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Remember the wisdom, commandments and the great deeds of God

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You most probably might be familiar with the Bible verse about God’s people getting destroyed for lack of knowledge. Now this comes in Hosea 4:6 but that is not there entire verse. The full verse is given below:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

This verse clearly says that the people of God get destroyed due to lack of knowledge and it shows where this lack of knowledge comes from. Now, I totally agree that if one never read nor heard of the Lord God and his wisdom and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ his Son, then such a person lacks knowledge in spirit. However, coming to the above mentioned verse, it means that due to the people of God rejecting the knowledge which comes from God they enter the path of destruction. And this is not the only thing the people do wrong. I mean, they  forget the law of God, which leads to God’s judgement on them and their children.

What I’m trying to say is that don’t just read the Word of God, but make sure you do not reject it. Because when you choose to accept it, your chances become better for remembering the wisdom which the Holy Spirit has inspired all through the Scriptures.

Let me make it real to you; If a pilot suddenly in mid flight says he forgot the route to Canberra to Oregon, wouldn’t the passengers in the aircraft panic? If a soldier in the middle of the battle says he forgot how to reload his rifle, would the enemy ceasefire for him till he learns it for sure?

Then, even in the realm of spiritual things there are things, bad things which happen to those of God’s people who don’t make a commitment to remember all the instructions the Lord wants them to remember. For instance, there are people who attend church but never teach their children about not stealing. Suddenly, the children steal at school and get caught and so then their parents are called for by the school authorities to their shame. Next, instead of accepting the fact they didn’t teach their young one’s not to steal they blame God for ‘letting this thing happen to my family’. What a vile little concept of justice they have! For when they try to find fault with God they end up not respecting him as they should.

When the Bible clearly says that the people of God are to teach their children to fear the Lord God and follow his commandments, they cherry pick the things they want to follow and skip the part about exhorting their young ones to live in a holy manner at all times. And when their children are in trouble due to stealing, these very people have the audacity to blame the Lord! “Pathetic”, is what I’d call their actions.

Don’t follow the path of ignorance which only leads to trouble. If read the Bible and hear the Gospel preached, why not make it a point to remember the Word of God? This will ensure that when you live your life you never forget to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Bible verses for reflection:

* “Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children— how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)

* then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:12)

* “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,  (Deuteronomy 8:11)

* Remember His marvellous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth; (1 Chronicles 16:12)

* Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. (Luke 8:18)

* The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (Psalm 37:31)

* Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:2)

* My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. (Proverbs 4:20)

* For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:17-18)

* Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:1-4)

* Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Revelation 3:3)

 

Christ be with you!

A Red Letter Church vs a Grace Based Church

What is the Difference between a Red Letter Church and a Grace based Church?

The Christian Church has Jesus as the Foundation. It is built upon the Red Letters of the Bible, the words that Jesus Christ Spoke Himself.  Build upon that, are the many pillars of Scripture, revealed through Prophet’s, Apostles, Kings, Priests, ETC
The Pillar of GRACE
The Pillar of RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Pillar of JUDGMENT

Altogether these pillars build up the teachings of the Church.

But in many Churches, a problem arises when, the Red letters of Jesus are removed as the foundation of the Church & the Pillar of Grace, is set as the new foundation.

With GRACE being the new foundation of the Church, Some pillars fit nicely on that.
Love & Mercy
Forgiveness & Blessing
Peace & Joy

But other pillars don’t fit so nicely on this Foundation. Therefore those subjects need to be de-emphasized, and rarely brought up.

While other pillars of Scripture don’t fit at all on this foundation.
Judgment
The Fear of God
Hell

Those subjects need to be ignored, disregarded or just briefly mentioned. Those subjects were from the God of long ago, who no longer exists. (Edit: This part as per hyper grace teachings is basically saying the Lord has changed his behaviour in the New Testament times, but reality is that the Bible never says the Lord God has become permissive of sin because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ)

The Sermon topics of the Grace based Church are VERY important topics, that need to be thoroughly covered. But as many people have discovered, it wasn’t that those topics were being covered, it was that other topics were just being ignored. The problem is that anytime you ignore parts of Scripture, it distorts the image of God.

The Grace based church presents the congregation with a Path of Salvation, and a Doorway to go through. The problem is that the path presented is Wider than the Narrow path depicted in scripture. This will result in a rude awakening for some people, who feel secure, yet are not on the RIGHT path.

Jesus taught that the House built on ROCK, does not fall. Therefore if we ignore parts of Scripture when building the Church, then the Church becomes less stable, because it’s missing part of the foundation.

Because Jesus is the Cornerstone of our Faith, His teachings demand greater focus over the teachings of any other. As Jesus even said, “My testimony is weightier than John’s

But in many churches we see that the Greater Focus is given to the Teachings of the Apostle Paul, over that of Jesus. Which Paul even warned us NOT to do.

In scripture we are told to behold the kindness and severity of God, and God is revealed as both a Lion and a Lamb.
But in the teachings of many Churches, we see this Principle is changed to. Behold the Kindness of God.
The LION is de-emphasized, and most sermons only reveal God as the Lamb. And this causes an imbalance in doctrine.

The SOLUTION:

Put back the Words of Jesus, as the Foundation of the Church. Where the teachings of the Apostle’s and Prophets are built upon the ROCK. Not ignoring any portions of scripture. This is the Church that Jesus Built.

– By Robert Brownell

 

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My note about teachings/letters of the Apostle Paul (call it a disclaimer if you wish):

Generally I wouldn’t put in a note at this point but I felt since the above quote somehow makes a distinguishing mark between the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of the Apostle Paul, so I felt it’s best to clarify this out for you.

To be clear enough; the letters of St. Paul in the Bible are fully part of the Holy Scriptures and are fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. However some people have tried to use that justify elimination of certain key doctrines of the Bible, in fact the very things that Jesus taught! The teachings or letters of St. Paul are not of his own but are of the Lord God who spoke through the Holy Spirit and inspired his letters.

Like I said the letters of St. Paul are inspired by the Holy Spirit, this means that they are to remind us of things which Jesus Christ taught during his ministry on earth and even more revelations of God without undermining the truth of the Gospel.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14: 25-26)

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15)

When Stigmata had to be dealth with

A few years ago, I had been contacted by a representative of a local church and this was about a case that sounds extremely odd. There was a woman who would attend their church and perhaps still attends it. She would exhibit Stigmata while the church services would go on. This caused the church goers to be in wonder of her and the church leadership was suspecting demons at work. Because in certain types of demon possession, the affected individual also exhibits Stigmata. The people were getting too interested in her instead of praying to the Lord. So I was asked for a strategy to deal with her, since they didn’t want to directly cast her out of the prayer services, since part of the congregation believed her to be genuine. Eventually following my advice this was tackled cleanly and effectively.

Let me now give you a few definitions of what Stigmata stands for:

  • Stigmata: bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy. (As per Merriam-Webster dictionary online)
  • Medicine/Medical.
    1. a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease: the stigmata of leprosy.
    2. a place or point on the skin that bleeds during certain mental states, as in hysteria. (As per Dictionary.com)
stigmata

stigmata on palms

 

stigmata on palms

Stigmata on palms with blood

Now the church representative was very concerned that the Stigmata ie the bleeding wounds on the woman’s hands were of the devil. I told him not to get too presumptuous about that but let me give him my advice on it. So I decided to ask him a few questions and by this analyze the situation. So for your convenience let’s call the church representative as George. Here’s how our chat went on:

Myself: Where do the wounds show up on her?

George: On the palms, both of them.

Myself: Not anywhere else?

George: Only the palms.

Myself: Strange, because these even happen on the feet, sometimes on the forehead and even on the chest.

George: I’ve not faced this before so I’m not sure what you are talking about.

Myself: No problem. Let me ask another question?

George: Sure.

Myself: Does she belong to your denomination?

George: No, she’s from so and so denomination.

Myself: Do you suspect this stigmata that shows up in her might be a ploy to poach your existing church members in her denominational church?

George: (A bit startled) Nothing yet. She didn’t tell anyone to join her church.

Myself: Are you sure?

George: But she does attend other churches too?

Myself: Then why does she attend your church. Are you not aware that certain denominations proclaim other denominations as heretics?

George: I’m not sure but she is regular with us.

Myself: What’s the attitude of others in church towards her?

George: They are awestruck by her and are eager to see her every church service.

Myself: (Concerned) Does this mean she attracts others to Christ?

George: Can you be more specific?

Myself. Yes. By her getting the mysterious blood marks on her palms, do people at your church feel like praying more to the Lord? Do they feel like reading the Bible even more? Do they feel like fasting? Do they pray for more miracles to happen in your church?

George: (Stumped) I’ll have to check on this. This will need me to research on what’s going on.

Myself: Can I suggest a thing?

George: Yes.

Myself: Don’t put her on a position of prominence in church. Make sure that people at the time of praise and worship are focused on Christ. You are to keep track of what messages she gives the others in your church and check if it is consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

George: We always focus on Jesus Christ at the church services but I will make sure people continue to focus on the Lord and not her.

Myself: That’s fine enough. I also want to ensure that somebody preaches the Gospel to her.

George: We preach the Gospel at church. I’ll make sure some woman also reaches out to her in this regard.

Myself: I also suggest that you keep track of your people. I mean you don’t want a situation that her stigmata causes people to switch over to her denomination?

George: No. We preach the true Gospel, why should people leave us?

Myself: That’s not my point. I’m not blaming your church. I’m only asking you to make sure your church is not carried away into impulsiveness.

George: What about demons? Don’t you suspect her stigmata could be a demonic manifestation?

Myself: I’d say its demonic if she abhors the name of Jesus that she ends up getting fits (epilepsy) all of a sudden on hearing the name of the Lord. Or she reacts violently and screams a lot.

George: Ok, thanks. I will keep track of the things you’ve said.

Myself: No problem. I will pray for her and your church services to not be affected negatively.

George: Thanks.

 

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5: 19-24)

Now it took the church representative a few weeks to get back to me as to what happened. He told me he tried the stuff I told him. They made sure someone preached to the woman who got the Stigmata. The church services were done with the wholesome preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Plus the worship was purely focused on the Lord. George said the woman didn’t have any specific revelation nor prophecy to give to the church nor did she cause any people to join the other churches she would go to. Most importantly, the woman no longer manifested the Stigmata on her palms. She instead prayed and read the Bible and leads an upright life to George’s best knowledge. The people were not attracted to her but instead focused on the Lord God.

The point here is not just Stigmata, it might have been levitation in mid-air or even holding poisonous snakes without getting harmed, what should be our reaction?

  1. It definitely does not mean that we consider such people as worthy of more respect than Christ.
  2. It does not mean that we throw away our knowledge of the Gospel in exchange for untested visions or revelations accompanying the “miraculous” person in question.
  3. It does mean that we continue to worship the Lord God without deviating from principles of the Bible.
  4. It does mean that we do not worship false gods on the insistence of any person who can even perform supernatural feats.
  5. It does mean that we document such cases, including the mental state of the person having Stigmata etc to be able to clearly analyze the situation instead of being clueless.
  6. It does mean that if we don’t know how to deal with such cases we are humble enough to ask some other Christians who are aware of such situations.
  7. Above all pray and read the Bible and do research by yourself too.

 

Verses for reflection:

  • Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is already in the world. (1 John 4: 1-3)
  • But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
  • “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit. But a corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
  • How is it then, brothers? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, and an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him remain silent in the church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. If anything is revealed to another that sits by, let the first keep silent. For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33)

Last Christmas I gave you my heart (A Christian perspective)

You might have heard the song “Last Christmas” in the past few years. Originally it was sung by the musical duo called Wham! in 1984. In later years, even other singers have tried their luck with it. It’s very popular in most of the world. The musical score seems pleasant overall despite it having elements of a relationship gone bad. However, I do find it odd now in terms of the Bible and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s read a few of the lyrics of that song:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart

But the very next day, you gave it away

This year, to save me from tears I

‘ll give it to someone special

So this about a love relationship between a couple gone bad. Doesn’t seem they were married yet but this was a beginning in their relationship. However, this was short and now the person whose heart got broke got a plan. To avoid the previous year’s hurt, it will be new relationship with a new person. The thing that looks weird is that of all the days in the world, they had to decide on the relationship at the time we ponder upon the Savior’s coming into the world.

No wonder, I really find this concept odd. Basically, this song tells us that instead of praying and rejoicing in remembrance of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ this person bothered instead to propose someone for marriage. Further still, the couple had mutual acceptance of the proposal in the time when people come to celebrate at church. Were they away from church at time? Or where they too attracted to each other that they got distracted from Christ? A yes to any one of this question speaks volumes about the priority they gave to Christ.

They didn’t keep Christ first at all!

Now compare their behaviour with the follow Bible verses:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

I’m not against people proposing each other for marriage legally. In fact I like seeing the boy or at times the girl, popping the relationship question at the restaurant or at the beach or just after the opera as long as its done safely. But I do not support people giving up on their prayer or worship time which only belongs to God, and then using such time to get into love relationships. Chances are they didn’t keep the Lord first at all and then in due course of time even their relationship perished. Then came sadness and heartache into their life etc.

[New edit to this post]: Radio DJ plays Wham’s Last Christmas 24 times in row after barricading himself in studio He only gave up when his own four-year-old daughter phoned in to say she didn’t like the song. I just now am doubly sure that this song’s really odd with this DJ’s foolish behavior. Read about this on the below link:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/radio-dj-plays-whams-last-christmas-24-times-in-row-after-barricading-himself-inside-studio-a6781226.html

My point is that we must not like a song for the sake of liking it. We must check the context in which the song was sung. A pleasant feeling music video may not always be sinful but it may not always be good either. One needs to meditate on the Holy Scriptures all day. It doesn’t mean you have to sit and close your eyes the entire day thinking about so and so Bible verse. There may be a time you can allot for this in the day or the week. However, you have to put Christ first and remember his words whether you are at work or at play or at a party or wherever. Any book, article, song, artwork etc which keeps you entertained while going against the morally sound values of the Bible, must totally be avoided by you. Maybe you once didn’t know all this but this time do check properly on what is mere entertainment on the outside but is foolishness on the inside.

Christ be with you, always!

Blind tolerance is foolishness

tolerance

Never get fooled that tolerance is the only thing to have when dealing with others, especially those who hate you and your faith in Christ. You also need prudence. One also needs to be alert. Most of all, your tolerance must be as per God’s will which includes prudence and vigilance and not as per man’s opinions. Blind tolerance is nothing less than foolishness. To be wise in your tolerance, you need to read the Bible for this and not just a few verses, you need to take the whole Bible into perspective.

Some people are overzealous about; Judge not, that you be not judged (Matthew 7:1). These behave that this is the only verse they ought to follow. I’ve already written an article about this (click here to view it) in order to let such people get the right idea of ‘judge not’, so I won’t elaborate too much on this.

The Bible tells us to be vigilant:

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9).

It also reminds us to be prudent:

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)

But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. (Matthew 12:14-16)

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.  (Matthew 7:6)

We also need to discern:

Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.(Proverbs 14:7)

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.(Proverbs 17:15)

There are things we are not to tolerate:

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

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Our tolerance towards others must not mean that we compromise on vigilance, prudence nor discernment. We are not called to tolerate each and everything. One needs to have a balanced view of the Bible in all things.

Some might say, ‘we are to turn the other cheek’ and to them I say ‘do not put the Lord your God to the test’. If you are to choose between life and Christ, its best to take Christ for yourself. But don’t deliberately put yourself or your loved ones in a situation where doesn’t know how to deal with danger. Not every time this is case of getting tempted to leave Christ. And not everyone out in the world is a criminal. But some are indeed evil! So we must go by the facts and not ignore them. If a leopard has attacked many cattle, don’t assume it’ll be tame towards you because it never killed a human before. You don’t give it to act first to make a decision but instead you first make sure you keep a safe distance from the wild cat or be out of sight.

In the same way, if you know that there are people with a history of violence, you don’t try to play ‘nice’. Instead you keep a safe distance from them. I’m not talking about only terrorists. This is about thugs and murderers too. Also, warn your children and loved ones to know whom to get near and whom to keep away from.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22: 6)

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25)

Whoever plans to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind. (Proverbs 24: 8-9)

Never get too happy when you see evil doers go down in life. Such rejoicing must be avoided. Be sober because it’s the Lord God fighting them. And the Lord can use angels, animals and even humans to do his work of justice.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.  (Proverbs 24: 17-18)

You might find my opinion a bit odd, but at times when I came know of so and so sinners, even terrorists who died when being confronted by workers of justice, I felt bad that such souls have not accepted the Gospel and not repented and so are not going to heaven. For a few seconds I tried to imagine that if they accepted the Lord Jesus much earlier in life, how much damage and death to others could have been avoided in the first place.

Then reality set in, I viewed the new reports again and I realized there were innocent people, even innocent kids who got killed by these evil doers. So Divine justice already had to tackle the murderers on earth itself before giving them their due punishment in hell.  So if even if you hear of such workers of iniquity getting harmed or killed, do not rejoice but rather pray for the victims of their crimes and also for the victims families. Don’t pray for the wicked who have died in battle, since there is no hope for them.

Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. (Proverbs 24: 19-20)

Verses for reflection:

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.  “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2: 1-7)

Book Review – Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies

All thanks to be the Lord God for blessing this world with people who stand up for the truth of God’s Holy Word even in the midst of universal deceit. Amen.

One such person who stands for the sanctity of the Holy Scriptures is the Christian author Michael C. Snow. I can say this because he has defended the authority of the entire Bible against those who misinterpret it by taking it out of context by favouring only certain scriptures while ignoring the rest.  And this shows all throughout his simple to grasp and simple to understand book called ‘Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies‘.

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

At times people incorrectly assume that they are going well in their walk with Christ so as long they put only a select scripture verses into practice. For example, a man might say he loves God so he is going to have a pleasant afterlife, while referring to verses about love. However, he is not willing to stop worshipping false idols and refuses to acknowledge verses warning about idolatry. Obviously, he is lost and not heaven bound. A simple lack of faith in certain commands of God is as good as complete disobedience to God. No wonder Mr. Michael has correctly stated in his above mentioned book that “God’s word holds these things dear and holds them closely together: love and obedience; prayer and exhortation; forgiveness and repentance.  Our failure to hold these essentials together is a failure to hold to God’s word and to honor it by our diligent study and attention.”

Love, Prayer and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies is an apt reminder to Christians no matter where they are and no matter how basic or advanced their comprehension of the Word of God, that adding worldly wisdom to the Holy Scriptures is as great a sin as removing the connection between the verses of the Bible. Michael has specifically stated this connection between the verses of the Bible as ‘the holy conjunction’ which is the word ‘and’ in the Scriptures. There are many verses that have the word ‘and’ which completes the meaning of the verses.

Yet, some people only consider the words before or after the holy conjunction. Micheal also states there are others make an unholy conjunction for themselves which basically means they add bible verses to things unbiblical and end up creating heresies. Many examples are in his book explain these concepts with the utmost clearness and simplicity.  In just about 140 pages spanning just five chapters namely; Love and Obedience, Prayer and Exhortation, Forgiveness and Repentance, Sin and Silence, & Revival and Holiness he’s shown the connection among them and also how things should actually work out so that the people of God truly walk giving glory to Christ in the fullness of truth. Here are few things from his book which stood out and got me thinking:

  • In the Rabbinic writings, reference is made to an interloper, “evil desire,” which stands between men and their study of the Scriptures. We need to ask what interloper keeps us from a true study of God’s word. And even more, we need to ask, “What desires keep us from obeying God’s word?”
  • We must not allow prayer to become our only response to anything and everything, whether that be the sin in the church or the Mormon missionaries.
  • God’s word encompasses both positive and negative commands. And in love, we obey our Father’s word. As Augustine prayed, “For what am I to myself without Thee, but a guide to mine own downfall?” Seducing spirits will drive false notions into our minds if (through excuses like, “that’s so negative”) we leave a void for them. As Pascal observed, “It is natural for the mind to believe, and for the will to love, so that, for want [lack] of true objects, they must attach themselves to false.”

Going over such words of his book with great relish, I’ve concluded that this one’s definitely an excellently good one. In a time of the spirit of apostasy and widespread sin which tries to trap those who follow Christ, such a book is essential to gain a better and clear understanding of the Word of God. This book has been a blessing to me and I’m sure it’ll be a blessing to you.

One’s thing certain, this book will challenge you to get to consider the whole counsel of God manifest in the Holy Scriptures and most importantly follow God’s will in the right context!

(End of review)

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Front cover – print version

 

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e-book version front cover

Note: If you want to visit Michael’s blog just click here.  The electronic or PC version of the book comes for about $3. Now if you want to buy the e-book version of the book Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies you can visit any of links below as per your needs.

For those who prefer a print version of this book, one can visit their local Christian bookstore or simply buy this via any of the below links, depending on their location:

P.S : I personally thank Mr Michael C. Snow for giving me a great opportunity to do this review. And by the way dear readers, thanks for taking the time out to read my first ever official review. Christ be with you!

Some people seem to read only the words ‘Judge not’ in the Bible

reading the Bible

Not everything is to be loved

You must have always heard God is love and that we must love. The question comes is that are we to love anything and everything? The Bible doesn’t teach us that. If you read the Bible and consider all of it not just the verses about love then you’ll realize that it does tell us what to hate.

And be not deceitful in your love, but hate evil and cleave to the good. Romans 12:9

Would a sane person love going to hell? No way. So that person must hate going to hell. He must hate everything that may make him lose his faith in the Lord Jesus. In the church there are times when there is overemphasis on love that other things such purity and faith are not given due importance. Now I’m totally aware of the following scripture; And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13). This scripture reminds us to love all things that God wants to us to love, not evil things but things that give glory to God and also that we are to love God. ch41

Some people however have a shoppers mentality and they are more fixed on the words ‘greatest of these is love’  from the above scripture than the words like faith and hope. So due to their wrong mindset they only choose love and leave out all other ingredients and stuff that should accompany love. Its like buying only cheese for all meals and avoiding bread, water etc. If a person in real life only had cheese while not having other foods, he would soon grow obese and have health issues. This works the same way when you choose only love and neglect other things of the Bible.

Now you might say God is love and he won’t hate. I agree that God is love. Also it’s true that he won’t hate those who trust in Christ and believe in the Gospel. However, I can’t vouch that he will love sinfulness by any standard especially refusal to believe in Jesus Christ. This reminds me of the following Scriputure; In flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 2 Thessalonians 1:8  

We are called in live in love. This is means that we are not driven by hate. You can hate evil and love good at the same time. The problem arises when one gets into the habit of following only certain teachings of the Bible but avoiding the remaining teachings. Such a habit easily opens doors to deceptions and heresies. So we must have a balanced approach to things in the spiritual sense. We must not waste time in hating sinners, for even once we too sinned. Otherwise this might make us shift all the glory on ourselves instead of God. Focus on loving Christ instead because only he can make anyone free from their sins. However for all due reasons hate all sinfulness and unbelief.

Now there are things that you are not to hate. The following scriptures abound in meaning towards this:

  • You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17)
  • But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (1 John 2:11)
  • “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” (Malachi 2:16) (Here this means avoiding hate which causes divorce)

Also there are certain things that you should NOT love and these things mentioned very clearly in the Scriptures. Though some of these were spoke to a few specific individuals the principles still apply to us. Here we go:

  • But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. (2 Chronicles 19:2 )
  • Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:15)
  • Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels. (Hosea 9:15) (This calls for hating worship of idols of false gods)
  • The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. (Psalm 5:5) (Hate boasting about yourself)
  • The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
  • O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)
  • Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:104)
  • There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
  • The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
  • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
  • But you have this in your favor-you hate what the Nicolaitans are doing. I also hate what they’re doing. (Revelation 2:6) (The Nicolaitans seem to be heretics who ate food sacrificed to false gods and also indulged in sexual immorality. Clement of Alexandria said this about them, “They abandoned themselves to pleasure like goats, leading a life of self-indulgence.” Their teaching perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.)

So to sum it all up, love all that is good because this is the will of God. And also hate all that is evil because even this too is the will of God.

 

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