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‘Heaven is for Real’ movie receives a thumbs down by MacArthur


Todd Burpo family, Examiner.com 2014The Inside Edition covered a brief interview of John MacArthur on the evening of April 22, 2014 who claims that the real-life Colton Burpo, who wrote the book, “Heaven is for Real,” and from which the screenplay for the movie was taken is based upon falsehood.

Prominent Baptist pastor and syndicated radio host, John MacArthur spoke to Good Morning America. He said, “I’m convinced that the entire movie and book is a hoax. It has nothing to do with Christianity. It has nothing to do with The Bible.”

MacArthur said, “Let’s say a dozen books written by people who have been to Heaven recently and come back. Every single one of them describes it differently.” (Inside Edition 4/22/2014)

MacArthur claims that there are probably twelve books about so-called real-life experiences after death where the writer has claimed to have seen heaven. MacArthur says that each of these so-called ‘visions’ are all different. He said this to imply obviously that then they all must be false, because how can Heaven be different for each person. Can Heaven be different for each person?

This writer says yes, and here is why. The Lord God deals with each person differently. He does this for the same reason that police interview all possible witnesses to an automobile crash. It has been proven that different people sometimes see completely different eye-witness accounts of the very same crash scene. This happens because the different eye-witnesses are standing at different corners and are viewing the crash at different angles. Were the witnesses distracted during those crucial moments of time just prior to and immediately after the crash?

MacArthur’s main claim to fame is his targeting of the Pentecostal side of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. He spouts that the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not exist any more and therefore anyone who practices these so-called Holy Spirit gifts are practicing falsehood as well. Now he attacks the people who claim to have seen Heaven. Does he not read his Bible? Have miracles ceased? Have visions from God ceased? Does God speak to anyone any more? Apparently, by his statements he has not experienced any of these wondrous works of God. Let’s look at some Scriptures, shall we?

Ezekiel 1:1, 3-6, 28 and 2:1-2

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Now Ezekiel had one tremendous vision from God didn’t he? Has anyone ever claimed to have seen what Ezekiel saw? This writer does not know of any other writers that have claimed such fantastic sights. So let’s quickly look at another man of God who wrote about his visions of the Lord.

Revelation 1:1-2, 1:10-11a, 13-19

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book…

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter…

There are only two comments that both Ezekiel and John write about that match; and this is their response to such a great and wondrous vision from the Lord. Ezekiel commented, “I fell upon my face,” and John also commented, “I fell at his feet as dead.” Aside from these almost identical comments about their personal responses, their visions of the Lord God Almighty are completely different..

So do these differences in their accounts of their visions, negate their visions? I think not. MacArthur needs to open up his Bible and read the books of Ezekiel and Revelation and read it for himself. Why? Because I am positive that he wouldn’t believe my accounts of the visions I have received from the Lord either. I fell off my couch at His feet. Whoops! I wasn’t going to tell.

The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 14


My chains are gone - chris tomlin 2013 FBWe were last reading in the book of Galatians, chapter 3 and it should now be established in your hearts that God’s Laws are not a curse. The curse was simply this: if you sinned….you died! This is the curse in a nutshell. However, this is the total grace from God, that He sent His Son to take that curse upon Himself; He stood in our place and was put to death for our sins, not His own. This is GRACE! Undeserved merit and favor from a Supreme God who should rightly have executed every single one of us for the transgressions we have committed against His holiness. Now does this put an end to the Laws of God? Absolutely not! Here is the deal: Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior allows God the Father to place within you His Holy Spirit and He looks upon you and sees the righteousness and holiness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. From this vantage point, we now have the ability to keep God’s Laws and to remain in obedience to the One True God. When our flesh does fail, we have an advocate with the Holy Father to restore us to righteousness.

So what serves the Laws of God? It was placed there because of transgressions.

Galatians 3:19

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

If I do not know that something offends a Holy God, how can I avoid doing it? I cannot. Therefore, God established His Holy Laws so that His people would know what to do and what not to do. It set up parameters for the people of God to be able to judge between:

HOLY and UNHOLY

RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS

CLEAN and UNCLEAN

GOOD and EVIL

BEST and GOOD

The book of Galatians goes on to explain that the promise of a mediator, the one and only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was coming. Furthermore, the law would not end the promise, but the promise would bring to fulfillment all the laws of God. Even in the Garden of Eden, there was at least one Law, which was, “Thou shalt obey me.”

Galatians 3:21-26

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The law is not against the promises of God because the promise was given to Abraham before the Law was put into place. Furthermore, as the Scripture so plainly states that if righteousness could have come by the Law, then God would have made it available. However, God wanted righteousness to be made available not through our works, but through faith in His Son’s accomplishments for us at the Cross of Calvary. That it would no longer be centered upon us, but on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we would never be able to lose our righteousness ever again. As we can see from the Scriptures, righteousness was centered upon the works of Adam and Eve. They subsequently lost that righteousness because of their works also. This is why God wanted to establish our righteousness not in our works but in His Son who would never lose His righteousness ever. In this way, we would never be condemned to death ever again.

But before faith came we were kept under the law and the law was our schoolmaster or our tutor. It defined for us that which was Holy and Unholy, Clean and Unclean, etc. It taught us how to choose between these differences. NOW… We are no longer under that tutor, but as children of God, we have received the Holy Spirit…He has taken over that role and the law is no longer external, but internal in our born again spirits, filled with Holy Spirit that guides us and reproves us when we are starting to move towards sinful activity.

John 16:13-16

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now shall the Holy Spirit indeed negate the laws of God and tell you to do things that break those laws? Absolutely not! You will find that when the Holy Spirit commands you to do certain things that it establishes the Word of God in you.

We will continue in Part 15…so stay tuned.

*****

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The Passion Week: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ


Christians the world over will be rejoicing come Sunday, April 20, 2014 as the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ remembers the Passion of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We will be praising God that He raised up His Son from the grave even as He had promised to do so in His Word. These words will be said by just about every Christian, “He is Risen! Hallelujah!”

The Scriptures speak to the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ was and is God who came down in the flesh. He left behind his Glory (ἐκένωσεν, ekenosen) that He had with the Father, to come and make available a perfect sacrifice so that those who believe on His name could receive eternal life by having their sins, transgressions and iniquities washed by the blood of the Lamb. But there was only one way that this could be accomplished; which meant that the perfect Lamb of God had to be brought to the slaughter so that His pure blood could be offered on the altar in heaven before the Holy God of Israel.

Yet Jesus was a man. Jesus came down into the flesh so that He could be our perfect High Priest who could feel the things that we have felt as it is written in

Hebrews 2:16-18

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 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.

The-Passion-of-the-Christ-1

We see His agony as expressed in the Garden of Gethsemane where He literally sweated out blood from His forehead. Medically speaking, Jesus was suffering from a condition called ‘hematohidrosis.’ It is a very rare condition and according to Dr. Dave Miller, Ph.D.,

“only Luke referred to Jesus’ sweat (idros) – a much used term in medical language. And only Luke referred to Jesus’ sweat as consisting of great drops of blood (thromboi haimatos)-a medical condition alluded to by both Aristotle and Theophrastus (Hobart, 1882, pp. 8-84). The Greek term thromboi(from which we get thrombus, thrombin, et al.) refers to clots of blood (Nicoll, n.d., 1:1631; Vincent, 1887, 1:425). Bible scholar Richard Lenski commented on the use of this term: “‘as clots’ thromboi means that the blood mingled with the sweat and thickened the globules so that they fell to the ground in little clots and did not merely stain the skin” (1961, p. 1077).

The Lord Jesus felt the agony of what a man would feel knowing that he is walking straight towards his own death. Jesus faced His own will as opposed to His Father’s will; so we read that

Matthew 26:36-39

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Luke 22:44

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

We can rejoice that the Lord Jesus submitted His own will to that of the Father’s and went as foretold in Isaiah 53:7, “…he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

When the Temple guards came for him after Judas had sold his Master for a mere 30 pieces of silver, Jesus was led away as if He was a criminal. They then placed Him next to the real criminal, Barabbas and asked the crowd who they wanted to have released to them that year. The people chose the real criminal, Barabbas. What should be interesting to note are the names of these two contenders:

Bar Abbas = Son of the Fathers

Bar Abba, Yeshua = Son of the Father

The crowd that day preferred a true criminal rather than the true Son of the Holy Father; the perfect Son, who always pleased His Father; the Messiah was then to be crucified as a criminal, when He was Holy. It was the Garden of Eden being played out again. The choice between Good and evil; Adam and Eve chose their own way, which was evil and the people that were there during this age were once again choosing their own way, thus the evil way. They were calling that which was good as if it were evil; and calling that which was evil as if it were good.

Luke 23:33-38

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.

File_PassionMovie_OnCross2

Luke 23:44-47

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

There isn’t any question as to the Lord Jesus’ righteousness, except by those who do not know Him. Which, in that case, it does not matter if they do question His righteousness, because again, they do not KNOW Him. But of all the important phrases, saying, quips, quotes or anything else one can come up with as a writer or pundit, the best exclamation is based on these Scriptures.

Luke 24:1-6a

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

He is not here, but is risen!…

These Seven words rejoices the spirit of every faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, not just looking forward to Palm Sunday when prophecy was fulfilled as He, Jesus, rode into Jerusalem during His triumphal entry, being hailed as the King of Israel. But His disciples continue to rejoice from Palm Sunday to the time of Passover, when the True Lamb of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world. God Almighty was fulfilling His Word when He had promised that the Gentiles would also partake and have a place in the family of God as well.

Many people claim to be Christian….but are you a DISCIPLE? There is a difference. Since Jesus Christ is the true Messiah, the true Passover Lamb which takes away the sins of the world, this would be a great time to find yourself on your knees, repenting of your sins, transgressions and iniquities, pleading the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (John 1:9). Best of all….

HE IS RISEN!

 

The first of the four blood moons – a tetrad


The first of the four blood moons that has been cosmologically noted by NASA occurred around 3:00 a.m. CDT this morning, April 15, 2014. This writer was up at 4:11 a.m. watching the stellar display in God Almighty’s heaven. According to Pastor Hagee and NASA there will be a total of four blood moon occurrences: the first one being this morning, April 15, 2014, also the beginning of Passover; the next one will be on October 8, 2014 which will be on the Feast of Tabernacles; the third blood moon will occur once again on Passover April 4, 2015; and finally, the fourth blood moon in this Tetrad will happen on September 28, 2015. As Pastor John Hagee stated “that these happenings occurring in what is known as a Blood Moon Tetrad is beyond the null hypothesis of probability.”

 

 

The Blood Moon that this writer witnessed was indeed a soft red in color since the sun’s rays were being blocked by the earth passing between the sun and moon. This writer also found it remarkable that a light breeze was blowing, though it was very cold, and the chimes on a nearby house were playing. In the awesome quiet of this early morning hour with the lunar eclipse turning blood red in the sky, it was as if the chimes were singing their own song of praise to the Creator of the universe. Shortly thereafter, the birds began to sing as well. It was totally awe inspiring this morning.

Interestingly, a video produced by Evangelist, Anita Fuentes lists some remarkable timelines: the blood moon on April 15, 2014 is in the sign of Virgo, which represents not only the Mother of Christ but the Bride of Christ as well. The blood moon that will happen on October 8, 2014 will be in the sign of Pisces, which is represented by two fishes; which also represents the two houses of Israel. Then again it will repeat during the Passover on April 4, 2015 and the Feast of Tabernacles on September 28, 2015. But even more importantly, on Adar 29 or March 20, 2015 there will be a ‘Sackcloth Sun’ which will also be in the sign of Pisces.

The fact that these four blood moons will be occurring on two of Israel’s feasts in 2014 and 2015 is phenomenal and has only been recorded before during the years of 1493-1494 when Spain fell; the Jews were expelled; and Columbus discovered America. Then in 1949-1950 after Israel became a nation and the last one was in 1967-1968 during Israel’s Six Day War. It seems that when these blood moon tetrads occur, there is a coinciding of happenings of great world events also occurring during these periods.

Is God, the Creator of the Universe trying to get our attention? Many say ‘yes’, and this writer being a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, says ‘yes’ as well. Let’s look at some of the Scriptures and they too cannot be ignored.

Luke 21:25-28

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Well the signs in the heavens have certainly been happening and there will be three more blood moons which will conclude on September 28, 2015. But in the middle of these four blood moons the sun will be darkened on Adar 29 or March 20, 2015. Let us now look at

Matthew 24:29-33

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Of course, there are some Christians sects that say that the foregoing Scripture refers only to the fall of Jerusalem which the Lord Jesus prophesied would happen in 70 A.D. However, there are many other Christians that believe that there are also what is called ‘double prophecies’ in the Scriptures; in other words, it happened once and it will happen again. Because if we conclude that these Scriptures are over and done with, then what happened to the 1000 year millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ? By that foregong timeline, His millennial reign would have ended sometime in the 10th or early 11th centuries if you state that it all occurred in 70 A.D. This is why the belief in a double prophecy theory has validity since there are not any records of a sole King that has ruled the entire world with goodness and mercy; there have been attempts to set up world wide dictatorships, but never a world wide theocracy.

This writer believes that everyone should be watching intently to see what happens over the course of the next 18 months and if you are not saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, this would be an auspicious moment to do so. The Scriptures declare in

Romans 10:9-15

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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 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!

Plus, anyone can link to this writer’s Christian website, New Covenant Christian Ministries and read more about how to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:28

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

 

Palm Sunday, honoring Jesus Christ as King of Kings


Jesus on donkey

The Sunday before Easter has been called Palm Sunday because of the imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people hailed Him as their Messiah, waving palm branches and laying them down before Him, as well as their outer garments or cloaks so that the asses’ colt that He rode upon would not have to tread upon the dirt road.

In just a few more days, the Lord Jesus entered the beginning of His passion or suffering which would culminate in His resurrection from the dead. The whole of it came to be called the Passion week which included all of the activities of the Lord Jesus during His final week in His physical body upon the earth.

This year, Palm Sunday will fall on April 13, 2014 and churches everywhere will be celebrating this day in remembrance of our Lord’s passion that He suffered for us. Looking at some of the historical aspects of this event, the palm tree itself has always been associated with the oasis in the desert. When the people of Israel camped in Elim, there just happened to be 70 palm trees and 12 springs of fresh water. Thus do we see the imagery of the number 70 for the exact number of elders that judged the people. The number 12 being the representative number for the 12 tribes of Israel. Thus we see that Jesus was being hailed as the Messiah, with the people waving palm branches, thus indicating that the Lord Jesus as Israel’s Messiah was their eternal oasis of ‘living water,’ even as He had told the Samaritan woman at the well in:

John 4:10

Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.

Psalms 92:12-13

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

The Holy Bible prophesied that a ‘triumphant and victorious” king would enter Jerusalem ‘humble and riding on an ass.’ The spectacle of Palm Sunday fulfills this prophecy,” so The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. We find this prophecy in Scripture in

Zechariah 9:9-11

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.

Just as God saw to it that He had prophesied before it happened, the Lord Jesus Christ came riding into Jerusalem, riding on the foal of an ass. But let’s look at the remaining two verses of Scripture, and let’s see what else is prophesied. The Scripture states that “he shall speak peace unto the heathen..” This would be the Gentiles that one day would be allowed to enter into the family of God. It also states that “His dominion shall be from sea to sea…” which means just exactly what it says…that the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns over the entire universe, not just for a short while, but eternally. Then let us look at the final verse; verse 11, “…by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” Truly phenomenal statements: “…by the blood of thy covenant…” for the Lord Jesus Christ was soon to make a new covenant with His very own blood. Finally, “…I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” This usage of ‘water’ is often associated with the Holy Spirit and indeed, Jesus foretold that He would be giving forth ‘living water’ and so indeed He did bring to pass this very prophecy.

 

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The Ten Commandments: are they still relevant? – Part 14


My chains are gone - chris tomlin 2013 FBWe were last reading in the book of Galatians, chapter 3 and it should now be established in your hearts that God’s Laws are not a curse. The curse was simply this: if you sinned….you died! This is the curse in a nutshell. However, this is the total grace from God, that He sent His Son to take that curse upon Himself; He stood in our place and was put to death for our sins, not His own. This is GRACE! Undeserved merit and favor from a Supreme God who should rightly have executed every single one of us for the transgressions we have committed against His holiness. Now does this put an end to the Laws of God? Absolutely not! Here is the deal: Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior allows God the Father to place within you His Holy Spirit and He looks upon you and sees the righteousness and holiness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. From this vantage point, we now have the ability to keep God’s Laws and to remain in obedience to the One True God. When our flesh does fail, we have an advocate with the Holy Father to restore us to righteousness.

So what serves the Laws of God? It was placed there because of transgressions.

Galatians 3:19

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

If I do not know that something offends a Holy God, how can I avoid doing it? I cannot. Therefore, God established His Holy Laws so that His people would know what to do and what not to do. It set up parameters for the people of God to be able to judge between:

HOLY and UNHOLY

RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS

CLEAN and UNCLEAN

GOOD and EVIL

BEST and GOOD

The book of Galatians goes on to explain that the promise of a mediator, the one and only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was coming. Furthermore, the law would not end the promise, but the promise would bring to fulfillment all the laws of God. Even in the Garden of Eden, there was at least one Law, which was, “Thou shalt obey me.”

Galatians 3:21-26

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The law is not against the promises of God because the promise was given to Abraham before the Law was put into place. Furthermore, as the Scripture so plainly states that if righteousness could have come by the Law, then God would have made it available. However, God wanted righteousness to be made available not through our works, but through faith in His Son’s accomplishments for us at the Cross of Calvary. That it would no longer be centered upon us, but on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we would never be able to lose our righteousness ever again. As we can see from the Scriptures, righteousness was centered upon the works of Adam and Eve. They subsequently lost that righteousness because of their works also. This is why God wanted to establish our righteousness not in our works but in His Son who would never lose His righteousness ever. In this way, we would never be condemned to death ever again.

But before faith came we were kept under the law and the law was our schoolmaster or our tutor. It defined for us that which was Holy and Unholy, Clean and Unclean, etc. It taught us how to choose between these differences. NOW… We are no longer under that tutor, but as children of God, we have received the Holy Spirit…He has taken over that role and the law is no longer external, but internal in our born again spirits, filled with Holy Spirit that guides us and reproves us when we are starting to move towards sinful activity.

John 16:13-16

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now shall the Holy Spirit indeed negate the laws of God and tell you to do things that break those laws? Absolutely not! You will find that when the Holy Spirit commands you to do certain things that it establishes the Word of God in you.

We will continue in Part 15…so stay tuned.

 

 

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Movie critique; ‘Son of God’


Son of God movie posterThis writer viewed the ‘Son of God’ movie last night with much anticipation of how Hollywood was going to handle this latest epic about the Lord Jesus Christ, his life and his mission.  Amid much critique by other bloggers and other writers, it still ranks a four-star rating from this writer.

There has been some accusations by some branches of Christianity that it contained a lot of New Age overtones, however, this writer did not see any overt or gratuitous New Age pandering.  The only thing that this writer can surmise is that some Christians (non-Pentecostals) might view the scenes where ‘Jesus’ is prophetically seeing near future events; namely, Judas’ betrayal and his own subsequent crucifixion.  But for the Pentecostal side of the church, amazingly, this scene was well done.  Because in this writer’s opinion, that is exactly how one sees prophetic visions given by the Holy Spirit.

Now…there are some issues that this writer did have with this movie: for one thing the director placed certain events out of order.  The Gospel writers place Jesus’ proclamation in the synagogue that the prophecy was being fulfilled in their ear at that moment at the beginning of his ministry.  The director took liberties with this text and placed it near the end of his ministry.  However, if one can say it quite this way; the crucifixion was tastefully rendered and the earthquake scene at the moment of Jesus’ death was great cinematography in this writer’s opinion.  Plus, the resurrection footage was also well done and Jesus’ entrance into the locked rooms of his disciples showed a tenderness in that Jesus shows the nail holes in his hands to Thomas.  But again, in the Gospels, Thomas was not present the first time that Jesus revealed himself post-resurrection to his disciples.  Jesus presented himself a second time in which Thomas was finally present.  Another issue that this writer was disappointed in is that the director presented a montage of certain biblical events regarding Jesus i.e., his baptism as an afterthought, if you will.  Then as Jesus is leaving the temple, he tells a child that “no stone will be left upon another, not one,” when in the Gospels, he tells his disciples as they are sitting on a hill looking down at the temple mount.  However, again here is a praise for the movie; the director included a short reference to the book of Revelation with the Apostle John in exile on the Isle of Patmos, with Jesus coming to him and proclaiming that He is the Alpha and Omega.  This has not been included in any other Jesus film that this writer knows about.  Plus, this writer gives much kudos and applause to the writers who included Mary Magdelene along with Jesus’ male disciples (although there were quite a few women disciples following Jesus), but at least it shows the truth even as the Gospel narratives record the fact that Jesus had women disciples as well as men. While there can be given some literary license in how things are portrayed by Hollywood, when it comes to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, remaining true to the Biblical narrative is the best course of action.

Over all, despite the fact that critics are citing that Diogo Morgado presents a ‘hunky, and hot Jesus’ suitable only for Hollywood should be overlooked and more weight given to the Gospel narratives with the end result being that those people who have never known that much about the Lord Jesus Christ may want to look deeper into the matter.  This movie can be used as a great Evangelistic tool by Christians as long as the correct Gospel narratives are supplied to those that are seeking the one and only, Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth.

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