This page was last updated on 08/08/08.
Are you sure ?
In this issue I would like to examine a few things that, for the most part, are readily accepted by folks in the church. I ask you to look at scripture and judge for yourself to see if these things be true. Let us press on into the higher things of God and the truths in His Word.
In John 1.29 we read: ...Lo! the Lamb of God which is taking away the sin of the world! (Concordant Literal New Testament-clnt) Please notice that the Lamb is taking (present active participle) away and not covering “the sin” of the world. The Old Testament “type” for this is found in Leviticus 16.21,22 where Aaron, the High Priest, lays hands on the head of a live goat (scapegoat) and confesses all the depravities, transgressions and sins of the people of Israel. The goat is then sent away by the hand of a “ready man” to the wilderness, an inaccessible land, and released (forsaken), to bear all their depravities (Concordant version). God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy sent the Son of Man to be both the scapegoat and the ready man. He was taken outside the city walls (wilderness), made sin for all mankind, forsaken and sent to an inaccessible place. The result is that our sin debt, acquired through our being born, was taken away (redeemed). It seems a lot of Christians do not believe that Jesus has already paid the penalty in full. Romans 5.19 (nasb): For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. If the church really believed this, why do people say a “sinners prayer”? Romans 10.9,10,13 (nasb) states: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10- for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 13- for Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no requirement to confess your sin in order to be “saved”. The word confess (Gr: homologeo) means to speak the same thing. Over the years many people have come to think that “confessing” only pertains to sin. When we confess our sin is not when God finds out about it—but when we get rid of it (1John1.9). The word repent has been treated in much the same manner. Repentance simply means a change of mind and direction. Normally understood to turn away from a sinful life and turn toward God. Notice, it involves both a decision and action taken.
As I was asking God what “the sin” was, He led me to the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 14.13,14 we read about Lucifer's (Satan’s) desire to be like the Most High and take God’s place. As you can see, the sin of PRIDE originated in heaven and is, I believe, the controlling force for all other transgressions. Pride was the reason that Adam and Eve fell in the garden. Consider this, any time we sin we have made a choice to go against God’s desire for our life. It is totally selfish. No one else receives any benefit. It is imperative to do what 2 Corinthians 10.5 (nasb) says: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Quoting Oswald Chambers: “The warfare is not against sin; we can never fight against sin —Jesus Christ conquered that in His redemption of us. The conflict is waged over turning our natural life into a spiritual life. This is never done easily, nor does God intend that it be so. It is accomplished only through a series of moral choices. God does not make us holy in the sense that He makes our character holy. He makes us holy in the sense that He has made us innocent before Him. And then we have to turn that innocence into holy character through the moral choices we make. these choices are continually opposed and hostile to the things of our natural life which have become so deeply entrenched—the very things that raise themselves up as fortified barriers against the knowledge of God. We can either turn back, making ourselves of no value to the kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things, allowing Jesus to bring another son to glory.” [my utmost for his highest; sept 8]
WE MUST MAKE A CHOICE
One of the times that God spoke to Israel through Joshua, He told them to choose who they would serve — either the world system, their religious system or His system. In Joshua 24:14,15 (nasb)we read: “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We are required to make the same decision; either serve the world system (Babylon), the religious system (traditions of men) or God’s system. The Word of God lays out clearly how we are to conduct our lives. A great many churches are not preaching or teaching a life of holiness, for various reasons. Therefore, the standards of God are compromised. Given these conditions, it seems ludicrous to hear people say “I’m not being fed at my church.” The responsibility for our feeding rests on us as individuals. The Holy Spirit is the teacher of the church, who also uses anointed people in the office of teacher.
Many Christians are not aware of what Jesus has accomplished for them. They seem to have closed their ears to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and become “dull of hearing.” Unless we yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, we will not have our senses trained to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14). How sad to come under pressure and not know who or what is the cause. There are times when God allows pressure to come upon us, as He deems it necessary, to develop some characteristic of His personality in us. For example, if you pray about your bad temper, asking God to deal with it, He will allow situations that cause you to exercise self-control. Remember, God is in the business of restoration and reconciliation and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish them in our lives.
As a general rule, Christians are unable to discern whether the fight is against Satan, themselves or God. Since the battlefield is in the mind, we have to choose (cast the deciding vote) who to believe, God or Satan. If Satan or one of his demons attack, it will inevitably concern a lie, or, at best, a perversion of scripture. In Luke 4 when Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit, He had just spent forty days and nights communing with God the Father and Satan attacked Him by quoting scripture with the wrong spirit. Jesus rebuked him saying “it is written” and clarified the scripture in question. He did not arrive at this level overnight (Luke 2:40,52). He constantly spent time with God in two-way communication (we call it prayer). We need to learn to speak and then listen expectantly for God to reply. Since Jesus is our pattern, we can see the necessity of being in constant fellowship with the Father and having a working knowledge of the Word. Then we will know how to act and what to say when Satan or one of his demons attacks our mind. Do not converse with demons. Know who you are in Christ (the Anointed One). Submit yourself to God, and command the demon to flee (James 4:7). Notice the order: (1) submit to God and (2) then we can resist the devil. We are individually responsible to understand, know and stand in the authority that Jesus has given to us. That is one of the reasons we are admonished to “study to show ourselves approved, a workman who rightly divides the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). As we study the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to make the changes in us that He desires, we will find ourselves able to stand in the power of His (Jesus) might and speak with authority in the face of any adversity.
Contrary to popular opinion, God does not answer “No” to scriptural prayer. If you feel that He has told you No, check your motive and the basis for your prayer (James 4:3). In 2 Corinthians 1:20 we read: “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us.” The Lord says in Jeremiah 1:12; “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Since God is all-knowing and aware of our circumstances, rather than rehearse the problem, find the solution in the Word and get yourself in agreement with what God has already stated. Since all things were created by and for Him, it only makes sense that all things will respond to His Word when spoken to in faith by a believer (Mark 11:20-26). However, please notice verse 24: WHEN you pray, BELIEVE you receive. It is imperative that we believe at the time we pray, not when we see circumstances line up. In Hebrews 11:1 we read that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Look closely — faith is NOW, not sometime in the future. It is impossible to have faith yesterday or tomorrow. I heard a quote many years ago that is very true: “Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.”
Also see that hope is involved. Another way to say it is — “Hope is the blueprint of faith.” In order for faith to work, it must have something to ‘build’ with. Sort of like building a house, you must use materials. The builder uses a blueprint to know what is going where. Whenever we show someone the blueprint, don’t we say “here’s my house”? Jesus gave believers the authority to heal the sick (Mark 16:15-18), therefore, we should not ask God to do something He has told us to do. Just remind Him of His promise, it’s not an offense to His ears (Isaiah 43:26). It enables Him to move on your behalf because He sees your confidence in Him.
There may be times you feel that God has answered “wait” because there are situations that He must align in order to manifest the answer (Mark 11:20-26). I can recall an instance when I had a physical attack on my body. I received prayer, laying on of hands and anointing with oil. I believed I was healed at that time, but it was several weeks before I saw the manifestation of the healing. There are times that we have to wait, however, God is never late with the answer. We have to stand in faith believing that we received when we prayed.
I recently read an article in a newspaper that we receive that I would like to share with you this issue. I would love to write it as an original but this lady, Lois J. Stucky, has said it perfectly. I’m not one to try and re-invent the wheel so I’m using this excerpt from an article she wrote called “Meeting Lifes Pressures” in the October 1998 issue of Herald of His Coming; PO Box 886; Newton KS 67114. Telephone 316-283-7747. Contact them directly if you would like to be placed on their mailing list. It is an excellent evangelical publication.
Faith is the Victory!
“God has nothing worth having that is easy. There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market. Our redemption cost all that God had to give, and everything worth having is expensive. Hard places are the very school of faith and character, and if we are to rise over mere human strength and prove the power of life divine in these mortal bodies, it must be through a process of conflict that may well be called the birth travail of a new life. It is the old figure of the bush that burned, but was not consumed....Dear suffering child of God, you cannot fail if only you dare to believe, to stand fast and refuse to be overcome....We must take the attitude of faith. we must lean our weight over upon Him for the thing that we have claimed, and take it for granted that He gives it, and is going to continue to give it. This is the attitude of trust.”
“When we take Christ as a Savior, as a Sanctifier, as a Healer, or as a Deliverer, He expects us to fall into the attitude of recognizing Him in the capacity that we have claimed, and expect Him to be for us all that we have trusted Him for.” [end of quote]
Father God sent Jesus to us to be our Savior, Deliverer and Healer so we could have life abundant. Webster, in his dictionary explains that to receive something is to accept it as true and valid. When we accept as true and valid, our Lord Jesus Christ, all that He has promised is included in that acceptance. God has proven in scripture that He is not a man that He should lie but He is Truth. As an individual and as a body, He expects us to accept as true and valid all He is and says. If He says all His promises are yea and amen in Jesus, then He surely means for us to act like they are. The “church”, for so long, has only accepted as true and valid that which we could explain logically. I really believe God goes beyond our logic and He is willing to do beyond what we could ask or think. For too long we have put boundaries on God. I believe He is wanting us to take them off and go for all there is in Him! There can be no limits on a God that spoke all creation into being and then chose man-kind above all of His creation to be like Him! If He says we can, then we can! If we really believe and accept Him as true and valid, let’s go for it! It’s a challenge for all of us but I’m ready — How about you?
Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to ourself.
Sidney J Harris (1917-1986)
When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.
We pray that God is allowed to have His way in each of your lives and that all of us yield completely to the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives.
We love you and pray for you and ask you to continue to pray for us.
In Service to the Master,
Frank and Barbara Doyle
Frank and Barbara Doyle
Life Givers Ministries
PO Box 251
Lincolnton GA 30817-0251
phone: 706 359 6977