Archive for the ‘Cults’ Category

“Bible Basics – Lesson 12”

Posted: December 12, 2017 in Bible Basics, Cults

 God The Son / The Lord Jesus Christ

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people concerning God the Son and the Lord Jesus Christ. One cult believes that God the Father was once a man like we are and then became a god who had a wife and produced a son named Jesus. He had a brother named Lucifer. Another cult believes that God the Father created God the Son who in turn created all other things. One religion says that God never had a son. What do you believe? Is your faith resting in the Christ of the Scriptures or in a false Christ (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:5)? Are you believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)? Our eternal destiny in heaven or the lake of fire depends on what we believe and how we respond to God’s invitation and command to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and [then] we will be saved [forever] (Acts 16:31; 1Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Certain. Yes, before a Christian dies, he/she can have assurance of salvation and the promise of a home in heaven with God (John 3:16, 18, 36; 10:28, 29; Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:13). Do you know the difference between the believer’s security and his assurance?

God The Son. He Is Known As-

The Second Person in the Godhead. This, in no way, suggests that He is inferior to God the Father (John 10:30; Colossians 2:9). There must be some way to distinguish the Persons in the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the third Person in the Godhead (See Matthew 28:19, 20). He doesn’t draw attention to Himself but to Christ (John 16:13, 14). There is one God who exists as three Persons.

The Angel of the Lord. From time to time, the pre-incarnate Son of God made visible appearances as the Messenger of the Lord to various people in the Old Testament times (Genesis 16:7-14; 22:11; John 8:58). These are called “theophanies” or “Christophanies” (See https://www.gotquestions.org/theophany-Christophany.html).

The Word. He was the One who agreed to be the Communicator for the Godhead to mankind. He was always face to face with God the Father even in eternity past (John 1:1, 2; Hebrews 1:2; 1 John 1:1). While He was here on earth, Jesus spoke what the Father wanted Him to say, and did the works that He saw the Father doing (John 5:17-20; 12:50). It wasn’t until the night before He was to be crucified that He gave His disciples a new commandment (John 13:34, 35) that stood in contrast to the Old Testament commandment (Leviticus 19:18). Do you know the difference between these two?

The Father of the AgesGod the Son is not to be confused with God the Father (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2). “An age is an indefinite period of time in which God gives a specific revelation of Himself designed to relate a truth concerning His nature, desires, or antipathies, to His creatures. A dispensation is designed to reveal something about man to himself. Dispensations deal with rules for living for some or all of mankind. They are not different ways of salvation. Dispensations always end in failure and judgment.” – Taken from Dr. H. L. Schafer’s notes. So then, God the Son was the One who apparently decided what and when the Godhead would reveal certain things about themselves to their creatures. Ages preceded the seven dispensations (See our “Dispensations Chart) and they will go on after the last dispensation into eternity future (Ephesians 1:10). Heaven will never get boring because God will keep on revealing things about Himself to the believers who are in His presence (Ephesians 2:7).

The Prince of Peace.  The people of this world are desperately looking for peace on earth but it has eluded them thus far. God will allow sinful men to try to bring peace to earth without Him. This opportunity seems to be right around the corner. If God allowed this experiment to go on for more than seven years, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22; See Daniel 9:27). After this horrific time in human history (Revelation 6-19), when over half of the world’s population will die, Christ will return to this earth and establish His millennial Kingdom of the heavens (Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 4:17). He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He will be the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

The “I AM.” God is the eternally existent One who has no beginning or ending (Exodus 3:14). Our finite minds can’t comprehend this truth but the Scriptures teach it. Jesus, while He was here on earth, referred to Himself as the “I AM” (John 8:58). Contrary to what some of the cults teach, Jesus claimed to share an absolute equality with God the Father.  This is why the hypocritical, scribes and Pharisees leaders wanted to kill Him (John 5:18; 7:1; See Mathew 23:13 ff).

The Head of the church. This took place when He ascended back to heaven and sat down at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20, 21).  He is the only Head of the true Church (See 1 Peter 5:1). He is the One who gave spiritual gifts to Christians (Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10). Do you know what your gift is and are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13)? (See http://kelseypeach.com/Feb_Update/Authority_In_The_Local_Church.pdf)

What The Scriptures Say About Jesus Christ

He was/is fully God.  He shares an absolute equality with God the Father (John 1:1;10:30) and possesses all the qualities (attributes) of God (Colossians 2:9).

He is the God-man. He added to Himself a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:2). He has two natures in one person: Divine/human (John 11:17-44).

He was virgin born. This was predicted by the prophet (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). God implanted His seed in Mary (Luke 1:30-35). She is the mother of Christ’s humanity only, not “The Mother of God” (Luke 1:47).

He lived a sinless life. He was tempted as we are (Matthew 4:11; Luke 4:1-13). But He never yielded to sinful temptations (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15).

He performed miracles. The Apostle John recorded seven sign miracles to prove that Jesus was/is the Christ, the Son of God (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-18; 6:6-13,16-21; 9:1-7; 11:1-45; 20:31). He was the One who had created everything and He is the One who holds the molecules together (Colossians 1:16; See 2 Peter 3:11).

He died for our sins. He did this once and for all (1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 19:19). He died as the Just One for the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18; See Romans 3:10-23; 6:23).

He rose again bodily on the third day. He had a body of flesh and bones, but one without blood (1 Corinthians 15:4, 50; Luke 24:36-43). He was seen by over 500 witnesses on ten different occasions (1 Corinthians 15:6). This proved that the believer’s sins are forgiven (Romans 4:25; See John 16:8-11).

He ascended back to heaven. It was public, gradual, and literal (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11). Currently He is interceding and mediating for believers at God the Father’s right hand (Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5). He is also the only Head of the true Church (Ephesians 1:22, 23).

He will return to earth. This will take place in two phases. First He will catch up His Bride, the true Church, to heaven (John 14:3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18). Seven years later Jesus will return to earth to establish the Kingdom of the Heavens on earth (Acts 1:11). He will rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16; Matthew 24:30).

He will destroy death. He will do this by raising everyone who has died from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). The believers will live with God; Unbelievers will be separated from Him forever in the lake of fire (Daniel 12:1-13; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

Application:  Merely knowing and believing these facts about the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t enough to save us. We must transfer our faith and trust from any and all our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9) over the the Person and work of Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Have you done this yet? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Do you believe that you have to go to Purgatory first? Why should God let you into His 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?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We want to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has. Then share it with others too. God comforts us so we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). If you’re a Christian, determine with God’s help to bless others (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13). You can make a difference in other people’s lives.

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

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Contrary to what some people believe, God’s offer of deliverance/salvation from the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) to heaven is limited to those who are physically alive on earth but spiritually dead (separated from God – Ephesians 2:1).  There are no second chances to be saved, once you are physically dead (Hebrews 9:27). The truthful Scriptures (John 17:17) don’t teach reincarnation. This false teaching gives people a false hope that perhaps if they haven’t been good enough on earth, they will come back in some other form to try again to earn their way to a better place. Our salvation is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). It was purchased at great cost by Christ’s precious blood when He died on the cross (1 Peter 1:18, 19; 3:18). It’s offered freely to all those who belong to the human race (John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2). We all come from one man and woman (Adam and Eve – Romans 5:12). There is only one race – the “human race” but many ethnic groups who speak many languages (Acts 17:26). These groups and languages came into existence at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Evolution is a theory (not a fact) that runs contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-2:7). Salvation isn’t offered to the devil or the fallen angels/demons. They believe in God and tremble but they aren’t and can’t be saved (James 2:19; Matthew 4:3; 8:29).

Deliverance/Salvation. If you’re reading this, you have the opportunity to be saved if you aren’t saved already. To be saved, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” exclusively (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31) through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). “Christ [of the Scriptures, not the cults] died [once and for all – Hebrews 10:10] for our sins [because you are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10-23) and you, like we, deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23). Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; 10:15-18) to prove that He had died and paid the penalty for our sins. But He rose again bodily on the third day.” His bodily resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Romans 4:25). His resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all those who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Some will be raised to spend eternity with God and others will be raised and judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:1-15).  All of them will be sent to the lake of fire to suffer forever where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). My friend, we don’t want you to go there. This is why we write these articles to help you avoid that awful place. Then Jesus ascended literally, gradually, and publicly in the presence of His disciples back into heaven from where He came (Acts 1:9-11; John 3:13).

Scoffers. There are many scoffers today (2 Peter 3:3) who deny the literal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (2 John 1:7), known also as “The Body of Christ” (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Seven years after the Rapture Jesus will return to this earth to rule and reign as the King of kings, and Lord of lords for 1,000 years (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7).

Normal/Literal Interpretation. Some of these people who believe that the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, don’t believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are to be taken literally. Are they in for a shock? Yes!  About one third of the Bible was prophetic in nature when it was written. Ignoring Bible prophecy has many ramifications. These people won’t be loving His imminent return and consequently they won’t earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Rapture” is a “Comforting Hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), a “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13),  and a “Purifying Hope” (1 John 3:3). Our hope is not wishful thinking but a confident expectation based on promises from God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; John 14:6).

Help. If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, or if you have honest questions and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we invite you to contact us 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 on “Follow.” Let us know your thoughts and concerns. We appreciate your letting others know about this site and these articles.

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

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

Dispensations Chart: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf

 

1 Peter 1:10-12

What consistently brings you the most joy and happiness in your life? Is it your family, your friends, your possessions, or maybe your job/career? Maybe you’re honest enough to say, “I don’t have much joy or happiness in my life.” – S. Cole.  Are you easily disappointed, discouraged, and do you sometimes doubt God and His Word? God knows all about our tendencies and our weaknesses. He has a way for us to overcome these temptations that could lead us into our sinning against God (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Relief. When we are suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it’s nice to receive some relief from the pain. The believer in Christ needs to know that “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). If you’re not a believer yet, we’d like to introduce Him to you and tell you what He’s done for us and what He can do for you. The believers to whom the Apostle Peter wrote found comfort from the Lord through his pen.

Greatness. When we, as Christians, stop to think about the greatness of our God and the salvation He’s provided for us through the sacrifice that Jesus made to secure it for us, we can only say “Thank You Lord.”  We don’t deserve the salvation and a home in heaven that God has provided for all mankind (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2). His provision for mankind doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually go to heaven.  We don’t believe in “Universalism.”  Some people hate God and don’t want to spend eternity with Him and His children (Psalm 2; Revelation 16:11).  

Darkness. Most people love darkness rather than light (John 3:19) and refuse to acknowledge God’s existence and power that can be seen in nature (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20). When presented with the Gospel, most people refuse to believe that they can have eternal life simply by believing in/on Christ through this message. They want to have a part in their salvation and earn their way to heaven. But it can’t be done (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) lest anyone should boast.

Grace/Faith/Christ. Our deliverance from hell to heaven is all of grace (undeserved favor), and not of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). It is also by faith alone in the Christ of the Scriptures alone, and not the Christ of the cults or other religions (Matthew 24:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4). Are you trusting in the wrong Christ to save you?

Gospel. The Good News we must believe to be saved is that Christ died for our sins, was buried for three days, and then rose again bodily on the third day. His resurrection was validated by over 500 witnesses on ten different occasions over 40 days (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Secure. When a person places his faith in Christ alone to save him, he is saved once and for all and can’t lose his salvation (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Instantly we are delivered from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8). We are also being delivered from the power of sin over our lives (Romans 6:14). We must utilize God’s provisions for us to defeat the temptations that come from the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system. When a believer dies physically or when the Rapture takes place, he will be delivered from the presence of sin (Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2).

Mystery. The Old Testament prophets had difficulty understanding how the Messiah could be both a conquering King and a suffering Savior (Isaiah 53:1-12; 61:1-3; 1 Peter 1:10-12). Even the elect angels desire to learn more of the wisdom and ways of God (Isaiah 55:8, 9) and to understand the roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a person’s salvation (John 3:33-336; Titus 3:5).

Future. Throughout the ages of eternity believers will continue to learn more and more about God’s marvelous plan of salvation (Ephesians 2:7). In the meantime we need to keep trusting our great God.  The [justified ones] shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Are you living this way?

Trials. The hardships and troubles of this life are inevitable. But, believe it or not, they are for the believer’s good and for the glory and praise of God (1 Peter 1:7). However, the crowns, praise, and rewards we receive at the Bema Seat Judgment for Christians will depend on our properly motivated service to God (1 Corinthians 4:5; 13) and our responses to trials and tests. We won’t be rewarded if we violate God’s rules (2 Timothy 2:5; Romans 3:8).  We have “potential years” and “actual years.”  Willful acts of defiance and rebellion toward God and His Word may result in a Christian’s premature. physical death (Acts 5:1-10; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:15).

Help. A spiritually maturing believer can help a fellow Christian who is caught in a trespass with a bad attitude and keep him from engaging in an act of sin that could bring disaster into his life (Galatians 6:1). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). What about using your pen to write a note to edify someone (1 John 2:1)? Will you be an encourager like Barnabas was to Paul after his conversion (Acts 11:25; See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)?

O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged then healed from above; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – C. Swindoll.

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549. If this article has helped you, please let us know how. Also, share this with someone who could benefit from it.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.  

John 7:40-43

Ask the average man on the street what he thinks about Jesus and you will probably get all sorts of answers just as it happened in Jesus’ day. When Jesus asked His disciples. “Who do men say that I am?” they said that some people were saying that He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But when Jesus asked them what they had to say about Him, Peter replied, “You are the Christ/Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16; See John 20:31).

Prophet. The Jews had been taught that God would send another prophet like Moses to them sometime in the future (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18). The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that both Moses and Jesus were faithful to their calling, and honored, but Moses was inferior to Jesus since Moses was a servant in the house but Jesus was not only the builder of the house but the Son over the house (Hebrews 3:1-6). As a Prophet, Jesus made many predictions about His second coming to earth to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 24, 25; See Revelation 19:16). He also predicted His coming for the true Christians before the seven years of tribulation (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9). The last half of the seven years of the Tribulation are also known as the “Great Tribulation” or “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). Are you familiar with the order of things to come? If not, we’d be happy to share this information with you upon your requesting it and our FREE “Dispensations Chart.”

Priest. In addition to Jesus’ being a Prophet who conveyed God’s message to mankind (John 1:18), He also functions as a High Priest who is a go between mankind and God the Father (Hebrews 6:20; 9:11). He, not His mother, is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We do not pray to her or to the saints to intercede on our behalf. Unlike Old Testament believers living under the Mosaic Law, all New Testament Christians are believer/priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) and can approach God through our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). As priests we can/should offer up to God spiritual sacrifices rather than bloody sacrifices. Do you know what these sacrifices include (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16)? Are you offering them up to God on a regular basis?

King. Jesus is the rightful King of the Jews who came 2,000 years ago. He was/is the greater Son (descendant) of King David (Matthew 1:1-17; 2 Samuel 7:12). Joseph was His step father who passed down to Jesus the right to rule. Do you know why he couldn’t be the actual father of Jesus (Matthew 1:11; Jeremiah 22:24-30). The mother of His humanity (not the Mother of God) was still a virgin up until the time of Jesus’ birth as it had been predicted (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23-25). Later she and Joseph had other children who were Jesus’ half brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:46; John 7:5). She also was from the line of King David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38).

Kingdom. A King needs people over which to rule. When questioned by Pilate the Roman governor about His being the King of the Jews, Jesus responded by saying, “My kingdom is not of [out of] this world” (John 18:36; See Daniel 2:44, 45). Because the Jewish leaders and most of the people rejected Him as their Messiah and King (Luke 19:14), He postponed the setting up of His kingdom to a future date (Matthew 16:20-23; 23:37-39). When He returns after the seven years of the Tribulation, (which seem to be just around the corner), He will put down all opposition and set up His 1,000 year reign on this earth (Psalm 2:7-12; Revelation 19:11-20:6). Many people within Christendom accept the prophecies concerning His first coming as having been fulfilled literally, and yet they refuse to believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming are literal. They use an allegorical method of interpreting the Scriptures and change the normal meaning of words as they were intended to be understood. This form of interpretation began in the garden of Eden when Satan questioned what God had said to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-5). Do you know which part Satan spoke was the truth and which part was a lie?

Messiah/Christ. Jesus fulfilled the predictions concerning the Messiah. As the Old Testament prophets wrote about Him, they weren’t able to distinguish clearly His first coming from His second coming. When Jesus came 2,000 years ago He fulfilled four of the prophecies that Isaiah the prophet had made concerning Him. He preached good tidings to the poor, healed the broken hearted, proclaimed liberty to the captives, and proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-2a). But the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled at His second coming (Isaiah 61:2b-3). When Jesus read this passage in the synagogue and then sat down after reading the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy He said, “Today this [much of the] Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). But rather than accepting Him as their promised Messiah/King , they took offense at Him and wanted to cast Him down from the brow of the hill (Luke 4:28-30).

Opinions. Some of His enemies thought that Jesus was demon possessed and mad (John 10:20). Others accused Him of being an illegitimate, half breed Samaritan (John 8:41, 48). Then there were those who accused Him of blasphemy (Matthew 9:3; See Leviticus 24:16) for making Himself out to be equal to God (John 5:18; 10:30-33). It might surprise you to know that His own half brothers and even His mother, Mary came to take Him away because they thought He was out of His mind when He gathered to Himself the 12 disciples (Mark 3:21, 31-35). This was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy which said, “…Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). It wasn’t until after His bodily resurrection that His half brothers James and Jude believed on Him as the true Messiah (1 Corinthians 15: 7). These two brothers also wrote two letters to the New Testament Christians that bear their names.

False Teachers. Believe it or not, there are many men and women today who stand in the pulpit claiming to be minsters of God who deny the full deity of Christ (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9), His virgin birth (Matthew 1:23), His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), His substitutionary death for our sins (1 Peter 3:18), and His bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). They also teach another gospel and a works based salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Sometimes the conditions for discipleship or spiritual maturity are made the conditions for salvation. It’s known as “Lordship for salvation.” Are you being misled by one or more of them? Ask them what they really believe about Jesus. Are you supporting them with your money based on their promise that if you give them $10 you’ll get back $100? What are and where do you find in the Scriptures the Christian principles for giving today? Is it 10% of your net or gross? Would you be surprised to know that the Old Testament believers, living under the Mosaic Law, had to give 23% of their gross income? Withholding this meant the loss of physical blessings and a curse (Malachi 3:8-12; See Deuteronomy 28:15ff).

Your Thoughts. What are your honest thoughts about Jesus? Is he just a mere man, a good teacher, a famous prophet, or some superstar? In your opinion, is He a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God? Perhaps you know and believe that He died for your sins, was buried for three days, and then rose again bodily on the third day, and was seen by over 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). But merely knowing and believing the facts of the Gospel aren’t enough to save you (James 2:19). You must transfer your faith from yourself and your good works over to Christ alone to save you (Acts 4:12; 16:31). Have you done this yet? Are you believing in vain by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Revelation 22:18, 19)?

Destiny. Our eternal destiny in heaven or the lake of fire is hinged to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 18, 36; 14:1-3; Mathew 25:41, 46). Please don’t be deceived by the false Christs of the cults who can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5). We don’t all worship the same God. Make sure you’re saved God’s way – by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Share. Once you’re truly saved, help others by sharing the pure Gospel with them and inviting them to trust our Savior too (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). Earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” by leading others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. If you have questions/comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information and help. If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

“A Letter Of Hope”  1 Peter 1:1, 2

When we’re suffering and in a lot of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental stress, most of us like to receive cards from those who are thinking about and praying for us. My wife has the gift of showing mercy (Romans 12:8). She likes to send out cards to people who are hurting. Perhaps this is one of the reasons she is so liked by so many people.

Experiential Knowledge. The Apostle Peter himself had suffered great emotional trauma after he denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:75). Later he, along with the other disciples, were threatened, beaten, and imprisoned for proclaiming that Jesus was the only way to God in heaven (Acts 4:12, 17; 5:40; See John 14:6; Acts 9:16; 16:31). He knew well what it was like to suffer for Christ’s sake (See Philippians 1:29). He was in a position to speak from personal experience and encourage and comfort those who were suffering. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may also be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Postcard? No, Peter’s first letter was a little more than a postcard but it contained valuable information that was designed to help those who had been scattered out because of persecution (Acts 8:1ff). It was the fulfillment of the commission that the Lord gave to him to strengthen his brethren after he had returned to the Lord (Luke 22:31, 32; John 20:15-19). God the Holy Spirit superintended over him as he wrote this and his second letter (2 Peter 1:21). These pilgrims of the Dispersion, to whom he wrote, needed a lot of encouragement and hope in their day. We need it today too. Biblical hope is a confident expectation based on promises from God (1 Peter 1:3, 7, 9, 13; 3:9—15; 4:13; 5:4).

Apostle. Peter identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ and a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 1:1; 5:1). Initially he was an apostle to the nation of Israel alone (Matthew 10:2-4; See Acts 10:9-15; 11:9). He preached the “Gospel of the Kingdom” that pertained to the coming of the promised Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15) and the establishment of His kingdom on/over the earth (Matthew 4:17; 10:7; See Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45). Because Jesus was rejected by most of the Jewish leaders and by His own people (John 1:11), He postponed the setting up of His Kingdom until a future date (See Matthew 16:20-23; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12-14). His kingdom will be established on earth after the seven years of tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). By the way, these days seem to be very near. They will come shortly after the Rapture of the true Church takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3). Christ’s kingdom will begin with His 1,000 year reign that will then extend into eternity future (Revelation 20:1-7). He will be the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). During the Great Tribulation (the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation) the 144,000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8) will proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom” to all the nations of the world (Matthew 24:14).

False Apostles. From the early days of the church there have been not only false Christs who deceived and still deceive the masses of people (Matthew 24:5) but there are false apostles and false teachers today who preach another Jesus and another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). They “have itching ears” and will flatter and tell the people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear from God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:13; 4:1-4; See 2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1). They pretend to receive new revelation (information) from God to you and it is often related to your money that they want you to give to them and their ministries. Have you ever heard about “Seed Faith”? [1]  Folks, God is not giving out any new revelation (information) today. Some of the spiritual gifts are no longer being given to Christians today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Do you know which ones were temporary and which ones are extant? (See “Bible Basics” on our website.) The Scriptures are complete and we have all that we need for life and godliness within the 66 Books of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:3). Don’t listen to those who add to or subtract from the completed Scriptures (Revelation 22:18, 19). Beware of cult members who do this. Have you been misled by some of them? Are you supporting them with your money or are you encouraging them in their work (2 John 1:7-11)?

Dispersed Pilgrims. These early Jewish Christians had been thrust out from their homeland in Israel because of persecution from other Jews who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah (1 Peter 1:2; Acts 4:3, 17, 21, 29; 5:18, 33). Even Saul, a religious Pharisee (Acts 23:6) who later became the Apostle Paul, had a part in persecuting the early Christians and the Church (Acts 7:58; 8:1ff; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). So did King Herod (Acts 12:2ff). Years later the emperors of Rome had a part in the intense persecuting the Christians (Revelation 2:10; See Fox’s Book of Martyrs). Jesus Himself, and the Apostle Paul warned Christians about persecution (John 16:2; Philippians 1:29). Have you been mistreated for being a Christian? If not, maybe you’re not living a very godly life (2 Timothy 3:12). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8;18). Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame He experienced when they hung Him naked on the cross so that we could be saved (Hebrews 12:2; See Psalm 22). The Apostle Paul told us that he endured all things for the elect’s sake so they could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). There are people out there who will believe on Christ and be saved if we will share the unadulterated Gospel [2] with them (Acts 13:48; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Salvation. For a person to be saved/rescued from the lake of fire (hell), the three Persons in the Godhead needed to be involved. God the Father chose some to be the special recipients of His grace and mercy (John 6:37, 44; 15:16; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 1:4; 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:2; 5:13). God the Son provided salvation and eternal life by dying for our sins…and rising again bodily from the dead on the third day (John 3:16, 18, 36, 5:24; 1 Peter 1:2). God the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection to all believers and sanctifies them (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). The Christian’s salvation comes in three phases: At the moment he believes in Christ as his personal Savior, he is saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8). He is also being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). In the future, at death or the Rapture, he will be saved from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).

Appreciate. The more we learn to appreciate the salvation we have through Christ, the more we will want to serve the Lord and His people out of a heart of gratitude. Our troubles didn’t come to stay; they came to pass. They aren’t worthy to be compared with the glory to follow (Romans 8:18).  Are you willing to suffer so others can be saved (1 Timothy 2:10)? What if someone hadn’t told you about the Savior?

Application. Let’s do everything we do to glorify God by making Him known to those around us (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let’s be good witnesses to the unbelievers (Acts 1:8). Let’s comfort and edify young believers in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11), serve God and others with gladness (Psalm 100:2; Galatians 5:13; 6:10), and reproduce ourselves (Matthew 28:19, 20). May grace and peace be multiplied to you (1 Peter 1:2). Keep looking up! Jesus may return today (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). If you need the peace of God, know and claim God’s promises addressed to New Testament Christians (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] “Seed Faith” https://www.raptureready.com/rr-evil.html

[2]The Clear Gospel” Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

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

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

It’s hard to believe that so many people actually hate the Christ of the Scriptures and/or reject His offer of forgiveness and salvation. Most people want to earn their own way to heaven by their good works. Other religions and the cults have twisted the truth about Jesus and have other paths to God (Acts 4:12). Being lawless, they don’t like the rules that God has imposed on mankind. In fact many people inwardly shake their fists at God (Psalm 2). Sadly, some Christians act like atheists by dismissing God from their thinking and failing to take Him into the decisions they make each day (James 4:13-17; See Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Hated. Not only did the religious leaders of Christ’s day hate Him because He broke their Sabbath rules that they, the scribes and Pharisees had added to God’s standard, they also hated Him because He made Himself equal to God (John 5:18; 10:.30-33). Can men ever become gods? Is this the lie from the devil that many people believe (2 Thessalonians 2:11; See Romans 1:25). Was God once a man like us? In what way will Christians become like Christ when they see Him in all His glory (1 John 3:2)?

Questions. Is Jesus fully God and equal to God the Father? Is He the Jehovah of the Old Testament (Colossians 2:9)? Did He divest Himself of His deity when He came to earth to live among us (Philippians 2:5-11)? If Jesus were running to be the President of the United States, would you vote for Him? Would you be willing to live by the rules that are found in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7)? Before you say that you would, it might be advisable to read it again and interpret it normally (literally) for what it says. Do you know why the rules are so strict? Will Jesus be voted in as the King of kings and Lord of lords by us? Why did He turn down the Jew’s offer to make Him their King (John 6:15, 26; See Psalm 2:6)? When will He set up His literal 1,000 year reign/kingdom on earth (Zechariah 12:10, 11; Matthew 21:9; 23:38, 39)? Will the church usher in Christ’s kingdom after converting the world to Christ? What do the Jews have to do before their Messiah comes to rescue them from being exterminated (Acts 3:19)? Why are they called “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13)?

False Christs. Before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again, Jesus answered His disciples questions and told them that in the future many false Christs would come and deceive many people (Matthew 24:4; See 2 Corinthians 11:4; 2 Peter 2:1ff). One of cults teaches that Jesus and Lucifer were/are brothers. Another cult teaches that Jesus was once the archangel Michael. Another cult teaches that Mary is the mother of God. Some people believe that Jesus was just a prophet or a good teacher but not God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18).

Deity Of Christ. Was the angel mistaken in referring to Jesus as Immanuel, which is translated “God with us” (Mathew 1:23)? Was Jesus actually blaspheming when He referred to Himself as the “I AM” (i.e. Jehovah) of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58)? Was He wrong in referring to Himself in these “I AM” statements: The Bread of life (John 6:35), the Light of the world (John 8:12), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and the true vine (John 15:2)? Why did the Apostle John record for us the sign miracles of Jesus (John 20:31)? Why did Jesus accept the worship of others if He wasn’t God (Matthew 8:2, 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9, 17; John 20:28)?

Condition For Salvation. When his jailer asked the Apostle Paul what he had to do to be saved, he said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31, 32). Then he spoke the word of the Lord (i.e. the Gospel) to him and to all who were in his house (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The title “Lord” means that Jesus is God Himself (Romans 10:9). “Jesus” refers to Him as the Savior of the world (Matthew 1:21; 1 Timothy 4:10). “Christ” refers to Him as the promised Messiah and the glorified One who sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Mathew 16:16; Acts 2:36; Ephesians 2:20-23).

Warning. Jesus and His apostles warned us about false teachers who would come proclaiming another Jesus and another method/way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1ff). Some people are adding the conditions for discipleship (i.e. sanctification and spiritual maturity) to the conditions for salvation and are causing a lot of confusion in people’s minds. Don’t put “the cart before the horse.” If you do this, you will never know if you’ve done all that God expects of you to be saved and you won’t have assurance of salvation in this life (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16).

Keys. Without the right key a lock won’t open. Figuratively speaking, without God’s key you won’t be able to enter heaven. Instead you will suffer forever with the devil and his angels (demons) in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 16). God doesn’t and we don’t want anyone to go to that awful place (1 Timothy 2:4). God’s key: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Man’s key that doesn’t work: Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation. Which key are you using?

Decision. The most important decision that you and I have to make in life is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior through the message of the complete Gospel. Many people leave out the bodily resurrection of Christ (Luke 24:39-43). It is an essential element of the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:8-10). Without a risen Savior, we have no hope of being raised from the dead and spending eternity with God in heaven(Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:19). If you haven’t placed your faith in Christ alone yet, why not now? You might not be alive tomorrow to make that decision before it’s eternally too late. Once you’re dead, there are no second chances to be saved (Hebrews 9:27).

Share. If you’ve been saved, can God count on you to share the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ with others who haven’t heard the Clear Gospel (Acts 1:8)? You can do this through a personal testimony or a clear Gospel tract. We also have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages on our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Now, after all He’s done for us, how could we do any less than give Him our best (Romans 12:1, 2)?

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

Clear Gospel Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

Baptist Apostates:  http://www.garbc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/necessity_of_garbc.pdf

Re-defining Jesus: http://spiritual-research-network.com/f/falseviewsofjesus_compilationlist.pdf

Lordship for Salvation:  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Suffering, sickness, and death are the result of sin (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). Eating the forbidden fruit seemed like such a harmless thing to do but it ended up in total disaster. Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). We’re all sinners by birth and by choice. Without God’s help we’d all be doomed to the lake of fire.

Signs. All the sign miracles that Jesus performed and that John recorded were to demonstrate that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing [we] may have life in His name” (John 20:31). The sign miracle that involved Jesus’ healing a man who had been impotent for 38 years also led to the Jews’ wanting to kill Jesus because they said that He violated the Sabbath (i.e. as they understood it) and because He made Himself equal to God the Father (John 5:1-18; See John 10:30, 31; Colossians 2:9). All those who diminish Jesus to be inferior to God the Father are Antichrists (1 John 2:18).

Occasion. When Jesus and His disciples went back to Jerusalem for one of the feasts of the Jews, He encountered a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, and paralyzed. They were superstitiously waiting for the water in the Bethesda pool to move. They believed that the first person to get into the water would be healed. We’re not told how often people were healed and what kind of people actually were healed. Many people have psychosomatic illnesses (James 5:13-16; 1 Corinthians 11:30).

Causes. Some sicknesses were for God’s glory. By giving sight to a blind man (John 9:3), Jesus let others know that He was the light of the world (John 9:5). He resuscitated a man (Lazarus) who was dead for four days to let others know that He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:4, 25). The Apostle Paul told us that God didn’t grant him his request but told him that His grace would be sufficient to meet his need. His thorn in the flesh” was designed to keep Paul humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  God used insanity to demonstrate to King Nebuchadnezzar that the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men and that He gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32). God also allows affliction to come to His children when we go astray (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75). Sometimes our illnesses may be due to a constitutional weakness (1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20). And then again it may be the chastening from the Lord (John 5:14; 1 Corinthians 11:30; Hebrews 12:6-14).

Focus. On some occasions Jesus healed all those who came to Him (Matthew 12:15). But on this occasion, out of all the people that Jesus could have healed because He was/is omnipotent, He targeted just one man who had been infirm for 38 years (John 5:5). He was homeless, helpless, hopeless, and hell bound. Isn’t this basically the spiritual condition of all of us who are without the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior? We need not beg God for mercy and grace because God demonstrated this when Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. He can and will save any and all who come to Him in faith (John 6:37; Hebrews 7:25). If you’re not yet saved, why not now?

Social Gospel? [1] With what was Jesus concerned? “The phrase ‘social gospel’ is usually used to describe a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that came to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those who adhered to a social gospel sought to apply Christian ethics to social problems such as poverty, slums, poor nutrition and education, alcoholism, crime, and war. These things were emphasized while the doctrines of sin, salvation, heaven and hell, and the future kingdom of God were downplayed. Theologically, the social gospel leaders were overwhelmingly postmillennialist, asserting that Christ’s Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort.” Taken from – http://www.gotquestions.org/social-gospel.html

Debt. God is not indebted to any man (Romans 4:4). If we demanded justice from Him, we’d all be in hell (Romans 6:23). He is free to be merciful to anyone to whom He chooses to be merciful (Romans 9:15, 18). All a person needs to do today is Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and [he/she] will be saved” (Acts 16:31; See Romans 8:1). Most people will not believe on Him because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19-21). The wrath of God abides on them (John 3:18, 36; See Jude 1:22, 23). Don’t be among those who believe in vain by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2). [2]

Cure. While God may use men to bring about a physical cure, the Great Physician is the ultimate source of our healing. He heals us of all our diseases except the last one. Apart from the Rapture’s taking place, we will all die physically some day (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus will raise all mankind out from the dead someday (1 Corinthians 15:22-24, 51, 52). In which resurrection will you participate? Our eternal life and spiritual health are far more important than our physical health [3] on earth (Romans 8:18; 3 John 1:2).

Help. We’re here to help those who have spiritual needs and who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.comIf you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Social Gospel. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

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

[3] Physical Healing. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/charis06.htm