Archive for the ‘Billy Pietsch’ Category

 

“A Caricature Of God?”

Several years ago when our late son, Bill came to visit us in California, we took him to the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  While we were walking around we came across an artist who was drawing caricatures of people for a few dollars.  So we had a caricature drawing of him made.  It didn’t take long for the artist to finish his work and we still have a humorous memento of our late son.

Self Portrait.  Unlike that caricature of our son, God gave us a self portrait of Himself in the pages of the Scriptures.  Within it’s pages we also have His autobiography.  By careful study of His Word, we can come up with a pretty good picture of God as to who He is and what He is like.  It wouldn’t be like the picture that the little boy was drawing at school.  When the teacher asked him what he was drawing, he said, “It’s a picture of God.”  The teacher replied, “But Billy, no one really knows what God looks like.”  To which the boy responded by saying, “They will know what He looks like when I am done.”

Viewpoint.  When you think about God, what comes to your mind?  As A. W. Tozer said in his book, The Knowledge Of The Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Believe it or not, our perception of God will have a big part in the way we think, feel, act, and react.  Are you open to getting a better view and understanding of God?

Attributes.  In our last article we considered who God is.  We pointed out that the Scriptures tell us that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17).  In His Word God tells us that He is good, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent, truth, holy, and love.  God’s adversary, the devil would like for us to believe that these things that God says about Himself are not true.

Good.  He Himself is happy and delights in the happiness of others (Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17; Luke 18:19).  The devil told Eve that God was withholding something good from her by forbidding her and Adam from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). After all, if they ate this fruit, they would be like God knowing good from evil.  This was true.  But the part about their dying wasn’t true.  If they ate of this fruit they wouldn’t have to bother God anymore each day by asking Him what would be beneficial (good) or detrimental (evil) to their well being.  His words appealed to her and she made the choice to eat the fruit and then she gave it to her husband, Adam and he ate the fruit too.  But rather than it’s being something that resulted in their happiness, it brought on them sadness and eventually physical death as they came to realize that they had been stripped and became aware of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).  Violating God’s command resulted in not only their physical death but also their immediate spiritual separation from fellowship with God.  Furthermore, it caused their nature to become a sinful nature (disposition).  This sinful nature has been passed down to all of us through a stream of flesh (Romans 5:12).  None of us is exempt from this sinful nature.  We’re all born with one (Psalm 51:5).  No one has to tell a child to be bad.  It’s automatic.  This is why Jesus told the religious leader, Nicodemus that he needed to “be born again from above” if he wanted to have eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life – John 3:1-15).  Do you have “eternal life” as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13)?  Do you have “abundant life” (John 10:10)?  Do you know how you can have these qualities of life?  If not, we’re here to help you secure them.

Righteous.  God always does what is right (Psalm 71:19; 112:10; 119:142; 145:17 ).  The devil would have us believe that God is fickle, vindictive, cruel, and unstable.  No, God is righteous and has given clear instructions as to what He wants His creatures to believe and do in each dispensation (See our “Dipsensations Chart”).  If we violate the rules there are serious consequences. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; See Genesis 2:17).  The God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Savior who provided salvation for all mankind (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; l Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2), but He is also the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Someday everyone of us will stand before Him to have our works evaluated to determine our degree of pleasure in God’s presence or our degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Hebrews 9:27).  The devil would like for people to believe the lie that man can become a god (Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:11), and that heaven and hell aren’t real places to which people go. Some of his false teachers want people to believe in another Christ and another gospel that involves the universal salvation of all men (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1 ff). Consider the heresy that is taught in John Lennon’s song “Imagine there’s no heaven or hell….”  It saddens my heart that so many people have fallen for this lie from the devil. Have you?

Omniscient.  God knows everything.  There is nothing hidden from Him.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He knows the number of hairs on our heads, when the sparrow falls, and the names of all the stars He created (Matthew 10:28, 29; Psalm 147:4).  He knows the hidden motives we have (1 Corinthians 4:5:Hebrews 2:14).  This truth can be scary to those who are doing evil but pleasant to those who are suffering unjustly (2 Timothy 3:12), knowing that God will do the right thing in the end and take just vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19, 20).  The devil would have people believe that God doesn’t know everything because, they say, that would violate man’s free will.  This heresy is known as “the open view of God” and is being taught in some churches today.  It glorifies man (humanism) and diminishes God (Romans 1:25).

Omnipotent God is all powerful and can do anything He determines to do except those things that would be contrary to His nature and essence (Genesis 18:4; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17).  God can’t/won’t make a rock too big for Him to move.  God’s power was displayed to the spirit beings when He created the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7; Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:1).  But the greatest demonstration of His power was displayed when He raised Jesus Christ bodily from the dead (Philippians 3:10).  By His bodily resurrection from the dead, God the Father let mankind know that He was satisfied with God the Son’s payment for all our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).  The devil would like for us to think that we can thwart God’s decree – His determinative will (Ephesians 1:11; John 6:37).  We can’t.  But we can and often do resist His desirous will for our lives to our own detriment.  We can grieve and quench God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Are you doing these things?  If you are, don’t be surprised if you life is in shambles.  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Are you trying to fool others and deceiving yourself (2 Timothy 3:13)?

Truth God always speaks and tells the truth about Himself and about His creatures – spirit beings and human beings (John 14:6; 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 1:2).  His Word records the lies that the devil and men utter and many of the evil deeds that His creatures do.  Some of this truth about man’s vial character and deeds have caused some folks to relegate His Word to a class of literature that is inappropriate for some people to read, especially children.  The devil challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word when he said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’ (Genesis 3:1-5)?”  Did He really mean what He said?  He was the first one who interpreted God’s Word allegorically and tried to deceive Eve into believing him rather than God?  Have you fallen for the devil’s lies?  Do you have a distorted, caricature view of God, yourself, the devil, and mankind in general?  What method do you use to interpret the Scriptures – the normal or the allegorical method?

Holy.  God maintains His moral excellence and demands of others a moral excellency identical to His own (Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 145:21; Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16).  Mankind naturally pursues the sinful desires that come from his sin nature.  All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of something good (Galatians 5;19-21).  Even after a person is saved and participates in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he/she still retains their sinful nature and has the potential to engage in these sinful practices (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff).  The Christian who tries to carry out a life of sin will have his/her physical life terminated prematurely (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17).  God usually takes other disciplinary measures before terminating His rebellious child’s physical life (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 10:30).  He can’t/won’t take His eternal life from His child (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39).  Are you His child or still the child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)?  The devil would have us believe that God doesn’t really know or care how we live as believers (Psalm 10:11).  He wants us to believe that God will overlook our sinful behavior.  But the Scriptures tell us that “whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5 ff).  If a “professing Christian” seems to get by without discipline when he/she sins, this one is illegitimate and not a true child of God (Hebrews 12:8).  What about you?  Don’t presume on the mercy and grace of God (Romans 3:8; 6:1)?

Love.  God seeks the highest well being of the objects of His love (1 John 3:16, 17; 4:8; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13).  His love for sinful mankind was demonstrated when One of the equal members in the Godhead volunteered to come down to this earth (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:7, 9), to add to His deity a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11), to live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46), and then to die as a substitute for our sins and rise again bodily (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18).  The devil and his crowd would like for us to believe that God was/is a dirty bully for sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  But Someone in the Godhead needed to do this so mankind wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (John 3:16-18; Matthew 25;41, 46).  Have you responded to God’s love, mercy, and grace and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as the One who died for your sins, who was buried for three day, and then who rose again bodily on the third day?  Are you relying on Him alone to save you or are you relying on your good works or your faith plus your good works to save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  How secure are you? The devil doesn’t mind your knowing the truth about God and His love for you and His offer of salvation. But he’ll tell you have plenty of time to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Scriptures tell us that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Test.  What is your honest perception of God?  Be honest.  Does it line up with the Scriptures or have you come up with an idol in your mind that is unworthy of the true and living God?  Are you trusting in the wrong Christ (Matthew 24:5)? By adjusting your thinking to God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9), you will be well on your way to a better quality of life if you respond properly to God and receive the gift of eternal life from Him by faith (John 1:12; 14:1-3).  You may choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior to your eternal regret and sorrow.  Unbelief in Him is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:8-11; Acts 26:28). You cannot ignore Jesus without suffering dire consequences (John 3:18, 36: Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Help.  We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  If you have questions, we’ll try to answer them if we can.  “If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.  Is that what you really want?”  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’re also on Facebook live and on Youtube where we have audio/visual presentations for the glory of God and for the your good (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10).

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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“The Scriptures”

“What is your final authority in life? I mean, when you’re cornered, when you’ve really up against it, when you’ve forced to face reality, upon what do you lean? Before you answer too quickly, think about it for a few moments. When it comes to establishing a standard for morality, what’s your ruler? When you need an ethical compass to find your way out of an ethical jungle, where’s north? When you’re on a stormy, churning sea of emotions, which lighthouse shows you where to find shore?” – Chuck Swindoll*

Reality. When you discover that you have a dark mole on your side just above the belt line and the Doctor tells you it’s cancer, when you get a call in the middle of the night from the police department asking your to come to identify the body of your child who has been killed in an accident, or when you worked hard to build your business by integrity, loyalty, and sacrifice only to find out that your product will become obsolete, thanks to a new technological breakthrough, when your spouse of many years tells you he/she wants out of the marriage, what do you do? To whom or what do you turn? (Read the story of our son, Bill’s death by clicking on the link below.)

Crutches. Some people try escapism. They decide to travel to get away from it all or they get involved in an affair, or maybe they decide to turn to drugs or alcohol. Others turn to cynicism and grow dark inside. They don’t get mad, they want to get even. Humanism appeals to some people. They try to find answers from professional counselors or some friend who might steer them into some self help books. Still others lean on the crutch of supernaturalism and open themselves up to demonic powers.

Trustworthy. Believe it or not, there is a trustworthy crutch that is available to us. It’s God’s Word. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible. “[It] contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrims staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.” (Author unknown)

Benefits. Here are six benefits* that will come to believers who get to know God’s Word: It will give substance to our faith, stabilize us when we’re being tested, enable us to handle the Scriptures accurately, equip us to detect false teachings, make us confident in our daily walk, and filter out our superstitions. See also https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/take-up-the-challenge/

Value. As song writer John Burton wrote, Holy Bible, Book divine, / Precious treasure, thou art mine; / Mine to tell me whence I came; / Mine to teach me what I am. // “Mine to chide me when I rove; / Mine to show a Savior’s love; / Mine thou art to guide and guard; / Mine to punish or reward. // Mine to comfort in distress; / Suffering in this wilderness; / Mine to show, by living faith, / Man can triumph over death. // “Mine to tell of joys to come, / And the rebel sinner’s doom; / O thou holy Book divine, / Precious treasure, thou art mine.”

Help. God comforts us so we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). We don’t claim to have all the answers to life’s tough questions, but we’re happy to share what we know with those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2,15). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask that you share this information with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” For audio/visual Bible study presentations, check us out on Facebook and Youtube.

The Death Of Our Son, Bill: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/the-death-of-our-son-2/

Outline For Bible Study: http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Bible.pdf

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf  

The Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

*Some material quoted and/or adapted from Chuck Swindoll, Growing Deep in the Christian Life, Multnomah Press, Portland, OR 97266, pp. 25 ff, 53 ff.

I know. I know. Some of you believe that Jonah and the big fish story and the universal flood of Noah’s day are myths. You are entitled to believe that if you want. But Jesus referred to them as being real incidents that took place. He said that the only additional sign miracle that would be given to the evil, adulterous, hard hearted Jews of His day would be the sign that as Jonah was three days and nights in the stomach of the big fish, so He would be dead for three days and nights in the heart of the earth and then rise from the dead (Matthew 12:40; 27:63; See John 10:17, 18). He also talked about the days of His second coming and likened them to the days of Noah. The people were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39). When God shut the door of the ark, all those on the outside perished in the flood (Genesis 7:16).

Judgment. “…it is appointed for man to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). No one will be able to escape being judged by Jesus (John 5:22). Do you know in which judgment your works will be evaluated to determine your enjoyment in heaven or the degree of your suffering forever in the lake of fire (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15)? These judgments don’t determine our eternal destiny. Do you know what will determine it?

Time. It’s running out and everyday that passes we are closer to our last day on earth. Oh, I know that this isn’t a pleasant topic to discuss, but it’s important. I used to tell our 38 year old son to treat each day as though it might be his last day on earth. And that day came for him this past Easter Sunday. Thankfully, he had utilized his time telling others about Jesus as was evidenced by hundreds of people coming to his funeral service on a very short notice. One man came from Australia to Japan where our son was living and teaching English in Japanese public schools.

Prophecy. Those who ignore or dismiss Bible prophecy might as well cut out about 1/4 of their Bibles since that is how much was prophetic at the time of its writing. Much of Bible prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus came the first time about 2,000 years ago. But much more is yet to be fulfilled at His second coming. Knowing the order of future events correctly isn’t what will get you into heaven but knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior will. The Good News that leads to our deliverance from the lake of fire to heaven is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).

Choice. You can choose to believe this Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, or you can choose to reject Him as your personal Savior. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God…He who believes in the Son has [eternal] life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him” (John 3:18, 36).

Plain/Simple. God’s wonderful plan of salvation is simple enough for children to understand. Don’t hinder them from coming to Christ by saying that salvation is only an adult matter or that one has to jump though the hoops of good works of “discipleship” to be saved (Ephesians 2:8, 9). “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). These are Jesus’ words.

Questions. Are you certain you will go to heaven when you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe you’ll go to heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? If you are a true Christian, what are you doing to earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change when presented with the truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549).  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 

Jesus said, For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36). When a millionaire was asked, How much more would it take for you to be content?” he responded by saying, A little more.” But did you know that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6)? The goal of some people is merely to acquire a lot of money so they can do whatever they want to do rather than what God wants them to do. They want to do it their way by being the “Captain of their own ship” and the “Master of their own fate.” In contrast with this sentiment, one songwriter said it well, “Not what I wish to be, / Nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way? / The Lord shall choose for me, / ‘Tis better far, I know, / So let Him bid me go, or stay.” – C. Austin Miles. When the Lord Jesus Christ is your Shepherd, you shall not want (Psalm 23:1; See Philippians 4:13, 19).

Seven Wonders. Our son, Bill, loved to travel to other countries. During his brief 38 years of life here on earth, he traveled to over 50 countries and to the seven wonders of the world. In doing so, he gained a deeper understanding of people from other cultures and languages. His passion was to try to reach them for Christ by sharing the Gospel with them. By the way, we are still hearing from people whom he met in different countries who recently have learned of his death. He touched a lot of lives.  How are you impacting other people’s lives?  How will they remember you?

Silence In Heaven. According to Bible prophecy, there are three sets of seven judgments (totaling 21 judgments) that will come upon the people of the earth during “The Seven Year Tribulation” (Revelation 6-19) which seems to be just around the corner. We hope you won’t be on earth when they happen. When the seventh “Seal Judgment” comes on the earth, at the middle of the Tribulation, there will be silence in heaven for 30 minutes (Revelation 8:1). For the first time in human history, one mortal man will rule over the entire world. He is the “man of lawlessness” known also as the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). It is very likely that he is alive today, waiting in the wings, ready to step onto the stage to offer peace to a world that will be falling apart right after the Rapture of the true Church (Revelation 6:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Daniel 9:27). This man’s total domination of the world will be limited to the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:15 ff; Revelation 13:1-18). During the first 3 ½ years, he will have to share his power with 10 other leaders from the revived Roman empire (Daniel 2:42; Revelation 17:10-13).

Getting Personal. My friend, you may be exerting a lot of time and energy pursing the accumulation of money and things that are all going to be left behind when you die. I’ve never seen a hearse pulling a trailer behind it. When asked how much the miserly millionaire left behind at his death, someone said, All of it.” Money, in and of itself, isn’t evil. But the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). It is part of the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). Being in the world but not of it (1 Peter 2:11; John 17:16), even Christians must use money and other things in the world system, but we are not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). In God (Not Government) We Trust” should be our motto.

Questions. If you died today, are you certain that you’d go to heaven immediately or do you believe that you will have to go to a purging place first? For how many of your sins did Christ die? Was His death for your sins a sufficient payment to God the Father to satisfy His outraged holiness against your sin nature and your sins? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you are quite certain that you will go to heaven when you die, is there anything that could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? I ask you these questions to stimulate your thinking so that you will base your confidence of getting into heaven on what God has said in His Word, not in some feeling that you may have. Eternal security and assurance of salvation can be yours today.

Knowledge. Merely knowing and believing the facts of the Gospel that Christ died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, aren’t enough to save you. Even demons believe that there is one God, and yet they aren’t saved (James 2:19). We’re not saved by our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Neither are we saved by making promises to God that we will never sin again or that we will make Jesus the Lord and Master of our life in exchange for salvation (Lordship Salvation). No, the only condition for our salvation is, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Who died for our sins…and rose again bodily) and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Don’t be among those who believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2) by adding to the conditions of the Gospel or by failing to believe the on Christ alone for your salvation.

Help. We’re here to assist you if you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny in heaven with God. Why not gain assurance of your salvation today (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)? Only then can you begin to live and enjoy the abundant life that God planned for His children to live (John 10:10). Don’t confuse this with the false “Health, Wealth, Happiness Gospel” that has brought a lot of sorrow and bitterness to those who have been misled by false prophets and teachers. If you’d like to learn the truth from God’s Word that can set you free (John 8:32), we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and also ask you to share this with someone else. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

It can be as strong and as subtle as the pull of gravity. All of us were born with a sinful nature (disposition) that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5). When we get saved, we receive a new nature that enables us to please God (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30). Contrary to what some Christians are being taught, we still have our sin nature even after we get saved. “If we say we have no sin [nature], we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:15-25)). We can be carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Our sin nature naturally rebels against God and His Word and perverts good things into the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

Right/Wrong. Most people do what is right in their own eyes without giving any thought as to whether or not God has given any instructions in His Word as to what we should or shouldn’t do (Judges 17:6; 21:25; Proverbs 21:2). Unsaved people try to save themselves by their good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Most Christians don’t rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Few Christians in churches are being taught about “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2 – See our “Dispensations Chart” for more information.) Instead they are being told to live according to the Mosaic Law or Kingdom rules that were given to the Jews (Romans 6:14; Matthew 5-7). If you’re a Christian, do you know where to find your rules for living? Doing what seems right in our own eyes could result in our premature death (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16).

Pure Lives. Living in this perverted world where evil is called good, and good is called evil (Isaiah 5:20), and having a sin nature, makes it hard for us, as Christians, to live holy (morally pure) lives. But this is what God expects of us (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). But, thankfully, He makes victorious Christian living possible for us when we learn how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). Do you know how to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)?

Conformed/Transformed. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians, not to the unsaved as a condition for salvation.  (We don’t believe in “Lordship for salvation.”)  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world [age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). Do you know the difference between an “age loving Christian” (2 Timothy 4:10) and a “worldly Christian” (1 John 2:12-17)? They aren’t the same. Do you know how to be transformed, as it were, from a creepy caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly so that you can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:10) and approving of His good, acceptable, and perfect will for your life?

P.C. Are you trying to please others by being “politically correct” only to be displeasing to God? Are you trying to go along just to get along? Are all world views and religions equally valid? Do all faiths lead us to heaven? What did Jesus, the Apostles Peter and Paul say (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31)?  You can have three diametrically different world views but they can’t all be right. They could all be wrong or one could be right and the other two wrong. Should Christians be unequally yoked with “nominal Christians” or apostates even if it’s for a good cause like evangelism (2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 3:8; Revelation 18:4)? Should we be kind and considerate and do good to those who disagree with us (Galatians 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:2; Titus 1:13)? With whom was Jesus harsh (Matthew 23:13-39)?

Admonitions. When God delivers someone from the clutches of the devil and his everlasting, future residence in the lake of fire (Colossians 1:13; Matthew 25:41, 46), that person instantly becomes a “saint” as it relates to his position, but not to his practice (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). True believers are separated unto God and for His glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). We turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). But we still live in enemy territory while we are here on earth. The kingdoms of this world still belong to the devil (Matthew 4:9). Do you know when Christ will take them from him by force (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15)? God wants us to prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13). The spirit that belongs to the mind is the only part of a Christian that is currently saved (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 6:17). The Christian’s body and soul (emotions) will be saved at the time of the Rapture (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9).

Sober. Some people have the mistaken idea that a Christian must always be somber and never smile or laugh. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” is joy (Galatians 5:22).  “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).  Constantly miserable and downhearted Christians are bad advertising for God. The Christian’s future is as bright as the promises of God.”  But we must be on guard for ourselves and for others because the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking to overwhelm people (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19). My job, as a Pastor/teacher, is, in part, to instruct Christians how to live victoriously over Satan’s solicitations to sin (Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and over the sin nature, and the present world system.

Hope. Our hope, as Christians, isn’t merely wishful thinking. It is a confident expectation based on a promise from God who can’t lie (Romans 15:4; Titus 1:2). We believe that we will see again our deceased loved ones (including our son Billy) and friends who placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily on the third day. Christ’s resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all men, but not everyone will or wants to go to heaven to be with God forever (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 1 John 3:19; Revelation 16:11; 21:8). The Scriptures don’t teach “Universal Salvation.”

Holiness. God’s holiness causes Him to abhor anything unlike Himself and demand of others a purity identical to His own (Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16). God’s wrath is/can be displayed toward that which is not like Him (Romans 1:18). This is why Jesus had to be spiritually separated from His Father from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). God the Father was propitiated/satisfied with the payment the Lord Jesus Christ made for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). To prove this to us He raised Jesus from the dead with a glorified body consisting of flesh and bones but lacking blood (Romans 4:25; See John 16:10; Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). He was seen by over 500 witnesses before returning to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:6). He did this in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:9-11). He promised to return (John 14:1-3). Perhaps today! Are you ready?

So What? As those who have been set apart unto God, every and all Christians should allow themselves to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit so that we can have and then direct the Fruit of the Spirit toward the right objects at the right time. Those who are loving and anticipating Christ’s imminent return will purify themselves (1 John 3:3) and earn for themselves the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). When a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4), he is to confess his sins to God the Father to receive “family forgiveness” (1 John 1:9). If necessary, we’re also supposed to humbly and honestly confess our sins to the person against whom we have sinned (James 5:16). If forgiveness is granted, we need to ask that person not to hold it against us any longer. Our forgiving others should be modeled after God’s forgiveness of us (Ephesians 4:32).

Walking. When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walks by means of the Spirit, he can’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from his sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25). When we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with Him and other believers, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son keeps on cleansing us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:3-7).

Help. If you need spiritual help and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  If you have been helped by this article, we’d like to hear from you.  Would you share this with someone else who is teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2)?  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

As Jesus was bearing His cross to His own crucifixion, He expressed great concern for the Jews and not for Himself. He said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children” (Luke 23:28). He foresaw what would come on them in a matter of a few years. In A.D. 70 the Romans came down on the Jews and more than a million of them were killed. Rejecting their promised Messiah was a terrible thing for them to do. Most of the Jewish leaders and the mob cried out for His crucifixion (John 19:6). They had said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). It has been on them for about 2,000 years now.

Jesus Wept. Just before He went to the cross, perhaps as He sat on the Mount of Olives, Jesus wept over the Jews. He said, “’O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD’” (Matthew 23:37-39). Believe it or not, this day may not be that far away from us today.

Second Coming. Although there are many people within “Christendom” who say that there is no future for the Jews as a nation, and that the Church has replaced Israel, there will be a remnant of believing Jews who will survive the coming holocaust that will make all previous ones seem insignificant (Romans 9:27). It is called in Scripture, “The time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) or “The Great Tribulation”(Matthew 24:21). It is when all the nations, including the United States, will come against Israel to try to annihilate them as it was predicted by the Prophet Zechariah (12:1-14; See Daniel 9:27).

Demon Spirits. The Scriptures teach and we believe that at the end of the seven years of the Tribulation three demon spirits (fallen angels) will perform sign miracles to gather the kings (rulers) of the earth together to the battle of the great day of God Almighty in the place in Hebrew called Armageddon that is located in northern Israel (Revelation 16:13-16; See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). In the nick of time the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth with the true Church and crush those who sought to destroy the Jews (Revelation 19:11-21; See Psalm 2).

Choice. You can choose to deny what the Scriptures teach, but that won’t change God’s Word. “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for ever good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It is “living and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents (motives)of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Interpretation. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in common Greek so the average person of that day could understand it. When we interpret it normally, as we would other pieces of literature, we discover what God wanted to convey to us. The allegorical, non-literal method of interpretation began in the Garden of Eden when the devil suggested to Eve that God didn’t really say what He meant or mean what He said about death (Genesis 2:17; 3:1 ff; See Romans 6:23). He mixed a lie in with some truth as he usually does. He is a murderer and the father of lies (John 8:44; See 2 Corinthians 4:4).

Lion. The Apostle Peter warned Christians about the devil. He wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9). Do you know how to use the armor of God to resist him so you can stay standing rather than falling to his temptations (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Sorrow. Many people have expressed their sympathy toward us when they heard the news of our son’s death. Yes, we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. We believe in an imminent resurrection of all the dead New Testament believers (including our son’s bodily resurrection) that will take place at “The Rapture” of the true Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Concern. We are more concerned about those of you who don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Do you know that He died for all your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day from the dead? He was seen by over 500 witnesses before ascending back to heaven in the presence of His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-11). He promised to return bodily for His own (John 14:1-3). Do you know what the Scriptures say about those who deny the bodily resurrection of the dead (2 John 1:7; See 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 50-53; Luke 24:33-43)?

Prayer. It is our prayer that you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. We can’t believe for our children or be baptized for the dead hoping that they will be saved. Are you sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die or do you believe that you have to go to a purging place first (1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 5:8)? Why should God let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Once you’re truly saved, do you think that there is anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39)? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist you if you are interested in knowing the truth in God’s Word that can make you free (John 8:32; 17:17). Are you willing to believe (change your mind) when you see the truth for yourself? We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click of “Follow.” If this article has helped you, please share it with someone else. Help us spread the Gospel to others so they can be saved.

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

 

When someone you love or know is a true Christian and is taken from you in death, it’s very comforting to know what God says about the deceased. No one, whether he is a believer or non-believer, ceases to exist or is reincarnated (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 22:11). No one needs to remain in the dark when he accepts God’s Word as being the truth that can set us free (John 8:32; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Interpretation. But it’s sad that so many professing Christians don’t take God’s Word normally (literally) when it relates to Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead or His returning to this earth in the future. They believe that Jesus literally fulfilled the prophecies that were made about His first coming. But somehow they change the rules of interpretation and say that the prophecies concerning His return aren’t to be understood and taken literally but rather spiritually or allegorically. This robs people of hope and causes needless sorrow and pain to those who are left here on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Unaware. The Jewish believers living in Old Testament times, before Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, were aware of the fact that everyone would be raised from the dead someday (Daniel 12:2, 3; John 11:24). But they didn’t have New Testament truths that tell us that there are years between the resurrection of the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead people (Revelation 20:11-15). The righteous believers of the Old Testament will be raised 75 days after the “time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” also known to us as “the Great Tribulation” (Daniel 12:12; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21ff).

New Information. Not until God revealed more truth to us in the New Testament through His prophets (2 Peter 1:21) could one know that He had planned for another unique resurrection to take place for a new group of people known as “The Church” or “The Body of Christ” (Ephesians 2:22). It didn’t exist in the Old Testament times but had its beginning after the bodily resurrection of Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1ff). This group of believers is distinct and uniquely different from the Jewish believers living in Old Testament times under the Mosaic Law. New Testament Christians have been given “Grace Principles” for living (Romans 6:14; See our FREE “Dispensations Chart”).

Sure. The Apostle Paul passed on to New Testament Christians truths He’d personally received from the Lord during his theological training in the wilderness for three years (Galatians 1:15-18). There will be a group of Christians who won’t die physically before they go to the heavenly New Jerusalem that Jesus has been preparing for all true Christians (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9ff for a description of this place). This is an exception to the general rule found in Hebrews 9:27. Enoch and Elijah are examples of those who passed from this life into another one without dying (Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11).

Sudden. This phase of Christ’s second coming precedes the seven years of tribulation that is coming to this earth (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:29ff; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). It seems to be very near at hand as the one world government and one world church seem to be emerging on the horizon (Revelation 13, 17, 18). This event, commonly called “The Rapture” or “The Catching Up” will take place in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) whereas the Second Coming of Christ will be gradual and evident to all who are on earth at this time (Matthew 24:29ff).

Silent. Although there will be a shout, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God, these things will be heard only by those for whom they are intended and not for others who will be left behind. Our human ears are capable of hearing only things within certain ranges. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the significance of these three things.

Selective. This particular resurrection is designed only for New Testament Christians or those who are said to be “in the Body of Christ, the true Church” by the baptizing work of God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13). Both the dead and living Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Between earth and heaven, at the “Bema Seat Judgment,” our works done on earth will be evaluated to determine if there are any of them that can be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Satisfying. Knowing and believing this truth from God’s Word can be a source of great comfort to those Christians who may be nearing death and to those who remain on earth after their loved one dies (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Jesus holds the “keys of death” today (Revelation 1:18). No one can take the believer’s life until God causes or allows it to happen.

Help. If you’re not sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die we’re here to help you. God can’t/won’t lie to us (Titus 1:2). His Word tells us to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and [we] will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Good News that we must believe is that “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God the Holy Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are true children of God (Romans 8:16). We also have the written word that says, “These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in [on] the name [i.e. The Person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [right now] that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this has helped you, please share it with a friend.