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Ambassador4Christ
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2004, 05:11:27 PM »




"DOUBTING THOMAS"





"Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).

A lot of people today are like "doubting Thomas", they just won’t believe. You hand them a gospel tract, with a pleasant word of testimony, and they turn a deaf ear, rejecting the only blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ:

"IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE" (Eph.1:7).

But Thomas gave himself an "out". He want- ed to see the evidence of  Christ’s resurrec-tion. Melancholy, yes, Thomas was melan-choly, but death is very permanent, and   except for the miracle working Christ  some 2000 years ago NO ONE comes back from the dead. Even though Thomas witnessed his Lord raise Lazarus from the dead he was skeptical about Christ’s resurrection. That the Invincible One had  been overcome and con-quered by death was the thought upon the minds of them all. Thomas, and all the  apostles, those disciples too, together with the Jews, and the Gentiles, SAW that Christ was dead. And Thomas was not with the other disciples when, on the third day, our Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead.

Now "after eight days" had passed the Lord appeared again to His disciples, and fortu-nately Thomas was with them this time or he may never have seen the Lord, and Christ said unto them:

"Peace be unto you" (John 20:26).

The Record of Scripture indicates that Thomas had spoken the words of John 20:25 in unbelief. Our Lord’s sudden presence with them was the surprise of his life. It was Thomas’ time to see the Lord, and to his
utter delight, he heard Him say:

"Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing" (Ver.27).

"And Thomas answered and said unto Him, MY LORD AND MY GOD" (Ver.28).

There was no doubt in his mind now that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, nor were any of the others doubtful about the mighty power of God to save.

"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:24-29).

Those who find the most for which to crit-icize "Thomas", when presented with the evidence, and the truth of God’s Word "rightly  divided", often find it convenient to reject "The Light" (2 Cor.4:6), and cling to old errors.

My friend, this is where you and I come in, and the Apostle of the Gentiles, for in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he writes of our resurrected Christ:

"WHO  WAS  DELIVERED  FOR  OUR OF-FENCES, AND WAS RAISED AGAIN FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION" (Rom.4:25).

"THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" (Rom.5:1).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2004, 08:27:17 AM »

DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD





"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor.4:4).

People sin under the cover of darkness--"      
they that be drunken are drunken in the night" (IThes.5:7). They suppose darkness hides the things they do. This is why un-saved man prefers evolution to creation.
It destroys the thought, so he thinks, of having to "give [an] account of himself to God" (Rom.14:12).

How sad! You cannot hide from God. Because there is coming a day "in the which He will judge the world IN RIGHTEOUSNESS by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

In "that day" these poor souls will only wish they could hide from God, but they will not be able to do so. See Revelation 6:15-17; 20:11-15. These same, now suppose that "that day" is so far away that they need not be concerned. To this the Apostle retorts:

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight. But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb.4:13).

The difference between the unsaved and those of us who are saved is that we not only have a Saviour, but we also have "a great high priest", who intercedes for us when we fail. The Lord Jesus loves you,
my unsaved friend, and wants to be your Saviour, too.

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condem-neth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Rom.8:31-34).

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:14-16).

Don’t hide like Adam who sinned, but "seek the Lord, if haply [you] might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us" (Acts 17:27).

Even in the darkness of this world’s sin and wickedness God is there, and He will hear you, and save you, if you will simply ask Him (Rom.10:13).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2004, 04:38:49 PM »


Standing in Grace ... Forever




Sometimes we get the idea that yes, we're saved by grace through faith, but now that we're saved, the Lord puts us on a "works system." We have to be good enough to keep our salvation. We can't really be sure we're going to heaven, because we don't know whether we'll "endure to the end." Here, again, knowing about the "administration of God's grace" that the Lord Jesus revealed to the  Apostle  Paul  for  us  is  the open door to a really blessed Christian experience. Not only are we saved by grace, but our stand-ing before God every day is in His grace! "We were welcomed by faith into this grace in which we stand..You are not under law, but under grace." Romans 5:2 &  6:14 How does law work?



Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for
ye are not under the law, but under grace.



The law says, 'Obey and God will bless you, disobey and God will curse you.' (See Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15-16). Many Bible teach-ers today are teaching law instead of grace.  They  say  "Give your tithes and  God will  bless  you." "Be obedient and God will bless you." Wrong!! This is the essence of the law. "Obey and be blessed, disobey and be cursed."But Paul says we're not under law. We're under grace, we're standing in His grace. And remember how grace works... "If it is by grace then it is no longer by works..." Romans 11:6. Our standing with God is not on the basis of our works, not our obedience, not our tithes ... it is entirely on the basis of His grace, every moment of every day! Bless-ed with all spiritual blessings already by grace (Ephesians 1:3), everything that we do today for the Lord is motivated not by fear (Romans 8:15) but by gratitude (Colossians 3:17)."Thank you Lord that you have already bless-ed me with every spiritual bless-ing, that you saved me by your grace in which I am now standing, that you have begun your good work in me and will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6).This is the Lord Jesus'

 Grace For Today.
Pastor Dennis Kiszonas
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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2004, 04:47:56 PM »

Part 1 of 2

BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT




The Apostle Paul wrote, in Ephesians 5:18, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."
This study is a brief consideration of what it means "to be filled with the Spirit," and what the evidence is of His filling.
 
    1.) What does it mean to be "filled with the  Spirit"?
Sometimes in the Bible we read of someone being "filled" with joy, or sorrow, or anger, etc. What does that mean? To be "filled" is to be controlled by something, under the influence of something: So joyful that they were under the control and under the influence of joy, or of sorrow or of anger.  To be "filled with the Holy Spirit" is to be under the control of the Spirit, or under the influence of the Spirit.
      Ephesians 5:18 starts out with the command not to be drunk. I used to read that verse and wonder, "Why put these two so seemingly different commands in one verse? 'Don't be drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit'? Then I realized: to be drunk with wine is to be filled with wine, under the control or influence of wine in much the same way that we are to be filled with, under the control or influence of the Spirit. The two parts of the verse go together very well.
When we are drunk with wine, we take in a foreign substance which has an effect upon our brains, and as we begin to think differently, under the influence of the alcohol, we begin to talk differently and act differently. So also when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, He begins by renewing our minds, our thinking comes under the influence and control of the  Holy Spirit, and when  our  thinking changes, our speaking and acting changes. We are under the Spirit's control and influence.

    Paul's command in Eph 5:18 is a present tense imperative which indicates "be always filled, controlled, and influenced by the Spirit," or "keep on being filled by the Spirit." Not a momentary action, but a constant condition.

    2.) Earlier in Ephesians Paul told us that we all have the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 said that first we heard the good news that Christ died for us. Then we believed in Him as our Savior. Finally, we were sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit. And in Eph 4:30 we learn that the Holy Spirit is never going to leave us, we are sealed unto the day of redemption (the day of the rapture). We may grieve Him, cause Him sorrow as He sees how we act, but He will never leave us. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to "receive the Holy Spirit." But every Christian is not filled with the Holy Spirit. So we are command-ed, not to receive the Spirit, but to be filled with Him. He is in us, but He may not be in control. We may be saved, and yet we may not be "spiritual." And so Paul writes, "Let the Spirit be in control of your life."

    3.) How do we know if we are filled with the Spirit? What is the evidence of His filling, of His control, of His influence? Here's where the  doctrine  gets  controver-sial!  Some churches and denominations claim "we're Spirit-filled--and the others aren't!" Other churches and denominations say "We're not a Spirit-filled church, and we don't want to be!" Spirit-filled has come to have a certain meaning based upon certain supposed evidence: Spirit-filled means speaking in tongues, or acting in some strange manner, etc.
But what does the Bible say the evidence is of the Spirit's filling?
The Body of Christ today is broken into thousands of different denominations and groups. And each group has their verses in the Bible to prove that they're right and the others are wrong. And they all point to verses in the same Bible, yet they all disagree with each other. It is an awful tragedy to see the Body of Christ broken again, divided and confused. What is the reason for all the confusion? The failure to "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15).
   
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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2004, 04:49:43 PM »

Part 2 of 2 - BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT


 Take the commands in the  Bible about food for example:  In Gen 1:29 God gave Adam the herbs of the earth and the fruit of the trees to eat as his food. Then later in Gen. 9:1-4 God added to Noah the meat of the animals, fish and fowls to eat as his food. Then God commanded Moses in the Law to eat only some meat, fish and fowls as food, only "kosher" or clean food (Lev. 11) Finally the Lord told Paul that we could eat any kind of food, that every creature was created for our nourishment and nothing was to be forbidden or refused if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:3-5).
    Now  let's imagine  there  were  four preachers: One preached that we could only eat fruits and vegetables. He preached Gen. 1:29. His followers would start the "Vegetarian denomination." The second preacher preached that we could eat only "kosher foods" and he preached Leviticus. His followers could start the "Kosher denomination." The third said "We can eat any kind of food as long as we gave thanks for it." And he preached Paul's letters and his followers would be "followers of Paul."
    All three would be "Biblical" -- they all had their verses in the Bible. All three would be "scriptural." But two of them would be wrong. Because, though they were scriptural and Biblical, they weren't "dispensational." They failed to "rightly divide the word of truth."
    It was the Apostle Paul alone who wrote, "If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God that was given (by the Lord Jesus Christ) to me for you (the gentiles)" (Eph 3:2). The Lord gave Paul the dispensation of grace for us today and that includes the instructions on what kind of food we can eat.
    But this is an illustration of how all the denominations and various divisions got started. They may be Biblical and scriptural, but they fail to be dispensational, and fail to follow "our apostle" for this dispensation of grace, the Apostle Paul, not about food, but about salvation, assurance, prayer, and even the filling of the Spirit, and that's why there is so much disagreement, division and confusion in the Body today.
    When we want to know what the evidence of being filled with the Spirit is, there are several Biblical and scriptural answers, but there's only one dispensational answer. The first person said to be filled with the Spirit is found in Exodus 31:1-5. His name was Bezaleel. And the evidence of being Spirit-filled was that he was a master craftsman, a carpenter, a jeweler, a metal worker. Moses was building the tabernacle and God supplied him with a Spirit-filled craftsman. Later in the Bible, in Acts 2, we read that the disciples were filled with the Spirit and the evidence then was the ability to speak in other languages (or 'tongues'), so that Jews in Jerusalem who came from other countries could understand the apostles' message in their native languages (Acts 2:11).
    The Holy Spirit filled people in other dispensations, but the evidence was different in each dispensation. What is the evidence of His filling in the dispen-sation of grace? Its not being a master craftsman as in Exodus, or speaking in a foreign language as on the day of Pentecost.
    We know that because the Corinthian church spoke in languages (tongues) more than any other of Paul's churches (1 Cor. 1:4-7) but they were not spiritual believers, Paul said they were not spiritual but carnal Christians (1 Cor. 3:1-4). The gift of languages (tongues) was never a sign of spirituality or of being "Spirit-filled" in the dispensation of grace. The most carnal church spoke in languages more than any other church. The evidence of being "Spirit-filled" in this dispensation of grace that we're living in today is found in Ephesians 5:18-6:9. This is the only place in Paul's letters where he writes about being filled with the Spirit, and here's where he gives us the description of a Spirit-filled believer:
    Eph. 5:19 "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord." Singing and joy are evidences of the Spirit's filling. 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things..." A thankful, trusting attitude is an evidence of the Spirit's control, not fearful, not complaining. 5:21 "Submitting to one another..." The evidence of the Spirit's control is seen in our relationships: Spirit-filled wives submitting to their husbands (5:22) and Spirit-filled husbands loving their wives just as Christ loved the church (5:25), and Spirit-filled children obeying their parents and Spirit filled parents raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (6:1-4), and Spirit-filled employees doing their work as unto the Lord and Spirit-filled employers respecting and honoring their employees (6:5-9).
   
    It is interesting that in this passage that starts with the command to be Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:18) and then gives this long list of the evidences of the Spirit-filled life (5:19-6:9), Paul never mentions speaking in languages (tongues) as one of the evidences. That was never an evidence of spirituality or of the Spirit's control in the dispensation of grace. The evidences of spirituality are things like: a husband loving his wife, a joyful believer making melody in his or her heart to the Lord, a peace-filled believer giving thanks for all things to God the Father, etc. A Spirit-filled believer is a believer who is manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in his/her life.
    The Body of Christ is broken into thousands of denominations, all claiming to be biblical and scriptural, but all divided from the others, and nowhere is the division sharper, the breaks more clear-cut than in the doctrine of the Spirit-filled life. But the answer, as always, is to "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). The Lord Jesus gave the Apostle Paul the dispensation of grace for us today and that included the provision of the Holy Spirit, His control and His influence to renew our minds and to transform our lives. The command to be "Spirit-filled" is not just for some Christians (the "spirit-filled ones"), but it is for all of us, and it is not a momentary experience, but a constant and ever growing influence as we "let the word of Christ dwell in us richly." (Col 3:16).
    Note the results of letting the word of Christ dwell in us in Col 3:16-4:1 and compare them to the results of being Spirit-filled in Ephesians 5:18-6:9. They're the same! To become Spirit-filled, we need to spend more time in His word, and let it "soak in." As we "behold the Lord Jesus Christ" in His word, God the Holy Spirit transforms us to be like Him, He exerts that wonderful influence and takes that gentle control of our lives, He fills us to become like Him.

Pastor  Dennis Kiszonas
Grace for Today
=================================
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« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2004, 05:03:57 PM »

The Great Tribulation: What is it?

That interval of time which separates the removal of the Church from the earth and the return of Christ to earth is designated by various descriptions in the Word of God. Isaiah calls it the day of vengeance (Isaiah 61:2). Jeremiah calls it the time of Jacobs trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). It is called the great day of the Lord in Zephaniah 1:14, and a time of trouble in Daniel 12:1. The Lord Jesus calls it the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:21 and Mark 13:19-20.

For then shall great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor ever shall be’ (Matthew 24:21).

The Tribulation is quite different from “tribulation” The word itself literally “to trash,” “to crush.” It carries with it the thought of sorrow and suffering and affliction. Most people some time in life suffer various forms of “tribulation.” (See
Job 14:1, John 16:33, Romans 12:12) But the period of time designated as Great Tribula-tion (or The Great Tribulation. Rev. 7:14) is more personal affliction or individual sorrow. It is a definite, specific period in which certain events will take place.

The Great Tribulation is always either directly started or specifically  indicated  as  being connected with Israel. In Jeremiah 30:7 it is called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Why Jacob? It is because of something  that happened in Jacob’s life that foreshadowed this tribulation time. It goes back to the night of Jacob’s trouble in Genesis 32:24-30. After some twenty years of exile, Jacob was about to return to his own land. He had reached the border when he heard of Esau’s plan to come and meet him with an army of men. Hearing of this Jacob became afraid and distressed. Through the night he cried to God for deliver-ance. He pleaded for mercy in his hour of crisis.

It was in this night of suffering and anguish that the Lord in mercy changed his name from Jacob to Israel. It was here that God showed more than mercy. He extended grace. For the name Israel means ‘a prince with God.’ So there will come a time when the nation Israel will be in similar circumstances of fear and distress. It will be the time of Jacob’s trouble, the hour of crisis for the nation Israel, The Great Tribulation.

It may not arrive until Israel returns to the Land. But is must come upon Israel before that nation enters into the millennial king-dom. And then during this time of crisis the Anti-Christ will strike fear into the hearts of the nation Israel, as did Esau to the man Israel long ago. And then Israel will cry to God (Matthew 6:13), and it is then that God will show mercy and grace to them. (Romans 11).

All this is yet future. It did not occur at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as some erroneously believe. At that time Israel was driven out of the land and scattered. They were not ‘saved’ not ‘delivered,’ but literally lost in the sea of nations. But at the close of the Tribulation time there shall come a ‘Deliverer,’ the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘And so all Israel shall be saved.’ (Romans 11:26).

The great Tribulation is imminent. It will be the most terrible time in all man's history. 'There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.' (Daniel 12:1) 'For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation.' (Mark 13:19; Matthew 24:21) Now is the day of salvation!
Dr. Henry Grube

Dr. Henry Grube was pastor of Greystone Bible Church; he went home to be with LORD in 1968.
=================================
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2004, 08:54:35 AM »

Unanswered prayers...
and the secret of contentment

Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

How did he learn the secret of contentment? Of being content even when "hungry" or "in want"?

It went back a number of years to an experi-ence that he tells about in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 when he had a need in his life. He pleaded with the Lord three times to remove that thorn in his flesh.

And the Lord's answer was ... No!

Instead of taking away Paul's problem, as Paul had prayed, the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

So Paul then says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2  Cor.  12:9).

In the administration of God's grace that the Lord Jesus revealed to the Apostle Paul, He does not promise to fix all our problems. There is no promise like in the gospels where the Lord promised Israel that "whatever you ask in faith you shall receive."

Read through all of Paul's letters where he writes about the administration of God's grace that the Lord Jesus revealed to him for us today, and you never read a promise like 'whatever you ask in faith you'll receive.' Here is the answer to the problem of unanswered prayers today. Claiming a promise that wasn't made to us.

Today, under grace, we have the promise of "grace and power" (2 Corinthians 12:Cool suffi-cient for any problem in our lives, and the Lord Jesus wants us to learn this secret of contentment. Not that He will fix all our problems or "move all our mountains" out of our way, no matter how much faith we may have, but that He is our strength.
"I can do everything through Christ who constantly strengthens me!" Have you learn-ed the secret? Do you know God's Grace For Today?

By Dennis Kiszonas
=================================
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« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2004, 09:26:23 AM »

"ENTERING INTO HIS REST"





"GOD rested the seventh day from all His works" (Heb.4:4), a reference to the six days of creation as recorded in Genesis 1:1-2:2, and an exhortation that you cease your works and REST in the power of Almighty God.

But Moses himself, through unbelief, failed to enter, and rest, in the land of promise (Heb.4:6;  Nu.20:7-13; Deut.34:1-8).

Since he had already "smitten" the rock once (Ex.17:1-7), the Lord now instructed him to "speak" (Nu.20:Cool to the rock, for the "Rock" smitten once typifies Christ’s death on Calvary (ICor.10:4; Heb.10:10-14). A "word" humbly "spoken" in the wilderness (Ex.17:1-7) would bring forth the water of life freely, but Moses "smote the rock", not once, but "twice" (Nu.20:11). His anger with Israel, "ye
rebels", revealed his unbelief also, for Christ was not to be "smitten twice" (Nu.20:Cool. Nevertheless in John 4:14 we see the "water" that Christ gives is a "well of water springing up into everlasting life".

Under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, it is apparent that though Israel entered Canaan , they failed to enter His rest.







"And they to whom it was first preached enter-ed not in because of unbelief" (Heb.4:6).

Even David and his valiant men could not bring Israel into His rest because of unbelief (Heb.4:7).

"For if [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day" (4:Cool.

From David unto Christ, Israel would not enter into His rest, "although the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Heb.4:3; Rev.13:Cool, a reference to the "forbear-ance" of God as Paul declares in Romans 3:25,26.

"Jesus", Hebrews 4:8 in our KJV, refers not only to Joshua, but He whom Joshua typi-fied, our Lord Jesus Christ. Under His Divine Leadership Israel rejected the Millennial Rest of His glorious reign (Luke 19:14). See also Romans 10:3,4.

But there remains "a rest" to all those who will place their faith and rust in our "Great High Priest.......JESUS the Son of God" (Heb.4:14-16).

"FOR HE THAT IS ENTERED INTO HIS REST, HE ALSO HATH CEASED FROM HIS OWN WORKS, AS GOD DID FROM HIS" (Heb.4:10).

Again in Romans, Abraham is God’s great example of faith:

"For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; BUT NOT BEFORE GOD. "For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and...HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Rom.4:2-8).

Isn’t it about time that you also ceased from your so-called "good works". Trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your Saviour for salvation, and His finished work on Calvary’s cross, and enter into His rest, by grace through faith?

"IN  WHOM  WE  HAVE  REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE" (Eph.1:7).

RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2004, 11:16:04 AM »

GRACE REIGNS THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS




In addition to those other passages in Paul’s epistles, where "Grace", "Faith", and "Right-eousness" are found, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews contains the follow-ing references to "Grace and Faith" as well as "Grace and Peace":

"The THRONE of grace..." (Heb.4:16), so grace reigns.

"The KING of righteousness..." (Heb.7:2). But you argue Christ is the Head of the Church, not King. However the reference is to the mysterious Melchisedec priesthood. Yet I Timothy 1:17 states that our Lord is "the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God...". While I Timothy 6:15 calls our Lord, "...the blessed and only  Potentate...". Never-theless, "grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.5:21).

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, BUT BY HIS OWN BLOOD He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal
redemption for us" (Heb.9:12).

"WHOM GOD HATH SET FORTH TO BE A PROPITIATION THROUGH FAITH IN HIS
BLOOD, TO DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE
PAST, THROUGH THE FORBEARANCE OF GOD" (Rom.3:25).

"...The SPIRIT of grace..." (Heb.10:29), in conjunction with "the Word of grace" (Acts 20:32), teaches us to "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col.1:10).

"Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hear-ing by the Word of God" (Rom.10:17).

"...The GOD of peace..." (Heb.13:20). It is so comforting to know that our God is dispens-ing "grace" and "peace" today. This blessed theme is prevalent in all of Paul’s epistles, the theme that he and Timothy "preached every where in every church" (ICor.4:17).

"GRACE be with you all..." (Heb.13:25).

"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal.1:3).

Indeed, while many find it difficult to believe the Epistles of Saint Paul, may you find com-fort in knowing the wonderful and marvelous truth that "Grace and Peace" reign through His "Righteousness" today.

RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2004, 06:13:39 PM »

INSPIRATION, WHAT IS IT?





When "Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary" as recorded in Luke 1:39-45, and "the babe [John] leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice..." (Vers.41,  42), uttering the words of verses 42-45, was she inspired?

She was, in fact, inspired. And what she "spake" was inspired because Elisabeth "was filled with the Holy Ghost". Consequently the very words which she "spake out" are the inspiration of God. And if this is not enough to prove that the "holy men of God" were, themselves, inspired, we have the very words that Elisabeth "spake out" recorded  for us in the inspired Word of God. Even as Luke was, himself, inspired to write The Gospel  Accord-ing To St. Luke. So, Scripture confirms that Elisabeth, herself, was inspired.

And not only was Elisabeth inspired of God to speak, but her husband, Zacharias, was also "filled with the Holy Ghost" and what he "prophesied" was the inspiration of God, recorded for our reading in Luke 1:68-79.

Just as God "breathed into [man] the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7) so the Lord inspires "holy men of God" to speak and write as they are moved by the Holy Spirit. Would you not agree that to be "filled with the Holy Ghost" is to be, as Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words puts it, "inspired by God".

"ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOC-TRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (IITim. 3:16).

Thus the Apostle Paul was not only, himself, inspired in the writings of his epistles but he also wrote by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And those who insist that only the words on the page are inspired, do greatly err "not [rightly dividing] the Scriptures"!

Therefore, "the holy men [and women] of God [who] spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (IIPet.1:21) were themselves inspired, and  not merely their words on the page. When the prophets uttered, "Thus saith the Lord," some 300 times, they themselves were inspired of Almighty God. Since the days of the Apostles and Prophets, however, there has been no such inspiration for with the letters of Paul revelation came the completion of the Word of God (Col.1:25,26). Once again we see that Scripture is a commentary upon itself.

RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2004, 05:55:55 PM »



THE GOSPEL OF GRACE OF GOD






"Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph.1:2).

The above verse is the theme of all the Epistles of St. Paul where we find how to obtain both "grace" and "peace". The words of this verse are found at the beginning of every one of his letters.

So, which would you rather have, the "grace" and "peace" of God, or  would you prefer to see the Lord Jesus Christ on that "white horse" of the Book of the Revelation?

"AND I SAW HEAVEN OPENED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE HORSE; AND HE THAT SAT UPON HIM WAS CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS HE DOTH JUDGE AND MAKE WAR" (Rev.19:11-16).

It is on account of the wickedness of men in seeking to run the world without Him that He judges the earth and makes war.

However, "...now is the Day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). It is in this Day and Age of Grace that God is saving men and women, boys and girls, by grace through faith without works (Eph.2:8,9). We cannot earn heaven, of course, for our salvation is "the gift of God", purchased for us by Christ on Calvary's cross. Paul therefore declares in his Epistle to the Corinthians with regards to "the  gospel of your salvation" (Eph.1:13):

"...How that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (ICor.15:3,4).

This redemption that is in Christ Jesus is ours by simple faith in Him.

"We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace" (Eph.1:7).

Nevertheless, we can, and should, draw nigh unto Him, through faith in His blessed Word, the Bible. Read especially the epistles of St. Paul, over and over again, until they become part and parcel of yourself, for therein is our only salvation:

"WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, SEEING HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM" (Heb7:25).

There is no peace in this world, so worth having, as "peace with God".

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2004, 09:35:36 AM »

WHAT IS GRACE ?



Question: What is grace?

Answer: Grace is God's riches at Christ's expense. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Jesus Christ's obedience to God's will made it possible for us to obtain salvation. "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave him-self for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Galatians 1:3-5
Grace teaches us to live:

soberly (moderately, discreetly, being temp-erate and self-controlled with a sound mind)

righteously (justly, innocently, holy, being equitable in our character and actions) and

godly (piously, devout being well-reverent)
today!

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Titus 2:11-15

Have you accepted God's grace? If not, what are you waiting for?




Question: What is the difference between "law" and "grace"?


Answer: Under the law system, God's relation-ship with man was on the basis of man's obedience to God's divine law. Failure to obey resulted in withholding of blessings, punishment, separation and death. God's command to   man was "thou shalt..." and his promise was "I will..." Some examples are found in Exodus 20: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." "Thou shalt not kill." "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee." (verses 3, 7, 13, 24)

What was the problem with the law? Simply put, man failed to keep it and thus man be-came guilty of all. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 The law was weak in the flesh. When Christ shed his blood on the cross, he condemned sin in the flesh and liberated us from the law. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, con-demned sin in the flesh: That the righteous-ness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:2-4

What was the purpose of the law? To teach us that we are sinners and that we are in need a Saviour. "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopp-ed, and all the world may become guilty be-fore God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Rom. 3:19-20 "Wherefore the law was our school-master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master." Galatians 3:24-25

Under grace, God's relationship with man is based upon His mercy in giving man total and complete forgiveness for sins. The sacrifices under the law could not take away sins. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:4 These sacrifices were only a temporary solution. God provided a perma-nent solution by taking away sins with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily minister-ing and offering oftentimes the same  sacri-fices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." Hebrews 10:9-13

Because man fell short of God's glory by sinning, God set forth Jesus Christ as our propitiation (or fully satisfying sacrifice). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemptionthat is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26

The law taught us of our short comings and our need for salvation. Grace teaches us of our completeness in Christ. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespases; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:6-15

The law required continual obedience. Grace requires one time acceptance. The law work-eth wrath. "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgress-ion." Romans 4:15 Through grace, we have peace. "THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2 "Moreover the law entered that the offence might abound, But where sin abound-ed, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20-21

By Rita Lee Graves
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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2004, 05:09:57 PM »

"LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY"

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER

"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Rom.12:9).

The Pauline epistles have much to say about "Love Without Hypocrisy". The meaning of hypocrisy is simple enough -- playing a part rather than actually living the part. The television is clearly an instrument of hypocrisy. The world is full of actors, all pretending to be somebody they’re not, whereas believers in Christ ought to be living a true life for our Saviour. The love with which Timothy’s mother and
grandmother cherished him, however, was most assuredly not produced by Hollywood. What a testimony his life and character was to the truth of God’s Word. See II Timothy 1:5:

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

The word "unfeigned" is translated "without dissimulation" in Romans 12:9 and "without hypocrisy" in James 3:17. It is also found in II Corinthians 6:6; I Timothy 1:5; and I Peter l:22.

The word "love", of Romans 12:9, was not produced in Hollywood either. It is that "love of God" (Rom. 5:5,8; 8:35) that eternally secures believers in Christ with "all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies" (Eph.1:3). But our local assemblies would do well in "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts" (Tit.2:12). This would produce so much more for the cause of Christ through "His constraining love" (IICor.5:14). If believers of all walks of life would only "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph.5:18) they would not "fulfil the lust of the
flesh" (Gal.5:16). This is why Paul writes Timothy:

"Now the end of the commandment is charity [agape] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned [without hypocrisy]" (ITim.1:5).

Peter wrote to the Jewish remnant, "scattered throughout" Asia Minor, "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" (IPet.1:22).

"A pure heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith" produces the kind of true love, that balance in the Christian life, that brings forth fruit, unto God.

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal.5:16).
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« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2004, 05:13:08 PM »

THE GOSPEL PRODUCES ASSURANCE

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake" (IThes.1:5).

Many people do not have assurance in these days in which we live. They base their sal-vation upon what some man has said, or upon some church doctrine, rather than God’s Word. Even their so-called "good works" cannot please God because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and refused to believe Paul’s God-given "gospel" of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph.1:7).

The Lord has told us that "the gift of God IS ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:23). If God’s "gift" is eternal life, and we are "justified by [Christ’s] blood" (Rom.5:9), should we not believe what God has said? He is well able to perform that which He has said He will do.

"BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS VERY THING, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST" (Phil.1:6).

The "performance", here, also goes beyond our salvation to include our daily walk with Him. It is true that "we are HIS workmanship" (Eph.2:10), but it is equally true that we are to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil.2,12). "Shall we continue in sin  [then],  that  grace  may  abound?" (Rom.6:1). Paul answers this with an emph-atic: "GOD FORBID. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom.6:2). This lifestyle does not produce assurance; it rather produces guilt as we can readily see from the world about us! It there-fore behooves every child of God to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, accept-able unto God, which is your reasonable service.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD (Rom. 12:1,2).

There is more. To the yielded believer, "God works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil.2:13). Indeed our won-derful Saviour desires greater things yet -— "That our hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the FULL ASSURANCE of understanding, to the acknowledgment [full knowledge] of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ" (Col.2:2).

This is the "gospel" that "established" the believers at Thessalonica and also produces assurance in us today. Listen to what the Apostle wrote in his first letter to them:

"For OUR gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance...." When we believe Paul’s gospel, we have that assurance of being true "FOLLOWERS OF THE LORD"
(IThess.1:5,6).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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Are You GOING TO HEAVEN?


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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2004, 05:22:11 PM »


THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;but unto us which are
saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18)

We have often heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The statement usually means that our opinion of something depends on our perspective. Our text, 1 Corinthians 1:18, tells us that "the preaching of the cross" will produce two different re- actions in people.   Perhaps it is best to first define what is meant by the "preaching of the cross." The preaching of the cross meant telling the Biblical message that everyone is a sinner by nature and a sinner by choice; it means that man is doomed to a literal hell
because the wages of sin is eternal death; it means that God's Son the Lord Jesus Christ, entered time and space and came to earth to die for our sins; it means that by placing faith and trust in Jesus Christ's work on our be- half, we are forever saved from the penalty of sin and are inheritors of  eternal life. The preaching of the cross leaves no room for religion or good works. The Biblical gospel leaves no other way to heaven. It is the only way: Humanism, Taoism, Buddhism, Mormon-ism, Catholicism, or any other ism will not provide salvation. This is the preaching of the cross. What we think of this message depends on whether or not we believe it. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. On the other hand, to those who have belived, it is the experienced power
of God at work in their life. Notice that believers are already in the completed state   of salvation, once for all saved. What is your opinion of the preaching of the cross for salvation? The choice is yours, and you must make it.
         
Pastor  David Havard
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Are You GOING TO HEAVEN?

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Galatians 4:16   Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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