Archive for October, 2007

No theoretical love

October 30, 2007

Here’s a very simple illustration:

Lately i’ve been waking up my son to go to the toilet at 5am bcos he bed wets, and if i get him up then he doesn’t wet the bed.

Since i’ve been doing this he has drawn closer to me. He really appreciates me doing this bcos this way he avoids the embarrassment of it.  Then i thought, “Didn’t he realize how much i loved him before i started getting him up?”

We love people, but often they don’t know it unless we serve them.

1John 3:16-18  By this we have come to know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives in behalf of our brothers.  (17)  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother having need, and shuts off his compassion towards him, how does the love of God abide in him?  (18)  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

ian.

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Mysteries and Conceit

October 28, 2007

Rom 11:25 For I do not desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, lest you be **wise in your own conceit** (opinion), that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Paul describes a mystery here.

He then explains that failure to acknowledge a mystery, and to claim to have “nailed it down”, is called “being wise in one’s own conceit”. I need to be clear that I’m referring to a limited number of truths which Scripture defines as being mysteries.

He warns the believers against a pride in their own intellect (conceit) that would prevent them acknowledging FACTS that God has spoken.

 

Whatever facts are there concerning a mystery, they need to be acknowledged, otherwise God is impugned as a liar. That’s the reality whenever anyone denies what God has declared, they are calling Him a liar and fool.

Sovereignty/election and freewill can never be reconciled by the human mind-intellect, it’s one of the mysteries of God.

A mystery is simply something that’s undeniably true, but it’s too big for us to wrap our brains around it.

There’s a number of mysteries presented to us in God’s Word : Election and freewill, Christ and His Church, Christ in you, ……. We are stewards of the mysteries of God.


1Co 13:9 Now we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

selah………….

1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial shall pass away.

1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I put away the things of the child.

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a mirror by reflection, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

1Co 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

ian.

Spirit and Truth, by Mark Finger

October 26, 2007

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

–Joshua 1:8

A saint writes: “I would argue that one could walk in the Spirit, without the new testament scriptures.”

It is always good to examine the words of men in light of the words of God. In this instance, what is revealed by such an examination?

Without the gospel message, we cannot be saved (Romans 1:16).

Without the written record, anyone could create any lie about just what the gospel message is and is not. As no record of God’s testimony concerning Himself would exist, who could say, therefore, what was and was not true regarding the doctrine of salvation, let alone any other doctrine or practice of our Lord and His apostles?

Certainly, it is possible (having once received the Truth) to remain faithful to Christ without a written record: for we can always continue to walk in the truth that we have already received.

However, Jesus said that “the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:23).

To grow in Spirit and in truth, we must read the scriptures by the revelation of the Holy Spirit and obey what is revealed by God: for this is the Lord’s lawfully identified means by which He communicates His will to His saints concerning how to walk in truth.

Therefore, we treasure His words, counting each one precious (and so much the more as the Day of the Lord approaches)—looking always to affirm the testimony of the Lord concerning Himself, which He has granted us through His scriptural unveiling—esteeming His words (even as we esteem Him), reckoning them (the words of the Holy Spirit as revealed by the Spirit) as the undisputed Arbitrator of all truth. They are Spirit, and they are Life.

Without question, there is an exclusive, inherent relationship that exists between Spirit and truth, for God reveals Himself to us as the Spirit of Truth–where we find one (spiritual truth), we invariably find the other (the Holy Spirit); and where one is absent, the other is absent also. (John 17:17; 1 John 4:6, 5:6).


Consider Christ’s own words:

“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,” (John 16:13).

As the Holy Spirit bears witness of Christ (Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:6-8), He always speaks the word of truth, those holy scriptures which testify of the Son of the Living God (John 5:39): and these are the words which we should speak (1 Corinthians 2:13). Notice, it is the nature of the Holy Spirit to always guide us toward truth, toward the scriptures revealing.

We can only obey the truth through the Spirit to the extent to which we abide and remain in the same incorruptible word of truth of which we are born again:

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” (1 Peter 1:22-23).

And this is the record of all things true, for there is no other:

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you,” (1 Peter 1:24-25).

To continue in the faith, we must continue in the Word (Christ), esteeming His words even as the Holy Spirit reveals all things to us through God’s testimony and written record concerning Himself, the holy scriptures.

No man who makes any comment contrary to the importance of the words of God (scripture) or whom even allows his words to form a context in which the words of our Lord are not wholly esteemed is without deception–for the Holy Spirit always esteems His words–and so should we. Selah.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

–Psalm 1:1-2

Why is man blessed, not walking in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the way of sinners, or sitting in the seat of the scornful? Because his delight is in the law of the Lord–he meditates on it day and night–and the Holy Spirit teaches him His wisdom.

Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, the law of God (holy scripture) yields light, Life, and wisdom. It is the only source of spiritual nourishment (water and food) for the spirit and soul of man:

“Jesus answered and said unto her … ‘But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,'” (John 4:13-14).

“But he (Jesus) answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,'” (Matthew 4:4).

Brother Ian, writes concerning John 16:13:

He will guide “you,” i. e. He will guide anyone who has the Spirit of Truth. Anyone, great or small, who has the Spirit of Truth in them, will be guided into A-L-L Truth–that is, all truth concerning His Son that God breathed into Scripture–which is what God ordains we need to know in this life, for we must admit that we know and prophesy in part in this world (1 Corinthians 13:12).

“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,” (John 16:13).

Hidden Idols

October 22, 2007

1John 5:21  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

An idol is anything that usurps the place of the Lord Jesus in our hearts, and it can be anything of this world. The hidden idols are the ‘spiritual’ ones, and at their outset we didn’t perceive them to be idols, but as Jesus’ Light increased in us, and as we grew in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, we realized that they were idols.

Invariably it is having men, spiritual leaders, in the place of the Lord Jesus, that is, having more confidence in men than in the Man, Christ Jesus. In this sense, a “spiritual” idol is another mediator, other than the only Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.

There’s a whole world full of idols out there, promising much, promising the world, but empty and vain.

Col 2:20  If you are dead with Christ from the basic principles of the world……….

 
Whatever our Lord Jesus is currently “dead to”, we should also be “dead to”. eh. And what He is alive to, we should also be alive to, for we are partakers of His Life, of Him, members of Christ.

His Life is “life from the dead”, not a rejuvenated and reformed old life.

Any reprobate can reform themselves if they are convinced of the personal benefits of doing so. Without Christ they are still dead, and eternally lost to God.

We preach Christ, and Him alone.

Ian.

Fire and Joy

October 16, 2007

1Peter 1:6-9  In which you greatly rejoice, though for a little while now, if need be, you have been distressed by various trials,  (7)  so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though being tested with fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (8)  Whom not having seen, you love, in whom now not seeing, but believing, you rejoice with inexpressible joy and glorified,  (9)  obtaining for yourselves the outcome your faith–the salvation of your souls.

Our faith is more precious than gold, and our faith is tested by fire. Here the apostle describes an inexpressible joy during the painful trial of fire – simultaneous pain and joy. What an enigma a Christian is.

ian.

Got the Spirit of Life?

October 13, 2007

 

 

Col. 3:4  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

 

 

In Christ what do we have?  We have Him, our Life. 

 

What’s the difference between having a Life and having a religion/philosophy/belief system?

 

Having a Life means that that Life itself (Himself) sustains and guides you. That Life is your life. He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is your Life. Far more than having merely a belief system, pattern of behavior, rule of conduct, philosophy or religion.

 

Now, we the redeemed in Christ Jesus, judge everything by the Law of the Spirit of Life, as to whether it is Life to us.

 

 

Rom. 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and of death.

 

 

Here, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Life.  Life conquering death.  For “law” here we would read “guiding principal”, and not a new system of law to come under.  Our guiding principal, our “decider”, is the Spirit of Life : that is,  that which is Life to our spirit, our inner man. There is a new “guiding principal” to which we are drawn and attracted to, and which leads us forward:

 

 …the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit. Rom. 8:16. 

…Sanctify them by Your truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17  

…Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105  

 

 

Is doing the will of God life to you, or is it a duty you perform?  Are your prayers life or a duty you perform? Reading the Bible, is it life or a duty?  Are your Sunday church meetings life, or a duty you perform?  And, what of our Christian activities : have they worked life or death?  What registers in our spirits thru them?

 

 

 

And the Word and the Spirit are One, they always agree and never contradict, for God is not a man that He should lie.  The Spirit always witnesses to the Word, the Scriptures. This is how we test the spirits as to their nature/origin/source.

 

What is Holy and is of God has become Life to us, and what is contrary, or against that, has become death to us. The Spirit of Life and the Word has done this in us. We are His workmanship.

 

We now  ….delight in the law of God according to the inward man.   Rom. 7:22

 

Christ is our Life now.  What was previously life to us is now death to us, or at the least, irrelevant.  All idols should have been destroyed by the Blood of Jesus : His Life sweeping away the death, removing all the attraction of idols, so that they have no pull on us anymore.

 

 

Gal. 6:14  But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

 

 

When the Lord Jesus appears in the clouds (the sky above – not spiritual clouds, not some ‘spiritual’ appearing) we have to be taken up to Him bcos He is our Life.  The Life can’t be divided : Life can’t be alienated from Life. We are truly in UNION in Christ now, yet when He bodily returns then our bodies will be redeemed, this corruption puts on incorruption-immortality, in the twinkling of an eye.

 

Fellow saint, what is Life to you? Examine your life as it presently is :  what is Life to you and what is death to you?  What is eternal, and what will be burned up at the judgment?

 

Go with the Life.  And, we only know what Life is when we know The Life : the Lord Jesus Christ, as He truly is : Holy, and ruling and reigning our lives as our King.

 

 

 

 

ian vincent

 

Humanism – 666

October 13, 2007

Just looking at the topic: ” satan’s humanistic ‘gospel’ ” , which Jamie raised on RS.

Some time recently my attention was drawn to looking at what 666 is (Rev. 13) , and we know that 6 is the number of man, and that triple 6 is like a counterfeit “trinity” , perhaps representing the fullness of man.

When we have the real Father, Son and Holy Spirit we have all of God. God is perfectly One in three distinct Persons.

Likewise, when the unholy trinity is revealed, it represents the logical – natural ascent /evolution of man into what he thinks is perfection/the ultimate. If natural-unregenerate men are optimists, they will naturally tend to believe that mankind is improving and evolving into something better (dominionism). They also employ Biblical language and quotes to support this hypothesis.

Something like what’s represented in Oprah’s “The Secret” : the world collectively says “NOW we’ve got it, now we’ve arrived, now we have the answer we’ve all been seeking for millennia, the answer to end all wars and conflict and usher in a kingdom of peace and brotherly love…”

Unless Christians really love the truth that is in Jesus Christ they will be swept away with it, as perhaps the majority of christendom has already believed the lie and is under the control of the antichrist spirit, which is humanism under the guise of Christianity.

Rick Warren, Billy Graham….. you name it.

President Bush (Billy’s mate) just let the cat out of the bag, again, last week, saying that all religions pray to the same God.

ian.

Love, Grace and Gifts

October 10, 2007

This is a flow on from a comment Mark Finger made on his blog:

If we had not shared in Christ’s death (through our repentance), we could not have shared in His resurrection–so whenever fellow laborers are unwilling to partake of one another’s sufferings, they should not expect their assemblies to be filled with Christ’s resurrection power–a fact which is established by the apostolic pattern. From:

http://letthelightout.blogspot.com/

Both grace and gifts are essentially the same words. Grace = charis, and Gifts = charisma.

Both are the Divine-supernatural meeting of mans’ need by God, thru Jesus Christ. When I have grace-charis then I truly have what I need to live for, and serve, God : “…My grace is sufficient for you”, the Lord Jesus assured Paul.

When God works a gift-charisma in us and through us it is so that others will have what God wants to give them. That is, if, and when, He so chooses to use us as an instrument of His grace.

So, gifts are all about the will and love of God in supplying thru us what God deems others need; therefore, functioning in spiritual gifts is all about real compassion for others, and bearing one another’s burdens. It is an extension and manifestation of the love of Christ.

 

My personal burden and cry to God, in faith, means I avail the supply of God’s grace-charis for me.

And, when we participate – fellowship in the needs and burdens of others, then that means that God can then, if He wills, and in whatever measure He wills, according to our faith, supply His grace (charis-charisma) thru us to others. This is the functioning of spiritual gifts – gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It’s about knowing Jesus and loving people.

Ian.

God’s seating arrangements

October 6, 2007

Eph 2:1-7 And you He made alive, who were dead in transgressions and sins,

[ God raising the dead. A dead person can’t raise themselves. If they try to, then, that is called “dead works” , i.e. the efforts of a dead person ; however, a dead person can believe in Jesus, and according to their faith, and the sure promise of God, God will raise them, now, right now.]

(2) in which you once walked according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which is now working in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves

[ We A-L-L once lived this way, as sons of disobedience, and, truly, ALL who live this way are sons of disobedience, they are not sons of God, no matter what they claim.]

in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the senses, and were by nature

[sin nature]

children of wrath, as also the rest.

(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Seated us together. In heaven. In Christ Jesus.

This has been the substance of my faith this last week, and I was thinking how that many times forum interactions tend to drag us down from the heavenly place to the earthly and petty, yet, our faith should be ‘above’ pettiness etc. for truly in Christ we are ‘above’ it, bcos He is above it.

Being seated in heaven in Christ, while living in this body made of dust, means we believe and live according to Christ Jesus’ finished work on the cross. We are more than conquerors thru Him who loved us.