Sunday, January 29, 2017


"Love for Truth is the Cornerstone of the Spiritual Life"

The Teachings of Jesus are the Truth!!!

You Must Know and Obey the Truth of Jesus's Teachings to have a Genuine Spiritual Life!!!

Jesus's teaching, that we know as the "Sermon on the Mount", is the basic commands of living the Spiritual Life of the Kingdom of Heaven!!!

Matthew 7:15-23
Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves."(Matthew 7:15) These particular false prophets are portrayed in verses 21-23 as having misconstrued the true Gospel with pseudo-charismatic ministry, "...have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?" Jesus responds, "I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity". Certainly there are genuine charismatics in the Body of Christ, but I submit they do not make a sideshow out the gifts of the Holy Spirit. True charismatics(those holy people called and gifted) operate in humility and lowliness. They are not flying jets and driving limos paid for by the widows mite sent into the address on the TV screen. WHERE IS DISCERNMENT? WHERE IS SPIRITUAL COMMON SENSE? WHERE IS OUR OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST'S WORDS "Beware of false prophets..."? Jesus warns us to beware of these phonies who misuse the gifts of the Holy Spirit or manufacture some imitation of the spiritual gifts.

2 Timothy 4:1-4
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables". > This passage of scripture seems to be made for today!!! People who have itchy ears that can only be scratched by teachers telling them what they want to hear. People want teachers who will cater to their lusts/desires. Instead of living a life of repentance, where we welcome reproof, rebuke, and exhortations. Those with itching ears welcome fables, fairy tales that are without one sound doctrine. We read about what sound doctrine is in 1 Timothy 6:2-21 > "These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ(FOUND IN THE 4 GOSPELS), and to the doctrine which is according to godliness: he is proud(a fool), knowing nothing..." So firstly we must compare what any and every minister says with the very "words of our Lord Jesus Christ", and secondly, we must judge every teaching with whether or not it leads us into godliness. Paul goes on describing these false teachers to Timothy saying, "knowing nothing, but doting(being fond of) about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, (NOTICE THE NEXT CHARACTERISTIC OF THESE FALSE TEACHERS) supposing that gain is godliness: from such turn away. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. and having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will(boolomahee/Greek - purpose, resolve to be) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred(been seduced) from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (verses 4-10) > St Paul is warning Timothy and warning all of us that we must scrutinize teachers in light of the teachings of Jesus and the doctrine that is according to godliness. Whether a person has no money or lots of money they must live according to these truths and turn away from any teachers who teach falsely and plant in their hearts the desire to be rich. It is possible to possess wealth and not be covetous, and it is possible to not have two nickels to rub together and be filled with covetousness. The Apostle is teaching us, whether we have wealth or not, that it always goes back to what Jesus himself taught about money, possessions, and things(Luke 12:13-21; Mark 4:14-20; Luke 16:19-31), as well as what Jesus taught about the way(Matthew 5-7), the truth(John 14-17, the life(John 3-8). St Paul adds an exhortation for those who are rich in verses 17-19 later in this pasage in 1 Timothy 6. "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life". Paul instructs Timothy to "Charge", ie. "pass on this teaching", that if you do possess the riches of this world that you are to be rich in good works. At the same same time let's be reminded that Jesus was most impressed by the giving of a destitute widow(Mark 12:41-44) who gave her last two coins(maybe 4 cents) to God's treasury which helped to feed the poor!!! Jesus wants all of us, no matter our financial state, to do alms.
    NOTE: In the final verses of this passage of 1 Timothy 6 St Paul addresses another kind of false teaching to be avoided. There will be teachers who will oppose the Gospel(from within and without the Church) with "profane and vain babblings" opposing Christ with "science falsely so called". Today we see this everywhere, teachers calling something scientific, or factual, when it actually is just a theory at best, or just not true. Today science has been turned into scientism, the natural sciences have become a religion all its own. Paul says they are falsely calling their teachings a science, when what is being taught is actually not based in experimental data, but in a religious philosophy. Today we must be aware of secular humanism, or atheistic humanism, and we must be aware of darwinian evolution. Paul warns in verse 21 that even some have erred from the faith. The warning here is not to get sucked into their "profane and vain babblings" or their arguments of pseudo-science.
2 Corinthians 2:17 > "For we are not as many, which corrupt(hucksterize - Greek/kapeleuo) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in/of Christ". The word "corrupt" in the Greek is speaking of a pedlar who is a huckster, one who is out for personal advantage, one trying to acquire dishonest gain(Vines p. 242). These false teachers make merchandise of souls through covetousness(Titus 1:11-16;             2 Peter2:1-22; Jude 1-16;). So, when a minister, whether on TV, the radio, or in the pulpit promises you something in return for a generous offering turn them into the "Better Business Bureau" :) . Well, actually throw eggs!!! Well, just turn and run, or ignore, or avoid, shun, or do all the above!!!

2 Corinthians 4:1,2 > "Therefore seeing that we have this ministry(LOOK ABOVE INTO CHAPTER 3 - THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMING PEOPLE FROM GLORY TO GLORY), as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully..." > St Paul here instructs us by way of comparison between ministers who have "renounced the hidden things of dishonesty", and those ministers who walk "in craftiness" and "handle the word of God deceitfully". The honest ministers are careful not to mishandle the word of God, they are striving to see people transformed from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit. The false ministers adulterate the word of Truth, they take passages out of context to prove their false doctrine. Some will use whichever modern translation backs their unscriptural ideas. In a word, they are "crafty". St Paul says, "That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ"(Ephesians 4:14,15). The "winds of doctrine" that cause us to be tossed "to and fro" are perpetrated upon us by "the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness". The word "sleight" in Greek is "kubia" or "kubeia" and denotes dice-playing(from kubos, a cube, a die as used in gaming); hence, metaphorically, trickery, sleight. The English word is connected with sly(Vines p. 40). False teachers are like card-sharks or those who roll the dice. There hands are quicker than your eyes and they take your money!!! These false teachers use subtilty, like the serpent in the garden of Eden with Eve. St Paul says, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with (me) (2 Corinthians 11:3,4). Four points here; 1)Satan tempted Eve with a promise that she could become a god without God, that she could be a god through secret knowledge/wisdom(gnosticism)(Genesis 3:1-6). Eve's mind was corrupted by the subtilty of Satan's lies. False teachers often speak lies in such a way that those not grounded in the Faith can have their minds corrupted from the simplicity of Christ, and sell you a complex system of principles and steps on how to manipulate God to do things for you or to generate magical powers to cause things to come your way. In a word, witchcraft. You are taught by these false teachers how to manipulate God to do your will. (Read James 4:1-10). 2) Another Jesus? It is possible to be sold another Jesus besides the Jesus whom Paul preached. We must know the Apostolic Faith concerning the person of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, one of the Holy Trinity!!! 3) Another Spirit? Again, we must know the Apostolic Faith concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit so that we are not deceived into falsehoods concerning the Holy Spirit. 4) Another Gospel? And yet again, we must know the Gospel according to the Apostles and Prophets. In Galatians 1:6-12 St Paul tells us of the possibility of preachers coming along who pervert the Gospel, creating their own version of the Gospel. So, we see that false teachers attack the heart of the Apostolic Faith; they present a different Jesus, maybe one who is not God, or a Jesus who is not fully human, or a Jesus who was raised from the dead as a spirit and not bodily(1 John 4:1-6; 2 John 7-11); they present another Holy Spirit, one who is not one of the Holy Trinity, or a Spirit who is just an impersonal force; they present a different Gospel; some false teachers present a Gospel of salvation by works alone, or they present a Gospel of cheap grace, or a Gospel of prosperity and perfect health with no mention of suffering.

2 Peter 3:16-18 > St Peter warns us that St Paul's epistles contain some things that are difficult to understand. Let us approach the Word of God with humility. False teachers pretend to know everything. They tend to speak for God even where God didn't speak. Many things are a mystery. By mystery we do not mean God has not revealed truth or left us in the dark, but that He has not always revealed why or how something could be true. Examples: the incarnation, the virgin birth, the two natures of Christ, the Holy Trinity, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the Holy Communion being His body and blood. These truths have been given to us to apprehend, even if we cannot comprehend why or how.

2 Timothy 2:14-17 > St Paul writes to St Timothy, his son in the faith, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"(verse 15). God's ministers must study. They must approach the Holy Scriptures as a workman, as one who labors at knowing and understanding the scriptures. They must "rightly divide" the word of truth, that is, interpret the scriptures according to Jesus and by the Holy Spirit. Read Luke 24:13-35. Take note how the scriptures were opened to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. In verses 16-18 of 2 Timothy take note that St Paul will name names to expose false teachers who have erred concerning the truth and overthrow the faith of some Christians. The false teaching of Philetus and Hymenaeus had the effect of gangrene on the body.

Acts 20:28-35 > With tears St Paul warned the Elders of the Church for three years day and night. In his farewell address to these Elders he warns "that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them"(verse 29,30). St Paul commends the Elders "to God, and to the word of his grace"(verse 32). Earlier he tells the Elders to "feed the church of God"(verse 28). St Paul also reminds the Elders of his own example as it relates to sacrificial living(verses 33-35). The Elders were to be the Truth-tellers, and the guardians of the flock of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, it is time to take a stand against all the false teachers, in all their varied forms. You will judge angels in the future, now it is time to judge wolves!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


***The "Sermon On The Mount"(Mountain) is the New Law of God given by Jesus and is a parallel to the Law of God given by Moses in the Old Testament. You see in Matthew 5:17-48 Jesus giving us illumination of the laws of God that Moses had articulated. The laws of God were not done away with, but given a new and deeper, spiritual meaning. This portion of the "Sermon On The Mountain" will be addressed in a future post. I would like to share with you a series of 3 posts on Matthew 6:1-18; 1)The Rule Of Doing Alms, 2) The Rule Of Prayer, and 3) The Rule of Fasting.***

Matthew 6:1-4 > "Take heed that you do not do your alms*** before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore WHEN you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily (truly) I say to you, they have their reward. But WHEN you do your alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing: that your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself will reward you openly."

***Alms > Greek is eleemosune = merciful; from eleos = compassionate, tender mercy > Doing alms is doing "acts of mercy" > The NKJV translates alms as "charitable deeds" > Strongs Concordance defines alms as compassionateness, beneficence > When we say "Lord have mercy" we are saying "Lord have steadfast love" (see post on LORD HAVE MERCY) > The NIV translates alms as 1)"acts of righteousness" and 2)"when you give to the needy" > I think doing alms includes giving to the needy, but also includes many other acts of mercy; visiting the sick and the suffering; visiting those in prison, clothing and feeding the poor, providing water to the thirsty: taking in the stranger and the homeless(Hebrews 13:1,2; Matthew 25:31-46), helping the orphans, the fatherless and the true widows(James 1:27; 1 Timothy 5:3-6) > All these "acts of mercy" are "acts of righteousness" and ties in perfectly with Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..." Living "the Life of the Kingdom" is to live "as Jesus lived", laying down your life continuously for all of mankind. >

1 John 3:16-18 > This is how we know the love of God and how we know "if" the love of God lives in us > Are we laying down our lives for the brethren? we who have this world's goods(KJV, NKJV), material possessions(NIV), do we shut up our bowels of compassion(KJV), do we shut up our hearts(NKJV), do we not have pity(NIV)?

James 2:14-26 > Read the entire book of James realizing that James is writing to the Church about the dynamics between the rich and the poor. James is laying out the tensions and temptations that we face in our relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ > How should we relate to one another? > And, how do our actions reflect on our relationship with God? Are we phonies? Are we true disciples? Is our faith dead or alive? > James 2:17 says, "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being alone." So verse 15 and 16 is the "litmus test". Do you turn red with the acid of parsimony, or turn blue with the alkalinity of love?

NOTE: Jesus does not say "If you do alms" but "WHEN you do alms". The three "rules" or "practices" that Jesus prescribes  as basic to the spiritual life, ie. the life of "the Kingdom of God" are
1)Doing Alms, 2)Prayer, and 3)Fasting. > On all three accounts Jesus says, "WHEN", not "if", you "do". Whether you practice these three "disciplines", ie "disciple-deeds", is not optional, but a command, they are not a devotional choice, but an "obedience". > But how are these to be understood?

2 Corinthians 8:9 > Living the "Kingdom Life" is to live the "life of Christ" (Galatians 2:20,21) > To literally "renounce the world, then detach from the world, then become exiled from the world" (Matthew 16:24-27) > Knowing that you are no longer of the world(John 15:19; John 17:5-26); you are "strangers and pilgrims abstaining from fleshly desires..."(1 Peter 2:11); arm yourself with the "mind of Christ", to spend the remainder of your life doing the will of God(1 Peter 4:1-7) > You are in this world, but you are not of this world > Jesus gave us the ultimate example in 2 Corinthians 8:9 - "though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich" > If we are truly to be like Christ then we will become poor so others can be enriched. > NOTE: This verse is often twisted(by TV preachers)to teach the exact opposite of what it is actually communicating!!! We are told that this verse is saying we are to be rich, when it is really saying we are to be like Christ who sacrifices his riches and becomes poor so that others can be enriched!!! Of course God has chosen to bless everyone with a different amount of this world's goods requiring that we all work out our own salvation with fear and trembling(Philippians 2:12) > Jesus taught, "No man can serve two cannot serve God and Mammon."(Matthew 6:24) > God can be your master or Money(Mammon) can be your master, but not both at the same time!!! > Where is your heart/treasure?(6:19-21) > Is the light in you darkness, or is the light in you true light?(6:22,23) > Do you hang on to everything you can , or do you trust your heavenly Father to provide for you as you provide for those in need?(6:25-34)

1 Timothy 6:5-11 > This passage is self-evident, almost too clear to believe > You brought nothing into this world, you certainly will take nothing out > Contentment is the issue, and what can help us is focusing on the topic of this post > by making "almsgiving" a spiritual practice, that defines who we are in the Kingdom of Life, we are cured of these temptations > If you carefully read the above passage - 1 Timothy 6:1-5 - you will see that we are warned to withdraw from those who teach "that gain is godliness"(verse 5) > We are to ignore those teachers who "teach otherwise, and do not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine according to godliness"(verse3) - We are told here by St Paul that these false "teachers of gain" "are proud, knowing of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth(verse 4,5) - Prosperity teachers are to be ignored, for no matter how slick their schtick, they do error, they twist the beautiful truth into an ugly lie. And the result, if you buy into their lies? They will plant in your heart the seeds of "desire to be rich" and "you will fall into a temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction and perdition(verse9) - AND WHY IS THIS SO? "Because the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, THEY HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows"(verse 10) > The answer, the antidote to their poisonous doctrine - "FLEE", "O man of God, FLEE these things; and FOLLOW AFTER righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, lay hold on eternal life.(verse 11,12). Phew!!!

Saint of Interest > St John the Merciful,  aka, St John the Almsgiver, was a 7th century bishop in Alexandria Egypt who is known for his, you guessed it, his almsgiving. Read more about him at:

Monday, January 16, 2017


Could it be that the great apostasy that will come upon the world shortly before the second coming of Jesus Christ will be fueled by the popular myth of a "pre-tribulational rapture". Christians who have believed the lie of a "secret evacuation" from the earth before the terrible days of the "Great Tribulation" will doubt their faith in the face of persecution and martyrdom. Christians who live in the West in ease and prosperity have been sold a fable that there lives will be lived out free of the horrors of the "Great tribulation". Television evangelists and Pastor-authors propagate the lie of a "secret rapture". John Hagee, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, John MacArthur, Perry Stone, and on and on it goes.

Jesus praying to His Father said, "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one". (John 17:15)

The historic teaching of the Church has always been that the second coming of Christ is a singular event at the time of the end, the day of the Lord, when the dead will be raised, and the judgment will take place (John 5:24-29; Matthew 25:31-46). The Church Fathers never mention a "secret rapture" that would take place prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. It wasn't until 1830 that such a doctrine was contrived and later made popular via the Scofield Study Bible. Today this innovative false doctrine is mainstream among tens of millions of Evangelicals and Charismatics. And even culture at-large is steeped in this lie through the "Left Behind" books and movies.

The passage of scripture used so often as the basis of the "pre-trib rapture" is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. This passage is clearly teaching about the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of believers. Both those who have died (fallen asleep), and those "who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord" will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air!!! This catching up is clearly the resurrection of the believers at the second coming of Jesus Christ. "The word translated as "caught up" is a form of the Greek verb harpazo. The Vulgate, the official Latin version of the Bible used by the  Roman Catholic Church, translates the Greek verb in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 as rapiemur (from the Latin verb rapio, to sieze and carry off), hence the English word rapture." (T.L. Frazier, p.146, A Second Look at the Second Coming, Conciliar Press). It is true that we will be "caught up" at the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the resurrection promised by Jesus Himself. The trump of God will sound, and the archangel will shout (Daniel 12:1-3), and the saints will meet the Lord in the air.

St John Chrysostom in his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 asks, "If He (Christ) is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see and kiss him: but those of the domestics who have offended remain within". (John Chrysostom, Homilies on Thessalonians, Holily 8). After we meet Christ in the air, we escort Him "into the city" (to the earth) as He continues His descent. Jesus then judges humanity, and the saints remain forever with Christ in His eternal kingdom. The shout of the archangel alerts the saints that the King is coming, and the saints go out to meet their King in honor, then escort their King to the earth in clouds of great glory.

This same idea is communicated by Jesus himself in his teaching the parable of the "Ten Virgins" in Matthew 25:1-12. The Church is the bride of Christ, a chaste virgin (2 Corinthians 11:2), who, upon hearing the cry, "Behold, The Bridegroom Cometh", goes out to meet Him, and all of those "that were ready" went in with Him to the Marriage (Revelation 19).

In Matthew 24:40-42 Jesus teaches that at His coming "one will be taken, and the other left". The leap is made by Pre-trib Prophecy teachers (with some twisting of scripture mixed with false presuppositions) that this passage depicts a "catching up" before the second coming. But just a few verses before this in Matthew 24:29-31 Jesus proclaims that His coming will be "AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days".

Other passages that are "used" to teach a pre-trib rapture are John 14:1-3; Revelation 4:1; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8; Revelation 3:10. The only way a Christian pastor can come to the conclusion that these passages teach a pre-tribulational rapture is if they are first steeped in dispensationalism and thus come to the text of Scripture with tainted glasses that cause them to see things that are not there.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


"...And I believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God....and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end..." (From The Nicene Creed)

The Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus will come a second time to the earth. The first time He came in humility, taking on the form of a servant (Phil 2:5-9). The second time He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1,2; Hebrews 9:26-28). It has been said that in the 260 chapters that make up the New Testament that there are 300 references to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Someone please count them for me!!!

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is a singular event. No where in Scripture do we see mentioned a two-part return of Jesus; first a secret rapture, then a few years later a glorious second coming of Jesus seen by all on the earth. We read in Acts 1:9-11, that when Christ ascended into glory, "..this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven". There is no mention of "two" second comings! He ascended in glory. He shall return in glory.

There is no "Pre-Trib Rapture"! Matthew 24:29-31 tells us that, "Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days" that Jesus will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Just as the angels described His return in Acts 1:9-11. There is One, and only one "Second Coming of Jesus Christ".

The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him is a singular event (2 Thessalonians 1:7 - 2:8). Note: 2 Thess 2:1. And before that day can come, there will come "a falling away (an apostasy), and that man of sin (the antichrist) will be revealed. Before Jesus comes the second time there will be a great deception that will befall the people of the earth. Satan will manifest himself in the "Wicked One" (the antichrist) with power and signs and lying wonders. And, "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). But Jesus promises that "for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:22). The "falling away" that is going to happen, and is even happening now, is the work of Satan described as "all deceivableness of unrighteousness". A great delusion is blanketing the earth. But note that the cause of the deception is because people "received not THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved". God will allow a "strong delusion" to overtake those "who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness".