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Friday, July 6, 2012

Understanding Grace and Your sinfulness: A Key to Holy Living


This is topic that people just teach around. In the hopes that people will understand from the inferences of what they are saying. My text will be the Book of Romans Chapters 6, 7 and 8 and we will be looking at different passages.

Now I could have chosen a story or a parable but, personally I am tired of people assessing an idea that the bible does not say or support. That is believers can commit sins without price or consequence. Let me straighten that out from the start. The bible has never supported that kind of behavior. However, many believers when they are caught up in a sinful behavior, they attempt justify themselves by saying that we are under Grace and not under the law. Then they quote Romans 8:1 as though that scripture excludes them from receiving any negative results from their actions. That is not even a half truth, it is a full lie, and we preachers must stop telling people that they are not under any law. The bible does not say that. It does not support lawless behavior. What it says is that we are under the Law of the Spirit of Christ.. However this spiritual condition is not guaranteed. Because running parallel to it is the Law of Sin and Death. Let us look at Romans 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."

Yes there is no condemnation for a believers sinful behavior if he is walking in the Spirit Of God. But that is not possible is it? For once someone commits to living by the Spirit of Christ he must seek out and put to death everything that would not be considered acceptable to living at that level. So If someone is walking by the spirit he can not fulfill the desires of the sinful flesh. How ever someone who believes that he is under grace and that grace provides a cloak for unacceptable behavior is mislead and deceived that God will be content with that believer being lukewarm in his faith. Let us read Romans 8:2

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

The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is not the Law of Moses as some have taught. It is the life of Christ as exhibited in the Gospels. Simply put His life is our law. Now what about the Law of Sin and Death? This law has been in effect since Adams transgression. Simply put; If you disobey Gods will and word for your life and you will die. |The problem is and was that no man could obey God's will and word for his life and live. The Law of Moses' administration made the Law of sin and death more evident in an individuals life. Thereby making it impossible for any man to remain sinless. Here Enters Jesus, a man to most that has changed the world. Jesus by dying on the cross disabled the power of the sinful nature in mankind, that power was enhanced by the Law of  Moses' administration. If they believe in Him. By having faith in his sacrifice for us on the Cross, we move from under the condemnation of the the Law of Moses to under the Law of the Spirit of Christ by the grace of God.

Now the Law of Moses is holy and Good and was designed to bring a person into the kind of life God wanted him to live. However the flaw was not in the Law but in the adherents of the Law of Moses' administration. Simply put: The Law of Moses was Holy and Good but Mankind was and still is sinful and the two could only meet under the condition of blood. The shed blood of animals temporarily atoned for sin. But not every one could afford to do it. Many good and righteous people died in their sinful condition. A condition inherited from Adam. Here again enters Jesus who was fashioned in the condition of sinful flesh, after living a perfect sinless life in it, offered himself up as a perfect sacrifice for the sinfulness of mankind for all time. He put to death sin in the flesh and the Law of sin and death held no more dominance over the lives of mankind. Read Romans 8:3

"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:"

Now what sense does it make to live in sin when Jesus died for you to live righteous and free?
The key is walking by the Spirit of Christ and not living in the sinful pleasures of the flesh. By walking in the Spirit of God a person must put to death fleshly pleasures. By walking in the spirit of Christ the person will discover the greater pleasures for living in the will of God. 

This is the problem, Satan and this world has made every earthly pleasure something for everyone to desire except living for God. Making living for God appear like we are settling for less.  This is the deception, the same deception Satan used on Eve in the Garden.  The same temptation that Satan presented Jesus, the Christ with when he was tested in the wilderness. The Good News is that because of Christ's sacrifice, we now have the power to resist Satan and his tempting deceptions. When we decide to begin living for God, He will shower us with his blessings and no one in the world can out do God. Try living according to the Spirit of God and see for yourself.  God is awaiting for you.

The 3 states of a word

In school, we have learned that matter has 3 states of existence. Gas, liquid, and solid. I have noticed that words also have 3 states of existence. Imaginary, written and spoken. In this study I will illustrate the 3 states of a word in the Bible.


"In the begining was the word and the word was with God and the the word was God...."       -(John 1:1)


This verse of scripture started it all. It illustrates that before anything was, everything was contained with God and His word. It goes on to say that, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made..." (John 1:3) So the word of God had a spiritual state and that state was in the imagination of God.


If we visit Genesis chapter 1 we will see these actions of the Creator God when he created the heavens and the earth  "And God said.." and "and God called".  This illustrates that God verbalized what he imagined and by speaking it brought it into existence.


"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3)


Thus, God made the heavens and the earth out of the imagination of his heart through the spoken word. However who would know it? He could appear to mankind in different times and at different events of human history to prove his existence. Or he could develop mankind's faith in his existence by having them recorded in written words so that He would not be forgotten in the minds of men. So he inspired men to record and write about His acts and communications with men. So men wrote by His inspiration and recorded for us His deeds, His relationship with Mankind both good and bad and His future plans for the human race both good and bad. He laid all his cards on the table and asks one question: Do you believe in Him?


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (1 Timothy 3:16)


How does this help us? Knowing that words travel from the imaginary to the written form assists us to better manage them. Words that are not properly managed can cause alot of destructive things in the lives of people. (James 3:2-10). Preachers know this fact very well. It is the only profession that can condemn a soul with a single word of doubt, and equally lift a soul to new heights with a single word of faith. (Mark 4:1-20) We preachers are held accountable to God for the words we say to people. So when we speak, we must depend on God and his word to speak through us. However, every believer has the same power to uplift their own lives or destroy it. All from a single word. Some people do not believe their words have any power over their lives. Then consider what Jesus said in Matthew, 


"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matthew 15:11)


What does the word defile mean? It means to make oneself unclean in the eyes of God, to make oneself unholy. So God can make you holy through your faith in the atoning death of Jesus upon your life and you can make yourself unholy by the words that come out of your mouth. God can make you free from your sinfulness through the death of his Son, Jesus, and yet by your big nasty thoughtless words you can bind yourself up in a sinful condition and short circuit the blessings that you have been speaking about receiving from God. Therefore, it is imperative that each believer clean up his conversation because by becoming unholy through the words you speak you frustrate the grace and blessing of God upon your life. If you refused to do so, remember God is not the fool here.


"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians 6:7+8)


So how do we manage our words better? By capturing them in the imaginary state and subjecting them unto the obedience of Christ. Here is what the word says:


"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)


Also,


"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."              (James 1:19-25)


Simply put let the word grow in you. Use the Word of God to find the flaws in your own life and not in the life of others. Once you do, take the prescribed biblical steps to treat them and eradicate them. Do not be so quick with the tongue as to speak words without thought or care of the harm it might do to others. Bring every unclean unholy thought to the obedience of Christ. Simply ask yourself is this thought of God? If it is not do not entertain it but cast it down and throw it away, if it is of God speak those things. It is a great honor to God the father to have his children speaking his words and changing their world for the better.


"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof". (Proverbs 18:21)


What kind of fruit of your lips are you eating?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Understanding Our Inheritance In Christ

I. Introduction:
A. This study guide was developed to help illustrate from the word of God what is a believer's inheritance in Christ. This will be done by examining three areas: 

1) Who has given and is giving, or bestowed and is bestowing upon us who believe in Christ this inheritance? 

2) What does the inheritance we received and is receiving in Christ comprise of? 

3) Who qualifies to receive this inheritance in Christ? 

B. Before we begin, there are a few terms every bible student and believer in Christ should know when seeking understanding about his or her inheritance in Christ. The definition of terms, as it relates to our inheritance in Christ, are as follows: 

1. Birthright: Is the primary position of the first born child to inherit the Blessing (the inheritance) from the father or older relative. 

2. Inheritance: Is the rights, property and authority given from ones ancestor. 

3. Ancestor: Is the parent or older relative of a descendant or child. 

4. Inherit: The root word of the word Inheritance: Is the reception of rights, property and authority outlined and prescribed in the inheritance contained in a last will and testament. Enforceable only after the testator ( the author and creator of the will) has died. 

5. Promise: Oath, something guaranteed to another with or without conditions 

6. Covenant: A mutual agreement consisting of promises or oaths between two persons or groups or parties 

7. Testament: A type of covenant, where rights, property and authority is given to some one upon the death of the testator. 

8. Joint: A legal word that means: together, with, in partnership with, co-equals, equal in status, simultaneous, at the same time. 

9. Heir: The root word of the word inherit: The person, or persons eligible to receive the inheritance. 

10. First born: The first child that is legally eligible to be the rightful heir of the birth right to the inheritance. 


II. Who has given and is giving, or bestowed and is bestowing upon us who believe in Christ this inheritance? 

A. Principle: The inheritance can only be given by the father or surviving parent. -Scripture (Genesis 27:1-37) 

1.Esau did sell his birth right to Jacob, but it was not his yet to sell. The Father had the birthright and the blessing that goes with it. What Esau was attempting to do is to make the obtaining the Birth right meaningless by receiving the blessing from his father Issac. Rebekah heard what Esau was attempting to do and instructed Her son Jacob to by deceit receive the blessing from Issac instead of Esau. Yes there is a lot of things going on in this biblical account but one thing is clear, Jacob knew that the blessing comes with the birthright and allowing Esau to separate the two would have made them co-inheritors. The birth right only goes to the first born child. Esau by a mere moment was the older of the two, even though there were twins. Esau did not see any value in his birth right and sold it to Jacob, even though it was not his yet to sell. Only the father or the surviving parent can award the birth right to a child. No child can sell it or buy it. They can only live worthy of it. Esau did not think it was worthy of anything, he just wanted the blessing.   

2. God the father is and was pleased to give the inheritance of the kingdom to us who believed in Christ. -Scripture "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32) "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" (Matthew 25:34) 

3. God through Christ has given us all things through the promises of his word. Scriptures- "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:2-4) 


III. What does the inheritance we received and is receiving in Christ comprise of? 

A. The following things are the inheritance we received when we made Jesus the Lord of our lives: 

1. Grace and blessings (1 Peter 3:7) 

2. All things and His promises (2 Peter 1:2-4) 

3. Abraham's Promise ( Gen 12 :1-4; Gal 3:29) 

4. Glory (Proverbs 3:35) 

5. Eternal life (Matt 19:29; Titus 3:7) 

6. Salvation (Hebrews 1:13+14) 

7. The Atonement (Rom 5:11)

8. The Spirit of Adoption (Rom 8:15)

9. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

10. The Kingdom of God. (John 3:3,5; Luke 12:32)



IV. Who qualifies to receive this inheritance in Christ? 

A. We who believe in Christ are by faith joint heirs with Christ ( Romans 8:16+17; Gal 4:1-7).  

B. Therefore only believers in Christ qualify to inherit the things of God provided through Christ. (Galatians 3:26-29, 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 15:50) 

C. Why is this possible? 

1. Because Jesus was and still is the only and first begotten born son of God

i. Other Sons of God were of the blood line of Adam. However since the fall in the garden the blood line of Mankind was corrupted. (Luke 3:23-38 [38]; Romans 5:12-14)

ii. By a person having faith in Jesus as Christ, the only begotten son of |God, that person is made into by faith a child of God. (John 1:12+13) 

iii. Jesus is the first and only naturally (begotten) born Son of God. (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49). This separates him from others in the Bible that bear the title Son of God.  For none of the was born without the aid of a human male. Jesus was born by the power of God through the virgin Mary.

2. Jesus through his life, death and his resurrection has made us joint heirs with him. (Rom 8:16+17)

i. He has made available to us, all things. God through Christ gave us all that he has and all that he is. (1 Tim 6:17) 



ii. We have been made not only ambassadors but also executors of his will, for we were instructed to go preach his Gospel and make disciples of all nations.  (Luke 24:45-49;Mark 16:14-18; Matthew 28:16-20)  

a. What is an executor? An executor is a commissioned person appointed by the testator that carries out the final plans and wishes of the testator. (Luke 24:45-49;Mark 16:14-18; Matthew 28:16-20). Every true believer in Christ is an executor of the will of God through Christ.



i. Executor defined: the person appointed by a testator to execute a will
(Source: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary)


b.What is an ambassador? An ambassador is a temporary representative of a foreign nation         (2 Cor 5:20). 
Socrates Media- LLC SOMK307 Last Will-Testament Kit- Includes All Forms Needed
i. Ambassador defined: An official envoy; especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. 
(Source: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary)

ii. So through faith in Christ, we all have been made temporary representatives of the Kingdom of God on this earth.

V. In conclusion.... 

What we have discovered through this study is our inheritance in Christ. Let us not be like |Esau, who despised his birthright and forfeited his inheritance.  Let not our only interest be in getting blessed by God,our heavenly Father. Let us not deal away what we have inherited in Christ, as thought it has no value to our lives. Let us carry out our responsibility as executors and ambassadors of his will. In doing so be in partnership with God reconciling those lost souls in the world to him. In doing this we inherit all that God in Christ has for us, just for the asking.


This study Guide was written by Rev Chris Sanchez 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Strong Holds

What is a Strong Hold?

A Strong Hold is a sixteenth century English terminology made up of two words, which refer to either a castle, a fortified city or a structure deep within a castle sometimes called a Keep or a Fortress or Bulwork. 

Here are some scriptures concerning the use of Strong Holds: Numbers 13:19, Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 23:14, 19, 29; 2 Samuel 5:7, 24:7; 2 Kings 8:12; 2 Chronicles 11:11;  Psalms 89:40; Isaiah 23:11; Jeremiah 48:18, 41; Lamentations 2:2,5; Daniel 11:24, 39; Micah 4:8,5:11; Nahum 1:7. 3:12, 14; Habakkuk 1:10; Zechariah 9:3, 12; 2 Corinthians 10:4+5; Proverbs 21:22<Best read in the Revised Version of the Bible.

A Strong Hold is a place of security,  a place where people seek protection from an attack.  It is an defensive mechanism where people can regroup and mount a counter attack upon their attackers.

In the popular movie, "The Lord of the Rings / The Return of the King", there was a place where all the people who were being attack by opposing evil forces fled to.  They were secure there until  help  hopefully arrived.  That place located deep in the castle structure was their Strong Hold.

How does Strong Holds affect the Christian life?
In our Christian walk there are Strong Holds we have to attack and conquer (Matthew 16:18) within ourselves and outside ourselves (Ephesians 6:11+12) and there is one Strong Hold we are to take refuge in. That Strong Hold that believers in Christ take refuge in is the Lord (Nahum 1:7; Proverbs 18:10) 

The way believers should take refuge in the Lord is through prayer, studying God's word, seeking the fellowship of the saints and getting involved in the Church they chose to attend.  To do this we need to first arm ourselves (Ephesians 6:10-18) because whether we know it or not we are in a war.  This war is for each of our hearts and minds, it is for each of our very souls (1 Peter 5:8).  The reason for this is that Satan has lost a precious soul from his kingdom of Darkness and the number of souls he has under his control is important to him.  So he will do anything to get a soul back.  Satan stole mankind from God in the Garden, the cream of his earthly creations. So what has he done and is doing?  He is getting mankind locked in the Strong Holds, that he has devised to keep mankind from receiving the redemption of their souls.  God so loved us, the cream of his earthly creations, that He decided to sacrifice himself in the form of his only begotten  Son,  Jesus of Nazareth.   This is why the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8) and free mankind from the Strong Holds that the Devil has ensnared  each of us with.

Defending our faith

So how do we defend ourselves? It is very clear that we can not do it in our own strength, since the Devil is using stolen spiritual power to keep mankind in his grip, we need a greater supernatural power to free us from him and his Strong Holds.  We must seek refuge in the Lord (Proverbs 18:10; Psalms 61:3). How do we do this? We must study to show ourselves approved of God, that we may find the spiritual power and the strength to overcome Satan (Ephesians 6:11+12; 1 John 2:13+14, 4:4).  We must become wise to his devices, and the people who he uses, whether they know it or not, to keep people from knowing the truth.  That we might have an answer for the hope that we have within each one of us, who believes in Christ. (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15). We overcome Satan by having faith in the sacrifice of God's Son, Jesus, the Christ, upon the cross for our salvation (John 3:16-18, 36). We overcome Satan by using the power of the name of Jesus in faith (John 16:23).  We overcome Satan by hearing the word of God and standing on the promises of God, through Christ (Romans 10:12-17).  We overcome Satan by the power of our testimony of the saving power of Jesus, the Christ (Revelations 12:11).  We over come Satan when we forgive  one another, pray for one another, speak the truth in love toward one another and make peace with one another (Matthew 5:9; Galatians 5:14-18).  Since the days when the Gospel was first preached until now, we believers have been overcoming Satan for years and will do so until Jesus returns to judge the earth.

The problem

Our problem is some of us are staying in the Strong Hold that Jesus has freed us from.  Why? Because to tell the truth, we are enjoying the Strong Hold that we are in, even though that Strong Hold is not of God.  Nor is it of God's will. We must come to the understanding that we can not have our cake and eat it too.  The longer each of us stay in a Strong Hold that is not of God, the further we get away from what God in his great love has provided for us.  Some of those Strong Holds that have us captive are people, places and things we have pleasure doing and pleasure doing with.  We have been fooled into thinking that having pleasure with people, places and things is a sign of the good  and perfect will of God.  The perfect and good will of God, is intimacy with God through Jesus Christ. Ask yourself this question: Is the thing or person that you are having so much pleasure with is bringing you closer to Jesus? Is it encouraging you to find your place in God's will? Or is it leaving you depraved lusting after more?  God's good and perfect will does not leave you depraved, it is a most fulfilling life, and He through Christ has this awaiting each of you in abundance,  but you will never know it because you are content to remain a captive in a Strong Hold that Satan has devised to keep you from achieving your fulfillment in God.   That sounds crazy doesn't it?  Each one of us have been set free from our Strong Holds by Jesus, so that we may enter into the Strong Hold of the Lord, but we have enjoyed the Strong Hold that we are in that we refuse the life that is awaiting us in the Strong Hold of Christ.  It is like a prisoner facing a life sentence, suddenly getting a pardon from the Governor, and is free to leave but he enjoys being in prison so much that  he refuses to leave the place or worse is so fearful of leaving the Strong Hold that Satan has devised that he remains in it.  

Now most prisoners in jail dream of the time that they are no longer locked up and they are finally free.  Not like some of us believers in Christ, who want to stay in that has such a Strong Hold upon us because we believe that there is nothing else better than the Strong Hold that we are in.   What should we do?  It is obvious that some things, places and people are going have to go in order for you to enjoy the fulfilling abundant life that Jesus promised.   Let us not be like the rich young ruler that came to Jesus to find out how he can have everlasting life. In that, he could not depart from the wealth he had accumulated in his life (Mark 10:17-22).  This wealth brought the young man pleasure and status and he sought Jesus out to learn how to possess them forever. That when he was instructed by Jesus, he could not depart from his wealth.  Now did Jesus want him to be poor? No, He did not want the wealthy young man to be poor,  he wanted him to have the fullness of the riches of God (Mark 10:30), but the rich young ruler had to give up that which held him captive for so long.  Each of us must ask ourselves what are we not willing to give up in order to have a more abundant life in the Strong Hold of the Lord, a fulfilling life in Christ? What are each of our Strong Holds? Is any one of them of God?  Once each of us has identified which Strong Hold is of God and which one is not, we must leave the Strong Holds of the Devil and enter into the Strong Hold of Christ in God.  How do we do that? We must start with the Word of God and find the promises that apply to our situation, stand on those promises until we see a result that is in accordance to God's will ( Hebrews 6:12). Also we must cast down every thought and imagination that do not line up with those promises (2 Corinthians 10:5).  We must allow God's Holy Spirit to be the stronger man in the temple of each of our bodies and let Him guide us in the eviction of those things that are not of God in each of our lives (Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; Luke 11:21-26). Finally we must network and fellowship with believers who are overcoming the Strong Holds of Satan in their lives. ( 1 John 2:12-14; Philippians 2:1+2, 4:4-8; Ephesians 4:1-6)

One word of caution: Be vigilant because when you begin to leave the Strong Holds of the Devil in your life (1 Peter 5:8+9), be not surprised that the Devil will tempt you to stay in his Strong Hold just a little while longer.  Just long enough for you to lose sight of your salvation, your redemption in Christ.  Don be surprised when he returns with some friends after Jesus has cleaned you up and set your house in order. If you find yourself in this situation, go to the promises of God's word and remember that your salvation does not depend upon your faith on your actions, it depends upon your faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for your salvation.  Also make the Holy Spirit a welcome guest in your house and Satan will avoid coming in.

The Christian Offensive

Jesus told Peter that, "...Upon this rock, I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it..." (Matthew 16:18) Let me ask you this question: Have you ever seen a gate attack anyone? No one has, that is because gates is a defensive mechanism.  Gates do not attack, because gates control the flow of traffic from one place to another through a doorway or an entrance.  What kind of traffic are each of us allowing to flow into and out of our lives through these Gates? The kind that up to now, that has some believers captive in Satan's Strong Hold.  

Now Jesus, when he made that statement obviously had a vision of His Church overcoming the Strong Holds of the Devil by taking control of the Gates of Hell.   In any battle where the invading forces are attacking the walls of a fortress, the attacking force always seeks a way in.  The attacking forces understand  that as long as they can not penetrate the defenses of the fortress,  the defenders of the fortress can continue to hold out.  A good example of this is the historical fall of the City of Babylon in 539 BC.  The walls and the defenses of the City of Babylon were formidable, but the invading force found a way into the City. The invading forces took advantage of  the canal entrance in the wall, that canal ran through the entire City. the legendary City of Babylon fell to the invaders. So what are those Gates of Hell that has prevented the Church to move into what Jesus has prepared for us?  Those Gates of Hell are the limitations, the prevention of the progress of the Church.  Preventing the Church from invading all that is on the outside of the Strong Holds of Satan. Each of us believers in Christ are a part of the Church, which is the  mystic universal body of Christ.  Which brings this issue to each of us: What are the limitations that are preventing each of us from leaving the Strong Holds of Satan?  The Bible says, "My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge..." (Hosea 4:6) We often forget that we in a war for our hearts and minds,  it is a spiritual battle. We are not fighting flesh and blood, we are fighting spirits of darkness in high places and thereby breaking free of the Strong Holds of Satan in our lives ( Ephesians 6:12). However, the longer we remain ignorant of this fact the more power Satan gains over each one of us.  Let each of us not be ignorant of Satan's devices. We must continue to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12) understanding how we wage war largely depends upon the level of our faith. In other words, what each of us believes God can do through Christ in each of our situations dictate how much victory we will enjoy (1 John 5:4+5; Hebrews 4:6).  

Up to now some of us believers have been letting different spirits come and go as they please, invading our lives, plundering our faith and our substance through the uncontrolled access of these Gates. Thank God that Jesus gave us the power to overcome and  control them so that we might enjoy a life of victory. 

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Can Jesus lie?


This question was raised by the opponents of Jesus’ deity and humanity: Can Jesus lie? Their reasoning is simple for posing such a question. If Jesus is fully human and can lie, then how can he be fully God? Since God can not lie. If Jesus is fully God and can not lie, then how could he be fully human for all humans are capable of lying? Hence Jesus can not be who he said he is, ...for he was either a liar for claiming to be the son of God, or a lunatic for believing that he was the Son of God. 
The answer is really simple, Jesus being fully human as we are was capable of lying, but because he was also fully divine refused to do so. You see, the capability to lie does not make a person a liar. All humans have the capacity to lie, that does not make all humans practitioners of lying. If that was so, then how can anyone know what anyone says is the truth? It is the act of lying that makes a person a liar. So the real questions are: Did Jesus believe that he was lying? If he did believe that he was lying, what evidence or proof do we have that he was? If he was not lying about who he was, what evidence or proof do we have that he is who he said he was?


Let us go to the Bible for this for in it is the only place where Jesus speaks for himself about himself according to eye witness testimony. This is the source of all the evidence we need to either prove that Jesus lied or that he did not lie. Let us look at a few scriptures in the Gospel record of the Bible where Jesus speaks about his words: 


“….because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” –John 8:45-47


The verse above show that Jesus believed that he was telling people the truth and that truth he spoke was of God. Therefore anyone that did not believe the words he spoke was not of God. Also countless times in the King James Version of the Gospel of the Bible, when Jesus was speaking to the people or his disciples he used the word “verily”. This word “verily” means “in truth”. So Jesus many times in the Gospels used to share verbally things “in truth”, that is in all honesty and sincerity to all who would hear him. This indicates that he had no intention to deceive anyone and that he believed what he told people was truthful.


When Jesus spoke about his own words, he said that they would never pass away (Matthew 24:35), that his words will be the judge against the unbelieving (John 12:48), that if anyone was ashamed of his words, he will be ashamed of them when he returns in his glory with his angels (Mark 8:38). He also said that the words he spoke was not his but of his father in heaven (John 14:24). So it is clear that Jesus not only believed he was being truthful when he spoke but that he was speaking the very words of God, who he repeatedly claimed that was his father. He also believed that the words he spoke was divinely inspired and life giving:


“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”-John 6:63


The point is this, if Jesus was a man, which he certainly was based upon the testimony of his Apostles (1John 1:1-3, 2 Corinthians 5:16), he certainly had the capability to lie, but because he knew who he was, what he was and what his purpose was in this world he did not lie. Why? So that men who choose to believe in him as God, who are tempted to lie may find the strength not to do so. As He had the power to resist lying, he inspires all who have faith in him to also resist lying.


“..Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted…” -Hebrews 2:18


And


“..For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”-Hebrews 4:15


Why did Jesus refuse to be sinful and lie? Because he was proclaimed “the Lamb of God”, the chosen sacrifice to take away the sin of the world, the reconciler between sinful man and a loving God. 


“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” –John 3:16+17 


Only someone who is fully human and fully divine could reconcile every human that believes in God and God himself together in fellowship. That someone was Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Someone always asks, “Then why did Jesus [allegedly] lied to his brothers about going to Jerusalem (John 7:8-10)? Did God the Father send a lying spirit, as he did in 1 Kings? Like Father, like Son?” There are three points inferred by the above question which I will take in a different order.


a) Did Jesus in the Bible lie?
Jesus did not lie, because Jesus did NOT say He was never going to Jerusalem ever again, but that He was not going to Jerusalem at that time, and so he was not going with them. Later He did not. "Yet" after not IS in the earliest Greek manuscripts, but we will deal with that later.


b) Did Jesus lie like God in the Bible lied?
God does not lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29, Hebrews 6:18). In 1 Kings God did not lie, but He had a lying demon put lies in the mouths of false prophets. God allows evil, and He even uses evil people and evil demons for His purposes.


c) Are all translations of Holy books dishonest in their translation?
This question is using a lie to make a strong accusation against the translators of the original text of the Holy scriptures into other languages. Here is the response: "Not yet" (oupo in Greek, Strong’s 3768) is in the earliest extant Greek manuscripts. Rather than just taking the word of Aland et al for it. I looked it up and it is clearly in both. There are no gaps or holes in the manuscripts here.


"Not yet" is found in p66, p75, Vaticanus, Byzantine Lectionary, some Syriac, Sahidic Coptic, and later manuscripts.


"Not (ouk in Greek) is present in Sinaiticus, Bezae Cantabrigiensis, Bohairic Coptic, some Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian, Diatessaron, Chrysostom, and later manuscripts.
   
So there is much evidence for both views, and the NIV actually handles this the best by putting yet in the text and putting in a footnote.


Therefore, Jesus did not lie, because he refused to do so, even though he was humanly capable of lying. Can Jesus lie? He could have, but he did not.


Now consider the tri-dilemma of this belief that Jesus lied causes:
1) If Jesus was a liar, we must conclude that:


a. He was a good one because he fooled many people into believing that he was the son of God.


b. He was a lunatic because he believed what he said about himself was the truth.


c. All hope in a salvation through faith alone is lost, because Jesus lied about it.


Since we now know that Jesus refused to lie, even though he had the human capacity to lie we must also consider the revelation of Christ’s testimony:


1) Since Jesus did not lie, we must conclude that: 


a. He told the truth about himself being the son of God.


b. He was totally sane because of what he said about himself was the truth.


c. All hope in a salvation through faith alone is obtainable because Jesus told the truth about it.


How can someone obtain salvation through faith in Christ? It is as simple as sincerely reciting the following prayer with all your heart.


The Sinner’s Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, In Jesus’ name I come to you now as a repentant sinner, 
I confess all my sinfulness to You and ask You to forgive me for Jesus’ sake. 
Wash away all my sins with His blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. 
I believe that Jesus is Your only begotten Son and that He died on the cross of Calvary 
for my sins. I believe that You raised Jesus from the dead according to Your promises in the Bible, 
Your Holy Word.  I therefore invite Your Holy Spirit into my Heart and make me your child. 
I promise to read the Bible daily and strive to live Holy everyday with your Help and I 
thank you Lord for saving me.