Tool Of The Devil
Is there a Believer alive who hasn't heard someone say, "I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior?" Is that really what happened? The common "formula" for being saved is to confess one's sins/sinfulness, and ask Jesus or God to forgive them. I've never heard anyone say that they were sitting around at coffee and Jesus showed up and asked if he could be their savior.
The devil says, "I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior." Do the people who parrot this sentence ever realize how it sounds to the listener? What a grand statement of ego. And I've certainly heard it said when it meant, "I'm better than you."
As usual, this is the devil's attempt at dis-focus on God. He'd like us to look anywhere but the Right Where.
This idea allows many to think that by saying, "I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior," they are saved, but show their true nature by not having the confidence to really "go against the grain". They haven't studied enough to make Jesus more than words in their mouths.
Study will also lead to God's reality, the real basis for faithing. Of course, we must remember that just reading a passage every day isn't study. For most, study should feel like some college course in the Bible. Strong's concordance, research commentaries, lexicons, interlinear and polyglot books. Detailed word studies and cross-referencing.
What is the root goal of Bible study? ? Is it to show off for their Believer friends? No! Is it so that a person can be an effective witness to unbelievers? Even though many would say "yes," "no" it the right answer, as we'll see below. Is it to know God better? Yes! By way of proving the supernatural inspiration of the writing, one also proves God's reality. This is the kind of evidence that would even be allowed in a court of law. Whereas someone's' personal experience will never convince anyone.
It's easy to see those who haven't really studied and know that God is real enough to actually help them out of some jam or to follow the true teaching in the Bible. That person may be able to spout verses in his or her sleep, but won't put more than a Twenty in the plate each Sunday. Because, "Tithing is Old Testament."
Jesus' mission, for God, was to preach the kingdom, not save the world. While God had made known His will that Jesus die, He did not command Jesus to die. He did command Jesus to preach about the kingdom that He would set up on the earth. Jesus real mission is reflected in what he preached. He either preached that God was going to set up a kingdom on earth or he preached what that kingdom would be like. He didn't preach his crucifixion or that God was opening up faithing to public view and it would no longer seem to only apply to the Jews. He said he was "not sent but for the lost sheep of the House of Israel." That's what God told him to do.
Jesus death was not part of him mission, but it did allow God to remarry the House of Israel, so they could help spread the word of the Kingdom. This News was assigned to the Israelites, all twelve tribes from the beginning. The House of Israel fell down on the job and went to idol worship. God divorced them and scattered them all over northwest Europe and the British Isles, and places to the east of the Holy Land. The Jews did pretty much the same but God left them in the Holy Land and didn't divorce them. But the few that came back from the Babylonian captivity became a clique and wouldn't dare think that salvation was for anyone but them. They weren't telling people about the kingdom.
Jesus tells his apostles, not the Believers in the pew on Sunday, to "..go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." He didn't say the House of Judah, the Jews. He meant the Lost Tribes. He gave this same mission to Paul when he taught what the Old Testament really meant That was during those three years they spent in the desert before Paul's return to Damascus. Follow Paul's journeys and you will know where the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel settled.
We really need to know what the Bible teaches about being saved. All translations in English are faulty due to there not being a word that expresses the definition of the Greek or Hebrew words for "faith". Both Greek and Hebrew words for "faith" or Trust" are verbs. Faith, in English, is more of a noun. It's commonly asked, "What faith are you?" One can't be Biblical faith. One must do biblical faith. To correct this lack, we'll just put and "ING" on the end of our English faith and say faithing.
So, faithing saves, but faithing only results from a firm belief in God's reality, which only comes from verifying the Bible's inspiration.
By the Greek definition, faithing is, an action, based on some word of God, continued with the confidence that the word is true, and always confronts some apparent negative circumstance that could hinder our action. Faith is a verb, not some belief.
Was Abraham saved? I don't think anyone would argue that he wasn't. Abraham is called the "Father of Faith." Did Abraham "accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior?" Obviously not. Abraham lived 2000 years before Christ.
If believing in Jesus didn't save Abraham, how was he saved? First, let me ask another question. Does God have double standards? Of course not.
God is single. He only saves one way. From Adam to you and me, the method hasn't changed. It's always been His Grace acknowledging our Trust in Him. Paul said it this way, "...saved by grace, through faith." In other words, God gives us His grace (saving) for our acts of faithing. Any writing that talks about salvation tells us it's the indwelling of God's Spirit. God gracefully gives us His Spirit when we faithe.
We are saved by the same way that Abraham was saved. Faithing. He's called the Father of Faith because of the many examples of faithing Abraham performed at the command to God. Leaving home, tithing to Melchizedek, offering Isaac, just to name a few. Abraham's neck was stuck way out for God more than once. But Abe acted on God's word in spite of apparent negative circumstances. Faithing. How do we get the courage to go against the grain?
Faithing depends on two things:
1-God is real
2-The Bible is true
Any faith act depends on how much we really believe God. We don't act on things we don't believe. In order to prove God we have to find out something about Him. To do that we can only go to the Bible. We can find lots of stuff about God in the Bible. What He has said about Himself. What He wants from us. What He's done with those before us. Deeper study of these things will show us that God must be real, due to all the things He said that came to pass. Fulfilled Bible prophecy is a treasure trove of God's reality. And, as said, When we find that the Bible is true, we also prove that God is true, through the inspiration given to the writers.
This knowledge allows us the courage to act the way God instructs. We will be able to give up a quarter of our lives to God-pursuits; studying, edifying other Believers with our study, researching other Believer's study, supporting those leaders of Believers. Paul tells us in Ephesians four that the function of the church is the edification of its members, Believers. It says NOTHING about unbelievers or evangelism. Believers are not to evangelize? How will people get saved?
It is the Holy Spirit's job, according to Jesus, to "draw" people to God. The HS, not us. We don't try and draw people to God. We only show off God to other Believers. That means we don't start God-conversations with unbelievers. What it doesn't mean is that we stay aloof from unbelievers. If that were true, then the Holy Spirit wouldn't have anyone to whom to Draw . The more one learns, the more one can be available for the Holy Spirit to lead someone to ask a question. All we can do is keep filling our God Depository with more study.
Paul told us two things: 1-the kingdom; 2-How to get in. Jesus gave Paul the same mission as the other Apostles. The bulk of his writing is restating the Old Testament with the new slant on faithing. Look at it this way. Paul didn't preach salvation, but the way to be part of the Kingdom. Salvation isn't an end. It's only a means. People act like salvation is the end of everything. Saved, don't have to do anything else. They don't realize that salvation is only a first step to participating in the Kingdom. From then on, a complete change of lifestyle is required. That 25%.
How many Apostles were commanded to save souls? None. "Making learners" in all the world is not converting. What was Jesus' command to the Apostles? Preach the kingdom. That preaching would lead to the question, "How do I get into the Kingdom?" The answer is faithing, to believe the word of God and act on it. This answer will come as a result of teaching the Bible. Paul says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God." In other words, learning the Bible will show God's reality and give the person the confidence to depend on God, faithe.
What were the early churches commanded to do? Go out and make converts of unbelievers? Witness resulting in salvation? Leading someone to the Lord? No. The Apostles were told to go preach, not the parishioners. They just sold everything and got together to worship God. and minister to the new converts that showed up. Paul's churches weren't commanded by him to make converts. He commanded them to follow the morality of the Ten Commandments, but never said that would save them.
Jesus and Paul spent a lot of time talking about giving. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were "right to tithe." He had a lot to say about the way we should give; in secret, not letting it be broadcast around like the Pharisees. Dr. Scott used to say that Jesus taught more about giving than he did about heaven.
Paul even went so far as to equate giving with the implantation of God's Spirit. He said that one proves the Spirit by the way one gives. The Spirit makes a giver out of people. Here's the truth. If you're not tithing, you haven't' got enough of the Spirit to overcome you Ego's rationalizations that you can't afford to give away ten percent of what comes in.
Outside of the moral things, Paul only told them to support their teachers. All but two of his letters tell the people to pay the teacher. The rotten translation of the Greek is "communicate." The Greek word means, "share materially." Paul goes on to say "...in all good things," so it's clear that he didn't mean that the folks should would write him a letter now and then. He even commands the Corinthians to start putting aside their offerings every week.
Giving? Yes. We're commanded on all sides to give.
Who can save someone? Me? Can you? Can your pastor? How about your denomination President? Can Jesus? Can God? I now a lot of people would say Jesus and God, with some even saying only Jesus.
Jesus, doesn't save. I know that raises a lot of eyebrows and even mocking. Most of Christianity believes that Jesus saves. It's on signs all over the world. But again, God didn't send Jesus to save the world. So we have to find another way to look at Jesus. Saving and Jesus can't be separated. But our saving isn't accomplished by Jesus. It is available to us because of what he did, but he doesn't do the saving. It's God who saves, by implanting His Spirit in faithers. Jesus work was done when he ascended to God and now sits at His right hand. No more work to do.
God saves. He tells us in Jeremiah that He will make a new covenant with Israel. Given that faithing was openly talked about in the Old Testament and now in the New Testament it is openly preached as a means to the Kingdom, this is the "new covenant." Salvation is available to anyone who faithes, acts in trust of God's word. Remember, Abraham was saved by faithing, just like us.
The other view of saving and the new covenant is by remembering what Paul taught about the Ten Commandments. They never were the agent of salvation. They were only meant to be our "schoolmaster." A teacher, not a saver. I think that much confusion has been wrought by thinking that the Ten Commandments was a covenant of salvation, instead of the rule book for life. Deeper study will show that all those laws, from sacrificing, to not planting anything the seventh year, were only meant to teach people to act in trust of God.
I feel I need to clarify Jesus mission and crucifixion. I've said over and over that Jesus mission was to preach the Kingdom of God coming in the Millennium and that his death was NOT required by God.
This sets up a false premise that his death didn't save us. This is not true. Isaiah tells us point blank that Jesus took our iniquities. But this needs sorting out.
Understanding the fact that Jesus' mission wasn't to save the world leads us where God would have us look; at the Lost Tribes. By focusing only on the salvation opened up by Jesus' death, we miss the sure evidence of God's faithfulness in keeping all His promises to the House of Israel. Jesus life, death and resurrection is a lot harder to prove than God's reality through a study of the Lost Tribes. This confirmation will give us a surer knowledge of God and boost our faithing strength and confidence.
I believe that Jesus fulfilled God's promise of the indwelling Spirit that Jeremiah prophesies in chapter 31, verse 31, which number scholars have termed as meaning "offering of the seed." Would that be he same as offering One's only Son? The indwelling of the Spirit is found in many places, especially in Paul's letters.
So again, two major events happened at Jesus first advent. He fulfilled his mission from God to let people know about the Kingdom and what it would be like. Then his death, which can only be seen as an act of love for the Father, opened the door to the Holy Spirit to go at large drawing unbelievers to the word of God, in order to help them faithe and receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is only the prime example of God's reality, proving what God said about resurrecting Believers to immortality. Part of the teaching of the Kingdom is that immortals will help Jesus rule the earth during the Millennium. There will be two types of beings on the earth. The mortal human beings and the "glorified" use-to-be-humans, who are now changed and part of the God-family. They are better than angels, the way God and Jesus are better than angels.
David will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel. The Apostles will each rule over one of the tribes. We will need someone like Moses to be the Secretary of State, under Jesus. We'll need some like Joseph to run the world economy. We'll need someone like Elijah to run the world religion. On the local level, saints will be given city administration jobs, or be assigned as pastors over churches. The government of the world will be run be the God Family.
So, what is the place of evangelism for Believers? There isn't one. And please notice that true evangelists, like those referred to by Paul do not go door to door or work on an individual basis. Like Billy Graham, they rent a hall and put out the word that they will be there. The Holy Spirit will draw someone to attend. Bottom Line: Leave unbelievers alone. Never initiate God stuff. But study so the Holy Spirit will have one more place to draw an un-believer. When the unbeliever asks a question, then you can open your mouth.
Here is one last question. What is THE reason behind ALL that God does with humans?
Everything is done to help humans trust God. Faithe. The whole of humanity would be saved if they all faithed. Over seven billion Believers. WOW!!
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