Archive for the ‘James’ Category

Try to imagine what our world would look like without just judges. Men with moral integrity should be elected as legislators since they are the ones who are given the power to make the rules for a civilized society. The executive branch of the government is supposed to enforce the laws and punish the evil doers. In our country we still have the opportunity to vote for those whom we believe will serve us well. Have you ever thought of praying for such people (1 Timothy 2:1-4)?

Citizen. To be a good one, we should do our best to abide by the laws of the land in which we live (Romans 13:1-7). If man’s laws happen to violate God’s laws, Christians must obey God’s laws and, if necessary, suffer the consequences (Acts 5:29; 1 Peter 4:16; Daniel 3:18-25; 6:10-13).

John 3:16. It used to be one of the most quoted Bible verses. Can you recite it from memory? But in more recent days, Matthew 7:1 seems to be quoted more often. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Do you know the ones to whom Jesus said these words (Matthew 7:5, 6)? Unfortunately, many people have the idea that no one should ever judge anyone else. Suppose that were the case. You wouldn’t be able to accuse another person of taking your property or violating your “rights.”  We wouldn’t need the government and people would be acting lawlessly in anarchy. It seems like we’re not that far from this condition in our country today.

Question. What can/should a Christian do with regards to judging others? Should he form no opinions about anything and let others do whatever they want to do? Do you think that you have the right to do whatever you want to do even if other people are harmed by your actions? Do you think the government should be able to take what you’ve earned by hard work and give it to someone who refuses to work?   Have you considered what God says about those who won’t work (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 6:6)?  Would you really want to live in such a society?

First. Before tying to help another person with his problem, one should do his best to make sure that he doesn’t have a greater problem than the one he is trying to help. If your eye Doctor had a big nail in his own eye, you wouldn’t want him to try to take out the small speck in your eye until the nail had been taken out of his own eye and he sees clearly again.

Qualifications. Before trying to help someone in the spiritual realm, it’s important that the person be spiritually alive or born again from above (John 3:3, 6; Ephesians 2:1). Not everyone who professes to be a Christian is one. There are those who believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23). Furthermore, some Christians haven’t confessed their known sins to God and to others whom they have offended (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). They aren’t growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), and they aren’t abiding (feeling at ease) in Christ (John 15:4-10). Not everyone is motivated by Christ’s love (1 Corinthians 13; 2 Corinthians 5:14). Some people slander or gossip about others to make themselves look better (Philippians 1:15-18). Are you driven by a bitter, jealous spirit or by God’s love?

Cooperation. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3)? The spiritual Christian’s primary purpose is to glorify God by making Him know to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). The natural, unsaved man is concerned about temporal things that will all be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10-13).  He doesn’t receive (welcome) the things of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). The Spirit filled believer (Ephesians 5:18) realizes that he is just passing through this world on his way to heaven (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11). He may use the present world system but he is not to abuse it or love it (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). He should be concerned for the people for whom Christ died (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2) and should tell them about God’s amazing plan of salvation.

Gospel. The Gospel (Good News) we must believe in order to be saved is, “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The only condition for salvation is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Have you done this yet? If not, why not right now?

Motives. God alone is omniscient. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Jesus is omniscient and shares all the attributes of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 2:24, 25; Colossians 2:9). God alone knows fully and completely why we do what we do. On judgment day Judge Jesus (John 5:22) will unveil all our motives and reward the good works of believers that stood the test (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Attitudes, Words, Actions. Before a Christian sins, he trespasses (Ephesians 2:1; James 1:13, 14). Bad attitudes usually lead to sinful actions. When a Spirit filled fellow Christian detects a bad attitude in another believer, he can/should come along side that person and try to help him adjust his attitude (Galatians 6:1-5). Christians can/should judge (evaluate) their own words and actions (1 Corinthians 11:28, 31) and may do the same with others (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 6:1-8).

Law Of LoveWhile love is only one of God’s attributes (1 John 4:8) and must be balanced with all His other attributes, the “Royal Law” (James 2:8) involves our loving our neighbor as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). That was the best that an Old Testament believer could do. As they loved themselves, they were also to love their neighbor. But the new commandment Christ gave to His disciples involved a greater intensity of love when He said, “You are to love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34, 35). When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walks by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25) he will have the “Fruit of the Spirit” produced in his life. These nine parts of the fruit must be directed properly toward the right objects at the right time. It’s possible for this fruit to be misdirected toward the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17).

Ask. When someone wants to slander another person or gossip about him or her, you might ask “Why are you telling me this? Where did you get your information? Have you spoken to the person about this? Have you checked all the facts? May I quote you on this?” Doing this might impede slander and gossip about other people. When we’re tempted to gossip, tattle, or lie about another person, we need to put on the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14).

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Help. If you have questions or comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit or website for more information: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Some people just love to fight with others. “There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. But God’s Word says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you [as individual Christians], live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance in Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:18, 19).

Government. This doesn’t mean that the government shouldn’t protect its citizens from those who would inflict harm or want to kill them. Not all wars are evil (Exodus 32:27; Numbers 33:52-56; Joshua 6:21; 8:24; 13:22; Revelation 19:11). When Christ returns to this earth He will crush His enemies with His metaphorical rod of iron (Psalm 2:9; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 19:15).

Self Defense. Just before He went to the cross, Jesus told His disciples to buy swords for their own protection (Luke 22:36-38). They didn’t have guns in those days. “But if anyone does not provide [food and clothing] for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8; 6:8). It makes sense to believe that God expects us to protect those in our care even if it means the sacrifice of our own lives (1 John 3:16, 17).

Universal Salvation? The Scriptures don’t teach the eventual, universal salvation of all men and the Devil. God predicted that the descendants of a certain man would be wild and whose hand would be against every man (Genesis 16:11, 12). Do you know of whom He spoke? Believe it or not, they too are people for whom Christ died and can be saved (1 John 2:2).

One Race. All of us come from Adam and Eve, our first parents (Acts 17:26; Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Jesus Himself validated the legitimate, heterosexual marriage of a man and a women (Matthew 19:4-6). There is only one race – the human race. Furthermore, we all came from one of Noah’s three sons who survived the universal flood (Genesis 7-10). When man disobeyed God and refused to scatter out and fill the earth, God came down and confused their language at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). As these people with different languages scattered and intermarried closely with each other, certain physical characteristics developed and tribes and nations were formed. Do you know when the continents came into being (Genesis 10:25)?

God’s Tools. God is also the one who sets up rulers (Psalm 75:7; Daniel 4:17, 25), nations, and their boundaries, and determines the length of their existence. God predicted the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires (Daniel 2, 7). When a nation (including the Jews) got too far out of line, God often used another nation as His sword to punish and bring it down (Ezekiel 30:24, 25). “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

Future. But God isn’t finished with the Jews as a nation (Romans 11). He will give them the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants. Do you know the boundaries of it (Genesis 15:18-21)? Take God’s advice – Don’t curse them (Genesis 12:1-3). Do you know what “Replacement Theology” is?  Click here – http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

One World Government. God is opposed to the one world government that seems to be on the horizon. It will be controlled by a mortal man (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). He will be empowered by the Devil (Revelation 13:2). God will allow this wicked beast like man to try to bring lasting peace to this earth without Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Yes, there will be a one world government and religion but God will limit this experiment to a 7 year period of time (Daniel 2:41-43; 9:27; Revelation 17, 18). Otherwise, no one would survive on planet earth (Matthew 24:22). Do the math to figure out how many people will perish during this time (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). Do you know what the four horsemen represent?

Tribulation. God will use this time of Jacob’s trouble (The Great Tribulation – Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-28; Revelation 6-19) to punish the wicked men of the earth and to bring a remnant of believing Jews and Gentiles through this awful holocaust and cause them to enter Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-7). They will repopulate the renovated earth (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1-10; 35:1-10; 40:4; Luke 3:5) along with Gentile believers who survive the tribulation (Zechariah 12, 14; Matthew 25:31-40; Romans 9:27).

Captivity. By the way, do you know why the Jews were taken into captivity in Babylon for 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:21) and why they have suffered as they have even to the present time (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28; Jeremiah 50:34; Matthew 27:25)? What is “the time of the Gentiles?” When did it begin and when will it end (Luke 21:24; Daniel 2:34, 35, 44; Revelation 19:11- 21). What is “the fullness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25; John 6:37)? What happens right after this (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 51)? Are you ready for it? What happens to those who have heard and rejected the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12; John 3:18, 36)?  When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone?

Capital Punishment. God expects the government to use the sword (capital punishment) against those who murder others unjustly (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7). When it fails to administer justice swiftly, crime increases. “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

Corruption. God is opposed to corrupt judges who take bribes (Isaiah 33:15; Amos 5:12). Don’t kid yourself, He knows everything (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24) and will hold all of us accountable for our words and actions (Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5). Jesus will be the Righteous Judge on judgment day (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 3:11-14; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:11-15). Pastors and teachers also will be judged by stricter standards (James 3:1; Hebrews 13:17; Ezekiel 34:1-10). Those who do their job the way Christ wants it done will receive the crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4). But the everlasting doom of false prophets and teachers is almost beyond description (2 Peter 2; Jude 1). There is no annihilation or reincarnation of the wicked taught in the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Hebrews 9:27).

Pray. We, as Christians, should pray for those in authority over us so we can lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence. Those in positions of authority should submit to God’s authority or face His wrath (Psalm 2). God desires all men to be saved from the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). If you’re a true Christian, are you doing your part in telling the lost about Jesus (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8)?

Fights. When carnal Christians get into fights with other people because of their greed and selfishness (James 4:1-4; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4), they should recognize that this grieves God greatly (Ephesians 4:30). James, the Lord’s half brother, tells us that we need to lament, mourn, weep, and stop laughing about such sinful behavior (James 4:9, 10; Psalm 10:3-11). Instead, we’re supposed to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and confess our sins (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). When we do this, and order our lives by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25), He will exalt us in His time and way (James 4:9, 10).

Destiny. Where are you headed when you die? Are you sure? You can be (1 John 5:13). “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Help. If you aren’t sure about your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re here to help you. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We can be reached at 805-238-3549. Visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.

Links:

http://www.gotquestions.org/self-defense.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-weapons.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/bullying.html

Conflicts. Some people have more of them than others.  Do you like to argue and fight? Is it your way of getting attention or that which doesn’t belong to you (James 4:1-5)? Do you covet and envy (Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:19-21)? Have you ever underestimated the strength of your opponent and been humiliated? Living in peace with others is desirable (Psalm 133:1) but it isn’t always possible (Romans 12:19). Christians can avoid a lot of heartaches by following some Biblical injunctions and relying on God the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13). These commands are not conditions for salvation* but principles for living a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Pride – Fall. It is the devil who tempts us to be proud (1 Timothy 3:6). We must counter this destructive attitude (Proverbs 6:17) by submitting to God (James 4:7) and then putting on the whole armor of God while focusing our attention on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). We have no righteousness of any value (Isaiah 64:6) apart from Christ’s righteousness that is imputed to us (Romans 4:24). A Christ like spirit of humility can/should be displayed at all times (Philippians 2:5-16). God’s ways are better than man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

Draw Near. Unsaved people don’t draw near to God or seek Him (Romans 3:10). God is the One who initiates our salvation (John 6:44, 65; Philippians 1:29). Once he became a Christian, the Apostle Paul wanted to have an experiential knowledge of Christ and the power of His resurrection to do the will of God for his life (Philippians 3:10). It’s not enough to have mere head knowledge and agree with the facts of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2). The demons do this (James 2:19). No one comes to Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:44, 65). Those who place their faith in Christ alone for their salvation are brought near to God by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Without His substitutionary death for our sins and His bodily resurrection from the dead we couldn’t be saved (Hebrews 9:22; Romans 4:25; Galatians 2:20). On what basis are you trying to enter heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

Don’t Drift. Yes, it is possible for Christians to drift away from God and become carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) without losing their salvation (John 10:28, 29; Luke 15:11-32). If there is a distance between you and God, who moved (James 1:17)? When we honestly confess our sins to our heavenly Father…He forgives us (1 John 1:9). Some people have a problem accepting God’s forgiveness and getting back on track. To keep from yielding to the temptations that come from our sin nature, we must walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18). When we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with the Father (1 John 1:3-7). Then we can/should come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Why not abide (feel at ease) with Him so He can feel at ease with you (John 15:4-11)?

Cleanse Your Hands. Some folks have blood on their hands as did Lady Macbeth. Pilate tried to cleanse himself from Christ’s blood by washing his hands in water. The Jews brought a curse on themselves when they said, “His [Christ’s] blood be on us and our children” (Matthew 27:24, 25). It has been to this day. But as strange as it may seem, without the shedding of Christ’s blood no one could be saved (Hebrews 9:22). He died for our sins and paid the penalty of death that we owed to God the Father (Romans 6:23). His bodily resurrection from the dead proves to us that the Father was satisfied with Christ’s payment (Romans 4:25; John 6:10).

Sinners Saved. Some of the believers at Corinth had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. But when they got saved they were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11). It was like having a complete bath from head to toe (Titus 3:5).

Wash Your Feet. Before going to the cross, Jesus washed His disciples feet to teach them a lesson about their need for ongoing cleansing and having a servant’s attitude (John 13:10). Obviously, this is metaphorical language. Christians can/do sin periodically (1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10). But when we do, we should be quick to confess each sin specifically to God and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Those who fail to do this may suffer from severe disciplinary action (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30). Are you trying to serve God with unclean hands (Psalm 24:4; 2 Timothy 2:21)?

Purify Your Hearts. An unsaved man can’t purify his own heart. It is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Self reformation brings on a worse condition (Matthew 12:43-45). It leads to pride and a fall (Proverbs 16:18). We all need a new heart (nature) from God (2 Peter 1:4). A true Christian can be but shouldn’t be double-minded (James 1:6-8, 26, 27). We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We cannot love God and the present world system at the same time (1 John 2:15-17). “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Confused? Don’t confuse the only condition for salvation (“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” Acts 16:31) with the believer’s rules for daily life and Christian growth (2 Peter 3:18). Do you know where you can find them? All the 66 books of the Scriptures are to be believed as absolute truth (John 17:17). But only some of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). It’s not hard to see that there are different rules for living in the Old and New Testaments. “…for you [Christians] are not under [Mosaic] law but under grace” (Romans 6:14. See Galatians 3:1-3; 5:1). The result of a normal interpretation of the Scriptures and rightly dividing it will result in “Dispensationalism” (2 Timothy 2:15). To learn more, ask for a FREE “Dispensational Chart.”

Spiritual. While any/every Christian can/should be spiritual from the moment of salvation, spiritual maturity takes time and is the result of abiding (feeling at ease) in Christ (John 15:1-8) and walking in the light as God is in the light (1 John 1:3-8).

Help. If you have questions or comments, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.

* “Terms of Salvation”  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/termsof.htm

 

 

Although the Devil/demons can only tempt Christians after they have secured permission from God (Job 1:12; 2:6; Ephesians 6:13; Luke 22:31), their attacks seem to be harder to resist and may last for a longer period of time (Job 1, 2). But with the power that comes from God (Philippians 3:10; 4:13), Christians can be victorious over any and all temptations that come our way (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 4:4). Our spiritual enemies include the Devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system. When resisting the Devil, we must use the armor of God that includes the –

Shield Of Faith. This piece of the armor involves our faith (trust) in God and His Word, particularly as it relates to His promises that have been given to us as Christians who live in the “Dispensation of Grace” (Ephesians 3:1-12). Do you know where to find them in the Scriptures? (Ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart”)  We must not try to claim the promises that were given specifically to the Jews. Doing this has caused a lot of people to become disappointed or angry at God for not fulfilling their expectations. Were you or are you being misled by someone who is teaching you a heresy?  We don’t believe in “Replacement Theology.” (http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html)

Application. First, we must know the promises of God. Then we must claim them by faith and make them our own (Hebrews 4:2). Sometimes the fulfillment of these promises may be delayed, but if God said it, we can/should believe it. Wait patiently for Him to keep His Word (Galatians 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10). He is faithful to His Word, because He is truthful (John 14:6). He has the ability to do what He promises to do because He is omnipotent (Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). He cannot deny Himself or go back on His promises (1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Timothy 2:13; James 1:17).

Faith. It is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). God supplies it to Christians who have their known sins confessed to Him (1 John 1:9), and who are filled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Unconfessed sins grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). We quench Him and render Him inoperative in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:19) when we deny or say “no” to Him and refuse to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Romans 8:14; James 4:17). His leading will never contradict the Scriptures. Once saved, we can’t get rid of the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:17).

Fiery Darts. When a maturing Christian is being attacked by the devil, he must be aware of the fact that the Devil may change the circumstances around him or his opportunities to sin (Job 1, 2). Instead of being attacked in just one area, the Devil may tempt us from multiple angles so as to get us to sin (1 John 3:4) and render us ineffective in our service to God (John 15:5; Philippians 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Do you feel “washed up” and “out of commission” due to some sins you’ve committed? Then change your mind (repent) and confess your known sins to God (2 Corinthians 7:9; 1 John 1:9). Claim God’s forgiveness. Make yourself available to Him by yielding yourself and the members of your body to God (Romans 6:11-14, 12:1, 2).

Doubt. Since man’s first days on earth, Satan has tempted human beings to doubt God and His Word (Genesis 3:1). He used and continues to use the “allegorical” method to interpret the Bible. It changes the clear meaning of words into something completely different than that which God intended to convey to us. Although this method was/is used primarily in the area of eschatology (future things), it is sometimes used to interpret other teachings in the Scriptures. The Apostle Peter warned Christians about this deception (2 Peter 3:16). We must rightly see and make Biblical distinctions between the rules in the Old Testament and the New Testament (2 Timothy 2:15). While all the Scriptures are to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced by Christians (Titus 1:9). The shield of faith must be used to overcome the temptation to doubt God and His Word. Are you doing this? He rewards believers who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Helmet Of Salvation. A Christian’s past tense of salvation occurred when he placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Ephesians 2:8, 9). Our present tense salvation is based on Christ’s current session (ministry) in heaven where He intercedes for those who belong to Him (Hebrews 7:25). He can’t/won’t lose any believer (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30). All true Christians are eternally secure in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

Discipline. The fact that God disciplines all His children who “get out of line” and will do whatever it takes to transform them into Christ’s image (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 3:18), guarantees their eternal security (Hebrews 12:5-11). Every person starts out life as a child of the Devil and needs to be born from above (John 3:3, 16; 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). Once saved, God expects us to start acting like Christians (Galatians 2:20). He puts His desires in us and empowers us to do His desirous will (Philippians 2:13; 4:13). Our future tense salvation will take place at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). This is when our bodies and souls (emotions) will be saved (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9).

Application. When we metaphorically put on the helmet of salvation, and think about all that Jesus (the God-man) provided for us when He saved us, we will be able to overcome discouragement (Job 19:7-12), disappointment (Job 3:3-10, 17:1, 13, 16), cowardice (2 Timothy 1:7; Luke 22:31-33; 1 John 4:4), and an unforgiving spirit (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11; Ephesians 4:31, 32).

Trials. The Christian’s trials in life came to pass, not to stay with us forever. In heaven there will be no more tears, death, sorrows, or pain (Revelation 21:4). Not all who die R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) in their graves (Luke 16:19-31). Consider the unbeliever’s everlasting fate (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8). Where will you spend eternity? Why should God let you into His heaven? Read Ephesians 2:8, 9 and Titus 3:5. Ask for help if you are not sure about your eternal destiny (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13).

Riches. Every Christian has been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer has identified in the Scriptures about 33 major things that transpired the moment a person placed his/her faith in Christ alone for salvation. Discover some of the Christian’s spiritual blessings found in Ephesians chapter 1.

Sword Of The Spirit. This piece of the metaphorical armor is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). In the Greek language (in which the New Testament was written) the word is “rhema,” not “logos.” The “logos” often refers to the entire Word of God (The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments – John 17:17), whereas “rhema” refers, in this passage, to individual words or sayings that can/should be used to respond to the temptations to use filthy speech (Ephesians 4:29) rather than appropriate words in any given situation. What we say or don’t say in our conversations with others conveys messages to them. The avoidance of foul language doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is a Christian (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Our language should be pure (Proverbs 15:26) and edify others (1 Thessalonians 5:11), rather than tear them down (Galatians 5:15). What effect do your words have on others?

Our Words. The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 190:14). “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). The Apostle Paul wrote, “In everything (in the midst of it) give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). For this reason, we must guard our hearts with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

Thoughts. “…whatever things are true…noble…just…pure…lovely…[and of] good report…mediate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). The blessed man doesn’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit down with the scornful. Instead he delights and meditates in God’s law (Psalm 1:3). The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to meditate on Biblical truth (1 Timothy 4:15). Don’t engage in transcendental meditation (T.M.) and many forms of what is called “contemplative prayers.” (http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-meditation.html)

Busybody. When a Christian is focused on being what God wants him to be, and doing and saying what God wants him to do and say, he, at that moment, won’t be engaged as a busybody in other people’s business.

Caution. Let’s be aware of the Devil’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and take the Biblical steps to overcome him when he tempts us. “Greater is He (God) who is in us than he (the Devil) who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Contact. We desire to help those who sincerely want to know and do God’s will. If you’re teachable and willing to change when you see truth from God’s Word, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.

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Christians who want to live victoriously over the Devil’s temptations, and avoid strong disciplinary action from God the Father (Hebrews 12:5-11), must be sober and vigilant to detect Satan’s attacks (1 Peter 5:8). Before resisting him, we must submit to God (James 4:7), and then put on the whole armor of God each time we’re attacked (Ephesians 6:10-17). All his temptations are mental (2 Corinthians 2:11) and so the armor must be put on with the use of our renewed minds (Romans 12:1, 2). Let’s consider the –

Loins Of Truth. Truth involves our being open and honest, and not concealed. Nothing is or can be hidden from God (Hebrews 4:13). He’s omniscient (Isaiah 46:10). His Word is truth and His opinion of Himself, and of others is accurate and reliable (John 17:17). As the God-man, Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the truth (John 14:6) and equal to God the Father (John 5:18; 10:31) and the Apostle Paul affirmed this (Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9). When we declare the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), we can’t be telling lies or be gossiping at the same time (Acts 5:4-6; 1 Timothy 5:13-15; 1 Corinthians 13:6). Telling a half truth with the intent to deceive is also a lie. All those whose lives are characterized by telling lies (along with some other qualities) will be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). Do you lie? How often? What are we supposed to do when we lie (1 John 1:9)? Do you know what the only unforgivable sin is (John 16:8-11).

Breastplate Of Righteousness. The Scriptures are clear, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from God in hell (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). But God the Father loved us while we were sinners, and Jesus Christ, the God-man died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Unless Christ’s righteousness is put to our account, we won’t be able to enter into God’s presence in heaven (John 16:10). This righteousness can’t be earned by us lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). The only way we can get it is by imputation (Romans 4:11, 22). This happens to us when we place our faith in the Christ of the Scriptures (not the Christ of the cults) for our salvation. God’s sees believers as dying with Christ and rising with Him into newness of life (Galatians 2:20). This is known as “positional righteousness.” “Practical righteousness” is the result of living our lives rightly (God’s way). When a Christian realizes that the only real righteousness he has is what was imputed to him, he will have no cause to be proud (1 Timothy 3:6) or to act independently of God (Isaiah 14:14; John 15:5). I know. All this may seem foolish to some of you as the Apostle Paul said it would be (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14).  Even the Apostle Peter admitted that some of Paul’s writing were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:15, 16). But if God’s Word teaches it, believe it.

Feet – Gospel Of Peace. Spirit filled believers can/should be motivated to serve God and others (especially fellow Christians – John 13:34, 35; Galatians 6:10) by directing the Fruit of the Spirit properly (2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 John 2:15-17). We should endure all things for the salvation of those whom the Father has given to the Son (John 6:37, 44; 2 Timothy 2:10). Before an unbeliever can be saved, he must be exposed to the unadulterated Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Then he must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” to be saved (Acts 16:31). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Both Jews and non-Jews are saved the same way (Romans 1:16, 17). When a Christian is eager to share the Gospel with others, he won’t be stealing things but he will be giving to others instead (Ephesians 4:27, 28). He’ll discover that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). He won’t be spiritually lazy (1 Timothy 5:13) or bitter toward God or others (Hebrews 12:15; Ephesians 4:31)

Lawlessness. Believe it or not, Christians don’t have to sin even though we will sin periodically (1 John 2:1; 3:4). Sin (lawlessness or rebellion against God) has terrible consequences for unbelievers (Romans 6:23; Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46), and for disobedient Christians whose physical lives could be terminated prematurely without losing their salvation (Hebrews 12:5-11; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). God will discipline His children and do whatever it takes to transform us into Christ’s image (Romans 12:1, 2).  Yes, we believe in the eternal security of every true believer (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30). Sadly, there are many people who profess Christ as Savior without possessing eternal life as a present possession (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 5:13). Are you one of them? Make sure you’re saved.

Provision. God has provided everything a Christian needs to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Peter 1:3) and to live victoriously over his spiritual enemies: the devil, his own sin nature, and the present world system. But we must be diligent and study God’s Word carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17).  Then we must apply “grace truths” for Christians to our own lives (James 1:22).  All Scripture is for us, but not all of it is to us (Titus 1:9).

Wisdom. God delights in giving wisdom to believers who ask Him for it (James 1:5). We need to be patient and wait for God’s perfect timing (Galatians 5:22, 23; Romans 8:25). In the meantime, Christians are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 6:10). Are you doing this?

Help. If you have spiritual questions and are looking for answers from the Bible, perhaps we can help you. Call 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, click on “Follow.” If they bless or help you, will you pass the information to others?

To be continued.

 

Recently a prankster took quite a bit of time to change the sign in front of our church building which read “Satan’s Fiery Darts.” He thought it would be funny to overlay the “D” with a “F.” Well, in spite of his prank, he should realize that Satan is a real spirit being who has a mind (2 Corinthians 2:11), a will (Isaiah 14:13, 14), and emotions (Revelation 12:12). He’s not a joke.  He is God’s enemy and the enemy of true Christians. He has 14 different tools in his bag and uses them quite effectively against humans.  With how many of them are you familiar?  They are not to be confused with the temptations that come from our sin nature* (Galatians 5:19-21) or the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31).

Sober. Christians are told to be sober and vigilant because the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Will you be his next victim? It’s better to die a martyr’s death and gain the crown of life than to yield to his temptations (Revelation 2:10; James 1:12). Yes, there are people who want to kill those who speak or write the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Some of them even believe that they are doing God a service (John 16:2).  The Apostle Paul thought this way before he became a Christian (Galatians 1:13).

Threatened.  By the way, I have a friend in our country who told me recently that he has had death threats for writing the truth. Please supplicate for him. The Devil is a murderer and a liar and the father of liars (John 8:44). Is he or God your real father (1 John 3:9, 10)? Have you been born again from above (John 3:3, 6; 2 Peter 1:4)?

Rabies. Maybe you heard about the fellow who was told by his physician, “Yes indeed, you do have rabies.” Upon hearing this, the patient immediately pulled out a pad and pencil and began to write. Thinking the man was making out his will, the doctor said, “Listen, this doesn’t mean you’re going to die. There is a cure for rabies.” “Oh, I know that,” the man said. “I’m just makin’ a list of all the people I’m gonna bite.” Many folks live by the rule, “Don’t get mad; get even.” God tells us, “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will repay” (Romans 12:19).

Unforgiving Spirit. This temptation comes to us from the devil (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11). It can lead to the suffering of many innocent people and it can have devastating consequences on the one who maintains this attitude. Are you full of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15) and do you have an unforgiving spirit (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11)? In light of all that God has forgiven believers who have placed their faith exclusively in the Christ of the Scriptures (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31), through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4), it’s only logical for us to forgive others who have made honest confession (Ephesians 4:32; James 5:16). Do you have a bitter, unforgiving spirit? Do you know which piece of the armor counters this temptation (Ephesians 6:17)?

Torment. Christians who refuse to forgive others open themselves up to demonic oppression and severe depression (Matthew 18:34) as well as physical and/or mental disturbances and a premature death (1 John 5:16). God disciplines His children during this life only so that we won’t be condemned with the unsaved people of this world in the future (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Revelation 20:11-15). Once genuinely saved, a believer can never lose his/her salvation (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30). Do you have such an assurance (1 John 5:13)?

Example. The believers in the church of Corinth were tolerating one of their members who was living in an incestuous relationship with his mother (1 Corinthians 5:1-8). Such vile practices weren’t even named by the pagans around them. To cleanse the church of such sin and the evil influence it would have on others, the Apostle Paul demanded that they expel this brother from the assembly meetings and turn him over to the devil for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (Rapture). This drastic action on the part of the church resulted in the man’s repenting (2 Corinthians 7:9) and confessing his sin (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). But then the church didn’t want to take him back into the fellowship. So the Apostle Paul told them that they had fallen to the devil’s temptation to have a unforgiving spirit (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11). The purpose of church discipline is to restore a brother/sister after honest repentance and confession have been made.

Stealing. Theft is a real problem in our community and around the world. Have you ever been burglarized or robbed? We’ve had it happen to us. Recently I was told that one of local establishments lost a million dollars over the last year to thieves. By the way, do you know where thieves and other unforgiven sinners end up (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Revelation 21:8)? Do you fit into this category? What is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9)?

Taxation. There is no doubt about it – the people try to steal from the government and the government tries and most often succeeds in stealing from the people through excessive taxation (1 Kings 12:11). Yes, we should pay our taxes so the government can do its job to maintain orderliness and protect honest citizens.  God’s Word commands capital punishment and expects the government to terminate the lives of those who murder others unjustly (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:6; 21:12-36; Romans 13:1-7).

Robin Hood.  Some folks want the government to steal from “the rich” and give the money to people who can but refuse to work. Such people should be allowed to go hungry (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The government should encourage people to work hard. Consider the ants (Proverbs 6:6-11). Although it’s not the best form of government, God isn’t opposed to capitalism (Ephesians 4:28). We are supposed to work hard so that we can earn money and have things (capitalism) so we can take care of ourselves, our families, and others with real needs. Do you know what God’s Word says about those who refuse to take care of their own family (1 Timothy 5:8)?

Democracies. “A democracy [which the U.S. in not] cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” (Attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville)

Questions. Is this the condition of our beloved country today? How close are we to the new world order under the “Antichrist” and the one world church (Revelation 13, 17, 18)? What does the Bible predict about the future? Should Bible prophecy be interpreted normally or allegorically? Are you prepared to meet God and your future? What happens when you die (Hebrews 9:27; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8)? Where will you spend eternity (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46)? Can you be certain (1 John 5:13)?

Help. If you have spiritual needs and want answers to your questions, we’re here to help you discover what God says in His Word. It is God breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that [Christians] may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work that He planned for us to do while we are here on earth (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Ephesians 2:10). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or you may want to check out our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  If you would like to receive future articles as they come out, click on Follow.” 

*Sin Nature – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm

God’s adversary, the Devil, has within his tool box all kinds of things to try to ruin the true believer’s life while he is here on earth. Satan knows that he can’t take a believer’s salvation from him, but he can/does take the joy out of living for many believers who succumb to his enticements.

Coward. Whatever mental images you may have about the Apostle Peter, you should know that he was a very sincere man who told the Lord that he would never deny Him. Being the self confident man that he was, the Lord told him that the Devil wanted to sift all twelve disciples but He (Jesus) would only allow Satan to tempt Peter at that time (Luke 22:31-33). We all know that Peter ended up denying His Lord three times (John 18:15-17, 25, 27). Self confidence rather than confidence in God can/will lead to a fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Timothy. One of the Apostle Paul’s travel companion, Timothy, also yielded to Satan’s temptation to act in a cowardly manner while he was in Ephesus. The believers in Asia had forsaken Paul (2 Timothy 1:7-15; 2:2-5) and Timothy felt that his life was in jeopardy. So he kept his mouth shut.

Paul. On one occasion Paul himself was fearful when he came to the city of Corinth without his travel companions. His philosophical method that he had used in Athens didn’t result in a local church’s being established there. The Lord appeared to Paul in a vision to encourage him and to remind him that if he’d proclaim the Gospel in Corinth many people would be saved (Acts 18:9, 10; John 6:37). If you’re a Christian, perhaps you’ve faced a similar temptation to act in a cowardly manner when you tried to tell others about Christ. Do you know which piece of the armor you need to put on to counter this attack from Satan (Ephesians 6:17)?

Lying. We know that the Devil is a liar (John 8:44). He lied to Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:4). He tempted Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Spirit about the amount of money they received from the sale of some property that they owned (Acts 5:1-4). They wanted the same approbation that Barnabas had received for his generous gift to meet the needs of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem at that time (Acts 4:32-37). This incident was not one that should be used to promote socialism or communism that doesn’t work well.

Capitalism.  God is not opposed to capitalism even though many people have abused it (Ephesians 4:28). By the way, do you know what the best form of government is and when it will be established on earth (Revelation 19:16; Isaiah 9:6, 7)?

Deception.  While we don’t have to tell others everything they may want to know, it is a sin to tell a half truth with the intent to deceive others. Have you ever been guilty of this? Do you exaggerate? Do you know which piece of the armor is needed to overcome the temptation to lie (Ephesians 6:14)?

Pride. This temptation also comes as an attack from the Devil. It is an attitude that God hates (Proverbs 6:17; 8:13). When a new Christian, with the spiritual gift of a Pastor-teacher (Ephesians 4:11), is placed in a local church as a bishop (overseer), he is much more prone to be attacked by the devil to become proud (1 Timothy 3:6). Before he accepts such a position, he should be given some time to grow in the sphere of grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

Qualifications. Those in leadership positions, whether bishops (overseers) or deacons, need to have the Biblical qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13. Don’t follow an under-shepherd who doesn’t have them. He may be a hireling in the ministry for the money (John 10:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:3-10; 2 Peter 2:15).  James, the Lord’s half brother warned, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

Expectations. What does God say a Christian should expect in this life (2 Timothy 3:12)? What was the Apostle Paul’s experience (2 Corinthians 11:22-33)? Some people find their way into leadership positions to gain control over the church. Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence in the church, was such a man who even opposed the Apostle John (3 John 1:9-11).

Shepherds. They are to lead by example (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 2:5-11), not dictate from the rear (1 Peter 5:1-5). His job includes feeding, guiding, guarding, and healing the flock of God (Acts 20:28-30). He is not to “tickle people’s ears.” He is to convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching. Many of his listeners will not endure sound doctrine. They will want smooth talkers who tell them what they want to hear rather than the Word of God and what they need to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Questions. Have you yielded to these temptations? Would you like to live victoriously over your spiritual enemies: the Devil, your own sin nature, and the present world system? Are you teachable and willing to change if you can be shown from Scripture what God says (2 Timothy 2:2, 15, 24-16; 3:16, 17)?

Help. We’re here to show people how they can have eternal life as a present possession and a home in heaven by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 John 5:13; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians s15:3, 4). You may call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for more information.

The Devil loves to ensnare Christians and make our lives as miserable as he possibly can so that others will not desire to become Christians (2 Timothy 2:26). Do you know a Christian who seems to be entrapped by him? Maybe you feel like you are. Would you like to get out of his grasp? Those believers who repent by changing their minds (2 Corinthians 7:8; Revelation 2:5, 16, 21), and who honestly confess their sins to God will find forgiveness (2 Timothy 2:24-26; 1 John 1:9).

Darts. To keep from falling for the same temptations over and over again, it’s necessary for us to know about his methods and the darts that he hurls at our minds. We must not confuse his temptations with the ones that come from our own sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21) and others that come from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). We have three spiritual enemies and each one must be dealt with differently. Here are four of the fourteen temptations that Satan or his demons can place in a believer’s mind when God permits it (Luke 22:31, 32; Ephesians 6:13). God allows temptations so that we are given opportunities to demonstrate our love for God rather than the temporary pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Hebrews 11:25).

Disappointment. He used this temptation on Job by taking his belongings and killing his10 children all at once (Job 1). In the Old Testament times Satan held the keys of death and could kill anyone unless God told him he couldn’t (Hebrew 2:14). Today, Christ holds the keys of death (Revelation 1:18). Therefore, the Christian doesn’t need to fear death. Satan then used Job’s wife to tell him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). This led to his terrible disappointment but it didn’t result in his cursing God (John 3:1-13). No doubt he felt like asking, “Why me? I don’t deserve this.” Do you know what all of us deserve (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4, 20)? The proper response for a Christian is to give thanks in the midst of the circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things that God allows to come into our lives (Ephesians 5:20), and to rejoice in the Lord always by finding our ultimate delight in Him (Philippians 4:4). Do you do this?

 Discouragement. When we get discouraged, it’s very easy to start complaining as Job did (Job 19:19, 20). Perhaps we think, “God has forsaken me. He’s not concerned about me” (Psalm 10:11; 42:9). Perish the thought. God promised never to leave or forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5). Are you in God’s family or the devil’s (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10)? By complaining throughout their wilderness wanderings, the Jews brought severe discipline and a premature death on themselves. Many of them died and didn’t enter the “Promised Land” (1 Corinthians 10:10; Numbers 14:2-29). If you’re a Christian, have you ever thought of quitting the race you’re supposed to run (Hebrews 12:1)? Do you wonder if it’s worth it all (Romans 8:18)? The Apostle Paul reminded his readers that there is an imperishable crown awaiting those who run the race according to the rules (1 Corinthians 9:24, 25; 2 Timothy 2:5). There is also the crown of righteousness for those believers who love Christ’s any moment return (2 Timothy 4:8). It’s imminent. What do you know about the other three crowns that Christians can earn? Are you down in the dumps? Would you like to get out of your depressed condition and have true love, joy, and peace etc. in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)?

Bitterness. Instead of being sweet, many Christians end up their lives as bitter old people. They allow the circumstances of their lives to dictate how they are going to feel at any given moment. Job said, “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 10:1). Apparently he believed what his servant had said to him when he told him that “the fire of God fell from heaven and burned up [your] sheep and [your] servants” (Job 1:16). No, it was Satan who was responsible for these calamities. It’s amazing that the insurance companies call some catastrophes “acts of God” when they should be called “acts of the devil.” A bitter spirit can defile other people and it can lead to other sins (Hebrews 12:15). A spiritual Christian can have a part in helping to readjust a fellow believer’s bad attitude (1 Corinthians 2:15, 16; Galatians 6:1). Are you a spiritual or carnal Christian?

Doubt. After observing Adam and Eve for some time, Satan used the serpent to tempt Eve to doubt God’s Word. He was the first one to use the allegorical (not the normal) method of interpretation. He asked her, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’” (Genesis 3:1)? In other words, “Did God really say what He meant to say and mean what He said?” Then the devil told the truth when he said, “God knows that in the day you eat of [the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] that you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). The lie was, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Neither Satan nor Adam or Eve knew anything about physical death at that time. They hadn’t seen it yet. But when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they became spiritually dead (separated from God) and began to die physically. They lost the image of God and their garment of light (1 Corinthians 15:49) and gained a conscience instead. For the next 1,600 years people had to use their consciences to try to determine what was right and wrong. This ultimately led to such wickedness on earth that God had to bring judgment on them through a universal flood. Only Noah and his three sons and their wives were spared (Genesis 7, 8). For you skeptics who don’t believe the flood was universal, the high mountains came into being and the huge continental shifts took place after the flood in the days of a man called Peleg (Genesis 10:25).

Darkness. My friend, the Devil wants to keep people in darkness and away from the light and the truth of God’s Word. Christ died for all our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Without His bodily resurrection (Luke 24:33-43), we would be without hope (Ephesians 2:12). Our hope (confident expectation) is based on the promises of God. Jesus said, “I am the [only] way [to God the Father], the [absolute] truth, and the [one who gives eternal] life [to believers] . No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If you think that there are other ways to God, you’ll have to call Him a liar or a lunatic. No, we believe Jesus is the Lord or the God-man. He is God manifested in human form and all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him (John 1:1-14; Colossians 2:9).

Deliverance. Our deliverance from the eternal lake of fire to heaven is guaranteed when we place our faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone. Are you depending on your good works to get to heaven? Don’t! “For by grace [we are] saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Help? If you are concerned about your eternal destiny, and need additional information, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Pass the information on to someone else too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Portions of this material taken from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer

Far too many Christians are ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Rather than resisting him, they usually give in to his temptations and find themselves dominated or ensnared by him (2 Timothy 2:26). Others blame him for things when they should be taking responsibility for their own actions. Are you blaming others for your bad behavior? All unsaved people have a sin nature (disposition) but so do Christians who have been “born again from above” (John 3:6; 1 John 1:8). Those Christians who say that they don’t have one are simply deceiving themselves, not others.* We have three spiritual enemies: Satan, our own sin nature, and the present world system.  Do you know how to live victoriously?  Read on.

Stand. To enable us to stay standing rather than falling before the devil when he’s allowed to tempt us (1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:13), we must be aware of his subtle enticements to sin and take the appropriate Biblical steps to resist him (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). His temptations include:

Independence From God. Lucifer (Day Star), the bright and shining one, became dissatisfied with the role he had in God’s government even though he was above all other spirit beings including other cherubs, seraphs, and angels. He wanted to be like (not unlike) the Most High God (Isaiah 14:12-14). He didn’t like the idea of having to be accountable to God. Do you have the same problem? He sinned when he seduced one third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion against God (Ezekiel 28:14-19; Ephesians 6:12). He became Satan – God’s adversary.

Flood.  Then God flooded the whole earth that included Eden, the rock garden (Ezekiel 28:13), from where he once ruled under God (Genesis 1:2).  The flood of Noah’s day came later (Genesis 6, 7).  God did this to demonstrate to all the spirit beings how displeased He was with the heinous nature of Lucifer’s act of rebellion and sin against God. We’re not told how long God the Holy Spirit brooded in grief over the face of the waters that covered the whole earth at that time.

Eve. Being unhappy to see Adam and Eve with the authority over the earth that he once had (Genesis 1:26), Satan probably spent quite some time observing them to see where they might be most vulnerable to his temptations.  He wanted to regain the dominion over the earth that God had given to them. He used the serpent to communicate with Eve (Genesis 3:1-5; Revelation 12:9). God even used a donkey on one occasion to rebuke Balaam, a hireling prophet (Numbers 22:28-30; 2 Peter 2:16).

Conscience. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they got a conscience but lost the image of God that apparently included a garment of light. They knew that they had been stripped and saw their own nakedness (Genesis 3:7). So they sewed fig leaves to cover themselves. True believers will get a garment of light in the future (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 Timothy 6:15; 1 John 3:2; Daniel 12:3). Do you know what happens to all unbelievers (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8)? What’s wrong with man’s conscience and how did that era (dispensation) end (Judges 17:6; 25:21; Genesis 6, 7)? In which group will you be found in eternity future? You can be sure of it before you die (1 John 5:13).

Miracles. They are nothing more than the circumvention of the normal laws (phenomena) of nature. God made everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2) including these laws and can change them when He wants to do so. We don’t believe in uniformatariansim (i.e. that all things have happened the same way since the beginning of time).** Scoffers don’t agree with God’s Word (2 Peter 3:1-13; Genesis 7). Are you one of them? God, Jesus, the devil, demons, and many saved and unsaved people have performed miracles (Exodus 7, 8; Matthew 7:21-23; John 20:31; 2 Corinthians 12:12). Are they still extant today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)? In the future the Antichrist and his assistant, the false prophet, will deceive many people by performing the same kinds of miracles that Jesus and His apostles did while they were on earth (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Acts 2:22).

Resurrection. The future Antichrist (Man of Sin), who will be killed in a battle with Russia and her allies during the Tribulation (Ezekiel 38, 39), will even be raised back to life to imitate Christ’s resurrection (Revelation 13:3-18). He’ll want to be worshiped by mankind, especially the Jews. They will refuse and then be persecuted intensely for the next 3 ½ years, known as “the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15ff). We don’t set dates, but these events don’t seem to be that far off from today. Are you ready? Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-17).

Jesus. After His baptism, He was driven out into the wilderness by God the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). The devil and demons knew that He was the Son of God (Matthew 8:29). We know from the Greek language of the New Testament that He actually said, “[Since] you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3). This was a temptation for Jesus to act independently of His Father and to do something before God’s timing. Waiting for God’s timing is a real problem for some folks (Psalm 46:10). Is it for you? Is this why you’re full of worry and cares (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Good Works. No one is saved by good works but by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Christians must do God’s work according to His rules if we want to be rewarded (2 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The end doesn’t justify using illegal means to accomplish a good goal (Romans 3:8). Do you break God’s rules? Do you know which ones are for believers today? If not, ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.” It could open up the Scriptures for you in ways you never knew before. It did for me.

The Devil’s Fourteen Temptations – To be continued.

To receive future articles in this series, click on “Follow.” If this information has helped you, please let us know and share these truths with other believers who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).

*Sin Nature – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm

**Uniformitarianism – http://www.gotquestions.org/uniformitarianism-vs-catastrophism.html

 

When people portray him as other than what he really is, the Devil is delighted. He doesn’t want us to know the truth about him.  But the truth can set us free (John 8:32; 17:17).  If you were to describe or draw a picture of him, what would it look like? Would he have a red suit with horns and a pitch fork? Would he be ugly or beautiful? How much of what you believe about him is based on the information you’ve drawn from the Bible?

Dark Ages. “During the dark ages, or medieval times, most of the human race was illiterate. Some of the literate few used various visual displays and methods to teach religion. But events were portrayed by means of puppets, stage plays, pictures, stained glass windows and bas-relief carvings over cathedral entrances…The difference between good and evil was often pictorially demonstrated by characterizing the Devil in a way that even the most illiterate surf could recognize as evil. Usually the chosen figure had horns, cloven hooves and a tail. Occasionally he was colored red and other times he was black. His face had a form of a goat or a repulsively ugly man. He was portrayed as the ruler of Hell and the being who tormented the souls of the lost in Hell.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” p. 141

Knowledge. Satan knows that he can’t take the true believer’s salvation from him (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39), but he can/does render many Christians ineffective in their service to God. Do you fit into this category? Do you leave it up to “Clerical George” to do the work that God wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10)? The Devil is a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44; Revelation 21:8). He has many titles to describe his sinister nature.

Sleep. He lulls most of his children to sleep so they sense no impending danger (1 John 5:19). They are apathetic and don’t really care about the most important issues of life and eternity. He also has some mature sons of disobedience (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2). They often appear as angels of light preaching another gospel and a different Christ as the cults do (2 Corinthians 11:3-15; 2 Peter 2:1).

Family. To get out of Satan’s family into God’s family (Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:10), one must place his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16 :31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We aren’t saved by any of our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you certain you’ll go to heaven if you died today (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into heaven (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation if you think you’re saved (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:37-39)? If so, what? How do assurance and security differ?

Fallacies & Facts

Angel. No, Satan is not an angel but a powerful cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He was created as the highest of all the spirit beings and they are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). He was anointed by God to rule over all other spirit beings from his mineral garden in Eden that was on earth (Ezekiel 28:13, 14). He was not satisfied with his exalted position and he didn’t like having to give an account to God (Isaiah 14:13, 14). So he lured 1/3 of the lower two categories of angels, made up of principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16), to join him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). Do you know what happened after his rebellion and how God responded (Genesis 1:2)?

Rank. He had and still has a higher rank and greater power than Michael the archangel (Jude 9). Without the information that we have about him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, we wouldn’t be able to prove that sin (lawlessness) isn’t eternal, that God didn’t originate sin, and that Satan is not merely a principle (influence) but rather a real person with a mind (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ezekiel 28:17), will (Isaiah 14:13), and emotions (Revelation 12:12). As Christians, we are supposed to resist him (James 4:7) when he or a demon attacks us, but only after we’ve put on the whole metaphorical armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles (craftiness) of the devil or demons (Ephesians 6:11). He also has devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:24-26) that he can use against Christians.

Games. Satan doesn’t play silly little games. He’s out to ruin the Christian’s effectiveness and good influence on others. He doesn’t want to lose any of his spiritually blinded subjects (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the Lord. Thankfully, God is greater than Satan and can open spiritually darkened eyes and enable people to see and believe on Christ so they can be saved after they’ve heard the unadulterated Gospel (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).

Cause. Satan is not the spiritual enemy that is responsible for most of the sins we commit. He can only tempt us after he secures permission from God (Job 1, 2; Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:13). Our sin nature is our biggest problem and we take it with us wherever we go. We didn’t lose it at the time of our salvation. The Apostle Paul struggled with his for many years after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He referred to many of the Christians in Corinth as being carnal, or those who were governed by their sin nature (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Anyone Christian who says that he doesn’t have a sin nature is simply deceiving himself but not God or others (1 John 1:8).*

Access. Some people erroneously think that the devil is currently confined to hell. No, even though he has been judged (John 16:11), he will not be cast into the lake of fire until the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7-10). He spends most of his time now in God’s presence, in the third heaven, as the accuser of the brethren who engage in sinful behavior (Revelation 12:7-12; Job 1, 2). However, Jesus Christ, our Lawyer, counters his accusations by reminding God the Father (i.e. humanly speaking) that He (Jesus) paid the debt for all the sins we have committed and will commit in the future (1 John 2:2). Satan and his demons (fallen angels) roam the earth looking for Christians to trip them up and cause our family fellowship with God to be broken (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 1:3-10).

Torture. Instead of Satan’s tormenting others in hell, he himself will be tormented forever in the lake of fire that was prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). Everyone who dies as an unbeliever will go there too (Revelation 21:8). They will not be annihilated or reincarnated as some cults and religions teach (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is the only way to God in heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Before Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth, Satan will be taken by a low level angel and be bound in the sides of the abyss that is in the heart of the earth (Revelation 20:1-3; Luke 16:26; Deuteronomy 32:22). He will be confined there and will be unable to tempt anyone on earth during the millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). No one on earth will be able to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Possession. The devil or demons can inhabit the bodies of unbelievers (John 13:27; Luke 8:30). But a demon must leave a person’s body as soon as he/she is saved (Luke 4:35). They can’t dwell in a Christian’s body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). They can only attack believers from the outside by placing evil thoughts (fiery darts) in our minds (Ephesians 6:16).  They can’t read our minds and they aren’t omniscient as God is (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10).  But they notice how we respond to the temptations they put into our minds (Job 1:22, 23, 2:9, 10).

Victory. Without a clear, Biblical understanding of our adversary the Devil, the Christian will not be able to overcome the 14 temptations that come from him or demons who assist him in his work in all nations around the world. At the present time, with God’s permission, he owns all the kingdoms of this world. Most of the earthly rulers do his bidding, often without knowing it (Ephesians 2:2). But God is still sovereign (Daniel 4:17, 25). Satan offered these kingdoms to Jesus if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). Jesus could have avoided the cross to gain the nations of the world if He had taken Satan up on his offer. But He (Jesus) knew that it was part of the “Decree” (Ephesians 1:11) for Him to go to the cross, die for our sins, and then rise again bodily from the dead and wait for the Father’s timing for Him to be given the kingdoms of this world (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15).

Temptations. His temptations are different from the temptations that come from our own sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21) or the temptations that come from the Devil’s world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). This is why we, as Christians, must study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved to God, workers who don’t not need to be ashamed, who rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). By the way, the temptation to be spiritually lazy comes from the devil (1 Timothy 5:13-15). Do you know which piece of the metaphorical armor you must use to overcome it (Ephesians 6:15)?

Promise. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to mankind; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Help.  We’re here to help unbelievers come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and assist them in their spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18), and service to God (1 Peter 4:10), so they can reproduce themselves in the world (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).  If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with others.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.

Some material adapted from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer

*Sin Nature http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm