just a Christian.” The response is typically an expression of confusion. Christianity is not about religion; Christianity is about Christ, and specifically on a personal level . . .

Col 1:27b

. . . this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Or as stated elsewhere:

2 Cor 4:6-7

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us
.



It is a process where we become saved by Jesus from sin, death and hell and then become like Him through the transforming power of His indwelling Spirit (Rom. 12:1-2, 5; 2 Tim. 2:20-22).

Rom 8:9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his
.


Again an observation from Dr. Scofield:

"Hitherto in Romans the Holy Spirit has been mentioned but once Romans 5:5 in this chapter He is mentioned nineteen times. Redemption is by blood and by power." See Scofield Exodus 14:30

This is why the subject matter of chapter Eight is designated as sanctification; it deals with the power (“law”) of the Spirit by which we may be delivered from the power (“law”) of sin [and carnality]. This power of sanctification is not effective unless the Spirit resides within the individual, and He cannot take up residence unless that person has repented, received salvation, and thus has been made hospitable for the Holy Spirit. Please note the number of times in this chapter where the indwelling Spirit is mentioned: in verses 9, 10 (“Christ”), and 11 (mentioned twice).

True biblical Christianity is not a religion; it is the expression, manifestation, power and reality of spiritual life that emanates from the very person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel and the Head and LORD of the church in the very person who is a genuine, born again Christian. Religion declares “you must do!” but the Bible (and subsequently, Christian doctrine) states what Christ said: “It is done!” – at the cross of Calvary.



I like to refer to religion as ‘artificial righteousness’ because it most certainly is man made, and of no worth whatever. The righteousness that Christ offers through His propitiation is the genuine article, but a cheap ‘knock off’ imitation produced in religion and the useless sweat and effort of the religious practitioner.

There is much disparagement among some teachers and leaders within the ranks of Christendom of the indwelling of the believer by Christ Jesus. Some take exception to the idea that one must “receive” Christ Jesus as LORD because they emphasize the truth that Jesus is LORD of all; yet being LORD, He is not Savior of all – and unless one receives Christ for salvation, that person does not and can not experience Jesus as what’s been commonly known as one’s “personal LORD and Savior” (See John 1:12; Col. 2:6; also John 14:20; 17:23; Rom. 8:10-11; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:17-19; Col. 1:27; 1 Jhn. 3:24).

True biblical Christianity is not a philosophy, yet among the liberal and Emergent (so-called) ‘Christians’, Christianity is nothing more than that: a moral philosophy which any adherent who gives intellectual assent to the person of Jesus may follow by their own fortitude and intention, perhaps in some abstract way with Divine inspiration. They relegate Jesus to being merely a “master” and “teacher” akin to Buddha, Gandhi or even Martin Luther King [Watch the following: Brian Mclaren Interview by Leif Hansen particularly from 6:40 to 8:02]; but not God made flesh, or the risen (resurrected) LORD of Glory.
Yet the Scripture is emphatic here in this passage: “if any [one has] not the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS” (emphasis mine)!

I remember a debate I was having with a former supervisor where I used to work, on the issue of the veracity and inerrancy as well as the infallibility of Scripture (which he took great exception to) and as I began to quote various Scripture, he wryly responded with, “Yeah, you ‘born-agains’ are real keen on quoting scripture!” As if the ‘born again’ designation was merely one of many varieties of Christians and that quoting Scripture was some how banal! I reputed the insinuation by telling him that “. . . unless one was born again he could neither see nor enter into the kingdom of God, thus there is no such thing as a true Christian that is not born again!”
I also referred to Romans 8: 9, the text before us.

True biblical Christianity is not New Age mysticism and esotericism that would have us believe that the ‘Christ Spirit’ or ‘Christ Consciousness’ resides in every one simply because all living are supposedly ‘in Christ’. Yet if such was the case, the death of Jesus on the cross would have been unnecessary because we would have no sin that required such a substitute; nor would there be a need for us to be born again, just as the LORD Jesus mandated, if His Spirit were already in residence in every person, but there are those that are "none of His".
There is no ‘higher’ esoterically significance and meaning or (secret) teaching of Jesus Christ which notion is quite popular among New Age adherents, particularly those of the Gnostic persuasion. One has only to open to the Gospels to read His Words and teachings, or the Bible in general to read what He inspired others to speak and teach as His holy prophets and apostles.

Rom 8:10-11

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you
.



While Christ Jesus indeed indwells the believer and as a result, we have spiritual life that endures eternally (for the Spirit of Life Himself is eternal in quality and character), our bodies no less than those unregenerate and who are not indwelt by the Spirit of Life, are corrupt and susceptible to weaknesses toward sin, sickness and suffering and death.

The body is dead in a two fold manner: dead in that because of sin, it must pay the wages in death (Roman 6: 23a); but also dead as we reckon it to be so, by the Cross of Christ and our identification with it and Him (6:3 – 11). Our bodies are indeed mortal and corrupted, but one day when the LORD returns, these corruptible, mortal bodies shall be transformed and received up (“caught up” or harpazo in the Greek, as in 1 Thess. 4: 17) into heaven where we shall possess forever, bodies that are immortal and incorruptible; see 1 Cor.15:50 – 55.

Rom 8:12-13

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live
.



Our debt is one that we can never repay, any more than we could repay the debt of our own sin and sinfulness; the debt inferred to here however is that which is owed to Christ Jesus and His salvation which He purchased with His own blood, and by such purchasing our own souls and lives (1 Cor. 6:19 – 20). Some would suggest that vs. 13 is a proof text that one could lose one’s salvation, that if one lives “after the flesh”, that one “shall die”.
We must remember to keep this verse within the context of the entire text of this section in the book of Romans; what chapter Eight here is dealing with is sanctification, not justification (which is salvation by grace in the forgiveness of sins and by such absolving us of its penalty. Sanctification deals with the eradication of the power of sin “through the Spirit” (mortification, vs. 13; Rom. 13:14; Col. 3:5; 1 Pet. 4:2) and the infilling of life (“ye shall live”) of the Spirit whereby we become more and more Christ-like in our nature (vivification)).

In this context therefore, a believer, indwelt by the Spirit via being born again in Christ Jesus, who yet lives after the flesh, will reap from the flesh, corruption or death – that is, the fruit of such fleshly enterprises will not bring forth good fruit, but death in the way of bad fruit in the believer’s life and will not receive commendation from the LORD Who is seeking fruit of the Spirit in the lives of His children (See Gal. 6: 1 – 8; 5: 16 – 25).

It is important to recognize that this living “after the flesh” should never be considered the norm or acceptable; in fact, one who is forever living after the flesh, involved in the things of the flesh, has no assurance of salvation whatsoever (though it may be possible that they are), and if they bear no fruit at all (even if its just the “fruit of repentance” as in Luke 3:18), it’s likely that they never were saved.
True faith will bring forth true works or fruit; so says James in 2:18 – 24 of his epistle. We are not to work for salvation, but from salvation – works do not acquire salvation, but demonstrate it!

Rom 8:14-15

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father
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The very fact that one is led of the Spirit, proves that one is a son of God (a term used to the exclusion of the only eternally begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ), of one directly created by God; such are all the angels (both holy and fallen) because angels do not (typically) procreate – each was directly created by God. Adam likewise was directly created by God and thus is called a “son of God”. John 1:12 states that as many as believed on Christ were given the authority to become direct creations of God (sons or children of God). If one considers the life of another, whether or not they are truly a son of God, let them watch their life and see if they are led of the Spirit, and if they are so led . . .

1 John 2:6
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked
.


Read the entire 2nd chapter of 1st John to view in its entire context, particularly from vs. 3.


Upon regeneration and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the (now) saint perceives and relates to God not merely as Creator, but as Father or “Abba” a term of endearment from the child to the Father: or how we would say ‘Daddy’ Who does not condemn His children, but through the Person of Christ Jesus, commends them.

As sons, our conduct and nature should be a mirror reflection of Jesus – obviously not a perfect reflection, but a reflection that resembles that of the LORD Jesus, one that grows with greater resemblance as the saint grows in their relationship with Him! Whereas Christ was the only eternally begotten of God, “true God from true God” as stated in various creeds, we are not so – we are adopted; while born of the Spirit, such was only possible by the Lamb of God and His sacrifice and subsequent offering of the Spirit and by this means we are brought into the family of God as the “brethren” of Jesus. (See Rom. 5: 8 – 11; John 20: 22; Gal. 4: 1 – 7 [this passage in Galatians relates to the proceeding passage in our text as well]; Matt. 28:10 and Heb. 2:11).

Rom 8:16-17

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs
(1); heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer (2) with him, that we may be also glorified together.


1) See also Gal. 3:29; Titus 3:7; Heb. 1:14 and 6: 17.
2) See also Acts 5:41; 9:16; Heb. 11:25; James 5:10; 1 Peter 2:20 and 5:10.

We have such a testimony regarding the authenticity of our spiritual nature as the children of God, as cannot be doubted: the very testimony of the Spirit of God Himself. Yet how is His testimony validated with observable factuality? How does the testimony of the Holy Spirit manifest in our lives?
Is it a warm, peaceful feeling? Is it through the exercise of spiritual gifts? Not according to this passage, it isn’t! As previously noted, it’s those who are led of the Spirit (and follow in the footsteps of our LORD Jesus, walking “even as He walked” and more than this – if we suffer with Him.
The same word for “suffer” used here is used in 1 Cor. 12: 26 where if one member of the body of Christ suffers, “the [whole] body suffers along with it”. The meaning of the word (sumpascho in the Greek) is to suffer conjointly or in identification of another, esp. in regards to persecution.

A trademark of “godliness” which is of course obtainable only by the Spirit of God, is that those who practice such will surely suffer persecution, that is, for such conduct, they will be pursued, hounded, bothered and tormented by the ungodly, who have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof”, that is, the religious people of this world (those of the spirit of anti-Christ), who oppose the Spirit of Christ, as well as those who are born, live and are led by Him (see 2 Tim. 3: 1 – 14, esp. vs. 11 – 14, as follows):

2 Tim 3:11-14 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them
;



Here at The TRUTH Under FIRE we have a page for the Christian Persecution Alert (C.P.A.) where you can read about and pray for saints all across the world who are suffering persecution even as you read this.
Yet it seems (at least for now) that here in America, we don’t suffer anything of this kind and with such intensity. However, even as this passage from 2nd Timothy states, “evil men and seducers shall [grow] worse and worse” and as such evil permeates and intensifies in our society, those few who will remain faithful to the LORD, who are led of the Spirit, who live godly in Christ Jesus will become the recipients of persecution.

Remember, the light from a candle is brightest and most observable at the darkest time of night! Tell tale signs are rising up all around us, and a time of persecution for the American church may well become a reality for us.

For information about some legislative actions taken by our own Federal government that could be a precursor for such activities, please read Anne Kisly’s most recent report:

New Laws, A Change of Course, What Does It All Mean?

Yet for all such potential ‘doom and gloom’ what should the saint do? Wring their hands and worry? Rally together with other believers and protest? Write to their representatives and demand justice and clarity?
Our sister Anne gives a very poignant and vital answer in her article and I ‘AMEN’ her words: regardless of what may or may not happen, we need to be about the business of our heavenly Abba – preaching the Gospel, making disciples, earnestly praying and worshipping, contending for the faith and being a Light and testimony before a lost and dying world!And for such faithful service and any suffering that may accompany it, we shall receive glorification (vs. 17 in our text; also 2 Tim. 2: 11-12)!

If any one knew about persecution, it was the apostle Paul; he presents on one particular occasion, a list of sufferings he endured for the LORD and the Gospel’s sake: 2 Cor. 11: 23 – 27; and yet for all that, he counts it all as nothing more than a “light affliction”!

2 Cor 4:16-17

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory
;


He could consider such heinous torment as being whipped no less than five times, receiving thirty nine strokes each time; beaten three times with rods (most likely cudgels of hard wood), once stoned and left for dead and relentless endangerment as “light” because he knew that the reward for enduring such persecution would far exceed anything he suffered with an “exceeding and eternal weight of glory”!

If you want to talk about glory, just consider vs. 17 again and the phrase “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ”! What incredible, unimaginable, incomprehensible glories await the saints in the universal church, from ages before to our present who are over-comers and victors in Christ?!
It’s been said that the estate of the Rothschild family is estimated at approximately 44 trillion dollars! Could you imagine being born into such a family and being a recipient of that kind of wealth?

Yet in the light of eternity, that family is nothing but paupers, utterly destitute and poverty stricken! For all their wealth and possessions, none of them will last forever, but certainly last longer than they will – the old sayings holds true: ‘you can’t take it with you’ and ‘you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul’! Our life here in this world is like a wisp of smoke that appears for a moment, and then is gone (James 4:14)!

For the saint, the true riches of Christ as bestowed upon by the Father are equally ours! And these are non-perishables: they shall endure for all eternity! What do these riches entail?
Scripture isn’t very clear and I believe for good reason: our heavenly Abba loves to surprise His children! Of one thing I am certain: in 1 John 3:2 it states that when we see Him, we shall be like Him – we shall share in all the virtues and character (not personalities, of which we shall retain our own, just as God created) of Christ Jesus to the highest and deepest degree.

There can be no greater riches that these, wouldn’t you agree?

Rom 8:18-19

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God
.



We are to endure afflictions while we pursue the ministry that God has granted to each of us (2 Tim. 4:5) – yes, we all have a God-ordained ministry and it is our privilege as well as responsibility to seek out God’s will in this matter and have Him reveal to us how He would have us serve Him in His church.
Patience, that is, endurance is something that we as Christians must cultivate in our lives, in the midst of a ‘micro-wave society’ where everything is available instantly. God is in no hurry to instill in our lives spiritual maturity; such precious commodities are not ‘uploaded’ into our spirits in so many bytes, but grown by the precious seed of the Word, the watering of the Word, and the slow but sure and steady progress of growth.
Such patience is vital as we await of the coming of the LORD during such time, we shall receive the glory of His kingdom and the inheritance spoken of earlier.

See also Rom. 5: 3-4; 15:5; 2 Cor. 6:4; Col. 1:11; 1 Thess. 1:3-4; Heb. 12:1-2; James 1:3-4; 5:10-11.

This “manifestation of the sons of God” will be realized once the LORD Jesus returns physically and meets us, His church “in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16-17) and then revealed when once we return to this world with our LORD as He establishes His kingdom, the “kingdom of heaven”.
It will be at this time that the LORD Jesus will begin His restorative work to the world: Israel will enjoy the kingdom blessings as delivered by the Messiah, Y’shua; the church will likewise be blessed in the rule and reign over all with Christ Jesus; the Earth itself, along with nature and the animal kingdom will be delivered from sin and restored to conditions similar to those before the fall of Adam.

What tremendous joy and exultation will be experienced at that time yet to come! We will cover this topic in greater detail and complete our study of chapter Eight of Romans in the next installment of this teaching! Until then, may the LORD bless and keep you in His grace and peace!
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

NEW LAWS, A CHANGE OF COURSE, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

~~ by A.M. Kisly

Things are rapidly changing in the United States. Who would have ever thought that we would see a Socialist/Marxist/ Globalist Government take over America? There has always been corruption in high places, yet what we are watching take place almost daily, a system that ignores the will of the people or the protections afforded them in our Constitution, well we can only imagine the implications this will have in the long run. What does it all mean? What does it mean for the believer? In the face of adversity, staying the course can become quite difficult as it seeks to prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. Yet God has equipped us with all that we need to fulfill what he has commanded us to do. Regardless of the news, let's STAY THE COURSE!

We’ve been listening to the warnings of many concerned citizens over the past few years of the coming take-over of America, martial law, the dismantling of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. With globalists now in power in every nation around the world, including our own, we have all agonized in the painful process of watching our nation slip away.

This nation was founded by Christian men and women who faced great challenges, hardships, and tyranny. They built this country through blood, sweat and prayer. Their lives were committed to the One true God of the Bible, to their families and the spreading of the Gospel.

How far we have fallen away from God and have built ourselves graven images in order to exalt man’s ways above God, our Creator. Here we are a few centuries after those first settlers offered thanksgiving and praise to the Lord for His guidance, protection, provision and freedom to worship in this new land, only to see it all being erased, blotted out, and counted for nothing. This past year we have watched as the ungodly leaders of this nation pass and enforce new laws protecting the abhorrent behavior of man. We watch as the President of this country insist and impose new tax laws that steal from one man and give to another. We watch as government handouts bankrupt our country. We watch as the world embraces every form of evil, and mock that which is good. We watch as evil as become good and good become evil.

Here we are still in the first days of the New Year worrying about another attack on the freedoms and rights afforded to every citizen of this country. President Obama must think of himself wiser than those who wrote the Bill of Rights for the protection of our citizens. President Obama along with the overwhelming support of our Congress just signed into law H.R. 1540 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

The National Defense Authorization Act is a United States federal law that has been enacted for each of the past 48 years to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.

However, as always, they snuck in a bill called H.R. 1540, which is not your typical defense spending bill. What has everyone up in arms is the fact that this bill gives authority to the president to order the military to detain U.S. citizens (indefinitely) who are under suspicion of being a terrorist or linked to a terrorist organization…without due process. This means that whether there is a justified “suspicion” or not, the military can now take you away to one of those secret prison camps; hold you without charge, trial and jury…indefinitely.

Of course, Obama did promise the following: "My Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens." Words of advice; don’t trust a politician….especially one that opposes God in every aspect of life.

Others are saying that Due process is a constitutional right that can't be limited by statute! The constitution takes priority over any statute, and if a statute disagrees with the constitution, the statute loses. If you remember that, you'll see why the NDAA can't, by definition, take away any due process rights you already have. For due process (or any constitutional right) to be taken away there needs to be a constitutional amendment.

Claiming that unconstitutional legislation is no concern, because the Constitution overrides it is really naïve. So we should all just sit back and applaud as each unconstitutional bill is passed, as apparently (according to some naïve thinkers) active laws and their effective interpretations never violate the Constitution.

I don’t know about you, I am not reassured at all. Obama may or may not remain president of this country in the following election and we certainly know that our government as of late likes to do unconstitutional things and put up barriers to challenging the action in court at all.

In an article written by Amanda Fox-Rouch,

“Legal scholar Jonathan Turley purports that despite what Obama says in his statement, the revisions made to the bill were merely rhetorical in nature, and that it ultimately provides the military with “extraordinary powers” to detain American citizens without providing them with a fair trial. Despite what Obama has said on the topic, Turley says that the powers imparted to the military and the Obama administration by way of this bill are cause for concern.

This is amplified by the fact that American citizens who are being investigated for being suspected of terrorism cannot inform others about the investigation without facing prosecution as per provisions of the PATRIOT Act. Coupled with the NDAA, a citizen wrongly suspected of terrorist activities could now theoretically be held in military detention for months without trial, and be released only to be restricted from taking legal action against his captors.

The implications of this legislation reflect the idea that certain liberties and freedoms must be sacrificed in the name of protecting the country from further terrorist attacks — a notion that is widely disputed by various groups concerned with civil liberties.”


Adding this newly passed legislation to the already controversial Patriot Act, and something else I just stumbled over, a new bill in pending called H.R. 3166: Enemy Expatriation Act, one begins to wonder what the real objectives are. I haven’t researched this out, but according to the government website, this would add “engaging in or supporting hostilities against the United States to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality.” The bill is written by Rep. Charles Dent and the status of the bill is in the first step of the legislative process.

Of course on the surface, all of this legislation sounds fine, if we all agree that the enemies in which we are discussing are outside forces seeking to destroy us; however that is not the case.

Here’s the real problem…..with Obama continually suggesting that old school thought (Constitution and Bill of Rights as it was written) no longer applies….it went out with the Colonial period. There is every reason to be concerned about his specific ideals and agenda.

Aside from the Constitutionality problems with this legislation, let’s consider another outrageous fact.

For instance, let’s consider the problem with the ever evolving definition of what a terrorist is. When we consider that the definition of the words “terrorist, terrorism, terrorist groups” seems to mean anyone in philosophical opposition to the Left’s or Globalist’s scope of “political correctness”. It. should cause every citizen to question with great vigor what is really going on in the grand scheme of things. We all remember the controversial report put out by the Department of Homeland Security. Let me refresh your memory…. Rightwing Conservatives have been listed to be on their suspicious “terrorist” report.

The federal Homeland Security Department document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Environment Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” contains the following definition:

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

Also targeted in the report are veterans, folks anticipating additional restrictions to their Second Amendment rights, and those concerned about the loss of U.S. sovereignty.

**This report implies that one harboring these sorts of views is a racist as well as a potential terrorism suspect.

PDF file here: HSA Rightwing Extremism

I ought to mention that Obama did offer a promise of the following: "My Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens."

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t offer any real comfort or reassurance at all. Obama may or may not remain president of this country in the following election. Regardless of whoever takes his place, this law is dangerous in the hands of those pushing the radicalization of America.

Many in government will argue that there is nothing for Americans to worry about -- unless you're a terrorist that is. But as our government slips further and further from the rule of law and the founding principles of our nation that once made us great, tyranny inevitably creeps in to take its place. And when tyranny reigns, the line between who is a terrorist and who isn't becomes easily blurred. A "terrorist" could simply mean a political enemy of the state.


Out of all the main contenders for the presidency, there is only one who has voiced opposition for the egregious bill. It should be predictable at this point that the one who stood on the side of the Constitution was Rep. Ron Paul. He said of the bill,

“Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed...The Patriot Act, as bad as its violation of the 4th Amendment, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed (NDAA) continues that slip toward tyranny and in fact accelerates it significantly. Those studying this bill say that the main section of concern, Section 1021 of the NDAA Conference Report, does to the 5th Amendment what the PATRIOT Act does to the 4th. The 5th Amendment is about much more than the right to remain silent in the face of government questioning. It contains very basic and very critical stipulations about due process of law. The government cannot imprison a person for no reason and with no evidence presented or access to legal counsel.”

He explains that the dangers of the new law are in its deliberate vagueness:

“The dangers in the NDAA are its alarmingly vague, undefined criteria for who can be indefinitely detained by the US government without trial. It is now no longer limited to members of al Qaeda or the Taliban, but anyone accused of “substantially supporting” such groups or “associated forces.” How closely associated? And what constitutes "substantial" support? What if it was discovered that someone who committed a terrorist act was once involved with a charity? Or supported a political candidate? Are all donors of that charity or supporters of that candidate now suspect, and subject to indefinite detainment? Is that charity now an associated force?”

Here’s the crux of the matter, the Bill of Rights is a check on government power against any person. This is the very strength of our legal system. The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the bill of rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war….problem is only the entire United States is a battlefield in the War on Terror!

To say that this is a very dangerous development is an understatement….at the risk of being regarded as a conspiracist loon; I say that this development reeks of the globalist agenda.

What does it mean for us? Well to be honest, I just don’t know. Things are changing rapidly in the United States. Who would have ever thought that we would see a Socialist/Marxist/ Globalist Government take over America? There has always been corruption in high places, yet what we are watching take place almost daily, a system that ignores the will of the people or the protections afforded them in our Constitution, well we can only imagine the implications this will have in the long run.

What does it mean for us as Christians? Absolutely nothing!

Let’s refocus on the biblical aspect of these difficult times we live in.

Since the onset of our website, we have always pointed us back to the Bible, a sure word of testimony of God to mankind. His word through biblical prophecy has determined the beginning and the end, and our focus is and will remain on what He said, not on what man will do.

It is easy to get knocked off course in our spiritual life. As believers in Jesus Christ, our walk and our future is not based on what the globalists are doing, nor is it based on the decisions of unrighteous leadership in Washington. Our lives and our future rest solely in the hands of God according to what He hath said. Our future and our hope rest upon Jesus the resurrected Christ who is coming back again as King of kings and Lord of Lords!

Jeremiah 29:11 states,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

As followers of Christ, we are not to be alarmed by the things happening in this world knowing that we can meet any challenge with solid assurance and an unwavering faith.

Paul shared that there would be distresses, struggles, afflictions and even perplexity in faithful Christian service. However, what came through very distinctly at the same time is that even in the midst of all these difficulties, the believers need not lose heart but they can be of good courage.

2 Corinthians 4:1
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;”

2 Corinthians 4:16
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
Sufferings, pain and difficulties can cause us to be bitter, discouraged and angry against God. They can lead us to wallow in self-pity and to sink into passivity, indifference, apathy and
unbelief. This is exactly what Satan desires for God’s people.

However, we must learn to get our minds off of the circumstances surrounding us and back on the Lord and in His Word. In doing so we have peace that passes all understanding and we can be of good courage because of the ‘hope’ and ‘glory’ we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We need not lose heart in the last days; instead we can take heart and be courageous and confident in God. Why? Because…

GOD IS OUR GOD!

O what joy and strength we find in that awesome revelation of God to man. O that we can know and fully appreciate that the only true God, the triune God is indeed our God, and we are His children. The great “I am”, the Almighty, Unchanging Everlasting Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is our God because we have been accepted in the beloved through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

I have seen so many Christians running around sounding the alarm without offering hope or encouragement. Are we to be worrying, dreading the future and compromising with the world in order to fix all the problems of the world? Having begun in the Spirit do we now turn to the flesh? From the beginning it was sin that brought us death and destruction and so it remains the same today.

As Christians we have been given a mandate. God has equipped us with all that we need to fulfill what he has commanded us to do. Are we missing the mark? Are we carrying out the mandate to make disciples of all nations? Are we indeed fulfilling the Great Commission? Are we staying the course?

May the Lord God help us to evaluate our hearts honestly as we see the day approaching and realize that we need to stand before Him and give an account of our lives and our ministry.
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