False Prophets & Teachers Among Us

false-teachers

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber…For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who [i]have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” ~2 Peter 2:1-2,18-19 NKJV

false-prophetsSome time ago I had a bit of a disagreement with some Ghanaian friends on Facebook. They, the Ghanaian People or the Legislature, were proposing a law that you must have a bachelors degree in theology in order to be a minister/priest. I took umbrage with such an argument on several accounts. First as a matter of rights ordained upon us by God and secondly, as a matter of liberty which would be eventually taken away by the government. John the Baptist had no degree in such studies and yet he drove people to repentance. We were reminded by the Apostle Paul that,

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.” ~Romans 1:26-27 NKJV

While this verse primarily discussed the vile passions as being those of homosexuality, the looser reading would be of the vile passions of our spiritual hearts. How many fallen evangelists have had degrees?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant” ~1Corinthians 3:5-6 NKJV

We have been charged by God, through Jesus, to minister to the people of the world, every nation. We each are called to do so. But, unfortunately, not all heed the call. Just as we were reminded that we will always have the poor among us, we will always have false teachers and prophets among us, as well. And I say this based upon the fact that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” For false-teachers1whatever their reason or desire, the evil in man’s heart will always strive to turn man from the spiritual blessings that God has to offer him in his life.

It is my opinion, that we can recognize these false teachers and prophets by the fruits of their actions and demeanor. We are suppose to be active learners and studiers of God’s Word by comparing our actions and the actions of our teachers to the Word we have. Anyone who varies the Word and changes the Word to suit his needs…is not a teacher or prophet of God. We are reminded by the Gospel of Matthew the following:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ~Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

My greatest concern with such a situation as this, there are several situations which will create adverse problems with an enmeshing of government and religion.

  1. There will be a state sponsored church or religion and all others made illegal.
  2. If you do not meet the state requirements, you cannot be an evangelist, apologist, or pastor.
  3. Some European countries take your 10% tithes out when you claim a religion as part of your taxes.
  4. Though you meet the state mandated requirements, you are free to reassess the tenets of the religion; thereby teaching it wrongly.

The blind allegiance to a country’s governing authority over all matters within the country is very troubling to me. It is bad enough in America where all things religion and political are being reassessed all of the time and reinterpreted all of the time. Sadly, it is very hard to get the student of the Word of God to actually actively listen and discern what he or she is being taught while sitting in church. All the while thinking it was a great and appealing service. We are reminded by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans:

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” ~Romans 1:24-25 NKJV

I believe God gave us not only the ability to discern right from wrong, truth from false, love for God and His Word and a reprehensible hatred of/toward it. God, by His Grace, gave us reason and logic to formulate an understanding in every situation, as well as, the ability to discern the proper path that we should take in any given situation. While the Apostle Paul’s statement in the Book of Romans was primarily geared toward sexuality, it can and is applicable in all matters of truth. God has, throughout the history of man, given man over to the lusts of his heart when he chose not to follow God’s Word. The term “lust” could be anything that man has placed higher in his own heart and mind above that of God.

The Word of God, the Bible, is a manual for our lives and should be used everyday in order to compare what people say (including pastors, ministers, and other people of God) against what the teachings of Christ are. In so doing, we can determine, through the gift of reason and logic, if a person truly is a man or woman of God. By comparing what they teach, say, and how they act we will know their intentions, because You Will Know Them by Their Fruits.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ~Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

We, the species of man, should not be placing our governments above our abilities to reason and logic and entrust them is such a way that they will be our moral compass in our lives to protect us from all wrong doings. I have always say, and still believe to this day – despite how crass it may be, “The government is so inept that it can run a brothel into the ground.” [A brothel being an entity which is a self contained and revenue generating business since the beginning of time.] Refer to the article: That Time the U.S. Gov’t Tried (and Failed) to Run a Brothel.

While God has placed our governing authorities in their place for specific purposes, He did not place them where they are that we should place our governing authorities in a higher priority and position to God in our lives. WE must step up our game and strive to make those determining decisions as to what is right and wrong and choose to follow God’s Word and love. These teaching, which Christ promoted and carried forth throughout His ministry, were meant to guide us and lead us to God.

I will leave you with this final word: Read and Follow God’s Word! Rely on no one and nothing else in God’s place.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

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Comparatively Speaking…We All Suck

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The bible is rather explicit on this point!

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;”” ~Romans 3:10 NKJV

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” ~Mark 10:18 NKJV

For there is not a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:20 NKJV

The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” ~Psalm 14:2-3 NKJV

This was but a sampling of what the bible has to say about the righteousness of the species of man. As the title of this blog posting indicates, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING…WE ALL SUCK! That is of course if you compare man to God. Comparing yourself to others in the human race does you no good! While speaking on the good of a person many will think that they deserve to go to heaven because they are no Hitler or Stalin! Think about that for a moment. Nowhere in the bible does it indicate that only Hitlers and Stalins go to hell. No, nowhere!

We are saved by the grace of God…a gift to us that we do not deserve to have. Consider what God did for us, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8 NKJV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~John 3:16 NKJV

All the while we are reminded from the very beginning that man is a bad boy on the block:

the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

Do not get me wrong, man can do some good things, too. But the underlying ideology is that man is evil from his youth. Men do great things, we can accomplish feats of amazement, creating what was not long ago a thing of incomprehensible power, and the list can go on and on… Consider the following:

abacusThe Abacus (unknown when it was created) was used Mechanical_calculatorsprior to the Arabic numeral system. This sooner or later morphed into the calculating machine which came on the scene in the 1850’s. Which then morphed into the adding machines. Now I couldn’t tell you which idea came first the adding machine or the computer, but it is my suspicion that one was UNIVAC_1101spawned of the other. The crazy powerful computers (some truly are super computers.) The ENIAC (the first computer) was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania and began construction in 1943 and was not completed until 1946. It occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 tons. iPhone8Then there was the UNIVAC 1101 which weighed about 8.4 short tons (7.6 t) and used 2700 vacuum tubes for its logic circuits. Its drum memory was 8.5 in (22 cm) in diameter, rotated at 3500 rpm, had 200 read-write heads, and held 16,384 24-bit words (a memory size equivalent to 48 kB.) Now you have the power of an iPhone (i have an 8 with 64 GB of memory); therefore the comparative difference is 1333333.333333333 times greater in your hand than that of the UNIVAC computer.

Sorry, got a little overboard there…but the idea was that man can do good. However, man whatever good he does has a nasty and historical tendency to take what is good and use it for evil intents. Consider the Tower of Babel. Man sought to be as God. Look at Sodom & Gomorrah. The Sodomites sought to do evil and unnatural things and were therefore destroyed due to their great abominations in God’s sight. The two towns of evil were discovered in the 20th century with the added mention of “The entire area was covered with a thick layer of ash from the firestorm that totally destroyed the town.” ~The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Apr 16, 2008 – by Bryant G. Wood PhD.

Sadly, man has proven himself to be good and bad, righteous and evil…and he needed no help from anyone else! We can do it all on our own. Consider medical advances over the last several decades. Some great and others not so much so. Heart transplants, lung transplants, the advancement in cancer research and survival rates have increased astronomically, stem cell research,  and of course Planned Parenthood.  Each can be used for the betterment of the human race, just as much so each can be used for the detriment of the human race. It has always been easier for man to destroy than to create. Now, man has kicked God out of schools and has, in essence, divorced God from his own soul.

We all fail to realize that man, his spirit and his soul, and everything he possesses, everything in and on the earth, as well as throughout the universe…IT ALL BELONGS TO GOD!

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” ~Psalm 24:1 NKJV

It is truly our purpose to glorify God, that is our purpose in life. All we have to do is accept Christ into our hearts and lives and live for Him, seeking the Holy Spirit of God to be poured into our hearts and souls and therefore be guided by Him.

that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Romans 15:6 NKJV

Let us seek to follow God and follow Him, thereby, glorifying Him by yielding our whole self, heart and mind to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that we may do what we were originally designed to do!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Prayer is the Foci of All Things

Prayer is the foci of all things! Meaning prayer, or lack of, is at the center of all our blessings or problems. Each of us tend to have a bad time because we do not focus on God and all of the blessings that He has provided each of us every day! Many of us are having problems despite our focus on God and being grateful and thankful for the blessing we possess. How can we focus on God, be grateful or thankful to God, or for that matter praise God for all that He has given us without prayer in our lives?

Consider this, for a moment, just talking to God can be considered prayer. The meaning of prayer can be rather simple or complex, dependent upon who is doing the defining.

Bible Quotes on Prayer

effective prayer works

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.1 John 5:14

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.1 John 5:15

Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.2 Chronicles 6:21

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.John 17:15

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

More Bible praying quotes at the BibleStudyTools.com Prayer Bible Verses page.

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” – Billy Graham

While watching a series on PureFlix, Unlocking the Secrets of an Intentional Life (Season 1), which began as something to watch after work & before bed…after all, I had about 30 minutes to kill off. But it is an interesting series (as of now I am 3 into the series of 6.) But the premise is to develop new habits through making intentional decisions, thereby uncovering your purpose and potential in all areas of your life to glorify God in your life. My “one thing”, or habit, that I have chosen to develop through this is the power of prayer by setting aside time by the end of my day, at the very least, to be thankful and grateful to God and to petition Him for me to be more submissive to His will and to rejuvenate my heart, soul and spirit with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am during this period of time trying to also set aside the time in the morning to be grateful for the breath of life. You know the old adage:

Targets-Zig

It is as simple as that! The classic Zig Ziglar quote that makes you chuckle, ponder, reflect and think all at the same time!

In order to accomplish anything, we must first know what it is that we want. A novel idea for some people who just desire to dream. After you know what it is that you want to do, you need to break them down into small steps (ahhhhhh…the dreaded To Do List!) This includes when we desire to change our habits or other problems we desire to fix in our lives. But any-hooooooo…let us get back to prayer.

So prayer is something that I need to do more of and my ignorant angering frustrated actions and reactions should slowly go to the wayside. Or so I hope.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. ~Romans 12:10-13 NASB

According to the Apostle Paul, we should be devoted to prayer, why so? Because if we are to truly seek God’s will and purpose in our lives…we must seek HIS face and Spirit! Through this guidance is the only way to accomplish such a task in our life.

In order for us to understand God, His Word (the Bible), find our purpose, and what we should do while we reside on this mortal coil called earth…we must pray, we must read & study the Bible, and reflect on the ultimate meaning within the context of the Biblical text.

THIS is the prime reason that we should be following a Bible reading plan at all times, it is also a reason as to why we should be members of a home church, and why we should be members of a Bible study group. We should be surrounded by those who are like minded Christians (not to mean you will never have disputes, but with respect to the Bible that we should be in unity as Paul described in Ephesians 4:1-16 and at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:10. In this respect we are to agree with the Word of God and it’s intended meaning…not what we think it means. The Books of the Bible say what they mean to say, but all too often people try to see extra biblical meanings and tend to teach or believe heresies, very potentially. THIS is also why we are to study the Word of God! To prevent such heretical beliefs.

We as Christians, as a community, society, a country, and as a world need to get back to our basics by praying to God (request, supplicate, praise, seek, etc.) with all aspects of our lives, as meaningless as we feel they may be. Seek His will and your purpose through prayer. This is how we can become closer to God! This is my one thing goal to accomplish…to become closer to God, daily!

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Man…Is of few days and full of trouble

Man

Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.

~Job 14:1

We each were born and from that moment forth we began to die. Our demise was and is inevitable. It will come at different times for each and every one of us, but our death is certain and sure. On that same note we were born with sin on our hands, our very nature is that of sinfulness if not kept in check or if not guided. Without the outward guidance, we each would find ourselves in a relativistic immoral vacuum. Without a moral law giver, how could it be anything but immoral? Consider this: 1.  Everything that Hitler and his cronies accomplished was according to German law; 2. Everything Joseph Stalin accomplished was according to Russian law; and 3. Everything Mao Tse Tung had done was accomplished according to Chinese law. [The list could go on and on.] The fact is this, without an outside moral force (something personal and outside our plain of reality) to create our moral code for us, would simply create a relativistic vacuum where we would see that all things are permissible if our moral law giver does not exist…hence, God.

In either case, our lives would be full of trouble because of and wholly due to our sinful nature. We naturally want to press that red button we are not suppose to touch…it is in our nature. No cookies before dinner, or you will lose your appetite! And you get caught, or not, with your hand in the cookie jar. Again, the list could go on and on…

These are sins in God’s sight, Why you may ask? Because our parents are our elders  and our trainers and we are to “Honor your father and your mother…” (Deuteronomy 5:16 NASB) Our parents, together, are our first sight of the God who created us and we are to be trained up in order to learn our place in this world. We need to learn who God is and how He fits in our lives. And must learn the purpose for which we were created, how we can glorify the God who wove us in the womb of our mother, AND how we can attain salvation.

Once you turn your life over to God, in Jesus’ care and by counsel of the Holy Spirit…you are on the road to both inward and outward change. In time, time may vary in comparison to others, you will outwardly act in a manner which will glorify God, and God will use you and I. God has a tendency to use those who are weakest in their tribes to do great & wondrous things.

Thinking parallel, the same YOU who chooses not to turn his, or her, life over to God has other avenues of living. To live without God is to live without a moral lawgiver. To live without a moral lawgiver you live without recognition of sin & wrongdoing in your life…and hence, as mentioned earlier, without God then all things are permissible.

Consider this: If there are religions and there is the possibility that any one of TUITthem may be true, then we have a duty, for our own soul’s sake, to research them and determine for ourselves. If God exists, we have a duty…perhaps even an obligation to seek Him out and then to glorify Him and praise Him. Most people are of the mind that they will get to it later…much later. And sometimes that time never comes because we never got a round tuit! Guess what? Sometimes you will never receive a round tuit to get things done, YOU just have to do them on your own accord…me…I am pretty bad about such things. I would like to think I am working on it, but I fail at every turn. But we each must grab ourselves by our bootstraps and get up and GO DO IT!

Most of our lives are filled with turmoil, trials, tribulation and troubles…this is mainly because we try to do things without God. Even in the little things and small decisions…we need God. But we fail, miserably, at recognizing that even in those little things in our lives…God wants to be in on such things.

God is concerned for even the birds of the air, and you are a step above them as He knows your name and He knows your needs before you do.

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. ~John 16:23 NASB

There are times you will ask and things do not seem to be happening. Sometimes the answer is no, it could be because you ask with wrong motives, or it is not God’s will for such a thing to happen. We consistently revert back to that angst filled teen that complains and whines because we did not get what we wanted..but get this, it may not be something you needed. God grants what you need. Don’t get me wrong, there are times He will grant you things that you want, but as a good Father in heaven…it is what you need that you will get. Sometimes we need to learn patience, or that we just won’t get all that we ask for. But God is always there, He will never leave you nor forsake you!

No matter how hard you try to be good or righteous in act or deed…you, along with me, will always fail in some way shape or form. As it is in our carnal nature to sin. We were reminded by the Apostle Paul:

“as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 NASB

Which was intimated to us centuries ago by by King David:

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” ~Psalm 14:1 NASB

We each have a problem, that is, we are human and very carnal creatures. We want what is easy, we do not want to work hard for anything, and if at all possible…we would love it to just be given to us. But this is not the way life works. While there is an uprising of those who are entitlement crazed, for you to have something is not necessarily a right…even if it is espoused by a political or religious leader.

We are in desperate need of a return to ethical and moral living, a reminder that God who supplies us with every breath we take and the moral laws that we should be living by. We need to go back to the old ways; while they may be harder, but more often than not it is better for our character.

Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.” ~Psalm 37:34 NASB

“He strikes them like the wicked In a public place, Because they turned aside from following Him, And had no regard for any of His ways; So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted—” ~Job 34:26-28 NASB

Things don’t always have to be troublesome, just turn to Him and pray for His guidance!

There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.” ~Deuteronomy 4:28-30 NASB

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Once Saved, Always Saved ~REVISITED

eternman

Some of you are probably wondering, will he ever just move on? What is up with this topic? This, quite honestly, is a hot topic for many, not just myself. And as like so many, I want everyone to have as much knowledge and understanding at their fingertips in order to make a truly wise, understandable, knowledgeable, and prayerful decision as to what they truly believe about the subject matter at hand! In the past (August & September of 2015) I wrote a two part blog posting on this very subject (Once Saved, Always Saved? & Once Saved, Always Saved? ~Part 2). The blog postings were cursory and were unassumingly ambiguous, in that, I still was not certain at that time about the subject. However, I desired to get as much of the information out to you so that you could decide for yourselves, despite the fact that I was not 100% sure in either case. Many have the belief that once saved & always saved is a fallacy and a license to sin, because if one cannot lose their salvation then they can do anything without regard to consequences. Remember Father Zosima’s quote, from Dostoevsky’sBrothers Karamazov“, “If there is no God then all things are permissible.”

This is not what the bible teaches. And if you can lose your salvation then you aren’t truly saved, hmmmmmmm…also, this is not taught within the biblical text. So, this, I hope, is the last of this question and my input on this subject, as I am (as you can see) grasping information from numerous sources. But no promises on this being the last word on this topic of discussion. Also, it is not like I do not have other topics to discuss, as I have in my drafts anywhere up to 40-50+ topics. But as with anything else, your mind is constantly thinking on what NEEDS to be heard and understood by those who follow your blog(s). I hope I keep everyone busy and tantalized by the topics that are posted.

My greatest problem, that which holds me back from this teaching, is the fact that I believe that somehow we (mankind) can subvert our salvation through our God given right to choose (good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or evil, etc.) I understand that the grace of God is how we receive our salvation which is a gift from God. I also understand that many rely on this scripture:

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ~John 6:37-38 NASB

My problem with this is that God, Jesus, says, “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…” which leads me to believe that though Jesus will not cast a person out, but if he can chose to be saved by calling on God, can he not also choose to walk away from such a glorious gift, as well? Consider the story of George Wilson, the man who refused a presidential pardon. This is my dilemma, which I hope to solve by the end of this particular blog posting. Therefore, my friends, this will probably be my longest post, or several blog posts, only time and research will tell. Sorry!

So, what is the Doctrine of Free Will? According to Matt Slick of CARM.org he has defined as such:

Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion.  There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people.  There are two main views:  compatibilism and libertarianism…The compatibilist view is the position that a person’s freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture and that his free will is consistent with God’s foreordination…Libertarian free will says that the person’s will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely…[see more of this refer to What is free will? ]

Free will and the Christian religion

The problem of free will assumed quite a new character with the advent of the Christian religion. The doctrine that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law, made the reality of moral liberty an issue of transcendent importance. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the colour of his eyes. All alike are inexorably predetermined for him. Again, the difficulty of the question was augmented still further by the Christian dogma of the fall of man and his redemption by grace. St. Paul, especially in his Epistle to the Romans, is the great source of the Catholic theology of grace. ~Catholic Encyclopedia

This might be a good segue to ask what was the point of the law? What was the purpose of the law? Remember what the Apostle Paul told us, in Romans 7:

…I would not have come to know sin except through the Law… ~Romans 7:7 NASB

So, the law was a means of accomplishing your salvation, that linked with the blood sacrifice of animals could land you into heaven. Of course, you would have to adhere to all of the 613 laws on the books and properly and morally give your blood sacrifices throughout your life. And Jesus taught us that He was “…the way the truth and the light…” by which we could “…come to the Father” and it was only through He that we could do so. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry He, during the Lord’s supper, stated (according to the Apostle Matthew):

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” ~Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV

We are reminded of the “My blood of the new covenant”, which was a foretelling of His own trial and tribulation that the Christ had to endure in order to become the final sacrifice…for us all…once and for all! Yes…do you you get it now? He died for you and me, for all of us and for all those not yet born. Now, with the “New Covenant” through the blood of Jesus we are no longer held accountable to the law. Now we are to live as Jesus lived; Jesus being our premier example of how to live.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NKJV

When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He meant that His task was completed for all mankind; i.e., He was that final sacrifice. Upon that moment Jesus gave up His Spirit and His blood was spilled on our behalf, as our final sacrifice. We were freed from the law…although, keep in mind the law is what we use to determine if we are sinning in any particular area of our lives. Of course, this is a no braniner since,  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (for better context refer to Romans 3:21-26 NASB.) This is why we are saved by grace through faith [in the blood of Jesus…the lamb which was slaughtered on our behalf.] Further consider what the Apostle Paul had written:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB 

CrucifixionJesus suffered for each and every one of us and He was held accountable for each and every one of our sins. Those nails, the crown of thorns, the cross upon which He bore our sins…it is in our place that he was condemned, it was for our sins He died.This was prophesied by Isaiah, one of the major prophets:

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. ~Isaiah 53:3 NASB

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. ~Isaiah 53:7 NASB

We all think, at some points in time, that we are good people. But what exactly Maniacsdo we use as a basis for our arrogant statement? Why? Because we didn’t kill anyone? Because we aren’t Hitler? Stalin? Mao Tse Tung? Pol Pot? THAT is a bit relativistic, don’t you think? The list could literally go one for quite some time, but for brevity I will leave it there. But, yes, Jesus died for each of them. Yet, they did not accept Jesus…they rejected Him and therefore, Jesus also rejected them. Remember what Jesus taught?

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:32-39 NASB 

license-to-sin

Now, from a moral standpoint we are not given a license to sin. Because as children of God we are to strive to be better than what we once were. Unfortunately, I know people who take this literally as a license to sin. And if they do sin, there is no admission of such a thing, because it wasn’t them but the evil one who sinned within them…hmmmmmmmm.

So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.~Romans 7:17-20 NASB

This is but one, there may be others because the Apostle Paul generally refers to other things he has written about. However, people take this out of context for their benefit in order to sin and continue to keep on sinning. We are meant to understand that we do wrong because of the sinful nature within us. That being said, we are to use Jesus as our Godly example of how we are to live out our lives. But because that is way too hard to do…we should just let our bodies do what they will do, because our souls are saved. That is ungodly thinking and antithetical to the teachings of the bible. Look at the Apostle Paul who killed Christians his brothers & sisters. You can see in his writings that he is tormented due to the memory of what he once was and what he did, but he knew and held on to the hope that Jesus forgave him and he made great strides to do God’s work and fulfill the purpose for which he was created. Let’s look at King David who was a warrior, an adulterer, he lusted, and he killed in order to hide the truth, but God was there and saw it all. Consider, for a moment, that if we were to live as though we have a license to sin then why didn’t the Apostle Paul continue to torment and torture Christians? If what happens while in our flesh truly didn’t matter, then Paul had a license to continue to do what he was doing. And the same could be said of King David. But they each knew they were wrong due to the sin that was within them and they struggled to be better. If God could save David and Saul (Paul), then that gives us great hope…because God wants to save each and every one of us. He desires all of mankind to be saved and to enter into the heavenly realm.

I love the Matt Slick explained his point of view on this, in his article THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

…Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” Usually, the eyes brighten at this point. I then keep going…

Well, I think I truly kept my word, this is the longest post I have written…<<whew!>>

Here after the teaching of the Beatitudes while still speaking to the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised and forewarned us:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5:17-20 NASB

All in all, I believe the final belief that can be derived from this post is that we are saved eternally from the aspect that Jesus was that final sacrificial lamb to die for all of our sins. Those who have not yet been born and those who have died. We are told that we will answer for our sins, but unless we lived a life antithetical to God’s word without ever seeking God’s forgiveness, we are saved. Though we sin, we will still answer for them but we are heaven-bound.

Do not forget about the thief on the cross…REMEMBER HIM?

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:39-43 NASB

You can be on your deathbed, and if you are truly seeking God’s forgiveness, He will give it. You might consider reading the minor prophet’s Book of Jonah. If God was willing to forgive the Ninevites, how much happier do you think God would be that YOU seek His salvation and forgiveness?

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB

So now is the time for you to seek God out, pray to Jesus. Find a bible believing church in your area and start associating with the like minded. Search out a bible that you can read and that is good for your soul. I read the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and the KJV. Most of my references are NASB & NKJV. To help you look here:

BibleSpectrumChart1

Also, one of my other blogs I posted What is the Best Bible to Read? Which has numerous references and articles for you to glean through in order to make your decision.

May the Love of God Shine upon each and everyone of you in your life’s journey toward salvation! I pray for each and every one of you that you find your way, if lost; those of you who are already saved…I pray for you to see and understand God’s will and purpose for you in your lives.

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

REFERENCES:

The Bible (BibleGateway NKJV & NASB)

The Assurance of Salvation by Matt Slick (CARM.org)

1 John 5:16-17, The sin leading to death

What is once saved always saved? by Matt Slick

What is the Eternal Security of the Believer? by Matt Slick

What is the difference between eternal security, once saved always saved, and perseverance of the saints? by Matt Slick

If eternal security is true, why did the Holy Spirit depart from Saul? by Luke Wayne

Can the Christian believer lose his salvation? by Matt Slick

What is free will? by Matt Slick

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

A Question On Assumption & Belief

assume

People tend to question the motives of Christians who assume certain things they believe as factual and true, even though the person who challenges or questions, has no actual basis for an argument as he has done no historical research. On the other hand, Darwinists or Evolutionists argue for the Big Bang theory and stand by scientific findings on the age of this world, which according to scientists is 4.5 Billion years old (approximately.) Of course, this is based upon Carbon-14 dating methods.

While I am no expert on genetics, or any other science for that matter, that is why I (as do others) do our research and rely (have faith in) on and in the work that has been done by those who work in such fields of specialty. Science relies, in certain instances, on assumptions of information they do not have. Carbon dating methods rest on the assumption that carbon deteriorates at the same rate over the course of time, even at the millions of years, or billions of years. My limited understanding of the Carbon Dating method is to compare the two variant Carbon molecules. (C14/C12 notated as a ratio.)

Carbon-14, (14C or C14) or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.

Carbon12, (12C or C12) is of particular importance in its use as the standard from which atomic masses of all nuclides are measured: its mass number is 12 by definition and contains 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons.

dna

Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30,000 dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years. One of the impressive points Whitewall makes is the conspicuous absence of dates between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago illustrating a great catastrophe killing off plant and animal life world wide (the flood of Noah)!

Anthropologists, archaeologists, among others rely on other information in order to calculate the age of a demised animal, dinosaur, etc. Hence, genetics are used in certain instances. According to Roma Panganiban, The short answer to the question “how long does DNA last?” is complicated, and determined by a number of unpredictable factors such as weather and the organism’s final resting place.

We, as people or as students, are expected to accept (lock, stock, & barrel) the information given us by our superiors (teachers and others in academia) and we are to have blind faith on what is presented to us. And in many instances, if you should raise questions or challenge such things presented to you, or perhaps in research/term papers you take an opposing view, there is the potential for academic suicide (which is an intended future blog post.) If you value your grades you will acquiesce and play the game, but if you value your position (as being a point of principle) you will stand your ground all the while you see your academic career plummet. Or, if you listen to Ben Shapiro, you will not commit academic suicide and you will play the game so that you may survive to fight another day.

Case in point, while attending the university for my second Bachelors degree, I had to take a course (politically based upon history & citizenship), I took a Libertarian/Constitutionalist position within this paper which was, in fact, opinion based. I received a mid-level grade of C (78%). On an opinion based paper…how do you get a C??? How does your “Blue Dog Democrat” Professor give you a 78%??? Coincidence or conspiracy…you decide. But things such as this happen far more often in more liberal parts of this country’s educational buildings than here in the Midwest. That was the only time I had such a thing happen to me.

Can we trust science and scientists? Yes, we can; provided that they let the evidence take them on the journey and lead them to the answers. Not allowing their preconceived notion or agenda take them on the ride of their life and make the details fit the facts.

Darwin’s famous research on evolution was but a theory based upon speculation with the high hopes that future scientists would find the missing evidences. While it is a proven fact that germs, bacterium, and the like can and will mutate. Not one scientist can show an observable instance where the Darwinian Evolutionary process has occurred where something morphed from one kind or species to another. Most of such scientists will refer to the mutations and changes of on bacterium to another, but that is the case isn’t it? Bacterium changing to bacterium is not a change in kind or species…it remains a bacterium.

The Darwinianists cannot find the, so-called, missing link. That jump from one species of humanoid-like to human being. They keep saying it is there…but never quite get to the proof. Almost like the “Global Warming,” or the “Climate Change” believers. Sorry, the science doesn’t bear it out, they’re called seasons of changing weather patterns. The old adage, “Liars can figure, and figures can lie” is quite appropriate. People will use all they have at their fingertips in order to prove what they want you to believe. And even the NAZIs believed that if you tell a lie big enough and long enough that the people will eventually believe it.

The fact remains, if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present – could He make the earth as old or as young as He desires? Could God use different things, such as mans intelligence, strength, etc. to confound his own beliefs?

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise ~1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

I hope I did not confuse you any more than possible. Do I think it is a big deal to argue over how old the earth is? No, not at all. In fact, we are mandated not to argue in the book of Timothy, “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…” (2 Timothy 2:23 NKJV) Quite honestly, the arguments and disputes that come from such arguments are not helpful to your purpose as a disciple of Jesus. Our job is to present the information and let the Holy Spirit and God and Jesus do their thing! The glory is all His…none falls to me or you. We are just assistants or tools to accomplish certain things in this scenario. Godspeed, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

References:

How does the radiocarbon dating method work?

Is radiocarbon dating based on assumptions?

Is Carbon Dating Reliable? by Helen Fryman

Desperation Leads To Deliverance

Notes Deperation pt4

In Mark 5 we learn of several people: the man from the tombs who is possessed, Jairus and his dying daughter, and the woman with the bleeding disorder. Jesus, throughout His life made a great many “Bold Statements” to the people He taught, instructed, healed, befriended, etc. While the title of this post is not a bold statement which Jesus made…it is, however, a bold statement made due to plain observation of His many encounters with those who were desperate.

Each of these people had desperate problems, desperate needs, and (most had) faith in Jesus to heal.

Everyone had the notion in their heads, at one point in time, who is this Jesus? Who is He that He can heal? Only God can heal, only the healers and men of God can heal…who is this Jesus?

Gods handJesus, the Son of God, who has authority over sicknesses, ailments, death, hunger, the disposition & health of one’s soul, etc. YEAH, that Jesus. It is hard to believe that when one makes their way through the biblical accounts of Jesus, His travels, His trials & turmoil, His teachings & sermons, His healing of the sick and disenfranchised…hard to believe that anyone could ask such a thing. Considering the fact that even after His crucifixion & death, in the area of Jerusalem that His teachings were continued by His Apostles and followers. Jesus1If that which was taught about or by Him was wrong why was there no outcry against it? If He were not crucified to death, buried, and rose again…why then did not those who said, “this did not happen!” Why did they not produce His body? There were many assertions and theories on this, but then they go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, it should be in the back of one’s mind when listening or reading of the great things accomplished by Jesus and His followers.

Getting back on track…

First, we encounter the possessed man from the tombs. He who was possessed by Legion. Jesus commanded Legion, Come out of the man, unclean spirit! (verse 8) And, of course, Legion asked to be cast into the herd of pigs. And Jesus allowed it; then the pigs were sent running off the cliff. Now, you or I…today, would see this as a travesty that so much bacon would be wasted. But, as it was brought to my attention, that this was a great economic problem for the owners of the pigs. Why? You might ask…because the pigs were used in many of the pagan rituals and therefore, Jesus just deprived them of great money making possibilities.

And of course, the man who was possessed desperately desired to go and follow Jesus in verses 18-20. Why? because he had firsthand knowledge and experience of such power and healing that Jesus could perform [my interpretation and understanding]. The gratefulness and the gratitude that he had toward Jesus…could have been second to none! But each of us has a voice to be heard by certain people, apparently the recently healed man of possession needed to have his voice heard by his people…God’s will be done!

Second, we come in contact with one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus whose daughter was dying. Now this is something. a ruler of the synagogue sought out Jesus to heal? But when it comes to one who is near and dear to us, we will not concern ourselves with such a matter, despite what our fellow synagogue leaders think of such a man as Jesus. But family is family…to many, family is everything. Jairus even showed such courage and faith by saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.(verse 23)

While on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter we come in contact with the third person of faith and desperation, the woman with the flow of blood issue.She who used up all her money to be healed. She could neither work nor be around people because she was labeled, “unclean.” So, by the mere touching of the hem of His clothes, she truly had faith that she would be healed…now that is faith, a truly strong faith! But such would not go unnoticed with Jesus.

As with the woman, do we not (in our youth) fail to ask for permission and find it more useful to wait (if caught) to seek forgiveness? But she knew that she was wrong in what she did, as she was “fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” And once again, God was glorified! And Jesus responded, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

So, now back to the second person he ran into…Jairus. His faith was what was to heal his daughter. Those who came from the synagogue ruler’s house said, Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” This raises a question, or two, but those go beyond the scope of this post. One that comes to mind is: If this synagogue ruler was such a man of faith, why didn’t his whole household know of Jesus? Perhaps, I would speculate, that he didn’t want to be unfaithful to his brethren of the synagogue and Jesus was the last person he thought of in this time of trouble. As many of use might do. 

But Jesus in classic form said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” Which was assurance to His caller, the synagogue ruler, and perhaps his entire family. Then Jesus followed on with this, Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping. To which many around just laughed and ridiculed Jesus, considering such a thing just idiocy. After all, this crowd of people, many of which I speculate had seen the body of the girl and suspected or knew the girl to, in fact, be dead. But are we not called to believe despite what we have seen, or believe without seeing?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” ~John 10:37-38 NKJV 

 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 NKJV

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed… ~Romans 4:16-21 NKJV

Face it, we are all raised to be skeptical of those things we do not see. We are also taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Sadly, we live in a skeptical world and this is one of the things we must overcome as we grow older and seek out God in our own way. There are a great number of things that preclude the possibility of knowing God, as we are taught to believe in the theory of evolution and other very smart and educated people who do not count God as a potential, or possible, First Cause for our existence. While some, and yes even some Christian sects discount the classic First Cause argument. But, let us return to our original posting…

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” This had to be a grand spectacle for all to see! Immediately the girl arose and walked which, of course was not told to us until the writing of this Gospel.

These three instances spoke volumes to us all, that Desperation Leads To Deliverance. While my message is slightly different from the sermon presented by my Pastor (Scott Beckenhauer) the essence of it remains the same. We each follow a path in our lives, good and bad, but eventually we begin to ask the bigger questions which eventually lead us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

gotGod

Desperation can lead us down a very dark and bleak road in our lives, or we can see a glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel which takes us on the trail that leads to hope, faith, love and charity. God awaits all of us to arrive at the finish line, but not all will get there. We are all invited, but not all will accept His generous offer of Grace.

What about you? What is your heart seeking? Where do you desire to go?

Got God? Got Jesus? Got Holy Spirit?

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD