Christ Sets Us Free

Jesus Christ sets the soul free. He unlocks the bondage we’re enslaved to in this world and gives us  t r u e  life. There is no life apart from Jesus. You may think you’re living, but if you don’t have eternal life living inside of you (Jesus), you are dead inside and enslaved to sin and this world. 

You may think true freedom is doing whatever you want, but it’s a false deceptive “freedom”. True freedom is to be forgiven and have a reconciled, close and intimate relationship with the God who made your soul. There is no freedom greater than this. He is the way to eternal life. It’s only through Jesus, nobody and nothing else. He is the door, all who enter will find true life.

John 8:36
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

John 17:3
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” 

John 14:6
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

Using scripture to explain the unbiblical practice of baby baptism.

Baby baptism is it biblical?

And if not why? Most will in ignorance say it’s ok for babies to be baptized. And don’t understand the meaning of baptism. Let us take the time to see in God’s word as we examine the scriptures from the book of Acts chapter 16.

The meaning of baptism

It’s a public profession of faith made in front of witnesses, it’s an outward expression of the change which has already occurred within a person, the inner man. And last but not least it’s a declaration of association with the Lord Jesus Christ linking ourselves in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12).

It’s an association with the Lord Jesus, a confession that you follow Him, that He’s your Lord and Saviour. It’s a burial of the old man by becoming baptized (fully submerged underwater) we’re saying the old man is dead and buried with Christ.

It’s also in the likeness of Jesus Christ death burial and resurrection. He was buried and raised from the dead, so is our baptism a picture of that. We’re fully submerged (dead) under the water (buried) as the old man and we come up out of the water (resurrection) in newness of life.

Baptism in lake

After understanding what baptism involves for the individual we see that a person must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They don’t have to understand the doctrine of baptism but they should be saved placing their faith in Christ before baptism, that’s a conscious decision on the part of the believer. A baby cannot make a decision to follow Christ, therefore, baby’s should not be baptised.

Does the following verse prove baby baptism?

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” Acts 16:14, 15

After reading the above some believe “there’s a lady called Lydia that was baptized and her household” keyword is household. They believe this must mean Mrs Lydia and her household believed and was baptized also. The bible never mentions her being married. And if she’s not married and has a baby, then by imagination we’re charging her with sin. And we shouldn’t imagine what the word of God doesn’t say. Lydia’s baby, in many people’s imaginations but never found in the bible.

The word household is used widely there are several talks of households in the epistles to the Romans. You have slave households formed of many men and women who were slaves and there called households. In the epistle of Philemon, a man has a household of domestic servants, slaves and soldiers, a household.

The Greek biblical definition of household: oikiakos

  1. one belonging to the house
  2. one under control of the master of a house, whether a son or a servant

†οἰκιακός oikiakós, oy-kee-ak-os’; from G3614; familiar, i.e. (as noun) relatives: — they (them) of (his own) household.

Lydia’s and all those in her household they all believed the Gospel and were baptised, but you’ll search a long time there to find a little baby.

The Phillipian Jailer

“And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” Acts 16:33, 34

And so they say in the house of the jailer there was a little tiny baby and so because the rest of the family got baptized so also the little baby. For argument’s sake let’s say that’s true. Here’s Paul the Apostle and he preached the word to the jailer and all in his house. So there’s the little baby that Paul put on the sofa and preached the word of God too.

Are you thinking this is sounding foolish yet? But remember the Bible says he preached to everyone in the house. Therefore the baby’s eyes got as big as saucers and it believed every word Paul said! How do we know that? Because the verse says they all believed in the house including the little baby.

But we all know perfectly well little babies can’t understand the preaching of the Gospel, and therefore we know that a little baby can’t believe. Therefore we know that little babies shouldn’t get baptized.

Why do people baptise baby’s then?

There are those who practice infant baptisms such as Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox Church a sec of Catholicism. It seems to have first come about from one of the early church fathers.

The heretical practice of infant baptism by Roman Catholics

Not long after the death of the apostle John unbiblical teachings started to creep into the church through some of the early church fathers. Some of the heresies which were introduced forced the early church to hold councils in order to combat specific heretical teachings and to remove heretics.

HER’ETIC, noun

1. A person under any religion, but particularly the christian, who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy. In strictness, among christians, a person who holds and avows religious opinions contrary to the doctrines of Scripture, the only rule of faith and practice.

2. Any one who maintains erroneous opinions.

The Roman Catholic church and others continued with the practice today even though it’s not taught in God’s word. The Catholics believe that if a baby is baptised it removes “original sin”. However, water baptism cannot remove sin only the blood of Jesus Christ can save us. 1 John 1:7 “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”.

If you want to baptise a baby just know it won’t save them and it’s not biblical, the word of God says nothing about baby baptism. Only those who received salvation are to be baptised afterwards.

Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

Acts 19:5 “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

God bless.

Is water baptism for Christians or Israel only?

baptism

What’s baptism?

In order to know what biblical baptism is we need to go search the scriptures. Starting from the beginning of our Bible we trace baptism as far back to the book of Exodus. There’s a passage in there that sometimes we may overlook, after reading we’ll have some understanding as to one of the reasons of baptism (just going on the record now there’s more than 1 type of baptism).

The Book of Exodus 

Baptised in the cloud and in the sea

We know that the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, Pharaoh charged them to build with brick and morter. In Exodus 1:13 it says that the Egyptians made Israel serve with rigour, they were slaves to the Egyptians.

Exodus 1:14 “And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.”

The Old Testament has many types, Moses was raised up in the courts of Egypt from his youth and was learned in all the ways of Egypt, therefore, he was in a position of privilege having the best education.

Acts 7:22 “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.”

Once Moses came to the knowledge that he was born a Hebrew he chose to suffer with his brethren in the pits. Moses made the decision to associate himself with the children of Israel and turned his back on the plush life he enjoyed living among the Egyptians.

When the Exodus from Egypt happened Moses being a picture of the Lord Jesus as a deliverer brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and came to the Red Sea. Before this pivotal moment, Israel was ruled over by Pharaoh and was forced to be associated with him by reason of being his slaves. The Almighty parts the Red Sea in order for Moses to bring them safely across.

Exodus 14:13-16 “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”

When this occurred 2 things happened, they cut off any ties they had with Egypt and Pharaoh disassociating themselves, and now they were associated with the man who turned his back on Egypt, Moses. The other which simultaneously occurred was they were baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

1 Corinthians 10:1, 2 “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

John’s Baptism

As we move forward into the New Testament we come to another baptism. In the first opening chapters of all 4 gospels, we come to know John the Baptist a forerunner to the Lord Jesus. John was baptizing the children of the nation of Israel for the “confession of sins” (Matthew 3) “remission of sins” (Mark 1) “baptism of repentance” (Luke 3) “Make straight the way of the Lord” (John 1).

The baptism of John was a baptism of repentance at this time the Lord Jesus hadn’t shown up yet from what we see from the scriptures. While John is baptising people the Pharisees question him asking if he was the Christ and John says he’s not. One day John sees the Lord Jesus coming the next day and what does John say?

John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

At this time the Lord Jesus approaches John asking to be baptised, John is taken back by this request because he realises that the Lord Jesus is God in the flesh and says:

Matthew 3:14 “But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”

The Lord Jesus tell John “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15) He’s then baptised of John not because He needed to confess any sins, but the Lord Jesus going through the waters of baptism by John was confirmed that John’s baptism was from God.

When the Pharisees challenged the Lord Jesus Christ authority He asked the Pharisees a profound question thereby causing them never to question Him again.

Luke 20:4-8 “The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”

John’s purpose in his baptism was getting the children of Israel to confess their sins as they went through the water.

Disciples Baptism

The Bible doesn’t give us much detail into this baptism, we’re not certain how different was John’s baptism to disciples baptism. The scriptures we can look at are the ones found in John’s Gospel.

John 4:1 “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)”

Again from what we read here we can gather that the Lord Jesus never baptised with water as John and the disciples did. He (Christ) was going to baptise with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Matthew 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

The Acts of the Apostles

Peter’s sermon (Israel baptism)

The next mention of baptism is in the book of Acts, after the day of Pentecost when they were indued with power from on high (Luke 24:49) and the promise was fulfilled, the Holy Spirit came and indwelt believers. Peter with the other eleven stood before the men of Judaea and preached unto them. He touched their conscience when speaking of how they rejected their Messiah and crucified Him. When they heard this knowing they were condemned they were pricked in their hearts and said:

Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Peter then told them something very specific and it was specific for the nation of Israel.

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

He told them they needed to “repent in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins”. The same way they rejected the Lord Jesus in the open in front of everyone in order to undo what they did in rejecting the Chief Cornerstone (Psalms 118:22), they will have to accept the Lord Jesus, not in secret but in front of everyone.

Again we see an association being made when they were baptised they associated themselves with the man who only a few days ago they said: “Away with him away with him crucify him” (John 19:15). They were no longer associated with Caesar but now they were associated with the true King the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

Samaritans baptism

Phillip one of the disciples went down to Samaria to preach Christ unto them as he preached the scriptures say that unclean spirits were cast out and many people with sicknesses were healed. People in Samaria were believing on the Lord and getting baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then word got back to the Apostles in Jerusalem concerning what was happening in Samaria.

Peter and John take a trip to Samaria and when they laid hands on the Samaritans they received the Holy Spirit. Here the key was they “laid hands on the Samaritans”. Looking back the Jews and Samaritans hated each other, the Jews wanted nothing to do with them.

John 4:9 “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

It seems that the Spirit of God wanted that division between Jews and Samaritans to be done away with and the only way that would happen was with a touch.

Acts 8:14-17 “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

Gentile baptism

Peter was on a rooftop praying and he became hungry had a vision of “a great sheet knit at the four corners”, he saw all sorts of animals and the Spirit of God spoke to him concerning that he would eat saying “Rise, Peter; kill, and eat”. Peter being a Jew and holding to Jewish law was hesitant and said “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean”.

Peter was then told, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”. The great sheet showed Peter 3 times that these animals were clean to eat. Just as this occurs 3 Gentile men sent from Cornelius arrived asking Peter to come with them. The beauty of how God shows us through scripture that there shouldn’t be any division or hatred, how we shouldn’t look down on one another.

Acts 10:19, 20 “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”

Peter goes with them to Caesarea to the house of Cornelius the centurion who the scriptures call “a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews”. God wanted Peter to preach the Gospel of Christ to him for it was God’s will that grace also be given to the Gentiles.

Acts 10:21, 22 “Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.”

Peter enters into the house and Cornelius tries to worship Peter but immediately Peter tells him not to worship “saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man”. As they come into the house many others were there also to hear what Peter had to say, Peter how it’s unlawful to come into the house of a Gentile saying:

Acts 10:28 “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

Cornelius proceeds to tell Peter how he was visited by a man telling him to send for Peter so that he can hear the things commanded by God.

Acts 10:30-32 “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.”

Peter then starts to preach the Gospel unto everyone present in the house of Cornelius saying: “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” (Acts 10:36) As he preached something remarkable happened which they never saw before. In the middle of him preaching the Gospel the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles there.

Acts 10:44 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”

Peter was shocked to see this happen for as much as he knew God was granting salvation to the Jews and Samaritans (half Jews) but he never thought the Gentiles would also be given salvation.

Acts 10:45 “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Peter said can any man forbid water? It was at this point Gentile believers were baptised as well identify themselves and buried in Christ, believers baptism.

Acts 10:47, 48 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Conclusion

God never envisions for any born-again believer not to be baptised, to be a follower of Christ is to be called a Christian to be associated with Christ, even the Lord Jesus gave us an example to follow just as He was baptised by John the Baptist as we mentioned earlier in the beginning.

Greek meaning: Christianos (khrē-stē-ä-no’s) Χριστιανός Christianós, khris-tee-an-os’; from G5547; a Christian, i.e. follower of Christ:—Christian.

But not only that baptism is also an outward confession to others saying of what happened on the inside. Being a new creature in Christ Jesus, we are buried into His death and resurrected unto life (Romans 6:4). We are dead to this world and are “circumcised with the circumcision made without hands” (Colossians 2:11).

Colossians 2:11,12 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Looking back in the Gospel we have the commission by the Lord Jesus Christ telling us what we should do as believers.

Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

We’re told to go out and preach the good news the Gospel of Peace that others may be saved, those who are saved should get baptised on their own convictions. They should understand what it means, this doesn’t mean they have to be a scholar a general understanding is good enough. Any born again Christian will grow as the Holy Spirit teaches them of all these great truths.

Also just to be clear baptism itself is not necessary for salvation there are cults who teach that you must be baptised in water to be saved. For this we have the account of the thief on the cross, he believed on the Lord Jesus while he was nailed to a cross beside the Lord never had an opportunity of being baptised and the Lord Jesus said:

Luke 23:42 “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

There are a few other accounts of baptism the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in (Acts Chapter 8). As well as the baptism of Paul the Apostle (Saul) after he was converted when he saw the glorified Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts Chapter 9).

Ephesians 4:5 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

The above verse speaks on believers who follow the one true God, which is the same faith as those who do believe in the Godhead, and baptism is being indwelt with the Holy Spirit. But Paul the Apostles doesn’t contradict the words of the Lord Jesus as He said: “teach all nations” Matthew 28:19. That encompasses Jews and Gentile in all the world. As a believer in the body of Christ all are one. This is what the verse in Ephesians 4:5 speaks of.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I hope this helps in giving a clearer understanding of baptism and that as Christians we are commanded to be baptised and what baptism means. There are no unbaptised believers in the New Testament. God bless.

Ravening wolves (False Teachers) Matthew 7:15

Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”

Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

TEACHERS

They’re all around, teachers, we find them in all sorts of environments and institutions; places such as universities, technology firms, cooking school, language class their purpose is education. There’s no other place teachers can greatly serve than providing for the edification of the church, the body of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Elders who’re in the midst of the believers in the local gathering also bear the responsibility of being apt to teach (1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:24, Titus 1:9, 1 Peter 5:2) themselves being in a position of responsibility to the LORD as shepherding the flock. Also, young men who’re given the gift of teaching by God and raised up by the Holy Spirit to teach, become overseers or possibly both. As faithful men teach faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2).

Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.”

They bear a tremendous responsibility as those who’ll give an account to the LORD for their service of guiding the flock of God. That’s a heavy burden to have on your shoulders, and not all men are cut out for that responsibility. That’s why it’s vital that they’re raised up by the Holy Spirit, we’re talking about spiritual matters, not someone answering a job post by sending a resume, God does the raising up.

Handling the word of God is a great responsibility one to be taken seriously as they who handle God’s word will give a greater account to God Himself one day. Elders and teachers, but today we’re going to look at what constitutes those who would be false teachers.

FALSE PROPHETS

In the Old Testament the nation of Israel dealt with false prophets in their dispensation, as we are no longer in the days of the Old Testament it’s important to note that the OT has a tremendous amount of teachings and types we can learn from. In our day and age, we’re no longer under the Old Testament law, we’re now under the New Testament, under grace.

Looking at the OT scriptures we remember how Elijah dealt with the false prophets of Baal in (1 Kings 18:21–18:40) as he issuing a challenge telling them to choose a bullock and lay wood upon an altar, calling upon their god (Baal), but he would call upon the name of the LORD proving that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is the one true God.

Other false prophets such as Hananiah who spoke a lie unto the people of Israel telling them the yoke of Nebuchadrezzar shall be broken in 2 years and they will not serve the king of Babylon, speaking of the children of Israel’s captivity. But the prophet Jeremiah warned the people that this was not true but a lie (Jeremiah 28). The LORD said for this false prophesy Hananiah “broken yoke as wood” the yoke will now be made into iron around their necks (Jeremiah 28:13–28:14).

Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the LORD was angered because they falsely prophesied a lie in the name of God and were slayed at the hands of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon. That’s the price false prophets paid when speaking lies in the name of the LORD (Jeremiah 29).

FALSE TEACHERS

Today we’re no longer dealing with false prophets as prophets are no longer used by God in our dispensation (Luke 16:16). Teachers raised up by the Holy Spirit are now used by God for the edification of the saints we come to understand what God expects of us through His word the complete canon of scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16–3:17 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

God used the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament to provide revelation of His word as they didn’t have a tangible Bible as we do today. They had some scriptures such as the five books of Moses (Genesis — Deuteronomy) and as time went on the scriptures were given through holy men of God moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

And just as Israel dealt with false prophets we as the Church have to beware of false teachers, we’re constantly told in scripture they would be prevalent in these last days, men of old creeping in, bringing in damnable heresies.

A few of many false teachers

The Lord Jesus had given this solemn warning concerning the Pharisees bringing to mind leaven. Leaven was used in bread in order to make it rise, but leaven also spreads throughout the bread put a little and the entire bread rises. The same happens with false doctrine.

Matthew 16:6 “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

God would always tell the children of Israel not to eat leaven bread as the OT scriptures have many pictures or types of spiritual things.

Some types are Abraham willing to sacrifice Issac his son and the ram caught in the thicket a picture of the Father giving His Son the Lord Jesus as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:8–22:13). Wonderful picture of the cross of Calvary (Jesus died for me!).

Joseph as a provider for the nation of Israel as they were in a great dearth (famine) suffering in hunger, then coming into a land with provision, food for them saving them from starvation (Genesis 45). A picture of us spiritually dead, no food for our souls in a dry and barren place until we’re saved by the Lord Jesus and He provides food for us.

Moses as the deliverer of God’s chosen nation Israel from the hard bondage of Pharoah in Egypt as he brings the people through the red sea being baptised unto Moses (1 Corinthians 10:2). Just as anyone born of God, were baptised unto the Lord Jesus.

Exodus 12:15 “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”

Paul speaking to the church at Galatia warned them of the leaven as sin to be avoided (Galatians 5:9). He said the same to the believers in Corinth telling them to purge out the leaven which made its way into the local body of believers (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Leaven

LEAVEN, n. lev’n. L. levo, Eng. to lift.

1. A mass of sourdough, which, mixed with a larger quantity of dough or paste, produces fermentation in it and renders it light. During the seven days of the passover, no leaven was permitted to be in the houses of the Jews. (Exodus 12)

2. Anything which makes a general change in the mass. It generally means something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16)

LEAVEN, v.t. lev’n.

1. To excite fermentation in; to raise and make light, as dough or paste.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (1 Corinthians 5)

2. to taint; to imbue.

This is what false teachers do they taint God’s word many cults like (Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist) will say they believe God’s word and will use similar words and meanings as Christians but if you press them on issues of salvation you’ll notice it’s not enough for them to just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (Acts 16:31).

Cult members feel the need to work for their salvation, for them just believing is too simple for them. satan knows salvation is simple, it’s so simple that he can’t take anything from it, therefore, he tries to get individuals to add to salvation thereby perverting the Gospel.

2 Timothy 4:3–4:4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

The above verse speaks of those who will not hear the truth of God’s word and they twist God’s word to suit their own needs. Most Bible-believing Christians know of the more popular false teachers out there, preaching a prosperity gospel. But how many are aware of those preaching erroneous doctrine such as:

  1. Losing salvation
  2. Second baptism of the Holy Spirit for salvation
  3. Born again Christians being possessed by demons/unclean spirits
  4. Speaking in tongues for salvation
  5. Laying on of hands (healing)
  6. Modern-day Profits/Apostles

WHAT DO WE DO?

This may be obvious but it’s never too old to hear, staying in God’s word with the help of the Holy Spirit will always preserve you. God guides us as the good shepherd. By staying in the word of God we can prove all things, holding fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

By placing our dependence on the LORD He will never steer us wrong, He holds us up and establishes upon a rock, a solid foundation which is His truth; that being the Lord Jesus Himself.

CAN BELIEVERS BE DEMON POSSESSED?

Not long ago I’ve come across a video of a baptism of a young lady she was baptised by a known street preacher. What struck me was this young lady had professed to be saved as she was standing in the water waiting to be baptised, and the next moment was having “a demon cast out of her” in the middle of her baptism.

Bob Larson “Casts Out Dustly The Demon”

Now we have to ask ourselves a few questions. Can a truly born-again Christian be possessed by a devil? And if so would that mean that God is not powerful enough to keep the true believer who’s sealed by the Holy Spirit from such? Another possibility is that a person who’s truly possessed by a devil cannot be saved because darkness cannot dwell with light. A believer cannot be walking in the Light and possessed by satan at the same time.

1 John 1:5–7 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ”

Though demons can enter and possess any unbeliever, they cannot enter into the body of those who belong to the Lord. There are a number of reasons why this is so. The Bible says that the one who indwells believers (Holy Spirit) is greater than the one who is in the world.

1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Those who have trusted Christ have been delivered from the possibility of demonic possession. Paul wrote.

Ephesians 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

True believers do not live any more under their authority, that is under the authority of satan. When a person is saved they belong to the LORD, not satan.

Colossians 1:13, 14 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Believers have nothing in common with darkness or Satan. The Holy Spirit, and a demonic spirit cannot co-exist in the same person.

2 Corinthians 6:15 “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

We have no biblical example in Scripture of a believer in Jesus Christ being demon-possessed. All cases of demonic possession were with those who were unbelievers and after became saved by the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes the following passages are cited as support of believers being possessed. Paul ordered the church of Corinth to deliver a believer over to Satan. What many don’t understand is this person was put out of the local body of believers not that the man who was put out was possessed.

1 Corinthians 5:5 “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

The Bible speaks of two other individuals who were also delivered over to Satan. Again meaning placed outside of the local fellowship of believers. Not that they were demon possessed.

1 Timothy 1:20 “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

People Taken Captive is another passage speaks of people being taken captive by the devil.

2 Timothy 2:26 “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

The people under discussion in this context are not believers. Consequently, there is no Scriptural support for the idea that Christians can become demon-possessed.

What about stories of believers and demons? When people give examples of believers being possessed, there are a number of questions that immediately arise, “Were these victims of demon possession really believers?” “Were they actually possessed with a demon or is there another possible explanation for their behaviour?” Since the Bible gives no support that a believer can be possessed by a demon, some other explanation must be in order.

Permanent indwelling of Holy Spirit. The issue is clear. It is not whether a professing Christian can be demon-possessed, but rather can a genuine, “born again” Christian become demon-possessed? The Bible teaches that those who have trusted Christ are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13,14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

You’re a new creation. Believers are a new creation in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Body temple of Holy Spirit. The body of the believer is now a temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

Cannot separate the believer from The Lord. The Bible says that nothing can separate the believer from the love of God.

Romans 8:38,39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Specially mentioned are the angels and principalities angelic orders. Not even they can separate a believer from the love of God. All of these things would make demon-possession an impossibility for the believer.

The Bible never teaches a Christian can be possessed by a demon. The believer is “in Christ,”- one of His. Every example in the Bible of a person being demon-possessed concerns an unbeliever there are no examples of believers being possessed.

Furthermore, we must be careful not to depend on stories of believers and demon-possession many other explanations are possible. The Christian, who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, need not fear demon possession. Yet, demons do attack believers in various ways, therefore, it would be wrong to say they cannot have any effect on the Christian.

CONCLUSION

We can speak at great lengths concerning foundational truths ie salvation, baptism etc. This is here is not meant to go into great depths on those subjects, it was merely to point out that there are false teachers out there spreading heretical doctrines. Like the Bereans, they searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were so (Acts 17:10–17:11).

Doing the same we need to stay in God’s word so that we’re not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. The LORD preserves His saints and will never lead them astray.

God bless

Ye Must Be Born Again

John 3_7

When speaking about salvation with others I’ve noticed there’s a lot of confusion, most don’t understand what the following these words salvation, saved, converted or conversion, born again truly mean. Sure they’re words but when brought up in the context of an individual professing to be a Christian these words couldn’t be more important! My hopes are to shed a little light on the confusion while helping you to see which side of the road you’re on in regards to salvation (Matthew 7:13 – 7:14).

John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

A man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews and Pharisee visited the Lord Jesus at night came to ask a question, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him”. Nicodemus acknowledged that Christ was not only a teacher but the word Rabbi means Master or great one. In doing this he missed that while the Lord Jesus is all of this He’s also the Son of God. In answering Nicodemus’s question He said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.

Being a religious man he didn’t understand what the Lord Jesus was meant, asking the question “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”. At this time the Lord Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”.

The question remains how is one born again? First, we need to go over some of the misconceptions about what being born again is not.

Misconception #1 Church attendance
“I’ve attended church and Sunday school as a child.” This is a common belief among many people today, they’re under the impression that church attendance automatically places a person in right standing with God. This couldn’t be further from the truth as church attendance doesn’t save anyone. Sure going to church is wonderful but it’s not what saves a soul from total separation from God for all eternity. In addition, the word church is not the name for a building as many come to know it.

In fact, the word church means ekklēsia and is used in the following manner: church, assembly; the word refers to a people, not a building.

In a Christian sense:
1.) An assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting.
2.) A company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake.
3.) Those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body.
4.) The whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth.
5.) The assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.

Misconception #2 Baptism
“When I was a child my parents had me baptised.” Nowhere in the God’s word will you find any babies being baptised, the only individuals who are baptised must first be converted believers (saved) and in obedience to the Lord Jesus command mentioned in (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, John 3:5).

Water baptism doesn’t save you friend the apostle Peter wrote in his epistle

1 Peter 3:21 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

Baptism signifies a person being identified with Christ in His death burial and resurrection. The following verses make this clear that it’s not baptism which saves a soul.

Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Romans 6:3 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

Acts 10:47 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”

Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.”

Misconception #3 My father is a pastor
“My dad is the pastor of the church we attend.” Just because you may have a father who’s a pastor will not save you also. Your dad is just as responsible for his own sins as you are of yours. Pastors need forgiveness of sin jas as much as you do. A possible illustration would be if you had a sibling and they did something wrong would you expect for your parents to blame you for it of course not.

Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Misconception #4 Christian family
“I was born a Christian” Being born into a Christian family won’t save anyone just because you’re parent’s or other family members are saved doesn’t automatically mean you’re saved. Just like the pastor above no one can make the decision for you to have salvation, no one but you! It’s a very personal thing salvation is and you have to be converted. The Lord Jesus did not say your dad or mom needs to be born again, He said you must be born again the emphasis is on you.

You may be asking so how is one saved, if it’s not by church attendance, baptism, pastors or families? Every individual who has been born again has had a moment in their life when they’ve trusted Christ as their Saviour. They’ve come to the understanding that they’re a lost sinner and is not right with God. Only by trusting in the finish work of Christ on the cross is when a person is saved, they have peace with God and are converted being made a new creature in Christ.

Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Ephesians 2:8 – 2:9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 15:1 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Psalms 3:8 – Salvation [belongeth] unto the LORD: thy blessing [is] upon thy people. Selah.

Psalms 37:39 – But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.

John 3:16 – 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.

I trust this will be a help to you if you’re seeking salvation, may the grace of God be with you all.

Written by Jason

Trust in the Lord


Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

During times in our Christian walk, our trust in the Lord may be tested. He tests our faith in Him and there is always a purpose in the testing: to strengthen us, grow us, refine us, sanctify us, and make us more like Him.

Romans 5:1-6
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

1 Peter 1:3-9
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see himnot, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Perhaps when we go through a difficult season we do not fully see the purpose behind the difficulty we experience. But there’s absolutely no difficulty in the life of a child of God that isn’t for his or her good and for God’s purposes.

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

He promises that all things work together for the good of those who love God! Thankfully, it doesn’t say that only some things work together for the good to them that love God, but all things! How incredible is this divine truth, that as His children, we can be rest assured that no trouble we face in this world is outside the hand of God or outside His good purpose for us. Our Lord knew that if it said in His Word in Romans 8 that only some things work together for good to them that love God, then it would be easier for us to doubt difficult circumstances we walk through, and our faith in God would dwindle during these hard seasons because we wouldn’t have a solid rock to cleave to. But praise be to God, Christ is our Solid Rock amidst any storm a believer must face in this dark world. He knows every difficulty, and He will walk us through every difficult storm. He calms every storm.

Mark 4:39
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

If it wasn’t for God and His amazing promises to work all things out for our good, we would drift about with every wind, unsure if our lives are truly in the hands of the God who saved us and gave Himself for us. We would wonder if our lives, our safety, our growth, our happiness is all dependent on whatever happens to us at random whim – that our lives could be destroyed and in the hands of the darkness, wickedness and uncertainty of this world. In other words, that our lives are really in the hands of the god of this world, the devil. This is not so! He promises that every single little thing will indeed work together for good to them that love God! Praise be to God.

What an incredible, beautiful God, abundant in love and faithfulness.

There is a false idea amongst unbelievers who deny God (and even some professed Christian sects) –  that our lives as Christians are not completely in the hands of God. This, at the very root, is an antichrist belief system and has no place in the heart of any true believer – this thought that the ‘universe’ guides our life, attributing sovereignty to created things. This new age spirituality is anti-biblical and rips attributing power and glory to the Creator of all things. God is the one who is in control and in His child’s life, nothing is happenstance. This gives us so much comfort in this world and propels us to be fearless servants of the Most High God. It frees us to serve him willingly, lovingly, freely, and relentlessly, knowing that He loves us, is with us, desires the very best for us, knows what we need and will provide it, and who is watching over us and protecting us. This understanding calms our hearts knowing that if anything bad does happen to us, He’s still protecting us.

It’s imperative to understand that if you belong to God, there is nothing in this world that can destroy you because you are a child of God and your soul is safe with Him. However, if you are an unbeliever and do not belong to Him, your life is at the hands of this dark world.

Matthew 10:28
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

This truth gives us the strength to have peace and joy when circumstances seem grim, because it is the Almighty God who is caring for us and we’re no longer under the dominion of the evil one, but we are now children of God. And as a good Father, He will care for us all of our days.

Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

We might go through seasons of difficulty on this earth, and we may be tested, but we will never lose the ultimate treasure – eternal life in God’s presence forever once we are done in this earth. Not a single thing can take us away from the safety of His hands.

John 10:28
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

He wants us to trust Him more fully day by day as we walk with Him and grow in Him, and sometimes He will allow us to go through difficulties so that He will show Himself faithful through it and thus we trust Him all the more.

Lamentations 3:22-25
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.”

So trust God knowing that if you belong to Him and have trusted in Christ the Son of God for salvation, saving you from your sins and giving you eternal life, He will care for you all of your days as you navigate life in this temporary world.

Matthew 10:29
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

If He’s given you salvation only available through the death of His son, won’t He not give you everything else?!

Romans 8:32
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

One of the astounding beauties of God is that He knows every need and concern we have, and He cares, and He will provide according to the riches of His kindness and His endless wisdom. He will work everything out for our good, that’s His promise.

Philippians 4
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I am so blessed to be given such a treasured gift from God – a faithful godly man who trusts God and loves God, and is a fearless servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. This man trusts His Lord through every season, loves Him so passionately and is obedient to Him above all else and in every circumstance that arises. He encourages me everyday in his godliness and Christlikeness and I look up to him more than anyone on this earth. He exudes Christ more than anyone I have ever met. He is a true spiritual leader and so Christlike in all of his ways. God has blessed me abundantly to overflowing, my cup runneth over (Psalm 23:5)!

Written by Tanya

Why aren’t more Christians sharing the Gospel?

sharing the gospel-3

Ephesians 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Not long ago NYC celebrated it’s 48th pride parade June 23–25, a sad sight to behold. Droves of men and women flocked to the city to be loud, immoral and dance the day away. People from all walks of life lost in darkness blinded by their sin.

Strolling around this city the first few days back from living overseas I was shocked, to say the least. Being fully aware the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favour of same-sex marriage was one thing but it’s still shocking to see the downward spiral of man. As pride flags hung on the front door of some churches and people making comments saying God condones same-sex marriage is far from the truth. God never condones sin!

Feeling the sorrow inside for these people who are enemies of God. God calls sodomy an abomination, it’s a sin against His creation. Same-sex relationships are just as wrong as lying, fornication, murder, violence, blasphemy etc. Little do they realize they are on the broad road to eternal destruction (hell).

Romans 1:26–28 “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

Society is quick to call a person who speaks out against sin a “judgemental” or “hateful”. The devil has used “political correctness” to keep believers of Christ quiet. As Christians, we’re not hating anyone we’re warning you of the consequences you’ll face for going against God. We love all people and because we love we warn them out of love for them.

My brothers and sisters, I know sharing the Gospel with the lost can be uncomfortable, you don’t want to be hated or scoffed at. But you have to ask yourself this question when you face God and he asks you why didn’t you share the Gospel what will you say? We must speak out against all sin and share the good news how that Christ died for us opening the door of salvation to anyone who believes.

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

That’s a commandment from the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s not an option. I’m not saying you have to be an open air preacher, but you should be sharing the Gospel one way or the other. Whether that’s through one on one, or passing out tracks, social media, writing blogs, anything that gets the Gospel message out.

Romans 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

As encouragement start speaking out, maybe gather some fellow friends who are believers and share God’s love with people, they need to know God offers them eternal life. Speak the truth in love. God bless.

Written by Jason