Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ Category

  When a trial is being conducted to acquit or convict a person, it’s very important for a lawyer to have, if possible, eye witnesses who saw and heard what happened.  All that an eye witness needs to do is to tell the truth concerning the things that he saw or heard and do it to the best of his ability. 

  Liars.  Sometimes people lie on the witness stand and hope they won’t get caught at it. They need a very good memory to remember the lies they tell so they can cover them with more lies. Pleading ignorance has been used on more than one occasion.  One former President was impeached and did this quite often on the witness stand.  He often said, “I can’t remember.”

  Crucial.  The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ out from among the dead ones is crucial to Christianity.  Only a resurrected Christ has the power to save sinners from an eternal hell and cast into hell those who refuse God’s offer of salvation to all mankind.

  Hard.  Believing the Good News concerning Christ is not an easy pill for some to swallow.  It seems foolish to them (1 Corinthians 2:14).  Many people don’t want to admit that they are bad enough to need a Savior.  They love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).  Others think that God should accept them into heaven because their good works out weigh their bad works (Matthew 7:21-23).  Is this how you think?

  Implications.  Are you among those who don’t want to believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead?  Are you afraid that if you admit that it took place that there is the possibility that He could raise you from the dead and judge you for your beliefs and conduct?  Well, whether you believe it or not, all of us will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ (The Judge – John 5:22) and give an account to Him someday (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

  Essential.  To be saved, the Corinthians Christians had to believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead.  It is a part of the Gospel message that is sadly left out by many preachers today when they talk to people about God’s simple plan of salvation.  But some of the Corinthians apparently weren’t convinced that they too would be resurrected from the dead in the future (1 Corinthians 15:12).  Paul would need to correct their thinking concerning this too.

  Eye Witnesses.  Who were some of the eye witnesses who claimed to have seen Christ after His resurrection?  Are they trustworthy witnesses?  The Apostle Paul included an assortment of different kinds of people whose names the Holy Spirit led him to include in this list.

  Peter.  In this text (1 Corinthians 15:5-8), Cephas (Peter) is named as one of the eye witnesses (Luke 24:34).  It’s interesting to note that he was also the one who denied his Lord three times even though he claimed that he would never do such a thing (Matthew 26:34, 75).  Graciously, the Lord, after His resurrection, asked Peter three times if he really loved Him (John 21:15-17).  With humility, Peter acknowledged that he did.  As Christ predicted he would, Peter was turned around (Luke 22:32) and later became a powerful witness for the Lord on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14ff; 4:1-12).

  The Twelve Disciples (Mark 16:14; John 20:19-25).  This is a collective term to refer to the group of twelve men whom Christ chose to be His Apostles (Matthew 10:2).  Obviously Judas wasn’t there to witness Christ’s resurrection since he had committed suicide (Matthew 27:5).  Nor was Thomas there on the first Sunday night after Christ had risen from the dead (John 20:24ff).

  Five Hundred Brethren (Mathew 28:16-20).  We don’t know exactly when this took place but the Apostle Paul mentioned that some of them had died physically before he wrote this letter to the Corinthians.  But Paul could have directed the skeptics to these eye witnesses if they had wanted to interrogate them.

  James.  He was one of the Lord’s half brothers who didn’t believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ until after His resurrection when He made an appearance to James personally.  He, along with his other brothers, thought Jesus was a lunatic when He gathered His disciples together to begin His ministry on earth (Mark 3:21; John 7:5; Matthew 13:55).  Isaiah the prophet had predicted that the Messiah’s own family and the Jews would think that He was smitten by God (i. e. a lunatic – Isaiah 53:4).

  The Eleven Apostles.  To be an Apostle, one had to have seen the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1) and needed to be able to perform three kinds of miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12).  The second Sunday evening Thomas (the doubter) was with the other ten disciples.  At that time he acknowledged Jesus as His Lord and His God (John 20:28).  Had He not been God, Jesus should have corrected Thomas right then.  But He didn’t.  Jesus did accept worship from Thomas and the other disciples because He was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18).  He is not inferior to God the Father or the first One whom the Father created.  Jesus Christ is the Creator all things, “not the Creator of all ‘other’ things” as one cult erroneously teaches (Colossians 1:15, 16; 2:9).

  Paul.  Even though Paul wasn’t one of the original twelve Apostles, he was chosen by the Lord to not only be one of Christ’s Apostles to the Church, but he was also chosen to be the steward of the “Dispensation of Grace” in which we now live (Acts 9:15; Ephesians 3:1ff).  He had persecuted the church (Galatians 1:13).  This implies that the church was in existence before Paul was saved.  (Some Christians don’t think that the Church started until after Paul was saved.)

  Others.  Several women also witnessed Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead including Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18).  By the way, she never married Jesus and never had a child by Him.  This heresy began to gain momentum several hundred years after Christ was here on earth.  Had Jesus been married to Mary Magdalene, at least one of the Gospel writers would have mentioned it.  Don’t fall for this lie from the devil that has brought great financial gain to the writer of this novel called “The Da Vinci Code”.

  A Fact.  The historical evidence for Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead is overwhelming.  But did you know that you can believe that Christ died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead and still end up in hell?  How is that possible?  To be saved from hell and enter heaven, we must know the facts of the Gospel.  But we must also transfer our faith from ourselves and our good works over to Christ Himself as the only One who can save us.  Upon whom or what is your faith resting?

  Good Works.  Once you’ve been saved, you can/should do good works to demonstrate to other people that you are a true Christian (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:18-20).  If you claim to be saved, how many people know that you are a Christian?

  Sure?  If you’re unsure of your eternal destiny, contact us so we can help you today.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages on our web site.  We have an audio presentation of the Gospel too.  Listen to some of our “Heart To Heart” talks on our web site. 

  Relationships.  If you have been saved, are you growing in your relationship with God and with other Christians?  Are you teachable (2 Timothy 2:15) and willing to change (Romans 12:1, 2)?

  Help!  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site: www.kelseypeach.com.   We designed it with people like you in mind.

Tucked away in a somewhat obscure passage of the Old Testament we discover some practical advice for successful living (Micah 6:8).  I have often paraphrased this verse to my grown children and to others to remind us of what God expects of His children.  But first, let me ask you a question.  Are you sure that you are God’s child or are you still a child of the devil (John 3:3-8; 8:44; 1 John 3:10)?  Until we are “born again from above” we’re in the devil’s family and all our good works are like filthy, smelly rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).

  Born Again. We are “born again from above” and are declared righteous by God when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as the One who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  “The [justified] ones shall live by [a continual attitude of] faith” (Romans 1:17).  We must know and claim the promises given to us as “Grace believers” rather than trying to claim the promises given to the Jews who were living under the Mosaic Law.

   Be Just.  In order for a person to do what is right, he must know the rules that God has set forth in His Word.  He, as the Creator and Sustainer of all life, has the right to impose rules on people (Genesis 1:27; Colossians 1:15, 16).  Those who violate them must suffer the consequences of disobedience (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8).  Some of the standards and rules found in the Old Testament have changed for New Testament believers.

  Dispensations.  That is what these “Rules for Living” are called.  They are not ways of salvation.  (See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information.)    Dietary regulations (Leviticus 11; 1 Timothy 4:3, 4), places of worship (John 4:21-24), and the observance of the Sabbath (Galatians 4:10) are just a few of the differences we notice between the Mosaic Law and Grace teachings that were given to us primarily through the Apostle Paul (Romans 6:14; Ephesians 3:1-12).  He was the “Steward” – “Household Manager” of this Dispensation of Grace in which we now live.  As believers, we have all we need for life and godliness within the 66 Books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:3).  Don’t give heed to or follow those who add to or subtract from the completed Scriptures or to those who twist it from its normal meaning by using the allegorical method of interpretation (2 Peter 3:16).  Otherwise you will face severe consequences (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18, 19).

  Supplemental.  The Apostles Peter and John, along with the two half brothers of Jesus – James, and Jude provided supplemental information for New Testament Grace believers.  If you’ve been saved, are you ordering your life by the “Mosaic Law,” “Grace Truth” for Christians, or by the “Kingdom Rules” (I.e. “Sermon on the Mount”) for believers who will live on earth during Christ’s millennial reign?  Are you making up your own rules as you go along?  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  The second thing a believer should do is to –

  Be Merciful. God has been merciful and kind to all mankind.  His mercies are new every morning; Great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22, 23).  Mercy involves showing compassion toward those who are suffering either because of their own faults and sins or that of others.  As badly as we may be hurting at times, it seems like there is always someone else who is suffering more than we are.  Of course, the pebble in our shoe seems to be more painful than the splinter in another person’s eye.  Endless suffering in hell can be avoided if one trusts in Christ alone for his/her salvation (John 3:16).

  Comfort. “[God] comforts us [Christians] in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  Some Christians have been given the spiritual gift of showing mercy (Romans 12:8).  It needs to be used with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).  They can/should excel at it but all Christians can/should be merciful to other people too (Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:32).  The third thing a believer should do is to –

  Be Humble.  We all seem to have a problem with pride.  But God hates it (Proverbs 6:16-19; 16:5, 18).  There is the pride of one’s race, face, and place in life.  Which one causes you the most trouble?  Folks, there is only one race – the human race (Acts 17:26).  Evolution contradicts the record that God has given to mankind in His Word (Genesis 1:26; 27; 2:7).

  Faith.  As for me and many others, it takes too much faith to believe in evolution.  Both creation and evolution require faith since we weren’t there in the beginning.  The Word of God teaches us that we all descended from Adam and Eve and then, after the universal flood (Genesis 6-9),  we all came through Noah and his three sons.  The ethnic groups and languages developed after God changed man’s common language into many languages and scattered them all over the earth (Genesis 11:7-9).  Do you know when the continents came into existence? Read Genesis 10:25.

  Pride.  Furthermore, with reference to pride, “…who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?  Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7)?

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23, 24).  God has chosen to use the foolish, weak, and base people of this world to put to shame those who think themselves to be wise, mighty, and noble.  Why?  So that no flesh will glory in God’s presence (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

  Decision.  Will you humble yourself before God so it doesn’t become necessary for Him to humble you (James 4:10; 1 Peter 4:6)?  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself and volunteered to come to this earth to live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and then die for the sins of the whole world (Philippians 2:5-11).  Then He rose again bodily from the grave and made numerous appearances to others before ascending back to heaven (Acts 1:9).  He promised to return someday (John 14:1-3).  Perhaps Today!  Are you ready for that possibility?

  Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, we’d be happy to show you from an opened Bible how you can be saved and know it.  Visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.

  Recently, during the closing ceremonies of the Olympic games, John Lennon’s song “Imagine” was sung.  In his rebellion toward God, he wanted other people to join him and cast aside their Bible based beliefs in a real heaven and hell. Many people have done just that and no longer believe in these places.  What about you?

  Reincarnation?  Some people have been converted over to the idea of reincarnation into another life or the annihilation of the wicked dead as many cults teach.  But suppose Jesus and the Apostles are right and that these places are actual places to which people go when this life is over and spend eternity there.

  Shock.  Try to imagine the utter shock, grief, and pain that many people will experience in hell after living their lives in what they thought was service to God and others only to hear Jesus say to them on judgment day, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness…into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46).  What seemed like the right thing to do was really all wrong (Proverbs 14:12).  How sad.

  Decision.  The most important decision that you’ll ever have to make in this life has to do with whether you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior or not.  It alone will determine your eternal destiny.  It is sad to think that many people who think they’re headed for heaven will never make it there.  Why?  They believe in vain.

  Vain Faith. How does one “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2)?  He does this by adding good works to his faith.  He might say, “I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and…” or “I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but…”.

  Works.  God’s Word makes it very clear that we aren’t saved by any of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6).  But once we’ve been saved by grace alone through faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone, our good works become the evidence of our faith before other human beings (James 2:18-20; Ephesians 2:10).  Make sure that you understand this clearly or you could end up forever in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).  Don’t get the order of things wrong.

  Repentance.  It is the change of mind that accompanies faith (Acts 17:30).  Some are falsely teaching that before you can be saved you must confess all the sins you’ve ever committed and then promise God that you will never sin again so you can be saved.  That’s impossible and leaves people in despair.

  K.I.S.S.  God kept His plan of salvation simple so that even little children can understand how to be saved.  Let’s not complicate it or mislead people.  From start to finish, salvation is all the work of God (Jonah 2:9; Philippians 1:6).  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [exclusively], and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

  Help.  If you have Bible questions or need additional help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site for more information: www.kelseypeach.com.  These weekly articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.

  They were so diligent and sincere. They were sure that all the good works they had done for God would result in His allowing them to enter the kingdom of heaven. But then, to their total dismay, they heard the most dreadful words anyone might ever hear, “I [Jesus] never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness…into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 7:23; 25:41).

  What happened? What went wrong? Surely there must be a mistake. These people had prophesied in Christ’s name, cast out demons, and had done many wonders in His name. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

  Will Of God. What is it? When the people asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” He answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him [Jesus] whom He [God the Father] sent” (John 6:28, 29). Notice that He didn’t say, “He who believes and does good works will be saved.” Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). It’s by grace (undeserved favor) alone through faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone and not the Christ of the cults.

  Jesus.  The Bible tells us that He is the God-man who has always existed with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-18). He shares an absolute equality with them (John 5:18; 10:31; Colossians 2:9). As predicted, He was born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived on earth without sinning (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21) so He could die for our sins as the just one for the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2).

  Satisfied.  Having satisfied God the Father’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our personal sins, Jesus was raised (not merely resuscitated) from the dead with a glorified body consisting of flesh and bones but lacking blood (Romans 4:25; Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). His bodily resurrection guarantees the eventual resurrection and judgment of everyone (1 Corinthians 15:22-26; Hebrews 9:27).

  Decision. You must make a decision as to what you will do with the Lord Jesus Christ. To ignore Him is to reject Him. What is your honest opinion of Him?  Do you think He is a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord Jesus Christ?  Even if you acknowledged Him to be all that is mentioned above, you could still end up in hell unless your faith rests in Him alone.  The devil and demons believe the facts about Him but aren’t saved (James 2:19). 

  Foolishness.  You may think all this information is nothing but foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14) and reject Him as your Savior. Or you can, with child like faith, believe on Him as your personal Savior and receive the gift of eternal life right now (John 1:12; 3:16; 1 John 5:13). From start to finish, salvation is of the Lord (Philippians 1:6; Jonah 2:6)

  Fools. They boastfully say, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Such a statement is impossible to prove. They should claim ignorance (agnosticism). They might say, “If there is a God who should happen to exist, we don’t believe that He is all knowing and all powerful.”  They think that they can get by with their lawless behavior (Psalm 10:11; 1 John 3:4). Don’t be deceived. God will hold all of us accountable to Him for everything we do and say (Matthew 12:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). He even knows all about our motives (1 Corinthians 4:5).  Absolutely nothing escapes Him (John 2:24, 25).

  Scared? Fear of hell might lead some people to God. But the goodness and kindness of God toward us should be a greater motivator so that we trust in Christ alone for our deliverance from hell to heaven (Romans 2:4). Have you done that yet?

  Friends.  I’ve heard people say that they would rather go to hell and party with their friends than go to heaven to be with God and other Christians. Such people should consider what the rich man who went there and what Jesus had to say about the torments of hell (Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 25:30). Yes, there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain.

  Help. If you’re not sure where you will spend eternity, or have other Bible questions, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web page: www.kelseypeach.com. Our web logs (Blogs) are usually a summary of a talk we bring on Sundays. If you want, you can sign up to receive them as they come out.

  Startling claims are coming out of the “Charismatic Movement” today and are being spread by word of mouth, television, and the printed page.  Some folks are reporting that spinal injuries are being corrected, cancerous tissues are disappearing, puppies are being raised from the dead, and gas tanks are supernaturally filled in response to faith.  Some folks claim that their debts have been cancelled and their money has multiplied because they planted their “seed” offering.  Some people claim that they have gone to heaven and came back.  This all sounds exciting doesn’t it?  But how much is credible and verifiable?    

  James Dyet writes, “The charismatic emphasis on speaking in tongues as evidence of Spirit baptism has confused many believers.”  So what do the Scriptures teach concerning the gifts of tongues and prophecy?  The Apostle Paul addressed this subject in 1 Corinthians 12-14.  He didn’t want them or us to be confused about these gifts or how they were to be used.  Their disorderly conduct was causing confusion to the uninformed and unbelieving visitors and the Lord’s name was being disgraced by their disorderly conduct in the meetings just as it is happening in some “churches” today.

  Tongues.  This inferior spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:1, 2) served as a sign (miracle) primarily for unbelieving Jews that God’s judgment would come on them for their unbelief and disobedience to Him and His commandments (Isaiah 28:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 14:21, 22).  The tongues used on the Day of Pentecost were distinct, understandable languages, not gibberish or ecstatic speech (Acts 2:8-11).  It was/is God’s desire that the Gentiles (non-Jews) be offered the same salvation that the Jews were offered in the Old Testament times. This happened and was evidenced by the Samaritans (half-Jews) and Gentiles coming to faith in Christ and speaking in tongues as they did on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15).

  Prophecy.  In addition to being able to predict the future, this Christian received New Testament “grace teachings” from God to be shared with the Jewish and Gentile believers who made up the spiritual “Body of Christ” (Ephesians 2:14-3:12; Galatians 3:28).  The Mosaic Law was not their rule for living any more (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:1).  This new information was delivered in the language of those in the local church rather than in a foreign language as tongues was.  The gift of prophecy was more beneficial to the visitors who happened to attend the meetings (1 Corinthians 14:23).  They could understand what was being said and some of them came under conviction and realized that God was indeed among the Christians.

  Regulations.  Speaking in tongues was to be limited to two or three men per assembly meeting.  Only one could speak at a time.  An interpreter had to be present to interpret what was said in a foreign language.  Women weren’t permitted to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:27-29, 34, 35).  Likewise, those who prophesied had to be limited to two or three men per assembly meeting.  When another prophet received newer revelation (information) the first prophet was to give place to him.  The spirits of the prophets were to be subject to the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:29-32).  They were to be under the control of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18).

  Phenomena.  Some people who “speak in tongues” will tell you that they learned how to do this from other people who supposedly speak in tongues.  But the early Christians had it come on them without their being taught by some other human being.  They supernaturally spoke in distinct, identifiable languages (Acts 2:1-11).  Some Bible scholars believe that some of the present day experiences are psychological experiences and operate by motor automatism.  This happens when there is a radical inward detachment from one’s conscious surroundings.  Still others believe that demons can/do cause people to speak in ecstatic languages (gibberish) and that such cases are found among other religions and cults as well.  Could the devil use these ecstatic languages that some call “speaking in tongues” as the common denominator to unite very different religions into the one world church (Revelation 17, 18)? 

  Test.  If you think that you might have the gift of speaking in tongues, try this.  Record what you say in tongues and then submit it to three or four people who have the gift of the interpretation of tongues and see if they all come up with the same interpretation.  If you think that you have the gift of prophecy, is what you say you’re receiving from God additional, authoritative teaching that should be included in the Bible?  What does God say about those who add to or subtract from His Word (Revelation 22:18, 19)?  Are the 66 books of the Bible sufficient for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3, 4) or do we need additional information?  What did the Apostles Paul and Peter say would happen in the last days of the church (1 Timothy 4:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff; 2 Peter 2:1ff)?  How are Christians being cheated today by false teachers (Colossians 2:8)?

  Why?  Perhaps the tongues movement has exploded in part because so many churches are cold and lifeless (Revelation 2, 3).  Some don’t really believe the Bible is the Word of God that needs to be interpreted literally (normally).  Experience and shallow feelings have replaced the authoritative, sound teaching of the Word of God.  Many people want to be entertained and have the preacher tickle their ears and tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).  Hypocrisy reigns in the lives of many who call themselves Christians but who don’t really have eternal life (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2).  They have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

  Profitable.  “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The early church gave attention to Bible doctrine (teaching), fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).  What do you know about the seven distinct “Dispensations” (rules for living) in the Bible?  (Refer to our “Dispensational Chart” to see where you fit into the picture in God’s timeline of history.)  Are we very close to the end of this era?  Do you know what happens next?

  Disagreement.  We know that not all Christians agree on this subject.  But we would ask you to be like the Bereans and examine the Word of God for yourself (Acts 17:11).  We also would invite you to examine our beliefs on this subject by going to our web site: www.kelseypeach.com and read our web logs (Blogs).  Also go to our “Bible Basics” section for more information.  If you’re not sure of your eternal destiny, read “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.”  We have it in 24 languages.

  Gift.  Each true Christian has received a spiritual gift that God wants him/her to use with love for the good of others (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13).  If, after reading the information mentioned above, you’d like additional help, call us at 805-238-3549.

  Kelsey Pietsch (Peach) pastors the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.

    Health, wealth, and happiness.  Who wouldn’t be interested in having these things in this life?  Some “Charismatic” groups are offering all this and more to their followers.  Spectacular claims of healings are reported.  Wealth is promised to those who plant a sacrificial “Seed” offering.  “Signs and wonders camps for kids” are springing up. What’s going on? Are some of us Christians missing out?  Should we be getting new revelation (information) from God today and be speaking in tongues?  Is it evidence of a “Second Blessing” from God?  Are all Christians supposed to talk in “tongues” and be looking for new revelations (information) from God (1 Corinthians 12:29, 30)? 

   Discernment.  The Apostle John wrote, “Beloved, do no believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).  Let’s consider what the Apostle Paul had to say about the spiritual gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12-14).

   Tongues.  This was the special ability to speak truth from God in a foreign language (without having learned it).  It was primarily designed to prove to unbelieving Jews that God was extending salvation to the non-Jews as He did to the Jewish people (1 Corinthians 14:21, 22; Acts 2:8-11; 10:46; 11:15, 16).  Unless there was another Christian with the gift of interpreting tongues (a known language), the “tongues speaker” was to remain silent.  No more than three men were allowed to speak in tongues in an assembly meeting (1 Corinthians 14:27, 28, 34).

   Preferred.  Realizing the limitations of tongues, the Apostle Paul encouraged the whole church to keep on pursing “Agape” love and desire that those with the spiritual gift of prophecy (foretelling and forth telling) be allowed to convey messages they received from God to the people.  This was new information to regulate the conduct of New Testament believers living in the “Dispensation of Grace” (Ephesians 3:1-12).  No longer are Christians under the “Mosaic Law” (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:1). 

   Pastor.  Apparently at the time when Paul wrote this letter to them, they didn’t have a Pastor-teacher or another Apostle to lead them (1 Corinthians 1:12; 16:12).  Their meetings were quite disorderly and not many were being edified in the faith.

   Perfect.  When the “Perfect Thing” came, the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and the word of knowledge and other temporary gifts ceased to be given out to New Testament believers (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).  We believe that this refers to the completion of the New Testament when the Apostle John closed the Book of Revelation with the word “Amen” (Revelation 22:21).  Beware of those who add to or subtract from the Scriptures and who change God’s simple plan of salvation (Revelation 22:18, 19; Galatians 1:6-9).

   Silent Years.  Between the Old and New Testaments there was a period of  about 400 years when God didn’t reveal any new revelation (information) to the people through the prophets.  But then John the Baptizer introduced the Messiah (Jesus) to the Jewish people.  The leaders eventually rejected Him and had Him crucified on a cross by the Romans (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 11:10; John 1:11).

   Signs And Wonders.  The Prophet Joel predicted that in the last days (i.e. during the “time of Jacob’s trouble” or the seven years of Tribulation –Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27), the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (i.e. the believing Jewish remnant).  Their sons and daughters would prophesy, dream dreams, and have visions (Joel 2:28, 29).  The wonders (miracles that would get the people’s attention) that Joel mentioned didn’t occur on the day of Pentecost (Joel 2:30, 31; Acts 2:16-21).

   Counterfeits.  Only those things that have value are counterfeited.  When the Antichrist comes, he will deceive the unbelievers of this world with all power, signs, and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9).  Will you be in that number?  Today his agents and ministers are deceiving many people through a counterfeit Christianity (2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4ff).

  Postscript.  Lest you think all Christians should be rich, in perfect health, and always be without any sorrows or heartaches, consider the life of the Apostle Paul.  He was beaten numerous times, stoned, shipwrecked three times, spent a day and a night in the ocean, was surrounded by constant dangers, went without food at times, and was constantly exposed to the elements as he traveled to reach people for Christ (2 Corinthians 11:25-33).  He said, “I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10).

   Question.  If you’re a Christian, how much would you be willing to suffer so others could be saved?  Do you share the Gospel with lost people?  Do you support a good Bible believing church and its missionaries?  Do you want to be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease while other Christians suffer to share the Gospel with the lost so they can be saved?  Where would you be today if Christ hadn’t paid the price for your sins by dying for them and then rising from the dead on the third day?  Have you placed your faith in Him?  Are you relying on your good works to get you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

   Contact.  If you would like to learn more about spiritual gifts or have questions about your eternal destiny, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com and read our web logs (Blogs) and the information under the “Bible Basics” section.

  While the Vietnam war was going on, a popular song came out in 1965.  It went like this, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love / It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”.  Do you remember the rest of the words to this song?

  Who in his right mind wouldn’t want love and peace to prevail on earth?  While many efforts have been made to achieve this goal, none of man’s methods have worked so far and they can’t work because there is a serious problem with man’s heart. 

  Heart Problem.  God’s Word says, “The heart [of the natural man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).  There is another problem.  “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteosnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).  “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).  There are some serious consequences associated with this heart condition (Romans 6:23).

  Erotic Love.  When the word love is mentioned, some people can only think of sensual, erotic love that distorts the beautiful relationship that can/should exist only between a man and his wife.  The works of the flesh (sin nature of man) include adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lewdness (Galatians 5:19).  They are all perversions of a good and wholesome thing (Hebrews 13:4).  Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).  The Greek word “eros” isn’t found in the New Testament.

  Brotherly Love.  Philadelphia is the name that has been given to some cities.  Not all of the residents of such cities are always kind to each other.  Some philanthropists, who give money to erect hospitals or other humanitarian projects, have impure motives for doing so.  But “brotherly love” is expected of ordinary people.  The Greek word “phileo” is used quite often in the Bible.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).

  Divine Love.  “Agape” love was demonstrated for mankind when God the Father sent His only begotten Son to this earth to die for our sins and rise again bodily from the dead (John 3:16).  Lest you think that God the Father was cruel in doing so, you should know that God the Son shares an absolute equality with God the Father (John 5:18; 10:30; Colossians 2:9).  He volunteered to come to earth to offer deliverance from hell to us and show us His love for the Father (John 10:15-18; Hebrews 10:5-10).  He is the member in the Godhead who chose to die in our place as the Just One for us unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).  Have you thanked Him for doing this?

  Law.  Under the Mosaic Law the best a man could do was to love his neighbor as himself (Leviticus 19:18).  The love that each man had for himself was the measure by which he was to love others.  By the way, we’re never told in Scripture to love ourselves.  We do it automatically.  Just think of all the time and money you spend on yourself.  We live in a self centered generation and that is getting worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:2).

  Grace.  New Testament Christians have a much higher standard that is to regulate their lives.  “A new commandment I [Jesus] give to you, that you love one another;  as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).  “By this we know [Agape] love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).  Christians husbands are told to love their wives just as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33).  Men, if you want God to answer your prayers, you must treat your wife as an equal heir of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7).  We are to do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).

  J.O.Y.  As children, we used to sing a chorus like this:  “Jesus, and others, and you / What a wonderful way to spell joy…”.  Our ultimate source of joy and delight should be in the person of Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us (Philippians 4:4).  By faith, when we focus our attention on Him and on things above (Colossians 3:1) we will be able to free ourselves from the depressing situations in life. 

  Depressed?  Instead of popping pills that might bring on more depression, try praising and thanking God.  Make sure that you are rightly related to God.  If you want to enjoy the “peace of God” follow God’s prescription found in Philippians 4:6, 7.  If you haven’t “been born again from above” (John 3:3), you need to discover first how you can have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1).  Unbelievers don’t have a bright future awaiting them (John 3:18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 36; Revelation 21:8).  You should look up these passages for yourself.  Notice carefully the words of Jesus.  They are the truth (John 14:6; 17:17).  Some people don’t like what He said about hell.

  Zero.  Imagine this.  All the righteous things that a man does independently of God and without God’s quality of love are nothing but a big “zero.”   Take any number you want and multiply it by zero and it’s still zero.  We can’t be saved from hell and make it to heaven by our good works.  Nor can a Christian earn rewards, crowns, or praise from God for service on earth if he/she doesn’t do the works that God prepared beforehand for him/her to do with an attitude of love (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).  Do you know what kind of works God wants you to do (1 Peter 4:10).  How has He gifted you?  Ask if you need help.

  Motives.  God, who is omniscient, knows exactly why we do what we do.  Sometimes we deceive ourselves (1 Corinthians 4:4, 5).  Glorifying God and pleasing Him should be the Christian’s motivating factors (2 Corinthians 5:9, 10).

  Nonsense.  Much of this won’t make sense to the natural [unsaved] man or the carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1-4).  But if you desire to be set free from the devil’s clutch and have victory over your sinful nature (we all have one – 1 John 1:8), there is help for you if you’re teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; Romans 12:1, 2).

  Help.  If you have questions or comments, or are unsure of your eternal destiny, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  We designed it with people like you in mind.  Sign up to receive our weekly web logs.

  Who wouldn’t be attracted to such an offer?  After all, most of us have health challenges. Perhaps we are not as rich as we’d like to be, and we all have our share of sorrows in life.  Could this be the reason why so many people flock to the “Health, Wealth, And Happiness Preachers” who are so popular today?  They promise a lot but deliver very little.  They tell people what they want to hear and tickle their ears just as the Scriptures predicted they would.  Some of them are getting very rich as they exploit hurting people (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 4:3-5). 

  King Jesus.  After Jesus healed the sick and fed a huge crowd, the Jews wanted to make Him their King (John 6:15).  But strangely, Jesus refused their offer and departed from them to a mountain by Himself.  Yes, He came to offer Himself as the rightful King of the Jews, but His becoming their King would be determined, not by the popular vote of the people, but by the predetermined “Decree” and God the Father’s timing (Psalm 2:7; Ephesians 1:11). 

  Timing.  We believe that this will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth after the “Seven Years Of  Tribulation” (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7). This momentous event may be much closer than most people realize (Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16ff).  There are plenty of indicators that seem to be pointing in this direction.  Where will you be when it happens?  Do you know the order of things to come?  If not, ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”  Read our (Blogs) on our web site that deal with Bible prophecy.  You can also go to our “Bible Basics” section for concise information.

  Sickness.  Believe it or not, sometimes sickness comes even to righteous people because of Satanic affliction.  It happened to Job (Job 1:6-2:10).  Strangely, this resulted in God’s glory when Job maintained his loyalty to God.  The Apostle Paul had to endure a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  Timothy, his missionary companion, had a constitutional weakness that was corrected by his drinking wine (1 Timothy 5:23), not by Paul’s healing him miraculously.  (Don’t use this verse as an excuse to get drunk. –Ephesians 5:18)  The Apostle Paul, who performed unusual miracles (Acts 19:11), didn’t use this power to heal his friends Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27) or Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20).  Do you know why he didn’t heal them? 

  Suffering.  Unlike these men, many Christians today suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally because of their disobedience to God their Father who chastens and scourges them because He loves them (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11).  Are you being afflicted by the “torturers” at this time (Matthew 18:34)?  Do you know what you’re supposed to do when this happens (2 Timothy 2:24-26; James 5:13-16; 1 John 1:9)?

  Poverty.  Sometimes this is the result of poor planning or laziness.  Consider the ant (Proverbs 6:6-11).  Rather than trusting God to get a job and do it well so they can earn a living (Proverbs 3:5, 6), many people rely on themselves (James 4:13-17; Deuteronomy 8:17, 18) or on government officials to rob from the producers to give to the lazy.  The Bible has something to say about this (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  This, if practiced, would relieve a great tax burden.  

  Ineptocracy.  Have you heard of it?  It has been defined as “a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”

  Government.  Capitalism, which the Scriptures allow, has been abused by dishonest men (Ephesians 4:28; James 4:1-4; 5:1-6).  The “Red Letter Christians” pick and choose what they want from the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and then try to force socialism and communism on others.  When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule as the King of Kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16),  the sin nature of man (1 John 1:8; Jeremiah 17:9) will be curbed because all his needs will be met (Isaiah 35:1ff; Ezekiel 36:26), the devil will be bound for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the diabolical world system will have been abolished (Daniel 2:44, 45; 1 John 2:15-17).  Finally, there will be peace on earth (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7).

  Rules.  If you’re a Christian, by which set of rules are you living: the Mosaic Law, Grace, or Kingdom rules?  Yes, they are noticeably different.  You won’t mature spiritually, or live victoriously over your three spiritual enemies, and be rewarded fully by the Lord unless you live according to “Grace Principles” (Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Galatians 5:1; 2 Peter 3:18).  While everything in the Bible is “for” Christians, not all of it is addressed “to” them.  Don’t try to claim the promises that were given exclusively to the Jews.

  Sadness.  Everlasting suffering and sadness await those who aren’t fit for heaven.  Without Christ’s righteousness imputed to your account, you can’t enter heaven (John 16:10; Romans 4:5).  But when you place your faith in Him alone as your personal Savior, by believing that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, you will be saved from an everlasting hell and enter heaven (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; John 14:3).  Have you done this yet?  Do you have assurance of salvation?  Why should God let you into His heaven?  Do you think that there is anything you could do for fail to do as a Christian that would cause you to lose your salvation?

  Joy.  Everlasting joy awaits those who enter heaven (Psalm16:11; Revelation 21:4).  But in the meantime, Christians can/should experience and display God’s love, joy, and peace as they find their delight in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; Galatians 5:22, 23).  Joyful Christians are good advertising for God.  Are you displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” so others can see Christ living through you (Galatians 2:20)? 

  Help.  Would you like more information?  Are you teachable and willing to change if you can be shown truth from God’s Word (Romans 12:1, 2; John 17:17)?  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com

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Many desperate people flock to “faith healers” hoping to be cured of their illnesses. Well meaning friends sometimes encourage the afflicted one to muster up faith and just believe that a miracle will happen.

  Case Study. A woman with cerebral palsy did her best but still wasn’t healed. Had God forsaken her? Did He want her to remain chained to her wheel chair? Was her disease a result of some sin in her life? Was her faith not strong enough? Should she command God to heal her? Would her doing this be considered blasphemy? Can a “faith healer” command sicknesses to depart from a person?

Truth. What does the Bible say about the “gifts of healings” (1 Corinthians 12:9)? While not everyone agrees, we believe that it entailed the miraculous ability to restore health without medical attention. The healings that Christ and the Apostles did were – (1) Instantaneous. Leprosy was cleansed immediately (Mark 1:42). This was not a psychological illness. (2) Complete and permanent. All the sick who came to Jesus were healed (Matthew 14:36). (3) Beneficial to a blind unbeliever who exercised no faith, and who didn’t even know who Jesus was (John 9:25). (4) Not just to relieve suffering and sickness (Luke 5:15, 16). (5) Secondary to the preaching of the Word of God (Luke 9:6). (6) To confirm Jesus and the Apostles as true messengers of God (John 3:2; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3, 4). (7) Always successful. Note an exception that was due to the lack of faith on the disciples’ part (Matthew 17:20). (8) Instrumental in raising the dead (Mark 5:39-43; Luke 7:14; John 11:44; Acts 9:40).

Compare. Have you ever been to a “healing service” or seen one on TV? What is being done today in these healing services might cause you to come to the conclusion that something is not right. Just as the most deceptive counterfeit money is that which is the closest to the real thing, so some “fake healers” are more dangerous than others to those who seek real deliverance.

Miracles. This involves the circumvention of the normal laws of nature that were established by God. This gift was given to some believers in the early days of the church to authenticate the message of the one who brought New Testament “grace teachings” to the church (1 Corinthians 12:10). It’s interesting to note that neither John the Baptist nor Jesus performed miracles until Jesus began his 3 year ministry at age 30 (John 10:41; 2:11). A person with this gift could exorcise demons (Acts 19:12), induce physical disability (Acts 13:11), and even cause death (Acts 5:5, 9).

Signs. The Apostle John recorded some signs (miracles) that Jesus did to convince people to believe on Him for their salvation (John 20:31). If these aren’t enough to cause a sinner to believe on Jesus as the Son of God, he will have to go on in his unbelief and perish in his own corruption (2 Peter 2:12; Romans 1:24ff; 2 Corinthians 2:16).

Unforgivable.  The unforgivable sin today is unbelief in Christ (John 3:16; 16:9). The devil would like to keep people from trusting the Lord Jesus Christ (and Him alone) as their personal Savior by causing spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4). Only God can lift the blinds and enable a person to see and then believe (1 John 4:4).  But Christians must share the Gospel message with unbelievers if they are to be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Romans 10:13-15).

Complete. With the completion of the Scriptures, when the Apostle John finished the Book of Revelation, some gifts were no longer needed or given out by God to believers. The “perfect thing” has come (1 Corinthians 13:10). Believers have everything they need for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:3). Woe to those who add to it or subtract from it (Revelation 22:18, 19; Colossians 2:8). We’re told to study it to show ourselves approved to God, workers who don’t have to be ashamed as we rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15).

Literal. A literal (normal) interpretation of the Scriptures will result in “Dispensationalism.” Man has always been saved by grace through faith in God (Ephesians 2:8, 9), but the “rules for living” (dispensations) aren’t all the same. Have you noticed that the Mosaic Law, Grace principles, and Kingdom rules (i.e. Sermon on the Mount) are all different? Christians who live by the wrong rules won’t grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18).  They can even oppose God’s plan for mankind as the Apostle Peter once did (Matthew 16:22).  “Replacement Theology” is contributing to Anti-Semitism and confusion in Christendom.

Purpose.  All these rules were designed to demonstrate to us that our hearts (minds, wills, and emotions) are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 23). Before we can begin to please God, we must be born again from above (John 3:3; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:8; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Believe. The Christ of the Scriptures (not the Christ of the cults –Matthew 24:5) died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead and can/will save any and all who believe on Him for their salvation (John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:37). If you’ve never done so before, will you trust Him right now?

Contact. If you need additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.   Ask about our “Dispensational” chart.  If you are helped by these articles, will you tell others about them (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)?  Sign up to receive them regularly.

“Racketeers have always been a curse to religious movements.  They have been present from Old Testament days, they are with us today, and they will be here in the future.  In Old Testament times the magicians plied their trade among the Egyptians (Exodus 7-9).  In the New Testament Simon desired to buy the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8), but he found that this was not for sale.  The Antichrist, during the Tribulation, will perform his arts with such skill (Revelation 13) that even the very elect will almost be taken in by this master deceiver (Matthew 24:24).”  – William Bellshaw

Hurt?  Have you or has someone you know been hurt by such people?  Have you sent money to them hoping to be healed or to get rich?  Would you like to know what the Scripture says about faith healers, speaking in tongues, miracles etc?  If you are a Christian, do you know that you have a special gift (ability) that God wants you to use for His glory and the good of others (1 Peter 4:10)?  Are you willing to do some studying on your own to discover what God’s Word says (2 Timothy 2:15)?

Questions and Answers

  Did some early Christians have the gift of healings?  Yes, while the Scriptures were still incomplete or “in part.” 1 Corinthians 12:28; 13:9-12

Are all miracles from God?  No.  Satan’s agents also perform miracles. Exodus 7:10-12, 20-22; 8:16-18; Matthew  7:21-23; 24:24; Revelation 13:3, 12; 16:13, 14

Why do people go to “faith healers?”  Many are desperate and desire good health. “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.” Job 2:4

Does God heal all who have faith?  No. God sometimes uses sickness and pain for His children’s good. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (Babies, unconscious people, and the insane don’t have faith.)

Did Jesus or the apostles advertise and hold healing meetings?  No.  Use of the gift of healing was incidental as a credential, rather than a feature of the apostle’s ministry.  Acts 3:1-11; 5:12-16; 8:5-8; 9:32-35; 14:8-10; 16:16-18

What about claims of healing?  They are very difficult to substantiate.  Many people, desiring healing, are easily influenced by “faith healers.”  Some use hypnosis to “heal” people.  Today’s “faith healers” have a controlled environment, stage their way, and run according to their schedule.  They don’t go to hospitals to heal people.

What kind of diseases are there?   There are people with “functional diseases, psychogenic diseases, and organic diseases.”

Does God heal today?  Yes, if it is His will. James 5:14, 15. There are sins that can lead to physical illness and death for Christians. James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16

Is healing part of Christ’s atonement?  Isaiah 53:5, 6 and 1 Peter 2:24, 25 are dealing with spiritual healing, not physical healing.  Christ healed people physically before He went to the cross to prove that He was God.  John 20:31

What should Christians do when sickness comes?  (1) Examine themselves and pray (Psalm 139:23). If sin is detected, confess and forsake it (1 John 1:9).  (2) If not healed, call for the elders of the church to pray over them and use oil [medicine] (James 5:14; 2 Kings 20:5-7; 1 Timothy 5:23).  (3) Check to see if the illness is emotionally related (stress). Apply Philippians 4:6, 7.  “Over 50% of all illnesses that doctors see are emotionally induced illnesses.” – John A. Schindler, M.D. (4) Then if not healed say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15

What are some reasons for sickness?  It could be (1) for God’s glory (Job 1:6-2:10; John  9:3; 11:4).  None of these could be healed until God’s purpose was fulfilled. (2) To keep us humble and show us that God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). (3) A constitutional weakness (1 Timothy 5:23).  (4) Chastening from the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:6-14).

Caution.  Beware of “faith healers and miracle workers.”  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).  “Not everyone who says to Me [Jesus], ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but He who does the will of My Father in heaven [See John 6:28, 29].  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:1-23).

Help.  If you’d like to learn more about temporary and extant “Spiritual Gifts” we invite you to visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com and then go to “Bible Basics.”