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The Conscience

We are told in the book of Genesis that man was created in the image of God. Man was created perfect, also in the area of conscience.. In his conscience he had direct contact with God. Adam sinned against a direct command of God and decided for himself what was right and wrong and we see the horrible result of his decision today.  Man, although created perfect is now imperfect.  This, of course, includes the conscience which we still     have, although imperfectly. That we still have a conscience is told us in Romans 2:14 and 15. In this passage the apostle Paul informs us that the Gentiles have a conscience which is nothing else than the law of God written on their hearts.   It was a perfect God Who wrote the law and a perfect God Who gave us a conscience.   For that reason we will find that the conscience and the law are in perfect agreement, although not always obeyed by  a fallen people.

 Adam was created in true fellowship with God.  Furthermore, He lived in a perfect environment and so would have no excuse for his rebellion.  Eve was tempted first, being deceived by Satan into believing that she could make her own decisions.  After all; did she not know better than God what she liked and what was therefore good for her?  I suppose it was a little like the car thinking it knew better than the manufacturer what grade oil was best to use. After all, the axle grease was not quite so oily as the thinner stuff.  Eve then went to Adam and he too fell into rebellion.   As Paul tells us in I Timothy 2:14 Adam, unlike Eve was not deceived.   Why then did he fall?  Apparently, madly in love with Eve he decided to stay with her and (represented by Adam) the human race fell.

            From the time of the fall of Adam until the flood of Noah mankind  lived by conscience only.  There is a basic difference between conscience and law.  There is no immediate,  stated consequence for violation of conscience, but this not true of the law.

Romans 3:15: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is there is no transgression.  Romans 5:13: For until the law sin was in the  world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Why then all the death from Adam to Noah?  The people in Noah’s day died because they were the natural children of Adam. Adam was told by God that when he ate of the forbidden fruit he would die and “and so death passed upon all men”  Romans 5:12.  But “sin is not imputed when there is no law”.  Because sin was not imputed therefore the ark door  remained open 120 years and all were welcome to come in.  For today see Matthew22:10.                                      We are again at a time when we are not under the law;  Let me explain that but first back to  Adam: God certainly could expect Adam to live by a perfect conscience in a perfect environment.  He gave just one very simple rule and Adam broke this one little rule and fell, with horrible consequences.

            Now if there was no law and sin is not counted against them, then the question naturally comes up: “Why the flood’?  The flood of Noah’s day came because man had violated his conscience.  Read Genesis 6, especially verse 5 where we are told that every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually.  Because that was insufficient, God gave to Noah a law.   It was simply that whoever shed the blood of a fellow man, the murderer’s blood would be shed by man and the reason given was that man was made in the image of God.  Galatians 3:19 explains it even further where we see that the law was added because of transgressions      

 

The Law; to the Gentile nations

Conscience was not a sufficient guide for man to live by.  The people before ttime of Noah were living by their conscience and they had a basic knowledge of right and wrong but did not live even by that which they knew. Genesis Six tells us that there were two problems especially that God was displeased with.  They were the evil thoughts and the  rampant violence with no control over either.  Through conscience one was expected to control himself but the people before the flood proved the impossibility of this. Man, wanting to be his own god could not control his own lusts and often could not protect himself from his neighbor.  If people could not control themselves, then something from outside of the individual was needed. This something was the law.  We read of this in Galatians 3:19”Wherefore then serveth the law?  It was added because of transgression”.  The first time a specific law was given was in Genesis 9:6, given to Noah as he emerged from the ark.   Here God tells Noah that if anyone sheds man’s blood by man his blood was to be shed.  God gives as his reason for this particular command that man was made in the image of God  Before, a violent or angry man could with impunity kill someone he did not like.  Now he could no longer do so. There was now a force bigger than himself which would control him.  This bigger force was the law in the hands of society.  Notice that this verse tells us that it was added.  It was added because conscience did not go far enough.  Conscience would tell me that I should not steal, but

 

Noah had three sons. They are Shem, Ham and Japheth. We find them and their families in Genesis .  As we trace both biblical and secular history we can say with some certainty that, generally speaking the sons of Shem went to Asia, the sons of Ham to Africa and the suns of Japheth toEurope. The last verse of Genesis Ten states that by these three were the nations divided in the earth.

 

The Conscience And Society

            The conscience of the individual is the major influence in society.  The culture or spiritual level of any official or political group is finally decided by the moral quality of

the individuals within. The moral quality of a nation does much to decide what the laws will be. The laws of any group of people are as a matter of course based on the  conscience of the individuals.  Almost all societies or peoples groups begin on a high moral plane and then as time goes on there is a pattern of deterioration which follows.  They begin on a high moral plane, both in thought and action.  They not only fear God but delight to do His will and carefully teach the same to their children.  The youth were taught to obey authority.

            A number of years ago Dobson, president of Focus on the Family had someone write a book in which he investigated eighty different communities, people’s groups, etc.

This author found that all started out on a high moral level and ended on a low point

where morals were laughed at  In all cases this was the last generation and they faded away.Englandwas once a truly Christian nation with high moral standards.  Today, if one still believes in or talks of high moral standards he is called a Puritan or is looked upon as Victorian; and the same inAmerica.  Already, just before the year 1900 Nietzsche, although a godless philosopher said;Englandhas lost her glory and is weightless.

 

The Father To The Children Shall Make known Thy Truth=Isaiah 39:19

He will command his children and his household after him  and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment=Genesis18:19

            We see then that all are born with a “built-in conscience’. This conscience  influences society for good and becomes, as it were, the property of society.  After the flood of Noah  God placed the individual under the control of something bigger than himself.  It was called the law and all of these people’s groups made their laws.  If it remains only with the individual to decide what is right and what is wrong, the result would be anarchy.  How  then does the individual’s conscience play it’s part?    The individual, guided by conscience is a good father, a good mother, a good child, a good worker, a good follower and a good leader.  In short, he is known as a good man.  He becomes a profitable member of society.  Almost all individuals and societies have this God-given conscience as their basic and underlying philosophy.n a truly 

There are a few exceptions to this.  One of these would be Islam. It is not that they do not know.  They, too, have a conscience and have the knowledge of right and wrong but have chosen to ignore it until it speaks to them no more.   For this reason they can kill not only enemy warriors but also a bus load of little children, believing that their god will reward them, never thinking to ask what kind of a god they must have. 

All societies, almost without exception have then taken upon themselves the responsibility of training the youth in the principles of the group, whoever they may be.  For  examples of this the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and others , spent much time on their youth so that they, as they matured,  would become knowledgeable about their own society and the laws that the society made so that the society and the principles they believed in would continue.  These societies, peoples groups, or however you like to think of them had one thing in common. They had a conscience given to them by a perfect God, but each had their own laws made by imperfect men. This was true of all the

Gentile nations or children of Shem, Ham and Japheth.   There was one nation of whom this was not true and that wasIsrael.  In their case not only had God given them  conscience but  God gave them a perfect law.  Therefore each nation had or has their own culture,  We in western Europe orAmericahave for our inheritance  the Judeo-Christian

culture or ethic

            We have not only a conscience from One Who us perfectly good,  We have also a law.  Like the gentile nations mentioned above, both past and present, we too were  concerned about our young people or the future for our particular society.  In the last few decades this has all changed.  In fact, a few years ago Chuck Colson made the statement that we are the first generation in history who are not giving moral guidance to the youth.  We have a perfect law, given by  God Himself.  What is the heart of this law?  It is the ten commandments.  Some of the laws are primarily legal but many have also a  moral  side. The ten commandments have both, and as law there were definite consequences attached to them.  For example, there was a commandment that forbade the taking of human life.  God had already told Noah the reason for this, that of man being made in the image of God.  In our culture, put down by God Himself, life is of great value, unlike that of many pagan cultures where life is much cheaper.  If the state fails to teach the young, the father must do so.

 

The fathers to the children shall make known Thy truth: Isaiah 38:19

He will command his children after him: Genesis 18:19

If the heart of the law given to Israel and passed down to us is indeed the ten commandments, then we as a nation have taken the  heart right out of  our culture.   After all we would pay little attention to either the ancient cultures such asEgyptorGreeceor the modern ones of Shinto or Hinduism.  They had or have their own.   The culture inherited byEuropeand the entire western world is the Judeo-Christian culture.  If we reject this, as we have,  then we are , as Colson said, the first generation that raises it’s  children without moral guidance.  It makes ne think of something I read:

                                                Dear God

                                                Why didn’t You stop the killing at Columbine

                                                Sincerely

                                                Concerned citizen

                                                Dear Concerned Citizen

                                                I’m not allowed in the schools

                                                Sincerely

                                                God

If the State does not fulfill it’s duty in giving moral instruction to the young then it becomes the duty of the parents,  particularly the father to fill the vacuum.  This is of eternal importance.  As the young person grows to maturity, he learns many things. One of the things he learns is to distinguish between right and wrong and to choose that which is right.  He must learn that there are times when we choose that which is contrary to his desires.  But if he has not learned to choose the right when contrary to his desires, how then will he accept the gospel?   Will not the pleasures of the flesh or  the drinking party on Friday night be much more real to him than the endless ages of eternity?    

 

WHEN HAS A SOCIETY COME TO AN END

Isaah 3:8 tells us thatJerusalemis ruined andJudahis fallen and the nekt versestell us the specific things we are to look for. They are:

Verse 9=Openly talking of their sin

Verse 12=Children oppress them

                Women become the rulers (God said it. I Didn’t)

                More than anything else, it was the women’s vote that put Obama in office             

Rulers destroy the country

 

MUST CONSCIENCE BE TAUGHT

Just because something is universally known it still needs to be taught to the young.  A boy may be taught that 2 plus 2 =22.   He will believe it but will not do well later in life .  The same is true of conscience.   If he is taught contrary to truth, especially in the area of conscience he will become either a criminal or a democratic congressman..           

 

 

 

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Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Posted in scripture

BE NOT MANY TEACHERS-bk

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Some years ago, in Uganda, one of our top workers was Rose, a woman who had married and then was divorced from a Moslem.  One of our other employees was Joshua.  Joshua and his wife, Esther were having marital problems and Esther was getting some advice from Rose.  I told Esther that she should get advice from someone who had a successful marriage and not from someone who had failed.  Well, Esther told Rose about the advice I had given and Rose was highly upset. Fortunately, my son Jim heard the whole story and warned me that Rose felt I had called her a harlot and was coming to see me so fortunately I had time to think it over.  She did come and told me that I was talking about something I knew nothing of and that I assumed that she was entirely at fault.  I responded by saying that I had no idea whose fault the divorce was or what type of person she was.  I explained that all I knew was that the marriage was a failure and that Esther should go to a couple who had a successful marriage.  As an illustration I pointed out that if I bought a farm and the farmer on one side had corn twelve feet tall and on the other side was a farmer with shriveled up corn one foot high I would go to the farmer with the good crop for advice.  It might be possible that I could be accused of not knowing every thing; that the man with the short corn was sick all summer or had been sold the wrong type of seed or fertilizer but with the knowledge I had I would get advice from the farmer with the good corn but Esther was getting advise from the wrong source  As I said, “Regardless of whose fault it was, you will have to admit your marriage was a  failure.

Jesus talked of the blind leaders of the blind in Matthew 15:14.  We don’t have to follow them, you know. The Bible is the final authority and so we have no excuse.  In Acts1:11 Paul commended the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures checking out Paul’s teachings.   Never the less the greatest condemnation fell on the leaders.  For this reason James tells us in James 3:1that we should not be too anxious to be masters or teachers as they will receive the greater condemnation.  We find a few like verses in Galatians 1:8 and 9:”But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we  said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed”. And we must go on to verse 10:”For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ”

  To begin with, I suppose the type of teacher will depend largely on the type of follower I have been. Elisha was a faithful follower of Elijah and became the prophet to the northern kingdom. Elisha called Elijah as Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind: “the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof”.  Elisha was called the same thing by the king ofIsrael. This is found in II Kings 2:12 and 13:14.

The leader in the church will some day stand before God and give account to Him of (like the Pharisees they love the praise of men more than the praise of God) how they have taught the people under their care.  According to Ken Ham, a very large majority of our young people drift away from the church, no longer believing the doctrines of Scripture after going to the schools, especially those of higher learning.  They have been taught by the church hierarchy that many of the stories of Genesis are not true; and you have them half way home  The theistic evolutionist believes that wherever he can check the Scriptures, they are untruthful and then he claims to have assurance of salvation; based on Scripture.

Of all the people in places of leadership, none will be held more accountable than the father  The father begins by just being a father of one or more children and then progresses to being a patriarch as his children marry and have children.  It is highly necessary that he himself has been obedient as a young person and that the Bible is his book of reference,  He believes it fully and applies it to life.  In Colossians2;3 we see that all wisdom is in Christ.  Proverbs 4;5 reads: “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of My mouth”.  This verse implies a deep; not just a casual study of the Scriptures.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

ARK OF NOAH-BK

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ARKOF NOAH

 

Two men are sitting in the local restaurant having some wine.  Outside they see the animals walking into the ark, two by two.  Noah has warned the people for one hundred twenty years that a world wide flood was coming.  At first he had an audience but as time went on and nothing happened the people began to lose interest.  But now the ark is finished and for the last weeks the people do see a strange thing .  Animals are coming into the ark.  This by itself is not so unlikely. After all, there are nests of various sizes in the boat and there is enough food and it’s to be expected that some animals and birds would come in for that reason.  The strange thing is that the animals and birds, from the dinosaur to the humming bird are coming in by twos. There are, of course, the wise men who can explain every thing away, who know all about the habits of animals and birds and claim that Noah must have a way with the animals that the rest of us are not aware of, at least not just yet.

             They watch the strange procession and notice that for the last few days especially the number of animals seem to be increasing.  One of the men says: “Pete, do you think a flood is really coming”?  He points out that Noah has been saying that  God will destroy all the people from the earth because of the increase of wickedness.  But Pete thinks that some of the prophets have been saying this for a long time now and nothing has happened yet.  There are always a few fear mongers who always look on the dark side of every thing.   Finally he asks his drinking friend what he thinks.  His friend is not only sure it’s coming but lets him know that he is getting on the boat.  He is told that he will lose his promotion and perhaps his job if nothing happens. His friends will turn against him and he may even lose his wife.  Not only will he be laughed at but he may be beaten on his way to the boat but in spite of all that might happen his mind is made up and he goes to the boat, hoping Noah will accept him.  Even though he has been a bad character in the past, no questions are asked and he is invited to come on board.

            The ark has saved him from the waters of the flood.  All he had to do was to enter the door.   He sees the door (no doubt up until now the ramp and weighing tons) closed by an unseen hand .  He can also hear the pounding of the people on the outside begging to come in.  They changed their mind, some seconds too late.  They can no longer get in, but neither can he get out.  God has locked him in and there he stays until the journeys end into a brand new world.

            The flood of Noah’s day happened over 4,000 years ago.  There is a definite application made in the New Testament in II Peter Three.  Again we see the principle or application is in the New Testament while the picture of a historical event is in the Old Testament.  Let’s take a few points that the Apostle Peter makes here in this chapter. In verses 4 and 5 he points out that, as in the days of Noah the majority would simply refuse to believe it.  In fact, one of the things that would happen is that near the end of this age people would no longer believe that the flood had ever happened.  This is true today, thanks in large part to the theory of evolution which denies the story of creation as recorded in Genesis.  In verses 6 and 7 the application is made that as the world of Noah’s day was destroyed by water so the earth which is now will be consumed with fire.  In verse nine we read that God does not desire the death of the wicked but as Noah preached for over a hundred years so now also God is calling people through His Word to repent and turn to Him.

Now we turn to the man in the story.  He is now on the ark, saved from the water that is drowning every living creature on earth.  Regardless of his past he has been welcomed in.  The same is true today.  Jesus, in the parable of the wedding feast tells us that all were invited in, both good and bad.  But now that he is in the ark more is expected of him.  He begins to tell one of the old stories that he enjoyed in the past or uses some of the old words that he often said before.  Ham is standing by and explains that the story will not go over very well here.  He also must change his language and soon learns that some words he used all the time are not used here.  He must also get up early for devotions and works hard all day feeding the animals.  He has to be kind to the animals as well.  Nobody kicks the dog here or even speaks harshly to the animals.  Is this all difficult for him?  Not really.  He’s glad to be safe and just the fact of facing the crowd has done a lot to changing his character.        

              Remember, the man is in the ark of safety  and overjoyed that he has made the right choice in time.  He is now perfectly safe to the end of the flood.  We who are in Christ are in the same boat today.  (Pardon the pun).  I Peter I:5: ”Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”

There is one more thing to point out and that is that in I Peter 3:20 we read that the man is saved by water.   When he entered the ark through the door he was saved from the water.  Once inside he was saved by the water.  Think about it.  How long could he have held out as a new believer in the old world with all his old friends?  Not very long.  The water of the flood saved him from that.  The decision to enter the door was his but from then on God took full responsibility to bring him to the journey’s end and the new world.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Salvation

WORD AND SPIRIT

leave a comment »

ARKOF NOAH

Two men are sitting in the local restaurant having some wine.  Outside they see the animals walking into the ark, two by two.  Noah has warned the people for one hundred twenty years that a world wide flood was coming.  At first he had an audience but as time went on and nothing happened the people began to lose interest.  But now the ark is finished and for the last weeks the people do see a strange thing .  Animals are coming into the ark.  This by itself is not so unlikely. After all, there are nests of various sizes in the boat and there is enough food and it’s to be expected that some animals and birds would come in for that reason.  The strange thing is that the animals and birds, from the dinosaur to the humming bird are coming in by twos. There are, of course, the wise men who can explain every thing away, who know all about the habits of animals and birds and claim that Noah must have a way with the animals that the rest of us are not aware of, at least not just yet.

             They watch the strange procession and notice that for the last few days especially the number of animals seem to be increasing.  One of the men says: “Pete, do you think a flood is really coming”?  He points out that Noah has been saying that  God will destroy all the people from the earth because of the increase of wickedness.  But Pete thinks that some of the prophets have been saying this for a long time now and nothing has happened yet.  There are always a few fear mongers who always look on the dark side of every thing.   Finally he asks his drinking friend what he thinks.  His friend is not only sure it’s coming but lets him know that he is getting on the boat.  He is told that he will lose his promotion and perhaps his job if nothing happens. His friends will turn against him and he may even lose his wife.  Not only will he be laughed at but he may be beaten on his way to the boat but in spite of all that might happen his mind is made up and he goes to the boat, hoping Noah will accept him.  Even though he has been a bad character in the past, no questions are asked and he is invited to come on board.

            The ark has saved him from the waters of the flood.  All he had to do was to enter the door.   He sees the door (no doubt up until now the ramp and weighing tons) closed by an unseen hand .  He can also hear the pounding of the people on the outside begging to come in.  They changed their mind, some seconds too late.  They can no longer get in, but neither can he get out.  God has locked him in and there he stays until the journeys end into a brand new world.

            The flood of Noah’s day happened over 4,000 years ago.  There is a definite application made in the New Testament in II Peter Three.  Again we see the principle or application is in the New Testament while the picture of a historical event is in the Old Testament.  Let’s take a few points that the Apostle Peter makes here in this chapter. In verses 4 and 5 he points out that, as in the days of Noah the majority would simply refuse to believe it.  In fact, one of the things that would happen is that near the end of this age people would no longer believe that the flood had ever happened.  This is true today, thanks in large part to the theory of evolution which denies the story of creation as recorded in Genesis.  In verses 6 and 7 the application is made that as the world of Noah’s day was destroyed by water so the earth which is now will be consumed with fire.  In verse nine we read that God does not desire the death of the wicked but as Noah preached for over a hundred years so now also God is calling people through His Word to repent and turn to Him.

Now we turn to the man in the story.  He is now on the ark, saved from the water that is drowning every living creature on earth.  Regardless of his past he has been welcomed in.  The same is true today.  Jesus, in the parable of the wedding feast tells us that all were invited in, both good and bad.  But now that he is in the ark more is expected of him.  He begins to tell one of the old stories that he enjoyed in the past or uses some of the old words that he often said before.  Ham is standing by and explains that the story will not go over very well here.  He also must change his language and soon learns that some words he used all the time are not used here.  He must also get up early for devotions and works hard all day feeding the animals.  He has to be kind to the animals as well.  Nobody kicks the dog here or even speaks harshly to the animals.  Is this all difficult for him?  Not really.  He’s glad to be safe and just the fact of facing the crowd has done a lot to changing his character.        

              Remember, the man is in the ark of safety  and overjoyed that he has made the right choice in time.  He is now perfectly safe to the end of the flood.  We who are in Christ are in the same boat today.  (Pardon the pun).  I Peter I:5: ”Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”

There is one more thing to point out and that is that in I Peter 3:20 we read that the man is saved by water.   When he entered the ark through the door he was saved from the water.  Once inside he was saved by the water.  Think about it.  How long could he have held out as a new believer in the old world with all his old friends?  Not very long.  The water of the flood saved him from that.  The decision to enter the door was his but from then on God took full responsibility to bring him to the journey’s end and the new world.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Salvation

CREATION OF THE WORLD-bk

leave a comment »

ARKOF NOAH

 

Two men are sitting in the local restaurant having some wine.  Outside they see the animals walking into the ark, two by two.  Noah has warned the people for one hundred twenty years that a world wide flood was coming.  At first he had an audience but as time went on and nothing happened the people began to lose interest.  But now the ark is finished and for the last weeks the people do see a strange thing .  Animals are coming into the ark.  This by itself is not so unlikely. After all, there are nests of various sizes in the boat and there is enough food and it’s to be expected that some animals and birds would come in for that reason.  The strange thing is that the animals and birds, from the dinosaur to the humming bird are coming in by twos. There are, of course, the wise men who can explain every thing away, who know all about the habits of animals and birds and claim that Noah must have a way with the animals that the rest of us are not aware of, at least not just yet.

             They watch the strange procession and notice that for the last few days especially the number of animals seem to be increasing.  One of the men says: “Pete, do you think a flood is really coming”?  He points out that Noah has been saying that  God will destroy all the people from the earth because of the increase of wickedness.  But Pete thinks that some of the prophets have been saying this for a long time now and nothing has happened yet.  There are always a few fear mongers who always look on the dark side of every thing.   Finally he asks his drinking friend what he thinks.  His friend is not only sure it’s coming but lets him know that he is getting on the boat.  He is told that he will lose his promotion and perhaps his job if nothing happens. His friends will turn against him and he may even lose his wife.  Not only will he be laughed at but he may be beaten on his way to the boat but in spite of all that might happen his mind is made up and he goes to the boat, hoping Noah will accept him.  Even though he has been a bad character in the past, no questions are asked and he is invited to come on board.

            The ark has saved him from the waters of the flood.  All he had to do was to enter the door.   He sees the door (no doubt up until now the ramp and weighing tons) closed by an unseen hand .  He can also hear the pounding of the people on the outside begging to come in.  They changed their mind, some seconds too late.  They can no longer get in, but neither can he get out.  God has locked him in and there he stays until the journeys end into a brand new world.

            The flood of Noah’s day happened over 4,000 years ago.  There is a definite application made in the New Testament in II Peter Three.  Again we see the principle or application is in the New Testament while the picture of a historical event is in the Old Testament.  Let’s take a few points that the Apostle Peter makes here in this chapter. In verses 4 and 5 he points out that, as in the days of Noah the majority would simply refuse to believe it.  In fact, one of the things that would happen is that near the end of this age people would no longer believe that the flood had ever happened.  This is true today, thanks in large part to the theory of evolution which denies the story of creation as recorded in Genesis.  In verses 6 and 7 the application is made that as the world of Noah’s day was destroyed by water so the earth which is now will be consumed with fire.  In verse nine we read that God does not desire the death of the wicked but as Noah preached for over a hundred years so now also God is calling people through His Word to repent and turn to Him.

Now we turn to the man in the story.  He is now on the ark, saved from the water that is drowning every living creature on earth.  Regardless of his past he has been welcomed in.  The same is true today.  Jesus, in the parable of the wedding feast tells us that all were invited in, both good and bad.  But now that he is in the ark more is expected of him.  He begins to tell one of the old stories that he enjoyed in the past or uses some of the old words that he often said before.  Ham is standing by and explains that the story will not go over very well here.  He also must change his language and soon learns that some words he used all the time are not used here.  He must also get up early for devotions and works hard all day feeding the animals.  He has to be kind to the animals as well.  Nobody kicks the dog here or even speaks harshly to the animals.  Is this all difficult for him?  Not really.  He’s glad to be safe and just the fact of facing the crowd has done a lot to changing his character.        

              Remember, the man is in the ark of safety  and overjoyed that he has made the right choice in time.  He is now perfectly safe to the end of the flood.  We who are in Christ are in the same boat today.  (Pardon the pun).  I Peter I:5: ”Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”

There is one more thing to point out and that is that in I Peter 3:20 we read that the man is saved by water.   When he entered the ark through the door he was saved from the water.  Once inside he was saved by the water.  Think about it.  How long could he have held out as a new believer in the old world with all his old friends?  Not very long.  The water of the flood saved him from that.  The decision to enter the door was his but from then on God took full responsibility to bring him to the journey’s end and the new world.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Salvation

ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT bk

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ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT

There is a  definite statement that touches directly on this: “And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be by works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work”.
The title above is from II Corinthians 3:6. Here I will quote the entire verse: “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life”. In this verse There seems to be a good deal of confusion on the subject of law versus grace. In Romans 11:6 there is a very we have the doctrine or the teaching. In II Corinthians 6:4 we have the application: “In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God—“. Another verse just as specific is Romans 11:6 is John 1:17: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”.
We see in these passages that the law was specifically for Israel and only for them. The argument is that we obey the law even today. We do not think it right to kill, steal, etc. I think we must understand that there are universal laws, which are always applicable. The law of the death penalty for murder was given to Noah, over 800 years before the ten commandments were given to Israel. There are road signs in many countries but I only obey those in my own country. Perhaps we under stand it better if we see there really is a third party besides Israel and the New Testament Church. There are the Gentiles who are neither; Romans 2:15 and 16. While Israel has been given the law; the church, free from the law is under grace, the Gentiles are guided by conscience. This does not mean that each Gentile lives by his own rules but by the laws of his particular society. The youth are raised to obey their particular laws. As they grow their conscience is developed. The guiding principle for each group of people is conscience. Now, if God gave the law and also gave a conscience, it would not be too surprising that there were many similarities. As an example, in the western world our code is based on the Judeo Christian ethic; surely the best of all. Therefore when the Bible is put out of the schools we are of all societies the worst. Our youth are raised without moral guidance and with an undeveloped conscience.
We have then the three steps: the first step is that of the gentiles who live by conscience. That, according to Galatians 3:19 was insufficient, We read: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions”. Conscience did not go far enough. It would tell a man that he must not steal from his neighbor but the law told him to have the same care for his neighbor’s goods as for his own, even if he did not like the man. See Exodus 2:4 and 5. The new covenant goes even further. In Galatians 5:23 we read “against such there is no law”.
We can look at this same picture in another way. While the Gentiles were given a conscience,  Israel was given the law, the church lives by faith. Or we could say the old covenant was the covenant of works, the new covenant is the covenant of grace or based on faith.
The question then is, as all three obey some of the same basic laws, what does it mean that we live by faith? Where does works enter in?
As far as our eternal destiny or our salvation is concerned there is only one action I must take. I must, by faith, receive God’s free offer of salvation. I can no more save myself than can a drowning man. He can only cry for help or grasp the hand that reaches out to him. He does not afterward boast of his part in his salvation. Left to himself he would have drowned. Simply put this is how I am saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. Remember, there is one thing the man in the water can do. He can drown. In theological terms, it is the same but the man is lost and that is far more tragic, Just one text for this is Ephesians 1:13: “In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth “ I think the ark would be one of the best illustrations of this There is only one thing the man can do to be saved from drowning and that is to walk through the door of the ark. It is the ark that saves him from a watery grave. He comes into the ark because he cannot save himself. The ark is his only hope. Once he is in the ark there is nothing more he needs to do or can do to save himself. A verse that fits this perfectly is I Peter 1:5: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.
We could mention two things here:
1-The only act of faith was to walk into the ark=Ephesians 1: 13a
2-Inside the ark he lived the life of faith. God Himself had laid out the blueprint. It would not sink. Also, God himself had shut the door. He could not get out. God Himself would bring him safely to journeys end. Again see I Peter 1:5 for the NT doctrine.
Ephesians 1:13b tells the believers of Ephesus that “after that” they had believed they were sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives to me the Mind of Christ=I Corinthians 2:16. Compare Romans 7:18 and 23 with Ephesians 2:3. For the unbeliever there is no conflict. The Bible is given to me so I know the will of God. My goal is to come to Galatians 5:22 and 23 in full experience.
One more passage: James 2:17 and 26: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.—so faith without works is dead also”.
There are two examples in this passage. There is the example of Rahab. She was told by the two spies that if she would hang a scarlet thread where they could see it, they would guarantee her safety. When the Israelites came into Jericho destroying everything and everyone in their path, there was nothing Rahab or her family could do to save themselves. Their only hope was in the word of the two men. Her faith was well placed and she was saved. But her part was to hang out the scarlet cord believing that the men would protect her.
Abraham’s example is a bit different. Where Rahab’s act of faith saved her, in Abraham’s case it came afterwards (the original example in Abraham’s case is found in Genesis 15:6 and Romans 4:1-3). In James the reference is to the sacrifice of Isaac, going back to the story in Genesis 23 which happened many years later. Abraham, in Genesis was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Where did faith come in? What did he believe? We see the answer in Hebrews 11:17-19. God had promised that the blessing of Abraham would be through Isaac. Therefore he believed that God could and would raise Isaac from the dead. How was Abraham’s faith made perfect=James 2:22? Simply by trusting and obeying God. This was something he perhaps could not have done 40 or so years before. This act proved that not only had he grown in faith (Romans 1:17=from faith to faith), But also it gave proof of his original faith as in James 2:22: “by works was faith made perfect”.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Posted in scripture

THE SON OF GOD bk

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THE SON OF GOD

The Son Of God IN Creation

We read in the very first verse in the Bible, in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The apostle John tells us that it was Jesus Christ who is the Creator. John, in the first few verses of the same gospel tells us that not only were all things made by Him but also that He Himself is God. Colossians 1:16 fully agrees with this: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible”. We read the same in Hebrews 1:2 “ By Whom (the Son) also He (the Father) hath made the worlds”                            

THE Son OF God in The Old Testament                                                                                                                                       One of the early times in the Old Testament that we read of the appearance of the Lord Jesus is of the time he came to Abraham. Abraham was sitting in the opening of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing by him. Although he did not realize at the moment the three were God and two angels. In true oriental hospitality, Abraham finds the best calf in the lot , has his wife bake bread and serve them, standing by as a servant while they eat. In parts ofEast Africathey still have this custom. He would be a thoughtless host who did not place a container of salt on the table and he would be an ungrateful guest who did not take the salt. It’s interesting that God had dinner with Abraham and that three times in the Bible Abraham is called the friend of God. More on the salt in another article. According to John 15:14 all can be His friend today and we see in Revelation 3:20 that everyone is welcome to eat with Him. Some two thousand years later Jesus said something to the affect that he had seen Abraham. The Jews respond by pointing out that he is not even fifty years old and “hast thou seen Abraham”? He in turn tells the+m “ before Abraham was I AM” No one inIsraelever called himself  “ I Am”. Only to God, the everlasting One without beginning or end could this title be applied.

Even before this time, Jesus Christ appeared to Moses at the burning bush. Moses, afraid of Pharaoh feared God more. As we see in Hebrews 11:24-27 his actions were based, not on his fear of the ruler ofEgyptbut on his fear of God. When Moses came near to the burning bush God spoke to him, telling him that as the place was holy ground he must take his shoes from off his feet. The voice continued: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God then tells a reluctant Moses that He is sending him toEgypt. Moses, thinking up several excuses tells God that the Israelites will want to know who sent him. God said to tell them that the name of the one who sent him is; I AM THAT I AM. God tells Moses: I Am from everlasting, am now and always will be. Some two thousand years later the Israelites ask Jesus the same question in John 8:25: Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. The Pharisees, well versed in the Old Testament, would know that he was referring to the time that God first revealed Himself to their great prophet Moses, especially as he was being sent to bring the children ofIsraelout ofEgyptand the nation ofIsraelwould have it’s beginning. Again Jesus leaves no doubt of Whom He is. In John 8:24 told the Pharisees that if they did not believe that He was the Son of God that they would die in their sins and be forever lost. In verse 25 they ask Him again who he was. He answers; even the same that I said unto you at the beginning. He had already said to them (through their prophet Moses, at the beginning): “ I AM THAT I AM”.

There is one time where we see an appearance of God in the temple. This is found in Isaiah 6. Isaiah has a vision of God in all His greatness and glory. Here Isaiah sees the God of Israel seated on a throne. Above the throne are a high order of angels called the seraphim. Each one had six wings, two of which covered his face, two his feet and with two he flew. The picture here is not only that of speed but also more that of great reverence as the angels are in the presence of God. It is for this reason that they are saying one to another: Holy , holy , holy is the LORD of host: the whole earth is full of His glory.  Isaiah, standing here in the presence of the sinless angels and seeing their attitude, (wanting to hide themselves from God) suddenly sees himself as a sinful man in the presence of an absolutely sinless Judge. He sees not only that he is a sinful man but sees clearly areas in his life that are definitely unholy. If the sinless angels wished to hide themselves from God, how much more did Isaiah. Here he is thinking of his bad language as he says: “I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”. Have you ever noticed that nominal Christians often  use a lot of what might be called barn yard language? At this time one of the seraphim, taking with the tongs a live coal from the altar, lays it on Isaiah’s mouth saying, “ Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged”.  In verse 9 Isaiah hears the LORD Himself speaking (when a seraphim spoke the post of the door moved. How much more when the Almighty  utters His voice): The LORD is asking whom He can send to the children ofIsraeland Isaiah volunteers. This vision is found in Isaiah 6, a short chapter of only thirteen verses.

This incident is spoken of in John 12:36-41. In verse 36 we are told plainly that it is Jesus Who is spoken of. Verse 37 tells us that although Jesus had done so many miracles before them they still did not believe in Him. The next few verse refer back to Isaiah 6 where Isaiah is told by the One seated upon the throne that he would be going to a people who would not understand him. This was even true of  the Lord Jesus when He not only taught them but proved His words by His miracles. Finally, in verse 41 John assures us that it was Jesus and His glory that Isaiah saw.

One day the Pharisees were very displeased when they heard the children in the temple shouting: “Hosanna to the Son of David”. They knew that the Son of David would be the promised Messiah. What is Jesus response? “ More then that”. He tells them that He is not only the Son of David but he is very God. He then quotes from Psalm 8 which the Pharisees themselves would recognize as praise to God. Jesus points out that as the children were praising God then, so they are doing now, again claiming to be God. Psalm 8 gives the four steps, referring to mankind in general. We are told in verse 5 that man was created a little lower then the angels. Hebrews 2 quotes this same passage but here applies it to Jesus (see verse 9).

 

FROM THE CROSS TO THE CROWN  (Con’t from the Son of God)

The Son Of God Upon The Earth

Psalm 8:4 and 5a, talking of mankind reads: ”What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that Thou visitest him?  For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor”.  The writer of Hebrews picks up this thought and applies it to the Lord Jesus.  In Hebrews 2:9, after quoting the verse in Psalm 8 adds: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels”.

We must keep in mind that He is Himself the Son of God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, creator of all things visible and invisible; the One Moses saw at the burning bush, the One Isaiah saw in his vision in the temple; ”high and lifted up”; the One Who gave the law on Mt Sinai and came down in fire as we read especially in Psalm 68:8:”The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel”.  Jesus also tells the two in Luke 24:27 that the Old Testament spoke of Him.

It must be emphasized that it was the Lord Jesus Who was the God of the Old Testament and that as God he became man.  This is very important. Jesus told them: If ye believe not that I Am He, ye shall die in your sins”. They question Him again and He says again: “I AM THAT I AM” referring back to the time at the burning bush.   In Acts 8:36-38 we see that the Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized after he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.

When the Son of God became man the first part of the prophecy in Psalm 8 was fulfilled and Jesus became a man and entered the time of His humiliation.  During His time on earth Jesus:

Was born in a stable and lived a life of poverty

Was subject to His parents

Was under the law and paid the penalty for our sins

Jesus did more for us than die on the cross for our sins.   He did so, of course. We see in I Peter2;24: ”Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we , being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness”.  All my sins are paid for.   It is as if I had never sinned.  This is, no doubt, of eternal value.  But He also lived a perfect life which is credited to my account and I stand perfect and sinless before God.  There is one more thing.  If you are honest you will have to admit that not only was your conduct imperfect but the same could be said of your repentance.   Is anyone fully satisfied that his repentance was truly genuine?   Read carefully Matthew3:11-15.  Even this Jesus did for me.   He who knew no sin took on our sin, went through the waters of repentance on our behalf and perfectly repented for the sins of all mankind.

This is certainly impossible to grasp.  It is now believed that there are some six trillion stars.  (I should perhaps say six thousands of billions because there might just be readers with small minds who cannot imagine six trillions).  Isaiah tells us that God measures the heavens with a span which anyone with a doctors degree in mathematics and one in physics knows is about nine inches.  Isaiah also tells us that God names each star.  All these things are impossible to imagine, plus the fact that God never had a beginning and never will have an end. Then we think of the universe. No matter how big it is there is endless dark beyond.  Is God there, too?  Some people say they don’t understand

God.  Do they really expect to?   Great is the mystery of godliness:I Timothy 3:16

It seems that the mystery increases as we read Colossians  1:9: For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily.  How is it possible that One so great could become a man?

We are left with no doubt that he is the Son of God.  But we see in the gospels that He is also truly man.  He faced all the horrors of the cross alone as a man.  So much so that He cried out: “Why hast Thou forsaken Me”.

There are many places in the gospels where we see His divinity spoken of.  One of these is in John 5:18-47.  Jesus had just told the Jews that He was the Son of God and they immediately saw that He was making Himself equal with God, which He did not deny.  We also read in verse 16 and 18 that they wanted to kill Him.  In verses 19-30 Jesus not only affirms that he is the Son of God  but gives several proofs.  In verses 19 and 20 He tells the Jews that He has seen God, the Father and again claims that He is the Son of God.  In verse 21, Jesus claims for Himself the power to raise the dead and in verses 22 and 27 He claims that all judgment would be His.   The Jews would know that Abraham, in Genesis 17:25 called God the judge of all the earth.  In verse 23 Jesus claims that all honor to the Father must also be to Him  and in 25-29 that Jesus had in Himself the power to raise the dead, both spiritual and physical.   Paul also affirms this in Acts 17:3”Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man  hath ordained”.

In the following verses Jesus points out five witnesses that testify to the truth of that which He is claiming.  They are:

1=John the Baptist.  He was the forerunner and pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God Who would take away the sin of the world. Isaiah said the same in  Isaiah 52:15. 

2=His miracles;  We see in John 3:2 that the Pharisees saw the importance of this. `            Jesus wanted these Jews to make right choices.  Their time on earth was nothing compared to eternity.  Satan or his ministers would never say the things to them th

 

3=The Father.  The Jews had heard the voice of God in Matthew 3:17 when Jesus was baptized; ¨This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased”.

4=The Scriptures.   They had only the Old Testament but for the true believer this was sufficient.

5=Moses.  Their great prophet

The Jews were enemies of Jesus and they saw themselves as such.  What was their original purpose?  We see this plainly in verses 16 and 18.   Their purpose in the debate was to prove Him wrong and to justify themselves in their evil designs.  But what did  Jesus have in mind?   Again, remember, they wanted to kill Him.  But what is his desire during all this time?  We read this very clearly in verse 34:”but these thing I say , that ye might be saved”.   While they are intent on His death, determined to kill Him, He desires their eternal welfare.  This was Jesus purpose in coming into the world. In I John 4:14 we read that the Father sent the son to be the Saviour of the world. We see in this passage that Jesus perfectly understood and perfectly obeyed His Father.  The sane is in John 3:18: “For God sent not His Son Into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved” For on this see Matthew 23.  Several times Jesus pronounces woes against the Pharisees To pick out just one, in  verse 14 He berates them because of their robbing widow’s houses.   They had a legal way of doing so.  They would sell some desperate widow at a cheap price but charge a monthly fee they knew she could not meet; take away her home and sell to some other widow.  Now Satan would tell them that all was perfectly legal and after all, they had to take care of number one.  Then too, if the widow took care of things like they did, she wouldn’t be in this fix.

Satan would tell them that they were doing the right thing; to continue to enjoy life and take them to hell in the end.  The Pharisees would follow these false prophets.  They were such nice people,  much nicer than this preacher from Galilee Who  forgot to be politically correct at times.  There is an example of this at present.  Hurricane Irene has just devastated many places along the East coast, includingNew Jersey.   The Governor of the state demands thatWashingtongive them the help they need and “don’t tell us now that you’re broke”. Is it really kinder to give the people everything they wanted and have no money now to help those in real need?  Jesus wanted these Jews to make the right choices. Their time on earth was nothing compared to eternity.

The Glorified Son Of God

We come now to the second part of Psalm 8:5 The Lord Jesus returned to heaven.  His  purpose in coming to earth was, as we read in I John 4:14 to be the Savior of the world.  John the Baptist pointed Him out in John 1:29 as the Lamb of  God Who takes away the sin of the world.  He did many other things , but His greatest purpose in coming into the world was to die for us and to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind.   This He did and is now at the Father’s right hand seated on the throne.  We read of this in Psalm 24:9 and 10:Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of  glory will come in.  Who is this King of glory?  The Lord if hosts, He is the King of glory. He has gone through His time of humiliation on earth and could say: ”I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do:John17:4.   It is His time of glory. The Lord is not only back where He was (John 17:5) but is now far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:Ephesians1;21. He has now inherited all things.   All powerr and authority  in heaven and earth is His and before Him every  knee shall bow.  For this read Isaiah 45:22 and 23; Philippians 2:6-10; and Matthew 28:18.

As the Lord Jesus took the steps of Psalm 8, so must thechurchofChrist  .Great was His reward and great will be our reward if we follow His example.  Are the great cathedrals an indication that we want our glory now and glory then?  What of the money spent on churches and grounds today while missions are begging for money; and not only some very worthy causes but the poor as well.  There may be a deeper problem here. Is the church today making a distinction between the church andIsrael?   I know that the Catholic, Orthodox and much of the Protestant church teach that the church has replacedIsrael. Israelbuilt a beautiful temple to the glory of God.  ForIsraelit was glory now (entering the land of rest, God’s chosen people, Solomon’s glory, the temple, etc). and glory later (David’s Son would reign,Israelwould be the head of the nations)  Not so for the church: only glory later.

THE LORD OF GLORY

When Jesus walked on earth His graciousness was often seen.  The apostle John

tells us in First John, speaking of Christ that he had not only seen Christ but had

touched Him.  One time the disciples were surprised when He asked; ”Who touched Me”,

when the entire crowd was jostling Him.  John leaned on Jesus when they were eating.

But even then they knew Who He was and called him Master and Lord. When  the same

apostle saw the risen and glorified Lord in heaven he fell at His feet in a dead faint.

John saw that, not only did this Jesus love him; he also saw Him as Isaiah did when

the sinless seraphim said: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD.  Even while on earth the apostle

Peter said; Depart from me for am a sinful man, Not only did the Lord Jesus  earn for me eternal life, save me from my sin and is my Savior but is also Lord and expects my obedience and will someday judge me on this basis.  Paul wrote that Christ died for the ungodly, but also wrote that we must someday stand before the judgment seat of Christ

 

How Can I Know That I Will Get to Heaven

In  the first chapter of Ephesians we read of Jesus Christ that when He ascended to heaven that He was given a throne far above principalities, powers, might and dominion at the right hand of the Father.  The following chapter (and Ephesians 1:19) tells us that all the risen saints will be seated together with Him.  The all important question comes up.  How can I be sure that I will be there?  The first thing I must remember is that God is absolutely truthful.  In John 1:12 we read; Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.  Now, if Jesus died for all, then I am included.  All that God asks of me is that I believe Him and accept His free gift. Read John 1:12.  At the moment I receive Christ I also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  

,Remember that the Holy Spirit will always promote the Lord Jesus as the Son Of God.

The Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized when he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the Son of God: Acts 8:36-38.  This is in the King James Version. Note that the NIV leaves out the words “Son of God”.  Perhaps they did not themselves see that they were setting a dangerous precedent, but Satan did and he was guiding their hand.  One of the last Bibles to come out is the Message Bible, loved and read by many evangelicals. This Bible not only leaves out the words “son of God” but goes out of the way to belittle Him as less than the real Christ.   In the KJV, the last two verses of Revelation call Him :”the Lord Jesus Christ”  In the NIV He is called “the Lord Jesus”.  In the Message Bible He is called “Master Jesus” .The “Master Jesus” is not the real Christ but a disciple under the real Christ, according the New Agers, of Whom the author of the Message Bible is one.

            There is one more thing.  Josiah was the best and most godly king thatJudahever had.  Did it make him less of a king because he was David’s Son? But Jesus is the Son of God.

Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Posted in scripture