Posts by Joe David Wilson

Legalism vs Liberalism Part 3

The church has been castigated and the disciples of Jesus accused of not fulfilling their mission for failure to use the power and energy of the kingdom of God in an attempt to correct what someone imagines as a social injustice! The profane proposal was actually made that the church for which Jesus died be prostituted to concern herself over social issues. All attempts to turn the church from her divine mission and involve her in political matters reveals the Sadducean mentality.
We’ve been told that it is a matter of Christian duty, even Sadducees can talk of duty when they are promoting items of social and political concerns, for us to become Christian law-breakers. They have discussed in our hearing those things which will is called “the morality of civil disobedience”, and have undertaken to prove that Jesus and the apostles were nothing more than a social action group mainly concerned with leading demonstrations designed to disrupt the flow of traffic in downtown Jerusalem, this they think would force the attention of the city fathers to the need of programs of things like urban renewal or raise the wages of the date pickers. One would gather the impression from reading the writings of such men that Jesus was crucified for trying to organize a labor union!
We’re all interested, no doubt, in improving society and strengthening our economic order; we are anxious, too, to get a better balance of justice throughout the world; we’re solicitous for the physical welfare of all men and filled with compassion for the hungry of the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ did not die upon the cross of Calvary in order to inaugurate a head start program! The Son of God came “to seek and save the lost,” Luke 19:10, “to give His life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28, and He has taught us “to work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you.” John 6:27 If it is a matter of emphasis, then let Jesus be the one who emphasizes. Christ requires us “to go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelievers shall be condemned.” Mark 16:15, 16 Salvation is man’s greatest need, and it is so that Jesus pointed all the energy and power of His church in that direction. We must not permit the sacred body of the Lord to be delivered from this divine mission regardless of how worthy some other project may seem to be. We can not be blinded by the “gods of this world.”
Legalism, as reflected in Paul’s old party, continues to be a problem in the church. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and anise, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.” Matthew 23:23 To careless readers, the passage appears to suggest that Jesus thought the Pharisees were wrong because of their concern over details and obedience to the tithing law of the Old Testament. But the Master went on to say, “these you ought to have done, and not have left the others undone.” The Son of God approved the Pharisees when they tithed such seemingly minor things, but admonished them also to be aware of their duty to follow after justice, mercy, and faith.
The Pharisees were no legalist when they demanded that people keep the ordinances, statutes, and commandments of God’s law. Jesus told his disciples to obey the Pharisees; “the scribes sit in the seat of Moses: all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.” Matthew 23:1-4
The Pharisees were legalist, not because they were careful to keep the law of God, even the details of that law, but because they added to the law. Hear Jesus: “Keep My commandments.”

Who Are the Jews? Defining Judaism Part 2

They “think of themselves more highly than they ought.” They are called a “stiffnecked and rebellious people.” They have been given a “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” They are people that are spoken of “that He made clay and it was marred in the hand of the potter; so He made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” “Go to this people and say; ‘Behold, I frame evil against you and devise a device against you: return ye now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good. And they said. “There is no hope. We will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.” “Therefore will I do unto this house which is called by My name, wherein you trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore, pray NOT thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I WILL NOT hear thee.” Jeremiah 7:14-16
Yet, these are NOT that people we know as Jews!! In the 2nd century B.C. John Hycrannus of the Hasmonean dynasty, took the Kingdom of Judah which came from Babylon (around 536 B.C) with a religion with many pagan elements in it, established a system of oral teachings that Scripture condemns as the “tradition of the elders,” Matthew 15:2-3, conquered a people directly to the south of Judah, the Edomites (descended from Esau) who had been disinherited because the older son of Israel had married a Hittite woman, thus destroying forever the pure genetic pedigree of his descendants, subjugated them and gave them a choice to either die or convert to the religion, language, and culture of Judah!!
This was forbidden by the law of Moses. Deuteronomy 7:1-5; Leviticus 20:24, Joshua 23: 12-13; Ezra 9:1-15; and Nehemiah 13:23-30. With death or conversion, most chose to convert. The true descendant of Abraham chose conversion. Hycrannus had them circumcised and use the laws of the Jews. Dora, Marissa, and Idumea from that day forward kept the entire law of the Jews. The Edomites were incorporated into the Jewish nation, and the whole providence was known as ”Idumea.” As a separated people, the Edomites disappear from the pages of history and are known as Jews. Over the next century as imperial Rome cast its long shadow over the Middle East, these Edomites or Idumeans were gradually absorbed into Jewish society. Many of them, such as Herod, achieved high status, working their way into the priestly and aristocratic classes. Those who leveraged their way into the priestly professions had a strong proclivity for the pagan oral teachings (teachings of the elders) brought back from Babylon. Dominance in the two mainstream religious parties, the Pharisees and Sadducees, was soon theirs to enjoy and capitalize upon.
This situation helps us understand the words of Christ when He lived and walked the hills of Galilee and Judea. There were two groups of people living in the land of Judea. They spoke the same language, were under the oppressive yoke of Roman rule, and were together in that time called Jews.
In A. D. 70, the city of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah was utterly shattered by the Romans. Many survivors were scattered throughout the Roman world, finding refuge where they could. The Edomite element of these Jews, who had utterly rejected Christ, lodged themselves in various enclaves in the Roman Empire including the great city of Byzantium (Constantinople). During the centuries that followed, these people continued to develop and propagate their highly altered form of the ancient Hebrew faith in which the Biblical aspects were almost completely submerged in layers of pagan philosophy and rules. It was during this era that their oral tradition was codified into a written textual form called the Talmud. It has been the foundation of the religion of Judaism for many centuries!!

Legalism vs Liberalism Part 2

The liberal will demand that teaching on obedience is inert legalism and therefore diminishes the respect for God’s authority. This half–breed Sadducee is more dangerous to the truth than might be considered. He appears to be sound in the faith but, in fact, undermines the very foundation upon which the gospel rest!
Everywhere in Holy Writ, we are commanded to be concerned about divine law, and always careful to render to sacred injunctions against intermittent obedience. The Sadducee-like teacher tries to get around any simple requirements of God’s law he does not care for. This tell us that the apostle Paul preached faith, yet denied the principles of the Bible. This is inexcusable ignorance to teach the New Testament with it’s decrees and documents deny that there is a law! The apostle Paul writes under the direction of the Holy Spirit these words; “for I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” Romans 7:22 Again, he writes “to them that are without law, as without law not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law.” 1 Corinthians 9:21 Again, Paul writes “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 Again, “behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and on their hearts also will I write them…” Hebrews 8:8, 10. “He that look into the perfect law of liberty…“ James 1:25, and “if you will fulfill the royal law,” James 2:8 and in verse 12 writes; “so speak ye, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty.” It should be impossible for James 2:12 to be ridden out of God’s word: “law and grace cannot exist together.” How could one so judge “the law of liberty!”
You will find that the contemporary Sadducee, like his brother of the 1st century, is interested mainly in right here and right now; they have but little real concern about the future world. They ignore Paul’s admonition,” if then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. For you died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also be with him manifested in glory.” Colossians 3:1 – 2 These modern day elitist are more concerned about social issues and rghting community wrongs than they are about heaven and eternal rewards! They are continually urging us to be involved in such things as mass transportation; feeding the physical body; communication; electricity production; pollution of the atmosphere; hygiene; garbage disposal; the brutal police state; crooked governmental financial officers; and if the ice is melting too fast in the Arctic! They think the method of preaching the gospel is through a man’s stomach, whether he wears the right clothes, and forever for rid yourself of committing the unpardonable sin, which is hurting their feelings about doctrine!!
The church has been castigated about ethnic division more than fulfilling the mission given us by Jesus Christ to use our power, energy, and influence to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God as a means to correct social injustice. All attempts to turn the church from her divine mission and involve her in political matters reveals a Sadducaic mentality. We have been told that it is a Christian duty for us to become Christian lawbreakers. We are to be more interested in leading demonstrations designed to disrupt the flow of traffic in downtown Jerusalem, and thereby forced to the attention of the city fathers to institute a program of urban renewal and raise wages than preach the gospel of Jesus Christ!! One would almost get the idea that Jesus was crucified to rectify social injustice then save the church!!

Who Are the Jews? Defining Judaism

Most of us are very familiar with the name Jew. This is the given name of a people that began to be some 2500 years ago after the creation of man. World history reveals a remarkable story in which one group of people assumed the identity of another. The vast majority of people who are today called Jews are NOT, in terms of strict definition of the term, Jews at all.
The term ”Jew,” actually a later comer to the Old Testament, originally meant one who can genuinely claim genetic descent from Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. It is Hebrew, the word is “Yhadi,” meaning “of Judah.” Later, it was a kind of a slang word given the whole people because the tribe of Judah was the largest numerical tribe among them.
The true people of Judah were a numerous part of the ancient, twelve-tribed Israelites. As you and I know, the name “Israel” means those who belong to God. It was given to them as a reward won from a wrestling match between Jacob and Christ to shore up Jacob’s faith in the wisdom of God. In time, the Israelites divided into two kingdoms. The southern one was called the “Kingdom of Judah,” and the region it occupied, “Judea.” All of its inhabitants, of whatever tribe, were often called Judeans, and in time “Jews.” As time passed, the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity and scattered to the north and west somewhere around 700 B.C..
The Kingdom of Judah was later taken to Babylon in 586 B.C , where many stayed and never returned to their homeland. Seventy years later a remnant returned, and gradually, with much struggle, regained its status of nationhood. Unfortunately, the religion they returned with had picked up many pagan elements while in Babylon, this gradually evolved into a system of oral teachings that Scripture condemns as the “traditions of the elders.” Matthew 15:2-3 This “good ole boy” religion was what Christ found when He came to dwell in the flesh and bring the Church of Christ into existence. One could just imagine He who was the author of Judaism and the struggles He had to go through when He “came unto His own and His own received Him not.” John 1:12 When the life of Christ is studied, and one does not see the immediate problem which our Lord faced when He came in physical flesh, they cannot see the immediate differences which He taught and that taught by the scribes and elders. There is something else often overlooked in this study. When Jesus referred to the Jews He always told them they were not the people of God!! It rightfully angered them. When He referred to the Temple of God, He was referring to something they no right to occupy and since they could not be blessed as the “people of God” Christ called them children of Satan. John 8:44.
When some of the Jews returned to their homeland they had no prophet from God, no wise man, nor any credible written law they could follow, so, they made up their own. At this juncture in history, an unusual development occurred that muddled the meaning of the words Judah, Judean, and Jew. Int the second century before Christ, a dynamic priest-king of Judah, John Hyrcanus of the Hasmonean dynasty, conquered the people directly to the south of Judah, the Edomites. These people were also known by the appellation Idumean.
The Idumeans were descended from Esau. Jacob-Israel’s twin brother, Genesis 36:8, married a woman named Adah, a Hittite, thus destroying forever the pure genetic pedigree of his descendants. For this, Esau essentially was disinherited. Rebecca, Esau’s mother, was told by God that Esau would serve Jacob before their birth. She was the only human being alive who had this knowledge. When it came time for Isaac to “bless” his sons, his inheritance from Abraham, she had to act. Genesis 25:23

Legalism vs Liberalism

We hear a lot about legalism and we have discussed a whole lot about liberalism. Legalism is a disposition to make laws; liberalism is a disposition to disregard law. The former seeks to bind where God has not bound, and the latter would reduce what God has bound. The both extremes are wrong. The problems of legalism and liberalism confronting the church today are not new, but HAVE EXISTED in all the history of THE Churches of Christ.
The Sadducees of Jesus day were religious liberals and perhaps best known for saying “there is no resurrection neither angel, nor spirit.” Acts 23:8 However, we also know that they insisted upon being free of the judgment of the Mosaic Law. They were determined not to be restricted by legal regulations of any kind. Hence, they repudiated all refining deductions from the law, and appeal simply to the letter thereof, which was easier to circumvent. Jesus had no word of commendation for the Sadducees, only profound reverse warnings, “take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees…. Then understood they that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6,12
Some teachers of today are altogether in the party of modern Sadducees in denying the virgin birth, vicarious death, victorious resurrection, venerable ascension; denying also a coming judgment and a future reward, and affirming a this world only doctrine. Such teachers have to have no respect for what is written in the law of God, unless it happens to serve their supervised purpose. Other teachers are liberals with reference to some things only being true to the word in other matters. Some teacher, for instance, might stoutly affirm his faith in the resurrection of Jesus and yet seek to relax the law of God in other areas, labeling teaching on obedience that which would hurt legalism, diminishing respect for God’s authority—and all authority! Such a person is part Sadducean. These half-breed Sadducees is the more dangerous of the two. He appears to be sound in the face, but, in fact, undermines the very foundation upon which the gospel rest.
Everywhere in holy writ we are commanded to be concerned about divine law, and always careful to render to sacred injunctions on obedience. In the sermon on the Mount, where Jesus laid down the foundation principles for His coming kingdom, the master unequivocably declared that obedience to the gospel is the condition of acceptance with God. “Not everyone that saith unto Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that will do the will of My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 Both Testaments emphasized absolute necessity of complete obedience; as the apostle Paul by inspiration wrote, “he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey, Him.” Hebrews 5:8.
The S and is what you Sadducean like teachers among us today attempt to get around the plain and simple requirements of God’s law. A few of these modern Sadducees have gone so far as to say there is no law for the disciples of the Lord. “Christ died to free man from the bondage of the law principle,” they write. Then they set verses which teach that Jesus died to free men from the Mosaic law, as such verses to you prove their position. When he refuses to see that he who takes his position changes from one law to another law; the termination of the first law does not mean the law principle ended! The apostle Paul by inspiration writes; “for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus made us free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 The apostle refers to the law of Christ which makes us free from the law of Moses. A Sadducee of our time, being unmindful of Paul’s statement, must then declare that Paul preached that faith is to deny that that was advocated by law. Such a statement is an absolute foolishness!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 24

“Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity,” so explains the great chapter of Psalms 45. These subjects have not been discussed in previous writings. Now, we discuss something that is of utmost importance. The anointed of God have an enviable position higher than any man! Declared by inspiration, be real careful how you deal with the Lord’s anointed!! “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity (wickedness): therefore God, thy God, has anointed Thee with an oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psalms 45:7  It is God the Father, that says to the Son here, “Thy throne, O God! Is forever and ever,”as it appears in Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 1:9, where this is quoted to prove that Christ is God and has a more excellent name than the Angels (messengers of the preceding dispensations). Our mediator is God, else He neither would have been able to do the mediator’s work nor fit to wear the mediator’s crown. Observe the eternity of this promise; it is forever and ever. It would continue on through ages of timelessness, in despite of all opposition of the gates of hell; and in the blessed fruits and consequences of it, it shall last as long as the days of heaven, and run parallel with the line of eternity itself! Perhaps even then the glory of the Redeemer, and the blessedness of the redeemed, shall be in a continual infinite progression; for it is promised “that not only of His government, but of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7), when the kingdom shall be delivered up to God even the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24

Whatever Christ does in His kingdom, He does to redress His subjects of any wrong: He hates wickedness. Because He loves righteousness and hates iniquity; He loves us who do righteousness and hates those that do wickedness. By the holiness of His life, the married Kingdom shows the great design of His counsel in what is called “the gospel.” He has made it conspicuously clear, that the sufferings of Christ and those who are in Christ have been established above man! In the commission of His new position as mediator, and the “head” of those that are taken into covenant with Him, He (as well as we), are anointed with the “oil of gladness.” This oil of gladness is the Spirit of God, that divine unction that qualifies us for this undertaking. Isaiah 61:1: “the Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He has anointed Me.” Called the “oil of gladness,” there is delight that fills Christ in carrying out mediation. In recompense of what Christ did and how He suffers for the advancement of righteousness, He advocates for the righteous in the destruction of sin. He brings divine protection to we who have the joy of being in that exalted estate. So Christ takes it upon himself in His position as mediator, to defend the honor of we who wear His name! As the psalmist David declares, “the Lord’s anointed!!”

This anointing which proceeded from the Father, called “the oil of gladness,” denotes a joy that was Christ. Christ is said “to be above all of His brethren,” We receive of the Spirit by measure, John 3:34, but our position and pre-immanence is above the Angels. The robes of His estate are even declared to smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia which were typical of the unction of the Spirit which Christ, the great high priest of our profession, received. In His royal palace, and the right hand of the Father, described as Ivory Palaces, we, the brethren of Christ, are again made perfect; who are invited into “the joy of their (our) Lord!” In particular, the appearance of we who have been anointed with the Spirit of God is compared to the splendor of the ladies, which is alluded to here, Psalms 45:9, richly dressed in honor that excel all others. We who have been born from above, who are the children of the King of Kings, who attend the throne of the Lord are Christ daily with prayers and praises, honor Him who is blessed forever more. Our attending this Court of Honor speaks of the church as the Queen herself, His consort, pre-determined by an everlasting covenant, for she was betrothed to Him of old. This church, assembly, our government called the Lamb’s Bride, who is graced with ornaments, called “fine linen, clean and white” (Revelation 19:8), is allowed to enter into the Father’s throne room, covered in the richest array. As we owe our adorning to “the precious blood of the Son of God!” Here, He champions our cause!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 23

What God has wrought in our souls, as well is what he has wrought for them, we must declare to others! We have been anointed with the oil of gladness above our fellows.” We called the prophets the penman of Scripture, whereas really they were but scribes. The tongue of the most subtle disputant, and the most eloquent oratory, is but not comparable with what God writes Why should we quarrel with the pen if bitter things be written against us, our idolize the pen if it be written in our favor? When we read the words of inspiration we read what God intended us to think of Christ and His children that were given Him? Hebrews 2:11-13 Through His seed, His word might spread the further, He had it put down to never change. The Spirit’s pen was that of a ready writer, that let nothing slip. When the tongue is writing of a precious matter, it is a pity should the pen of the ready writer not be present to leave it on record, so God has not found himself in that position. When He wrote, the penman was ready and the matter was eternal! When He wrote of us as “joint-heirs,” He had already given us of His Spirit!

What the Holy Spirit wrote of Christ is most beautiful and descriptive. He writes of the Royal Bridegroom: “Thou art fairer than the children of men, than any of them ”, Psalms 45:2. The beauties of the Lord Jesus, as God, as mediator, far surpass the tongue of human nature and as children we are endowed with that word to lead us on to our glory!! There is more in Christ to encourage our love than there is or can be in any creature. Our Savior is more than just another one to love, His beauty goes beyond the lower earth, His charm draws us higher than the heavens. For this reason, we do not find it hard to know how much more worthy He is of our love!! By His word, His gospel, His promise, the goodwill of God is made known to us and the good work of God is begun in carrying on in us. The qualities which the Lord Jesus had, has, retains for His work in the office of mediator, form the “fullness” that we can never comprehend! The apostle John writes: “of His fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16 This grace, the gospel of peace which poured from His lips; “began to be spoken by the Lord, and them that heard him.” Because He is a great trustee of divine grace for the use and benefit of His children, we, who are the offspring of His gospel, far exceed all others. The apostle Paul says: “we are blessed with spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:3

As the Royal Bridegroom, our Master is a man of war, and His marriage did not excuse Him from the field of battle (as was allowed by law, Deuteronomy 24:5). “Gird thy sword upon Thy side, oh most mighty God, with Thy glory and Thy Majesty,” Psalms 45:3. The word of the Lord is the sword of the Spirit. By the promises made by the Holy Spirit, we are willing to submit to Christ and become His loyal subjects; by the threatenings of that word and the judgments executed accordingly, those that stand out against Christ will, in due time, be brought down into ruin! By the gospel of Christ many Jews and Gentiles were converted, and, at length, the Jewish nation was destroyed, according to the predictions of it, for their implacable enmity to it; and paganism was quite abolished. With His
sword girt on Christ side, the message was said “to proceed out of His mouth,” Revelation 19:15. When the gospel was sent forth to be preached to all nations, the marriage had just ended. Our Redeemer girded on His sword to prostrate the war against sin!

His was a holy war: He goes forth with His glory and His Majesty, as a great King takes the field with abundance of pomp and magnificence-in His gospel, He appears great beyond all those writings of men. There is so much of the mind of God opened to the sons of men by the preaching of His message, and therefore glory, the Scriptures are reverberant with the truth: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” So much terror, that His Majesty, the King of Kings continues: “he that believes not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16  He is engaged in the glorious cause-truth and righteousness, which had been lost amongst men. “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed Thee with an oil of gladness above thy fellows…”

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 22

There is never a day that God has no plan for His children. When Jesus began in Matthew 7 ( His prohibition against judging), He mentioned magistrates and ministers whose office it is to judge. Christ, judges as we must judge—by the standards of another!! He came not to unmake Moses, for by him princes decreed justice. Christ directed who should hereafter “sit on thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28 Until this time came they were not judges!

The prohibition; judge not, did not mean that we did not judge ourselves, our actions, the way we treat our brother: neither did it allow us to assume authority over others, as we allow not them over us. Our rule is, to be subject to one another. The apostle James writes: “be not many masters,” James 3:1, for greater is your condemnation.” We cannot set in the judgment seat, and make our word law. We cannot speak evil of our brother. James 4:1 We must not despise him, nor set him at naught. Romans 14:10. We must not judge rashly, nor pass such judgment upon our brother that has no basis of truth, but is only the product of our own jealousy and immature nature. We must not think the worst of people, nor infer such evil things from words they speak or actions they take. Nor can we look in the spirit of revenge, or desire mischief, and particularly-without mercy! We should not measure our judgment by a single act, for in most instances we will judge, partially! We cannot judge the hearts of others, neither intentions, for it is God’s prerogative to try the heart, and we miss we must not step into His throne room!! We cannot determine who His castaways are, as He said in another place: “we cannot be the judge of another man’s servant!” He who usurps the bench, shall be called to the bar by the same standard that censors or has a stone to throw at others. They who have a reputation of showing no mercy to the reputation of others will be judged-and that by God and from Him they shall receive the “greater condemnation.” James 3:1 and the haughty There is quite a difference between the humble sufferer and the haughty scorner: all of us must be modest and charitable in our censures of our brothers, for we shall be judged by our Lord!! As God will forgive those who forgive their brethren; yet He will judge we that will not judge their brethren; the merciful shall find mercy. It is evidence of humility, charity, and deference to God, and shall be owned and rewarded by Him, accordingly. Romans 14:10

Judging those that judge others, many times comes about because of retaliation; as the Lord said: “with what judgment ye judge, you shall be judged.” God, in His judgments, often observed a rule of proportion as in the case of Adonibezek ,Judges 1:7  “70 Kings, have had their thumbs and the great toes cut off, who were gathered under my table: as I have done, so God has requited me…” It is true that God appoints service according to the strength He has given! Those that are most able, from them most work is expected. Judah was first in dignity, and therefore had to be first in battle. He it is from whom his brother receives much praise, is he who must do the most work! Service and success are put together. The burden of honor and the burden of work go together! Christ was from the tribe of Judah, the first enemy that He engaged as God, was His greatest enemy, Satan.  Christ, the lion of the tribe of Judah, has set for us an example. He engaged the powers of darkness first, and foiled them. This animates us for our conflict; and it is in Him that we are “more than conquerors.” And be it ever understood:, they who judge another in love, are their best friend!! To love one another, and serve one another gives reason to hope that God will graciously help in our every effort! Most misunderstood is the function of judging. It is done by the humble who use a higher authority than themselves without getting in their own way. This is the affirmation of our Lord wants most understood! We are to have no personal vendetta, would have the love of Christ; having that type of love we then adjudicate judgment based on His word, His commands, and His doctrine!! If it had been advantageous for us to try a man before misery, it is advantageous to lay at their both right and wrong.  Mercy after defeat is abuse. We do not ride the ritual bus nor attend the rule school, we sit at the feet of our Lord!!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 21

The importance of being “born from the beginning,” is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation, and is the single most important concept to humanity since Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. Since the “fall,” God has required that mankind return to Him from the sinful state of thought, speech, and action that is contrary to the perfection Adam possessed. When we respond to the Spirit of God, our hearts become opened to this law and obeying, we are transformed into the image of God by allowing His word to so control our way of thinking. What this means is, we allow each part of our lives to be sanctified and set apart to God who gave us His word so we could re- establish and maintain inanimate spiritual connection between Him and us, and to protect us from self-destruction. All of the forefathers of our faith experienced this relationships with God through His Word, which means they were “born from the as was Adam from the beginning.” We went from living according to the desires and appetites of the natural man to living in the spiritual, a condition that existed before man sinned!

No one is exempt from the need of being spiritually born anew. The spirit of God prompts each one to return to a life that is pleasing to God, that which cannot occur without sinlessness.  Many souls are driven by idealism, justice, responding to the needs of others, or just plain survival when they realize that they themselves have been their own worst enemy. There is no new sin under the sun; just volunteers for many variations of the same old stuff. Thankfully, God is no respecter of persons. While others mfay be impressed at the level of deceit and destruction to which they have fallen, God has not.  Once sin has entered, it must be “washed away” to be spiritually “born anew.” God knows the needs of His people much more than we can understand. So, God has provided consciousness about the importance of justice, peace and mercy, and we simply respond in agreement by turning to Him in repentance that opens the door to entrance into His kingdom, as we are baptized into Christ.

Man is not capable of creating justice and peace; if we had been we would’ve already done so. While most people want to see a better world, it is impossible for man on his own to change his sinful disposition. Mankind has corrupted himself and the earth to such extreme measures that vein souls are now suggesting that we finance another “tower of Babel” and go to live on other habitable planets. The latest scam is to allow higher intelligence to reign over the inhabitants on earth, to enslave mankind in the following a one world government that has no regard for God or God’s way.

Uncomfortably (for most), the only way to be “born from the beginning” is to obey God’s commands. There is no universal formula given by man to man that will allow a return to sinless-ness, only God’s law allows that. It is also very helpful to be in fellowship with those who are spiritually “born again.” Of course, we have been spiritually born again, are born “into Christ” and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, no other way will satisfy. The strings that attach love and peace, demand I follow God’s plan with all allegiance, financial support, and continued fellowship with those of us who were “in Christ” before us, as we become like Christ. The only way that this is done is by repentance and baptism for the remission of sins which gains for us the gift of the Holy Spirit, eventual peace with God!

It was Christ who said: “unless you repent and become like children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4  He of course was not referring to the capacity of children to believe, trust and have faith without doubting, but to take His word without argumentation, about learning to walk in Christ. What He taught us we need to know, which is why the word of God is so vitally important. When a person is truly “born again” they are entered into the church of Christ and can  easily be distinguished from the rest of the religions of mankind. Today, there is still the drawing of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who have made themselves followers of the pattern of what they read in His word. The only way to peace is to surrender to Him, on His terms, not ours!

Christianity: The Anointed Ones | Part 20

How is it that some remain faithful and others do not? The apostle John by inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes: “if that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”1 John 2:24  Instead of holding the ideas of modern day practices, we who are children of God hold permanently to the doctrines which we’ve learned from the beginning. By obeying, we remain in a living relationship with God. Abiding permanently with the Son allows us to have fellowship with the Father. Because something is new does not make it better!! Seducers newly arisen with ideas of how to win the world by other means than the gospel of Jesus Christ are usually egregious opposers of sacred truth. The great and pernicious lies that the father of lies, are of liars, spreads in the world, contradicted from the first century that Jesus of Nazareth was not the Son of God attested by heaven and earth and hell who was set by the Father to judge the world when He returns. They have Him returning to set up His kingdom, to begin the reign, which finally pacifies the Jews who have been longing for Messiah to come for 4000 years. God promises eternal life to all who remain in the Son. If we do not hold fast to the form of sound doctrine and words, He who claimed to be the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), and given all His children the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and precedents that abides in us, which makes it possible for us to escape dependence on human teachers. The Spirit-led Christians can detect truth and error without aid from any new breed of teacher or any new doctrine. The cry must be: “Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, that we may walk therein, and find rest for our souls.” Jeremiah 6:16  The priest and the prophet should be our watchmen and monitor but they have dealt falsely, they have not been true to their trust, not told the people their faults and the danger they were in; they should have been physicians, but they murdered their patients by letting them have their will, by giving everything they had in mind and desire without restraint, and flattering them into an opinion that they were in no danger! They boldly reckoned as false friends and flattered them as the most dangerous of enemies so the sinful path went undetected while before God they stood condemned.

How new can something be and come from an old path? How broad-minded can the mind be that has to travel on a narrow path? How often is it recorded that the Lord has changed His mind since closing inspiration around the year AD 80? When Jerusalem of old would not bear to be told of their faults, nor of the danger they were in, God gave them prophets, warning of the judgment that was coming. But the Lord cried: “to whom shall I speak and give warning? Behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” Jeremiah 6:11  The Jews had hardened their hearts, he had antipathy to the preaching of the word of God, to them it had become a reproach, and aggravation, a pestilence and the Jew felt himself wronged and affronted by both, and resented the prophets plain dealing with them as they would be the most causeless slander and disrespect. This “kicking against the pricks” (Acts 9:5), as the lawyers against the word of Christ (Luke 11:45), and thus saying, “Thou reproaches us also,” these reproofs that were counted reproaches, and hated as such, will certainly be turned into the heaviest woes. When it is here said, “they have no delight in the word,” more is implied that is expressed. Could they expect that the word of God a comfort to them?

This anointing, implies the presence of the Holy Spirit, which makes it possible for us to escape dependence on human teachers. Of course John did not want to abolish teachers, he was functioning as a teacher himself when he wrote his book! As we abide in Christ, the Holy Spirit teaches the things the Christian needs to know, and His instruction is always true, not a lie. This our protection safeguards us not only against false teaching but ourselves! What a privilege to be “led,” not escorted, by Divinity!! We are not of those who sin and cannot blush for the evil that we have done, for He works within us with power that makes us be as “the mind of Christ.” We resolve to face our iniquity instead of our God, not maintaining a guilty distance from Him who has proved His love for us!!