Archive for the ‘Cults’ Category

Christs. Believe it or not, there are different Christs in whom people believe. They are not all the same.  Jesus predicted that this would happen (Matthew 24:5). Consider the “Wafer Jesus” who didn’t finish the work of salvation, the “Elevated Jesus” who is the brother of Lucifer, the “Modernist Jesus” who wasn’t virgin born, the “Universalist Jesus” who won’t send anyone to hell, the “Prosperity Jesus” who promises wealth to the contributors, the “Laughing Jesus” who slays people in the spirit, the “Self-esteem Jesus” who never calls men sinners, the “Charismatic Jesus” who says, “Let’s put on a show,” and the “Contemporary Jesus” who says, “Let’s all get together.”  And then there is a Jesus who used to be Michael the archangel. Are you trusting in any of these false Christs? Are you believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23)?

Warning. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; See Jude 1:13).

Purpose. The Apostle John had a clear purpose in mind when he wrote the Gospel of John. “…these [sign miracles] were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Do you have, as a present possession, eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life)? Are you enjoying an abundant life now (John 10:10)? If not, ask us how you can have these things.

Gift. When my father, Timothy Pietsch, used to preach in Japanese in Tokyo, Japan for 35 years, he offered to his radio listeners a copy of the Gospel of John. Sometimes he referred to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only true “Tenno Heika” (Heaven’s Descended Majesty). He thought saying this would get him into a lot of trouble since the Japanese people use this term to refer to their emperor. (BTW – I attended the Peer School with the current Japanese Emperor’s younger sister.  See the link below.)

Tool. John’s Gospel is an evangelistic tool to introduce people to the Christ of the Scriptures. He is fully God and not inferior to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9). He is the God-man (Philippians 2:6-8). He was born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14) and lived a sinless life for 33 years (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46). He performed many miracles to prove that He was/is the Christ (Messiah). He had created all things and He holds the molecules together (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17). He promised to return for His Bride, the Church before the Tribulation (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).  Are you ready for His imminent return?  Ask how you can receive our “FREE Dispensational Chart.”

I AM. Contrary to what at least one cult teaches, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Jehovah of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14; See John 5:18; 10:30, 31). The Apostle John records seven times when Jesus referred to Himself by saying, “I AM the…” (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). See for yourself what these verses say.

P.C. It’s not politically correct today to recite Christ’s own words when He said, “I am the [only] way [back to God], the [absolute] truth, and the [only One who gives eternal] life” (John 14:6). The Apostle Peter’s words are rejected or disputed by some folks. “Nor is there salvation is any other [than the Lord Jesus Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Of course the Apostle Paul’s words aren’t liked either by the P.C. Crowd. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [exclusively], and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Grace / Faith. The Apostle Paul reminded the believers in Ephesus how they were saved, “For by grace [unmerited favor] you have been saved through faith [believing], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). What is the Gospel?Did you know that it’s possible for people to know and agree with the facts of the Gospel without being saved (James 2:19)? It’s not until one transfers his faith from himself and his own good works over to Christ alone that he is saved (Titus 3:5).

Death / Resurrection. Most knowledgeable people will admit that Jesus died on a cross about 2,000 years ago. But many don’t know that He died for all of our sins once and for all…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43; Hebrews 10:10). His bodily resurrection assures us of the fact that everyone will one day be raised from the dead, each in his/her own order (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will be raised?

Judgment. “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Nowhere in Scripture can you find second chances to be saved after physical death, or reincarnation. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). “For what is your life? It is a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

Assurance. Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven when you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? Is it possible for those who believe in “Lordship Salvation” to have assurance of salvation?** What are some of the dangers of “Reformed Theology”?***

Help. If you have honest questions and/or need some clarifications, explanations, or answers, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know how.  If you think it might be helpful to someone else, please pass the information on to them.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

*Clear Gospel in 30 languages. www.cleargospel.org

***The Dangers of Reformed Theologyhttp://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/dangerso.htm

“Tenno Heika”  https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/theres-only-one-tenno-heika/

 Assurance of Salvation https://bible.org/seriespage/assurance-salvation

            Perhaps some of you were subjected to learning the catechism when you were young as I was.  My father wanted my siblings and me to know about God.  So during our meals we memorized Bible verses in English and Japanese since we were missionary kids growing up in Japan right after World War II.  We also were taught the catechism which is a handbook of questions and answers designed to teach the principles of religion.

Question. The first question was, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Yes, I could recite the answer, but I had no idea as to what it meant to glorify God in my life.  The Bible doesn’t make sense to those who aren’t saved (1 Corinthians 2:14).  If someone were to ask you about God’s glory, what would you say?

Purpose. Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions:  “Why am I here on earth?” Why am I here on earth at this time in human history?” Where did I come from? Where am I going when you die?  These are very important questions that need solid, reliable answers from the Scriptures.

God. Some people say, “I don’t believe God exists. If He did, He’d do something about the chaos we find in this world.” What are your thoughts about God?  Are they accurate?  How can you be sure?  If God exists, does He have a grand purpose?  If so, what is it?  How do you and I fit into it?

Lucifer. He goes by a lot of other names and titles.  But is he real?  Is he to be feared or ignored?  Does he have an agenda and if so, how can we learn about it?  How does he differ from God?  Is he Jesus’ brother as one cult teaches?

Man. Many people could be described as “wandering generalities” rather than as “meaningful specifics.” Which one of these describes you better?  Do you have a clear purpose in life?  By when do you hope to achieve it?  What obstacles do you face in the pursuit of your dreams?  What people, groups, and organizations do you need to help you achieve your dreams?  What additional skills do you need to develop?  What specific steps do you need to take in what order?  And finally, what is your reason for pursuing your dream(s)? – Adapted from Zig Ziglar

Motivation. Fame, fortune, power, and pleasure motivate many men and women as they pursue their objectives, goals, and dreams in life.  But is there a higher and more fulfilling motivation in life?  If so, what is it?  Are there some things for which you’d be willing to die?  If so, what would they include?  Is there life after death?  Are heaven and hell real?  How does one enter heaven and avoid hell?  Are there rewards for faithful service on earth?  How can you be sure of your eternal destiny?

Value. What things have real value – things that are seen or unseen?  Are you desperately pursing only temporal things that can be lost, stolen, and destroyed by others ?  Would you like to learn how to have real love, joy, peace, contentment, and other spiritual qualities?  Do you know how to secure them?

Church. What is it – a building or people?  What kind of people should make up a local church?  When did the Church come into existence?  Who is the rightful Head of the Church?  What is/should be its purpose?  Why do/should Christians assemble together?  What should they do when they meet?  What makes up genuine worship?  What teachings in the Bible are to be believed and what teachings are to be believed and practiced?   What is the difference between Israel and the Church?  What constitutes true fellowship?  What significance is associated with the Lord’s Supper?  How many of the eight ways of communication with God do you use when you pray?   Should Christians be engaged in pragmatic, ecumenical evangelism?  How important is Bible prophecy?

Help. If you’d like Biblical answers to the questions you can’t answer, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information.  Go to www.kelseypeach.com.  If you would like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” For the Good News that leads to salvation in 30 languages, go to www.cleargospel.org

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

 

An Introduction To The Gospel Of John

”The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” He also wrote, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” – Mark Twain

Greatest. The Bible is greatest book that has ever been written. It is made up of 66 books. Don’t add to or subtract from it, as the cults do, or face the terrible consequences (Revelation 22:18, 19). It is God breathed and has a purpose (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). One of the primary reasons for trusting it is fulfilled Bible prophecy. Prophecy is history written in advance. “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it’” (Isaiah 46:9-11).*

Signs. The Gospel of John contains 7 sign miracles that prove that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). A miracle has been defined as the circumvention of the normal “laws of nature.” Since God established these “laws,” He can modify them if and when He chooses to do so. Do you know why Jesus and His apostles performed three kinds of miracles (Acts 2:22; 2 Corinthians 12:12)? Do you know when and why the Anti-Christ will be given the power to imitate these three kinds of miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)? What will Jesus say on judgment day to the false prophets and teachers who claimed to do miracles in His name (Matthew 7:21-23; Revelation 20:11-15)?**

Addition. When God the Son added a true human nature (not a sinful nature) and a real body to Himself (Philippians 2:5-11), He lived among men for about 33 years to reveal to us visible evidence of the only true and living God. Contrary to what some cults are teaching, He did not relinquish any of His deity (Colossians 2:9) but simply veiled some of it while He lived and walked among men.

Glorification. In sending God the Son to earth, God the Father wanted the men of this world to know more about the Godhead that consists of three persons, not three Gods (Deuteronomy 6:4). In His high priestly prayer, Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they may know You [Father], the only true God, and Jesus Christ [the God-man] whom You have sent” (John 17:3). In response to Philip’s request, “Lord, show us the Father…” Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:7-12). In other words, “If you want to know the Father, look at the Son.” They both have the same essence but are separate persons with a mind, will, and emotions. Yes, Jesus did claim to be God (John 5:18; 10:30). When His disciple Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28), He accepted his worship. Had Jesus not been God, Jesus should never have allowed that statement to go uncorrected.

“I AM.” Contrary to what some cults teach, with each of the seven “I AM” statements that He made concerning Himself, Jesus was declaring that He was/is the Jehovah God of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14; John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:5). He was/is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17).*** Jesus, the God-man is worthy of our trust and worship. All who believe in/on Him will receive eternal life from Him (John 3:16; 5:24). This life can/should be enjoyed right now. If you’re a Christian, are you enjoying “abundant life” right now?

Helper. While Jesus was on earth, He was subordinate to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:7, 9; Matthew 4:1; 12:22, 32; John 8:28, 42). But when Jesus ascended back to heaven with a resurrected, glorified body (one with flesh and bones, but no blood – Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50) after dying for our sins and rising from the dead on the third day (Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20), He and God the Father sent God the Holy Spirit to earth to indwell the bodies of true Christians (John 14:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 6:19). Since He indwells all true believers, we are not to grieve or quench Him (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). If saved, are you doing this? If so, stop and confess your sins to the Father (1 John 1:9).

Salvation. In addition to revealing the Godhead to us, Jesus (God the Son) came to offer salvation to those who had rebelled and who are still rebelling against God (John 1:29; Romans 5:8, 10). All of us have sinned (acted lawlessly) and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:10-23). We all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Love. “…God [the Father] loved so the [people of this] world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have [eternal] life” (John 3:16). “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 [person and work] of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). Are you a true believer or an unbeliever? Have you placed your faith in Christ exclusively as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 4:12; 16:31)? Christ had to satisfy God’s outraged holiness and justice against our sin nature and our personal sins before He could offer salvation to us (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Salvation from hell to heaven is not based on any of our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:4). Furthermore, it’s not just offered to some men but to all human beings (1 Timothy 4:10). We don’t believe in “limited atonement.”****

Life. God the Son (Jesus Christ) came to give believers eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life). All true believers receive this the moment they place their faith in Christ as personal Savior. But not all Christians enjoy the “abundant life” (John 10:10). Contrary to what the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” are teaching through the misapplication of Scripture,***** this is not referring to material things (1 Timothy 6:8) but to spiritual things that can/should be enjoyed by those who are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit and who are filled with Him (Ephesians 1:3; 5:18). He produces the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). These Christ like qualities (love, joy, peace, etc) need to be directed properly toward the right objects at the right time. Yes, they can be misdirected toward the wrong things too (1 John 2:15-17). Are you using or abusing the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31)?

Help. If you have honest questions and are teachable and willing to change when presented with Scriptural evidence (2 Timothy 2:2), we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information. If this article has helped you, let us know how it has. Maybe you might want to share it with someone else. Together we can reach more people for God. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 The Gospel in 30 languages. www.cleargospel.org

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

*Recommended: Charting The End Times by Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=charting+the+end+times+lahaye

**Miracles: http://www.compellingtruth.org/miracles-literal.html

Demonic/Satanic miracles: http://www.gotquestions.org/demonic-satanic-miracles.html

***Deity of Christ. Is Jesus God?

http://www.gotquestions.org/is-Jesus-God.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-in-the-flesh.html

****Limited Atonement. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger02.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/limited.htm

*****Replacement Theology. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/replace.pdf

Message for Jew haters: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/destroy.htm

Once a person places his faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, that person is saved and secure in God’s hands (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; John 10:28, 29). Our salvation is by grace (God’s unmerited favor) alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9).* The false Christs of other religions or the cults can’t save anyone (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; Matthew 24:5). Is your faith resting in the wrong person (Matthew 7:21-23)?

Sin Nature. Contrary to what some men are teaching, a Christian retains his sin nature even after he is saved (1 John 1:8). He doesn’t lose it until he dies physically or the Rapture takes place (1 John 3:2). At the time of his salvation, the Christian becomes a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and has a new potential to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9, 17; Romans 8:5-8). Those who teach otherwise are deceiving themselves and others. It seems safe to say that, as Christians, most of our temptations to sin come from the indwelling sin nature. The Apostle Paul himself struggled with his sin nature even after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:19-21). If a Christian didn’t have a sin nature, there would be no reason to tell him to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) or to walk by means of the Spirit so he can live victoriously over his sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26).

Enemies. A Christian has two other spiritual enemies: the Devil (1 Peter 5:8), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17) that he devised to control certain undesirable aspects of the sin nature of man. Any of these three enemies can disrupt our family fellowship** with God when we yield to sin. Believe it or not, the Christian doesn’t have to sin since God the Father and God the Son sent God Holy Spirit to indwell all true Christians after Christ ascended back bodily into heaven in the presence of many eye witnesses (John 14:17; Acts 1:9-11).

Godliness. We also have God’s Word that has everything we need for life and godliness (1 John 2:1, 2; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13). While the men of this world are able to figure out some of man’s problems, they come short when it comes to real solutions. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).  Did you know that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19; See James 3:13-18)?

 

Scriptures. “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 every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul [emotions] and spirit [rational], and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). ***

Confession. To believers the Apostle John wrote these words: “If we [should] confess [agree, admit, acknowledge] our [known] sins [to God the Father], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), doing things while doubting (Romans 14:23), and not doing what we know we should do (James 4:17) as “Grace Believers.” Everything is Scripture is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). Example: We don’t offer bloody sacrifices today as the Old Testament Jews did.  Do you know where to find “Grace Truths” for Christians in the Scriptures? If not, ask us about it and see our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”

Chastening. God often gives a believer time to repent (change his mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10) and to confess his sins. He’s long suffering but if the believer doesn’t confess his known sins to God, the Father will find it necessary to apply the appropriate disciplinary action to do whatever is necessary to transform the believer into the image of Christ (Romans 12:1, 2).  Christians won’t be judged and condemned with the world and the devil at the Great White Throne judgment (John 16:8-11; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10-15). He disciplines those who truly belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-11). Sometimes He uses sickness, loss of personal possessions, or mental disorders (1 Corinthians 11:30).  He may allow a Christian to be tormented by demons or the devil (Matthew 18:34; 2 Timothy 2:26).**** (Note: Just because a Christian experiences these things doesn’t always mean that he has sinned and is being disciplined by God. Example: The patriarch Job.)

Death.  If this temporal discipline doesn’t accomplish the desired end, God will take the believer’s physical life from him but not his salvation or his eternal life (1 John 5:13, 16; Romans 8:35-39).  A Christian cannot be demon possessed (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), but he can be Satanically or demonically influenced as the Apostle Peter was (Matthew 16:21-23) and as Christians are when we are tempted by them (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7).

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, just click of “Follow.” If this has helped you, consider sharing it and discussing it with others who may need to be mentored. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Find out if they are teachable and willing to change.

Cooperation. Together we can reach more people for Christ before it’s too late. “And as it appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Contrary to what some religions and cults teach, there are no other opportunities to be saved after one dies physically. The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked (Matthew 25:41, 46) nor reincarnation. May we count on you to help us get the Word out to others?

*Eternal Security. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/security.htm

**Fellowship. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/christia/nothingb.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/christia/twoaspet.htm

***Sufficiency of Scripture. http://www.gotquestions.org/sufficiency-of-Scripture.html

****Divine Discipline http://www.gotquestions.org/God-punish-sin.html

Sin Unto Death: http://www.gotquestions.org/sin-unto-death.html

Clear Gospel: www.cleargospel.org

 

 

 

Don’t ever order stew at that restaurant,” a friend advised. “They put all the leftovers in it.” We know that if spoiled or rancid food is added to the pot, sickness and death can follow.  It’s important for us to know what goes into our mouths.  We need to read the labels.

     Feelings. Believe it or not, when someone tells us to “follow our own heart”  he/she may be giving us bad advice.  What’s wrong with it (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23; Proverbs 14:12)?  Why shouldn’t we just do what is right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6)?   Because spiritual and moral degeneration could follow in its wake. We see it happening all around us today (Romans 1:18-32). Man-made religion has its attending problems and leaves men bankrupt and can disqualify him from entering heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

     Family. Have you heard it said, “The family that prays together stays together”? Did you grow up in a home where prayers we offered up to God before meals? How about before going on a journey or even when you got into a car to go some place? I did. My wife and I still engage in these practices and would encourage you to do the same thing. If you think you must speed, you might want to sing the “Highway Hymns” loudly.* (Click on the link below.)

      Syncretism. Before the Israelites had a king, many of them engaged in a syncretistic religion** that blended differing beliefs and practices together. They did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). After all, how could something that felt so good to them be so wrong? The problem was that they disregarded the clear teachings that God had given to them through Moses. Do you know what God expected from them and how the Christian’s rules for living today differ from theirs? (Ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”)

     Problem. One grown man stole his mother’s money and then returned it after she placed a curse on the thief. Then she promised to dedicate the money to God but took some of it and had a carved silver image (idol) made. This was given to her son who placed it in his home along with the other religious articles that he shouldn’t have had. Then he made an unqualified Levite his personal priest who was unwilling to rebuke the man for his idolatrous practices. He became a “Priest For Hire.” All this violated God’s clear commands (Exodus 20:12, 15; Numbers 3:10). He had no right to establish his own religion. What about you? Have you come up with your own brand of religion that contradicts God’s clear teachings for today? It may seem right, but it could end up with death (Proverbs 14:12).

      Mystery Babylon. Do you know which branch of Christendom will head up the apostate world church?  It will even assimilate other religions into it to form the one world religion. What part will it and the revived Roman Empire have in the promotion of the Antichrist to rule over the whole world? Do you know when and how it will be destroyed? What relationship does God want believers to have with this apostate religion? Read Revelation 17, 18 for the answers.

      Priests. Although Israel had a priesthood, did you know that every true Christian today is a priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9)? Instead of bloody sacrifices, we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. Do you know what they include (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16)? If you’re saved, have you offered any of these sacrifices to God recently?

     Counterfeits. Satan constantly counterfeits the work of God. His prophets, teachers, and priests often come from the basest of men (1 Kings 12:31,32; Daniel 4:17, 25; 2 Peter 2:1ff). They appear as angels of light and deceive many people and keep them away from the truth of the Gospel that can lead to their salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:3). Are you being misled by one or more of them? Are you evaluating everything you hear and believe by the inerrant Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

     Labels. In this day and age it’s important for us to check the labels of the food we eat. But it’s much more important to make sure we’re not swallowing the lies of the devil and his agents. Otherwise we could end up very sick or even dead. A premature death can be tragic, but eternal separation from God in the lake of fire is far worse (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

      Believe. Anyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the grave, will be saved (Acts 16:31; John 10:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Those who add their own good works to faith have polluted the Gospel and are believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you one of them? Beware of the cults who add to or subtract from the completed 66 books of the Word of God that are found in the Old and New Testaments (Revelation 22:18, 19).

     Help. We’re here to help people who are teachable and willing to change when they are exposed to the truth that can set men free (2 Timothy 2:2; John 8:32). Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for additional help.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

Quick Links.

*Highway Hymns: http://www.talkjesus.com/jokes/14117-speeding-hymns.html

**Religious Syncretism: – http://www.gotquestions.org/syncretism-religious.html

***Religious Pluralism: – http://www.gotquestions.org/religious-pluralism.html

****Biblical Separation: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/bibdocse.htm

“It was a morning like any other in the ancient Roman city.  Men and women went about their business as usual, working hard in the bright sun light and resting in the cool shade of the mountain.  Children romped just as they did yesterday and the day before that, and many worshipped their idols in pagan temples, eating, drinking, and being merry, living life to the hilt in their normal reckless way.  Yet in a few precious hours, they would all be dead-the fury of Mount Vesuvius would erupt to encase Pompei in a tomb of lava for centuries to come.” – C. Swindoll

     Earth Shaking.  About forty years earlier some other earth shaking events took place that changed the course of human history.  Before Jesus Christ was taken down from the cross, a Roman centurion witnessed the earth quaking when Jesus died, even though he didn’t know that Jesus had just died to pay the penalty for his sins and the sins of the whole world (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10).  Fear gripped the people and he said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). 

     Three Days Later. Another greater earthquake took place when an angel came down from heaven and opened the door of the tomb where Jesus’ body had been placed. The angel’s countenance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The elite guards shook with fear and they became like dead men (Matthew 28:2-4).

     Open Door.  An angel had come down to roll away the huge stone door (perhaps about 4,000 pounds) to let people into the tomb to see that Jesus’ body was no longer there.  It wasn’t opened to let Him out.  His resurrected, glorified body could and still can pass through objects that would stop our present bodies (John 20:19).  The current body that He has in heaven, at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:19-23), has the ability to travel, not at the speed of light, but at the speed of thought (John 20:17-20; Hebrews 9:24).  He can eat the real food we eat but He doesn’t have to eat it to stay alive (Luke 22:16, 30; 24:33-43).  The resurrected bodies of Christians will be like Christ’s glorified humanity, not His deity (1 John 3:2).  We will keep on learning things in eternity (Ephesians 2:7).  Contrary to what some religious cults teach, Christians will not become gods to repopulate other worlds in eternity future (Matthew 22:30).

     Fear Not!  Not long after the earthquake that took place on Sunday morning, some women came to the tomb where their beloved Master had been laid to rest by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, “The [Chief] Teacher” of the Mosaic law and a member of the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:57; John 3:1-10; 7:50; 19:38-40).  But to their amazement, the door of the tomb was opened and the guards were nowhere to be found.  According to Matthew’s account, the guards were bribed with a lot of money and were told to say, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.”  This saying is commonly reported among the Jews even to our day (Matthew 28:13).  But wait!  Sleeping on the job carried with it the death penalty (Acts 12:19).  But money talks; It did then and it does today. It’s the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

     Instructions.  The angel instructed these women not to be afraid but to go to Jesus’ disciples to inform them that He had risen from the dead.  Had the story of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead been a fraud, the writers wouldn’t have said that women were the first ones to witness His bodily resurrection.  Normally, in those days, the testimony of a woman wasn’t as strong as the testimony of a man.  That is why the accounts of His bodily resurrection are even more believable.  Contrary to what another cult teaches, Jesus did rise again bodily from the dead and those who deny that He will return to earth with a real body are deceivers and Antichrists (2 John 1:7; John 14:3; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 19:16).

     Predicted.  The Old Testament prophets had predicted that Jesus would die for the sins of mankind (Psalm 22:1; Isaiah 53; John 1:29).  After He changed His initial mission (i. e. offering Himself as the rightful King of the Jews), He told His disciples that He was going to go to the cross to die and then be raised from the dead on the third day (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; Luke 9:22).

  Jonah.  Yes, Jesus believed the story of Jonah who was swallowed by a great fish and then vomited out on dry land after three days (Jonah 2). In fact, He used Jonah as an illustration to point out to the skeptical Jews, who demand signs (1 Corinthians 1:22), just how long He would be dead and buried in the tomb (Matthew 12:39).  Jesus’ enemies, not His own disciples (Matthew 16:21-23), believed Him when He said this.  That is why they had His tomb secured (Matthew 27:63-66).  The Apostle John recorded in his gospel several sign miracles to prove that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God so that those who believe on Him may be saved and receive eternal life (John 20:30, 31). 

     Death.  When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they died two kinds of death: spiritual and physical (Genesis 2:17).  Death is separation, not annihilation.  Spiritual death took place when they were separated from fellowship with God and had their garments of light stripped from them (Genesis 3:7-11; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49).  Physical death occurred when Adam was 930 years old (Genesis 5:5).  Yes, they did live much longer before the universal flood that took place in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8).  That was before the continental shift took place in Peleg’s day when the mountains rose up as they are today (Genesis 10:25).  Physical death involves the separation of the spirit (that belongs to the mind – Ephesians 4:23) and the soul (emotions –  Matthew 11:29; John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:9) from the body (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  Nowhere is Scripture is annihilation or reincarnation taught.

  Christ’s Resurrection.  The testimonies of over 500 eye witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) and the transformations that took place in people’s lives like Peter (Acts 2), Paul (Acts 9), and Thomas (John 20), and many more people are overwhelming to those who are willing to be honest with the normal rules of investigation and evidence. 

     Rebels.  But those who want to go on living their lives in rebellion toward God, and who don’t want to be held accountable to Him, will choose to disbelieve the undeniable evidence.  They know that if they believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection, then they might be raised from the dead themselves and have to stand before Him as their Judge.

  Judge.  God the Father gave God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) the responsibility to judge every human being and all spirit beings (cherubs, seraphs, and angels) some day (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Acts 17:31).  He will act as the righteous Judge who can’t be bribed (2 Timothy 4:8).  He is omniscient (all knowing).  He even knows all about our motives (John 2:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 4:5).  Those who don’t have Christ’s righteousness credited to their account (John 16:8-11; Romans 4:22-24) will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).  Neither you nor anyone else will escape judgment day (Hebrews 9:27).

  Our Resurrection.  Christ’s bodily resurrection guarantees other resurrections.  In fact, there are four more (1 Corinthians 15:22- 24, 51, 52; Revelation 11:7).  Do you know when they will take place and in which one you will participate?  Why it is necessary for your works on earth to be evaluated (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 10:15; 11:22)?

  Decision.  While you breathe God’s air here on earth, you have a choice to make.  You can reject Him as your personal Savior.  Most people do this.  But others see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior.  The Lord Jesus Christ died for all our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day never to die again.  (He wasn’t simply resuscitated back to the kind of life He had on this earth.  Resuscitations have happened in the past and even do in the present.)  Only a living Savior can help us.  If you haven’t already done so before, will you, right now, place your faith in Him exclusively?  We’re not saved by faith plus our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  When you do this, God will give you assurance of salvation (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 5:13). 

  Help!  Don’t let the devil remove these thoughts from your mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?  For questions or comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com

Portions adapted from C. Swindoll, “Jesus Our Lord” p. 30ff

     WARNING!  Don’t read this if you are not a Christian.  It won’t make much sense to you because the “natural man” doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him.  He cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).  However, it you are a true Christian, we invite you to consider carefully what you read (Acts 17:11). 

     Enjoyable.  Encouraging believers (the saints) is a much more enjoyable thing to do than having to warn them of the dangers that surround them.  But since we live in a world where evil doers abound, it is necessary to make believers aware of those who would try to “rain on their parade” and make their lives miserable. 

       Responsibility.  The Lord’s half brother Jude (Matthew 13:55) was given this responsibility by the God the Holy Spirit and we have his words recorded for us in a brief letter that can be found just before the Book of Revelation. He wasted no time identifying the enemy so the church could recognize them. They are –

      Ungodly Men.  The Apostles Peter and Paul had warned their readers about them too (2 Peter 2:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff).  By the time Jude wrote his letter, their numbers had grown greatly.  Such men lack reverence for God and distort true worship (Colossians 2:24).  They often replace it with sensual and/or emotional music to desensitize or hypnotize the people.  The ungodly man gives in to the lusts (strong desires) that emanate from his sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21).  

      Worship.  True worship of God entails the use of one’s spirit that belongs to the mind of a believer (Ephesians 4:23; John 4:24).  It must be truth about God’s attributes that are found in the 66 books of the Scriptures alone.  Believers can/should worship God anywhere as they think about His goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love.  This form of communication with God doesn’t expect anything from God in return. By it we simply adore Him for who and what He is.  What do you know about the other seven ways to communicate with God?  Ask about them.

     Godliness.  A new Christian needs to realize that he has been given a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:4). This new nature has new desires that are placed there by God (Philippians 2:13).  They will be opposed to the lusts coming from his sin nature (Galatians 5:17). The Christian still has his sin nature (1 John 1:8) that always tries to thwart godliness.  Do you know when he will no longer have a sin nature?

     Choices.  Each Christian has the choice to live an ungodly lifestyle to please himself and his sinful nature or to please God by living godly.  He can be godly when he is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and when he walks by means of the Spirit (i.e. orders his life under the Holy Spirit’s direction – Galatians 5:16, 25).  He allows the Holy Spirit to produce in him the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). This fruit must be directed by the Christian toward the right object for the right reason.  It’s possible to misdirect the “Fruit of the Spirit” (such a “agape” love) toward the things of this world system that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:11).  Do you know what makes up the present world system?  Godliness is doing what God wants us to do with the power that the Holy Spirit provides for Christians (Philippians 4:13). Ungodliness is doing what our sin nature wants us to do. 

     Happiness.  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he mediates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).  Read about the ungodly man in the last few verses.

     Deceitful.  In addition to their being ungodly, false teachers are those who creep into churches while the leaders and mature believers are sleeping.  The Apostle Paul warned the elders (Pastor/teachers) to take heed to themselves and to the flock (Christians) in their care (Acts 20:28).  These “creeps” proclaim another Jesus (Jesus said there would be many false Christs – Matthew 24:5) and another way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15) other than by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.  Many of them believe in “universalism.”  This false doctrine teaches that everyone, including the devil, will end up in heaven eventually after being purged for some time.  Believe it or not, some people don’t want to go to heaven to be with God and other Christians.  Just ask some of them.

     Antinomianism.  Some of these false teachers distort grace by telling people that they can live any way they want to live now that they have been saved.  They offer freedom but by their teaching they enslave themselves and their followers even more ( 2 Peter 2:12-21).  But God disciplines His true children when they sin and fail to confess their sins to Him (Hebrews 12:5, 6; 1 John 1:9).  Even though the believer receives family forgiveness when he confesses his sins, he may have to suffer the governmental consequences of his sins for the rest of his life. 

     Creed.  The creed of some of them might be:  “God is a creation of wishful thinking; religion is a mechanism of escape from reality; man is a glorified gorilla who asks too many questions and represses too many desires; morals are a matter of taste; love is an art; and life is a racket.” – Dr. Wallace Petty.  Gross immorality characterizes many apostates.  One writer has said that “one of the troubles with the world today is that people mistake sex for love, money for brains, and transistor radios for civilization.”

     Gnosticism.  “This false teaching [that is still around today] assigned to Christ a place subordinate to the true Godhead, and undervalued the uniqueness and completeness of His redemptive work [of salvation].  It insisted that between a holy God and this earth a host of beings, angels, etc., formed a bridge, of which host Christ was a member.  This system included the worship of angels and false asceticism [a self denial that leads to a higher spiritual state -Colossians 2:18, 20-22].”  Dr. C. I. Scofield.  Do you know of a group that teaches such erroneous things? 

     Deity.  Two main ways to identify an apostate is by learning what he believes about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Does he believe that Jesus shares a total and complete equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9)?  Does he really believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone?  Does he proclaim the Gospel clearly in its entirety (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?  Does he add false conditions for one to be saved?  Do you know what some of them are?  If not, ask about them.

     Agonize.  Jude told believers to contend (agonize) earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3).  If you’re a true Christian, don’t let others impose the wrong “House Rules” (Dispensations) on you.  If you live by the wrong rules you will not mature spiritually and you could lose out on a lot of rewards and crowns that God has in store for His children who do the work that He planned for us to do (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).  

    Whew!  We’ve just shared a lot of information with you.  As we said at the beginning, this information won’t make sense to you if you’re not a true Christian or if you’re a carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4; Hebrews 5:12-14).  It’s intended for Christians who are rightly related to God by having their known sins confessed to God the Father (1 John 1:9), who desire to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), and who are willing to change (with God’s help) when they are exposed to truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2). 

     These articles usually correspond with our messages on Sundays at the Grace Baptist Church in Paso Robles.  Some of them can be heard on the Internet at www.kelseypeach.com. If they help you as a Christian, please share the information with other believers who desire to grow in the Lord.  Be a “link person” who might impact the lives of many others.

     It might shock you to know that the Bible actually talks about the “baptism for the dead.”  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then be baptized for the dead?” – 1 Corinthians 15:29

     Interpretations.  There have been many interpretations of this verse.  One group believes that this verse is teaching “proxy baptism” for their deceased loved ones and friends.  They want unbelievers to have another opportunity to be saved after death and enjoy the blessings of heaven.  What a noble idea.  But is this possible?  Suppose the deceased person really hated God for not answering his prayer in life and didn’t want to spend eternity with God or Christians?  Believe it or not, there are many people who don’t believe God exists, and if He did they want nothing to do with Him or live under any of His rules.  Is this how you think and feel about God?

     Rules.  There are two principles of interpretation that we need to follow if we want to come up with a good understanding of what was written.  What is the context of the verse?  Are there other passages of Scripture that deal with the same subject?  Does the interpretation contradict other truths in the Scriptures (the 66 books of the Bible) that are crystal clear?  Woe to those who add to, subtract from, or who twist the Word of God (Revelation 22:18, 19; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter 3:16).

     Dangerous.  It is very dangerous to build a whole system of doctrine and practice around a questionable verse in the Bible.  Should we lead people to believe that they can actually save someone from hell by their good works such as being baptized for a dead person?  Others believe that by praying for the dead or giving money to a church the suffering of the deceased person can be shortened.  Do you believe that the dead person’s eternal destiny is really determined at the moment of physical death or are there other opportunities after death?  What does the Bible say about this (Hebrews 9:27)?

     Savior.  We believe that there is only one Savior of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31).  He died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  Only His sacrificial death for man’s sins is a sufficient and acceptable payment to God the Father for our sins (1 John 2:2).  We, as sinners, can’t die vicariously and pay the penalty for the sins of other people (Romans 6:23).  Jesus Christ is the just One who died for unjust ones like you and me (1 Peter 3:18).

     Key.  We believe the key to interpreting this verse correctly revolves around the preposition “for.”  This word in the Greek language conveys the idea of substitution.  (The New Testament was written in Greek.)  With this in mind, let’s translate the verse as we believe it can/should be.  “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized ‘in place of’ the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then be baptized for the dead?”

     Quote.  “Paul is not here speaking of baptizing living believers in place of either believers or unbelievers who have died.  There is no assignment of saving efficacy [effectiveness] to baptism.  The argument is: Of what value is it for one to trust Christ and be baptized [immersed] in the ranks left vacant by the believing dead, if there is no resurrection for believers?  Why place life in jeopardy and forfeit the benefits of this life, if there is no life after death?” – Dr. C. I. Scofield

     Impossible.  The Scriptures clearly teach us if we are to be saved from hell to heaven, it must be on the basis of God’s grace (unmerited favor) through faith in Jesus Christ alone.  Our deliverance and the salvation of others, is not based of our works or another person’s good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Eternal life is a free gift from God to all who believe on Christ (Romans 6:23).  It cost Jesus His life, but it is available to all men everywhere (John 3:16).  This includes you and me.  Have you accepted this gift yet (1 John 5:13)?  If not, why not do so right now?

     Results.  Since Christians believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and in our own bodily resurrection, this doctrine should: bind us as believers together with cords of love (15:29; John 13:34, 35; Ephesians 4:4; Hebrews 10:24, 25), help us abstain from sexual immorality (15:32b; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 3:3), enable us bear up during hard times (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 15:32; 2 Timothy 2:10 ), and motivate us to share the Gospel with unbelievers.  Are you joyfully doing these things?  Shouldn’t we serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm100:2)?

     Help!  If you would like additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond with our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.  Our web site was designed with people like you in mind.

   There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people regarding the true and living God.  Is He one or three?  Is Jesus Christ God or a god inferior to God the Father?  Was Jesus Michael the archangel before He came to earth?  Are Jesus and Lucifer brothers?  Is Mary, the mother of Jesus a fourth person in the Godhead?  Is she more sympathetic than Jesus and should we pray to her?  Is she another mediator between God and man? 

     One God –Three Persons.  Assuming that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) who exists as three persons (Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 30:4; Matthew 28:19), let’s try to understand what God’s Word says about them in their relationship to each other. (We limit ourselves to the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.  Other cults add to the Scriptures and are in danger of God’s judgment. Revelation 22:18, 19)

     Comprehension.  Since we are finite beings who are limited by time and space, we cannot really comprehend eternal existence.  Furthermore, the natural, unsaved man and the carnal Christian will think the following information to be foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4).  Those believers who are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (the Divine teacher and illuminator – 1 John 2:27) have the potential to understand this information.

     God.  He is declared in the Scriptures to be eternal; He has no beginning or end (Deuteronomy 32:27).  God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are also said to be eternal (1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 9:14).  All three persons share the same Divine essence and nature.  They all have these attributes:  goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love.

     Relationships.  In eternity past, the three Persons in the Godhead shared a horizontal relationship with each other.  During time the relationships have changed from a horizontal relationship to a vertical relationship.  One or more of them would be submissive to the other persons in the God head (To be explained later.)  When eternity future begins, the horizontal relationship will be resumed (1 Corinthians 15:28; Revelation 21:1).

     Council Meeting.  Before creating the heavens and the earth, spirit beings and human beings (Genesis 1:1, 26; Colossians 1:15, 16), the three Persons in the Godhead got together to discuss what they would like to do. Many options were available to them (Matthew 11:21-24). Then it was agreed that One of them would come to the earth where sinful men lived.  This Person would reveal to human beings and spirit beings what God was/is like (John 1:1-18; Ephesians 3:10).  Knowing that mankind would rebel against Him (John 1:11), the Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ (who shared/shares an absolute equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit – Colossians 2:9), volunteered to come (Hebrews 10:9) and to be sent by God the Father to this earth to glorify the Father (John 3:16; 17:4).  One of the ways He did this was by living a sinless life Himself and then by dying as a perfect substitute for the sins of all men everywhere – past, present, and future (John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2). 

     Resurrection/Ascension.  After rising bodily from the dead, Jesus went back to heaven in full view of His disciples (Acts 1:9).  At that time God the Father exalted Him and gave Him all authority and power to carry out the rest of God’s plan known as the “Decree” (Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:22, 23).  The Father exempted Himself and did not become submissive to God the Son (1 Corinthians 15:27).  Then Jesus, the God-man, sent God the Holy Spirit to earth to be our Helper and to indwell all Christians (John 14:16, 17; 15:26).  Our bodies are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).

     Things To Come.  Once God’s plan has been accomplished and Jesus has subdued His enemies, reigned for 1,000 years on earth, and raised all the dead (Revelation 19:20; 20:1-15), He will turn all His authority over to God the Father who will reestablish a horizontal relationship among the Persons in the Godhead (1 Corinthians 15:28).

     Submission.  It carries with it the idea of putting yourself at the disposal of another person so you can receive benefit from him.  During time, God has a plan or “chain of command” for believers (1 Corinthians 11:3).  Without it there would be disorder and more chaos in our world.

     Glory.  As God the Son came to earth to glorify His Father (John 17:4) so we should glorify God in everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Jesus always obeyed His Father and did His will (Hebrews 10:9).  Do you know that “…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23)?

     Questions.  If you are a true child of God, have you submitted to the authority of God (Romans 12:1, 2), the government (Romans 13:1ff), your husband, parents, employer (Ephesians 5:22; 6:1-9; 1 Peter 3:1-7), Pastor (Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-5), teachers, and other spiritual leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 12)?  They exist, like an umbrella, for our safety.

     Humility.  Have you humbled yourself before God and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave?  If not, why not receive Him now before it’s eternally too late (John 1:12)?

      Prayer. Will you, like Jesus, say to God the Father, “Not my will, but Your will, be done” (Luke 22:42)?  They hymn writer 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.” – Austin Miles.  Those Christians who are habitually being led by God the Holy Spirit are the maturing sons of God (Romans 8:14).

     Help.  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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