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When did the church begin? 


I think we would all agree that the English word “church” originates from the Greek word, “Ecclesia”. Without going into great detail I believe that we can also agree that this Greek word basically means “assembly.”

Ok, if we agree so far then we can move on to what assembly we are referring to when discussing the word, “Church.” I think it logical to begin with the promise of the church.

We find the promise here: Mat. 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

In this promise Jesus defines what church he is talking about; He said it would be his church and that he would build it. If we take Jesus at his word we can eliminate any other church, or assembly, if you will. We can also affirm that his church did not exist before this because the words “I will build” are in the future tense.

We find the first members of his church mentioned here” 1Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

We find that he chose these apostles here: Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.

Since the office of apostle is then a “church office,” we can safely say that when he chose the twelve this is the beginning of “his church.” There are many scriptures that show that his church was in existence during his personal ministry on earth. They do not show the time of the actual beginning, but they affirm that it existed at that time. There is no scripture that comes right out and says; “The church began at this time.”

There are many that think that the church began on the day of Pentecost. But a serious study will show that the church existed before Pentecost. I’ll just mention a few here. Jesus is with his disciples here as they partake of The Lord’s Supper: Mat. 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

He sang this hymn with them in the midst of the church: Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance.
Just the fact that they partook of The Lord’s Supper presupposes that there is a church in existence at this time.

The authority of disciples in church capacity was placed in the church during Christ's earthly ministry. Mat 18:15.  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

They had the church commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost Mrk. 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Anyway, this part about the church before Pentecost is just a freebee. It doesn’t really speak to the issue of when the church was begun, but rather, when it wasn’t.


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 is one of the the most familiar verses in the Bible and one of the verses people most like to "claim." It also seems to be one of the most misunderstood and misapplied. All too often, the misunderstanding arises when someone refuses to simply allow the scripture to say what it says. The most obvious misunderstanding is the fact that the verse does not apply to everyone -- it applies to "them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." This is not a promise that a lost world is in any position to claim, as they do not fit that description. Rather, this promise is one given to true believers who know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.

Sadly, even among Christians, there often seems to be major misunderstandings in relation to this verse. Some mistakenly take it to mean that nothing bad can come their way, and they then find themselves completely bewildered when something comes along that rocks their world. In a case like that, it is the first half of the verse that has been misinterpreted and misapplied. There are most certainly bad things that come into the lives of believers. Death is not good. Sickness is not good. Pain is not good. When God created the universe and found His creation to be "very good," those things were not a part of it. They were brought about because of the sin of mankind. The wonderful truth of the matter is, however, that an almighty, sovereign God can take bad things that were not a part of His original creation and use them to work for our good. If you will allow me, I would like to give you a personal account in which I found that to be true.

I will not go into the specific details of my experience because there were other people involved and I do not wish to say anything that would violate their privacy. Suffice it to say, I faced one of those situations that I spoke of earlier that rocked my world. I thank God that I was grounded in His word, because if I had not been, the situation that I lived through could have easily washed me out and severely damaged my faith. It was something that forced me to rely on God far more than I ever had before. It was also something that pushed me to action in something that I had said for years that I wanted to do "one day."

I stated in my introductory post that I have recently published a book. While I did not explicitly state this, if you read between the lines, you might have also deduced that I have a soft spot for kids. Children's ministry is, in fact, one of my greatest passions. I have taught kids' classes at my church since I was 19. I've been one of the sponsors that took my church's elementary school aged kids to camp four times. Vacation Bible School week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I could continue, but you get the point: I love kids. That thing that I said for so long that I wanted to do but never completed was writing a children's novel.

Ultimately, I truly believe that God held me back from doing in until the time was right. There were a few abortive attempts, but none of them ever went very far, and I never came anywhere near writing a full book. Then, my foundations were shaken. At that time, I decided to try once again to write a book, this time, in large part to keep my sanity. However, I did not want to write just any book. I wanted to write something that would be a help to young people who read it. I wanted it to be an entertaining story, but a story that would teach Biblical values. I wanted it to feature characters that were not ashamed of their Christianity. I wanted it to be something that might be edifying to its readers. Lo, and behold, this time it happened.

I would be lying if I said that there are no longer times that I struggle with what happened in my life two years ago. It was something that completely reordered large parts of my life, and in some very negative ways. I very much wish that what happened would not have happened. If I told you what it was, you would no doubt say the same thing. Even so, I would not undo what it changed in me. As I said, it helped me to learn to trust in the Lord much more than I ever had. It is my natural tendency to worry, but my experiences in these last two years has greatly cut that down. It also strengthened the passion that I already had for young people, and gave me an even greater desire to minister to them. When I think about my own troubles and how difficult they were for me as an adult, if makes me think about how much tougher they are for a child, thus increasing my level of compassion. Since then, I've found that new opportunities to do that, such as the book, have presented themselves, and I see other possibilities on the horizon, no doubt because God has used the trials of my life to give me a fuller understanding of the needs that exist. It is truly amazing to see how He moves.

All things are not good, but we serve a God that is more than capable of using even the bad for our good. He can use those things to strengthen us personally and to make us a better witness to others. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and nothing can thwart His will. I have learned not to say that something can never happen to me. I have been affected by things that I would never have believed could happen. But more than that, I have found that my God can use them all to shape me into someone whom He can more easily use. Yes, for the believer, all things work together for good.


Just something going through my head this morning:



In this electronic age of communication, with the internet, hence the world at our fingertips, it gives one a view into the minds and lives, often more than we might prefer, of many others who, before this, we might now little to nothing about.


One thing that always amazes me, is the great lack of biblical understanding of so many who claim the name of Christ-and today, again in this age of information, there is no lack of information about Him, though there is also a lot of garbage to wade through, as well, which is why a good, Bible-believing church is still such a requirement.


But as I look at the many ideas out there, the one that never ceases to amaze, is how many believers so desperately cling to the laws of Sinai, ostensibly born-again believers in Jesus Christ, who believe that it is the duty of all believers to maintain the Mosaic laws and commandments given upon Sinai to the children of Israel, and what it tells me, is that there is little actual training and studying going on by these people, and their teachers of the entire word of God, or they would know that this just isn’t so.


Understand of course, this is not me, not my opinion-the Bible is the word of God, and our ONLY authority in all areas of life, worship and obedience, but one must KNOW the Bible, one must STUDY the Bible, to know HOW to follow it. So, in this vein, I wish to broach this subject on Christians and the Law.


To go over the law as a whole would be treading ground most of us already know well, but in brief, after Moses had led the children of Israel out of the land of Goshen in Egypt, the Lord having punished Egypt with ten plagues and passed judgement upon all the gods of Egypt, they found themselves at Mt. Sinai, and here the Lord gave them His laws, consisting of ten commandments, graven upon stones, and many other ordinances, concerning all aspects of life, to include the treatment of such illnesses as leprosy, punishments for sin, sacrifices, offerings, relationships between spouses, neighbors and the nations, care of the poor and the priests and Levites, and so on. All aspects of life were covered under the law.


In Exodus 24, we read of the official covenant being made between God and Israel, concerning the keeping of the law: “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” (Ex 24:3-8)

Now, here is where we begin to understand what, if any, relationship the believer has with the Law of Moses:

1-The Blood Covenant.


A blood covenant is an agreement made between two parties, rather like a contract, except instead of the parties involved signing on the dotted line, there is blood shed to seal the agreement. In the case of Israel, the blood of clean animals was used, rather than the participants cutting themselves, or drinking any blood. In such a covenant, the parties who will be involved are agreed upon by both parties, and often a blood covenant would remain in effect as long as one party was still alive, and would apply to the family of the both parties, as long as at least one participant lived. For instance, when David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul, made a covenant between them, after Jonathan died and David was king, David sought for any children of Jonathan, to show him kindness for the sake of the covenant they made, and when he found Mephibosheth, he brought him to his house and fed him from his own food from that time on. This is the strength of the covenant.


So, the covenant made at Sinai, the parties involved were YHWH God, as seen when the blood was sprinkled on the altar, and the children of Israel, as seen when they agreed to obey all the Lord told them, and they were sprinkled by the blood of the covenant. This means the parties that were responsible to keep the covenant, as long as one party remained, were Israel and their PHYSICAL descendants, and God, and of course, since God is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, it would be in force forever. OR, until one part broke the covenant, and then the other would be free.  So from the beginning, the only parties who were ever under the law were Israel and their descendants, and the Lord God. The only exceptions to this were servants of those of Israel, and those strangers (Gentiles) who sojourned within their walls-they were expected to keep the law as well, while they were in the borders of Israel. (Ex 20:10, which actually only applies to the Sabbath).  So clearly, only those who were a part of the initial covenant are answerable to that covenant. Gentiles, believers or otherwise, are not, and never were.


2-The Covenant Broken


When the covenant was made in Ex 24, as we read above, both parties made certain promises as part of the covenant: Israel promised to be in obedience to all the Lord commanded them, and the Lord promised something as well: “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.” (Ex 23: 20-31)


Here is the Lord’s part of the covenant: IF the children of Israel keep their covenant in obedience, then the Lord will do all these things-they will be established in the land, all their enemies run out before them, they will have peace and safety and health and good flocks and crops.   But here’s the rub-Israel has to obey the covenant as well, lest the covenant be broken and the Lord is not held to keep His part, and of course it isn’t all that long after they arrive in Canaan that they continually break the covenant and fall into gross disobedience: they refuse to fight against all the inhabitants of the land, as they are commanded, so the Lord allows some to remain as a snare to them. After they settle into the land, they quickly fall away and begin to serve the gods of those other people in Canaan, and to intermarry with them. So Israel quickly breaks the covenant, meaning the Lord is not held to fulfil all He has promised, and as a result the history of Israel is rarely a happy and comfortable one. The Lord allows them to be in bondage to their enemies time and again, though He rescues them when they cry out to Him, and he gives the judges to rescue them-but once that judge is dead, they fall away again. Lather, rinse, repeat. So the covenant has been broken and it only holds at all because the Lord, in His mercy, maintains it, though by choice, not compulsion.


3-The Broken Covenant Replaced


When Jesus came to earth as a man, and lived the law perfectly, and taught the Jews the true law, of the Spirit, not the letter, He was accused of trying to destroy the law. He responded, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  Some have looked at this and said, ‘See, the law will remain as long as heaven and earth remain.’ But is this what Jesus said? Read it again-“I am not come to destroy, but to FULFIL. Jesus’ job was to fulfil the law-to destroy it would mean to end the law before its time and in an improper manner; but to FULFIL it would mean to end it in the manner it was meant to be ended, the proper, planned end. In reality, the Jews had all but destroyed the law in their disobedience, hundreds of years earlier, and it only remained because the Lord kept it intact-however, because it was a broken law, it needed to be replaced with a new covenant-the only proper manner to replace this covenant was through a new covenant. And this was why Jesus had come-to fulfil the old covenant by replacing it with a new one, thus fulfilling the old. And what He said in the above statement was, even if it took til the end of all things for a new covenant to be made and to fulfil the old, the old would remain in force until the new took its place. The old HAD to be fulfilled, not destroyed, though both effectively would end it-one properly, one improperly. So Jesus DID come to end the law, but through fulfillment, not through destruction.

  When Jesus hung upon the cross on Golgotha, as He died, He cried out, “It is finished!”, and gave up the ghost. When this happened, a telling event took place: the veil of the temple, which separated the holy place from the holiest place, the Holy of Holies, where dwelt the Ark of the Covenant, (though missing at that time) was rent in two, from top to bottom. The veil symbolized the separation between God and His creation because of sin-when Jesus died, He paid the ultimate price for the sin of the world, and this ended that separation. The law was in place because of the separation between God and man, because man could not attain to the righteousness of God, and had to keep the laws and sacrifices, but could never cross that veil, even through the law, save for the High Priest only, one time each year to make atonement for Israel. Once Jesus Christ paid the price for sin, the way was opened, and His blood became the blood of the new covenant. The old had passed, a covenant made with the blood of bulls and goats, and the new began, made by the perfect blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom 10:4).


4-We Can’t Keep the Law If We Tried


A funny thing about the law: there are certain requirements to keeping it-like, ALL the law must be kept, or else one is guilty of the WHOLE law, IF one wishes to try to keep it. (Gal 3:10). So, keeping only a part of the law is actually breaking the entire law. And an aspect of the law, a necessary part of the law, was the Temple, or before that, the tabernacle. Sacrifices and offerings were made, by command, at the temple, which was built where the Lord commanded it to be. Sacrifices and offerings were not acceptable anywhere else. (Deut 12:13, 14) Each first-born male was redeemed at the temple for money, and the firstborn of each clean animal was taken to the temple as an offering of the Lord, as were the firstfruits of one’s crops. This was law. Whenever a woman gave birth, she was to go to the temple or tabernacle and give an offering (Lev 12:6). The priesthood of Aaron and the Levites was a part of the law. Simply-without a temple, without the priests and Levites, the law cannot be kept. In 70AD, Titus and the army of Rome came to Jerusalem and razed it and destroyed the temple-since that time, the Law actually has not been able to be kept by anyone, neither Jew nor Christian, because the temple is integral to the keeping of the law! This is why, at Sinai, the Lord God made sure they had the Tabernacle, and it was always the center of the tribes when they camped, and at the head of the tribes as they travelled in the wilderness-so for almost 2,000 years no one can keep the laws of Sinai if they tried.


In vain, Christians today try to keep the law. They declare that we must maintain the dietary laws, keep the Sabbath, and various other aspects, thinking it is a right thing to do, but they are deluded because, even as it was written in Gal 3:10, so it is now-if we want to keep the law, we MUST keep the WHOLE law, every bit, or else we are guilty of the whole law, even if we offend in but one part-and without the temple, we are automatically guilty of the law. And there is a reason for that: because Christ as fulfilled the law and has made a new covenant that superseded the old, which had been broken many times by Israel. It was a yoke the Jews could not bear! THIS is the whole reason Jesus came! To release us from the law which only brought death, because no man, until Jesus, could keep it perfectly. The law was made as a covenant relationship between YHWH and Israel, His nation. It was not made with the Gentiles, believers or otherwise, and to try to keep it is futile in many ways.


Today, Christians seek to keep aspects of the law, yet they seem to forget aspects of it. Let’s look at the dietary laws: Clean: Cattle, goats, sheep, deer, antelope, elk, those which are cloven-hooved AND chew cud. No rabbit, no pork. Fish: only those with scales. No shark, ray, eel, squid, octopus, shellfish, crabs, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, catfish. Birds: No eagles, ossifrage, osprey, vulture, kite, raven, owl, night hawk, cuckow, hawk, cormorant, swan, pelican, gier eagle, stork, heron, lapwing, and bat. (Would you know an ossifrage or a lapwing if it was served to you?) And fowl that creep, going on all four. Which are those? Creeping things: locust, beetle, grasshopper, weasel, mouse, tortoise, ferret, chameleon, lizard, snail and mole. Snakes? No problem! They’re clean! So be sure to keep all these.


And don’t forget, it is wrong to sow a field with diverse seeds, or to wear anything with mixed fabrics, (Lev 19:19). Men are not to cut the corners of their beards. Your garments must have a fringe with a ribband of blue, as a continual reminder of the law, (Num 15:38). Building a new house? Better build a battlement on the roof so no one falls off! (Deu 22:8). I could go on, but these are ALL parts of the LAW and to disdain to keep any of these is to break the law, and thus, to be guilty of the whole law.


Christians, study the Word-see the covenants, discern the truth and let Jesus Christ set you free from the bondage of the law-this is why Jesus came to earth! This is why He died on the cross and resurrected! There is no salvation in the law, only death, only bondage. Leave it behind and follow the commandments of the New Covenant, which are plenty.




Matthew 14:22-33 “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”

By Alan


“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33


The account of the Lord Jesus walking on the water is a wonderful story that shows us His lordship over His creation and loving care for His saints.


Before we begin this devotion, let me bring a reminder that the disciples in the ship were Jews and were familiar with the account of how the LORD God takes care of the saints; even on the dangers in the sea. “They that do down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.” Psalm 107:23 and 24 God, in either Testament, God is Lord over all of the creation.


The Bible is a wonderful book. The Bible is God’s Word and it gives us an understanding of God and His will for our lives. It also gives us peace in our hearts as we go through the storms of life and the hope of eternal life in heaven.


“... tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”


In this world, all of us go through storms of life. We have physical, mental, and spiritual problems. We have fears in our hearts, doubts, wants, needs, and stress, in our family and work. Everybody has storms in their lives. The Lord Jesus wants us to have peace in the midst of our storms: whether those storms are physical, mental, spiritual, societal, governmental, family, or work related. 


What a wonderful story! This story tells of the power and majesty of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is truly Lord.


“... walking on the water.”


During the time of their deepest anxiety of life, the disciples saw the Lord Jesus walking on the water. Also, there was a very big storm on the water at the same time.


How was it possible for Jesus to walk on the water? Can you walk on the water? Do you know of anybody else that can walk on the water in front of other people? Did Confucius walk on the water? Did Buddha walk on the water?


Job knew, as the Jews knew, and as those who know their Bible know, only God in heaven, the LORD, can walk on the water. Job 9:8 says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”


Jesus could walk on the water because He is Lord. Colossians 1: 15-17 says, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Because Jesus created all things, He is Lord and has the power to walk on the water!


God, who lives in heaven, is invisible to all of us. The Lord Jesus is His only son. Jesus is the image of God. The Lord Jesus created this world and all that is in it. He created all of the things that you see and all of the spiritual things that you cannot see. The Lord Jesus created: the oceans, land, mountains, islands, our body, the thrones, or the governments, of this world, the angels, the Devil, or Satan, heaven and hell. All of the creation of the Lord is used for His purposes.


“Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”


The Lord Jesus can give us peace in our heart in the midst of the storms of life.


The disciples were on the boat and the storm was raging. They thought that maybe they would die. Some of the disciples were fishermen. The disciples knew the dangers of the sea. Also, they never had seen a person walking on the water.


The disciples had never seen a person walk on the water, so they thought that a ghost was coming to them. At the beginning, they did not understand what was happening. They were very scared. Then they cried out with fear. Like the disciples, so often in our lives we are fearful of the dangers in our paths and do not have a full understanding of the spiritual happenings around us.


The Lord Jesus said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The Lord Jesus does not want the Christian to have fear in their hearts.


The Lord Jesus also said in John , “Peace I leave unto you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”


The Lord Jesus gives the Christian peace in our hearts. The Christian has peace in their hearts that only Jesus can give. Jesus gives the Christian peace in the midst of the storms of live. When a Christian dies, he knows that he will ascend into heaven and live with Jesus.




When Jesus spoke these words the apostle Peter realized that it was the Lord walking on the water. Peter had faith in the Lord. So, Peter asked the Lord if he could come on the water and walk to Him. Jesus said one word, “Come.” We need to come to Jesus in the storms of life!


Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


Peter is a good example. In verse 29 we see how Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus. How did Peter walk on the water? Because of his faith the Apostle Peter was able to walk on the water. Faith is an amazing thing. We all need to have faith.


“Lord, save me.”


But, now we see that Peter took his eyes, his thoughts, off of the Lord Jesus, and looked at the wind and waves. Then he became afraid. Then he started to sink .That caused Peter to cry out, “Lord, save me.”


“Lord, save me.” All of us need to pay careful heed to these words of Peter. If you are not a Christian then you need to cry out to Jesus and say, “Lord, save me I do not want to go to hell. I do not want to go to hell forever. Lord save me! I am a sinner and deserve to die and go to hell. But, Lord, in your mercy save my soul.”


If you are a Christian, and you have taken your eyes and thoughts off of the Lord Jesus and onto the world and all of its problems then you need to turn your eyes on Jesus and say, “Lord save me.”


In the hymn book there is a song called, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” The stanza says, “Turn your eyes on Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Jesus is Lord and He is truly wonderful. We need to take our eyes, our thoughts, our actions, off of the things of this life and trust in the Lord Jesus for all of our needs and give Him our fears.


“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”


In verse 31 we read these wonderful words, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?


Faith pleases God but doubting does not. When we doubt, and criticize the Bible, and the things of God, then we displease God. The Bible, and all of the doctrines, stories, miracles, prophesies written therein, are to be believed and not doubted.


With very little argument, the greatest defender of the faith in the Chinese world was Wang Ming-Dao, July 25, 1900-July 28, 1991. Wang Ming-Dao is one of the best examples of the work of the scriptures in the heart of a Chinese convert. After salvation, as he was teaching in a Presbyterian mission school, because of his biblical stand to be immersed, he was dismissed in 1920.


Later on, in the beginning days of the Charismatic Movement in China, he openly taught against the Charismatic movement and denominational hierarchies. Wang Ming-Dao became known for his indigenous church work. From 1955-1980 he was imprisoned, twice, by the Communist government.


Through all of his intense verbal, spiritual, cultural, family relations, religious, denominational jealousy, and governmental persecution, Wang Ming-Dao maintained a rock-solid faith in Christ, doctrinal integrity, and inward peace through his personal storms in life.


Wang Ming-Dao said, 王明道「魔鬼敗壞信徒的計策很多,但最毒的莫過於使他們對神的話發生疑惑,因為這是根本的方法。」“Satan has many scheme’s to destroy the believer, but the greatest poisonous, and the original, method is nothing more than to cause them to doubt the word of God.”[1] The English translation is a free translation from the author.


The Lord Jesus saw that, without divine intervention, Peter would quickly drown and lose his life. But, until Peter called out for the Lord to save him Jesus did nothing. But, when Peter called out to Him then Jesus saved him. When we call upon the Lord to save us He will do so. “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3


Many a person, in time of extreme distress, potential loss of life, war, accidents, and other physical dangers or spiritual dangers, have called upon the Lord for not only the eternal salvation of their soul, but for physical deliverance.


“Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”


The Lord Jesus took Peter’s hand then both Jesus and Peter walked back to the boat walking on the water. Peter embraced Jesus! When they got back to the boat the wind ceased. When Jesus and Peter arrived back to the boat the other disciples realized the wonderful thing that Jesus did. Then the disciples worshipped Jesus. They said, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” As Job realized that only the Lord in heaven could walk on the waves of sea, so must we. The confession that Jesus was the Son of God was a confession that Jesus was the Lord from heaven and equal in attributes, character, power, and authority. Both the Father and the Son are eternal and worthy of worship.


Psalm 2:7 and 12, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”


In conclusion, we need to be like Peter and the rest of the men in the boat. We need to worship the Lord Jesus. Why not be saved today? Call upon Him in prayer and say, “Lord save me.”




[1] Wang Ming Tao, Treasuries of Wang Ming Tao, Volume II The Hard Road, (Touliu, Taiwan: Conservative Baptist Press, 1996), Page 256.

Twoedged Sword

Biblical Repentance

Before I dive into the doctrine of repentance let me just say that I am very aware of the importance of judging myself before judging anyone else and I try to walk in the light. In case you are wondering “who are you to reprove others?” I am only a sinner saved by God’s amazing grace. In fact, I am less than nothing apart from the Lord. BUT, Like Jeremiah, God’s Word burns in me and I cannot keep quiet.

If there is a doctrine that is seriously lacking in today’s churches it is repentance. It typically won’t build a big church so it is no wonder the majority of pastors today don’t preach it in an illustrated plain manner. I believe another reason why some earnest Gospel preachers are almost afraid of, and generally ignore, the terms “repent” and “repentance” in their evangelizing is that they fear that their hearers might misunderstand these terms and think of them as implying something meritorious on the part of the sinner. But nothing could be further from the mark. There is no saving merit in owning my true condition. There is no healing in acknowledging the nature of my illness. And repentance, as I will clearly show, is just this very thing.

And it is not enough to just tell your people to repent (though that is a lot more than a lot of people today). Lost people (which fill many churches today and I am not talking about the visitors) need some detailed illustrations about what real repentance is along with some hellfire preaching. I am afraid that most people could not give a Biblical definition of repentance.

Dear reader, my goal here is to bring some clarity on what real repentance is and that you will start to preach and teach repentance boldly and in a way so that your hearer truly understands that “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3.

The problem today is the easy believism… 123 repeat after me sinners prayer type of evangelism, then giving them assurance they are saved without ever seeing their changed life. Giving people assurance of salvation without seeing the evidence of salvation is of the Devil as far as I am concerned. Preaching repentance and telling those who are lost to turn from their sin in a plain manner will drop your “saved” numbers dramatically. But who cares about an inflated report anyways! I want someone that I can disciple and you cannot truly disciple a professor who does not have a change in attitude toward God and their sin. I understand that there will always be some false converts, it is inevitable, but my based on my experience and diligent research on the topic, not preaching repentance is the reason for the majority of false converts. Like myself in the past, the majority want God to give them salvation but they keep doing their own thing. That is not Biblical salvation. If what you believe doesn’t change the way you live, I wouldn’t give ten cents for your faith. In plainer words, the Lord Jesus Christ did not die on the cross so that you can live any ole way you want. Dear reader, you don’t believe that (or you’re fooling yourself) and I don’t believe that because scripture says the opposite. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

So then why is the preaching of repentance so neglected? I think it is because there are a bunch of cowardly compromisers behind the pulpit who fear the people more than they fear Almighty God and who care more about their individual bottom line than about the truth. For example, Dr. Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX has a three part series called “The Blessed Life.” I was forced to watch it on two occasions while at the Faith Based Dorm at Hutchins State Jail. Not ONE time does Morris ever mention the word repentance. Not once did he ever tell his people in order to live a blessed life they would need to continue to confess and forsake sin! See 1 John 1:9 and Proverbs 28:13. He did say that if you tithe you will get material gain and if you don’t that God would curse you and you would have demons unleashed on you. Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are commanded to tithe and I myself do. BUT, we tithe not because we think it is a way to gain wealth in this world. It is simply because we are commanded to do so and it puts God first in your life. But this is a whole other topic for another time.

Some preachers rarely rebuke sin and preach repentance because they just don’t want to “beat anybody up.” I find that to be quite a revealing thing that literally flies in the face of hundreds of verses in the Bible… Was the Lord Jesus Christ “beating people up” when he told the Pharisees “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish?” Was the Apostle Paul being too rough on the crowd when he said “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”? Acts 17:30

Fact is rebuking sin and urging people to turn from their sin is not beating them up but is the most loving and compassionate thing you can do. This self esteem mad generation we live in today confuses Biblical correction with persecution. Scripture commands us to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Tim 4:2

Then there is this business of giving people assurance of salvation without seeing the evidence of true repentance. We cannot give people assurance period. You can’t see that person’s heart only God can. We can have a pretty good idea later on based on their fruit and testimony (changed life) and we will do well to pray that God will give us discernment so that we can have a good idea whether someone is still lost or not and how God wants us to deal with that person etc. They can have assurance through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit alone. Before I was saved out of a drug addiction and wretched lifestyle in 2013, I thought I was saved (or hoped I was) simply because I “believed.” I used to hang onto John 3:16 because after all, it said whosoever believeth shall not perish. How convenient, I could just believe and keep on living any ole way I want. There is a verse that plainly describes that person and its Titus 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

Repentance and Faith

Author and Missionary David Cloud says:

“Some men point to John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, claiming that it is not necessary to preach repentance since we don’t see it in these passages.

‘It seems to me, though, that this is a strange way to use the Bible, since it is so obvious from other passages that repentance is necessary. Jesus said it is necessary (Luke 13:1-5); Paul said it is necessary (Acts 17:30, etc.); Peter said it is necessary (2 Pet. 3:9). If preaching repentance is not necessary and we only need to preach faith, why did Christ Himself preach repentance?

‘I would say to the issue of why verses such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 don’t mention repentance is that proper saving faith includes repentance and proper repentance includes faith. I say this because repentance and faith are sometimes spoken of in Scripture as both being necessary for salvation (i.e., Acts 20:21; Heb. 6:1), while at other times only one or the other is said to be necessary.

‘Salvation is referred to as coming to repentance with no mention of faith in Matthew 9:13; 11:20-21; 21:32; Mark 1:4; 2:17; 6:12; Luke 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:25; and 2 Peter 3:9.

‘Then in other passages, such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, salvation is referred to as believing and repentance is not mentioned.

‘By comparing Scripture with Scripture (rather than isolating Scripture, which is the method used by false teachers), I conclude that saving faith includes repentance.”

Examples of Repentance in the Bible

  •     “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham” (Lk. 19:8,9). Zacchaeus repented and it resulted in a hatred of evil and a love of righteousness. Also we see here that he who truly repents will surely seek to make right any wrong he has done to his fellows, though he knows that he never can make up for the wrong done to God.
  • “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Lk. 15:17-20) Here we see the Prodigal Son confessing his sin towards God and making a 180 u-turn forsaking his sin.
  • “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). Notice they turned to God from idols not from idols to God. There is a difference. In plainer words, you cannot straddle the fence. Turning to God is a 180 and the old life of sin is now behind you, the cross before you.
  • “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.” The word repentance isn’t in the Jonah passage, but they did turn, and that is what repentance is. In Matthew 12:31 Jesus confirmed that they indeed repented. It was obvious that the people of Nineveh had repented based on their actions.
  • “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.” (Ezekiel 14:6) No thinking person would come to the conclusion that God would be pleased with the people just changing their minds without changing their actions!

What Repentance is Not

Repentance is not a work, works are the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not reformation either. There have been several people by their own free will that quit drinking, stop using drugs, stop stealing etc. but never got saved. They never confessed their sin to Almighty God and trusted in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Reformation is merely an outward change. Repentance is a work of God in the soul.

The Apostle Paul explains exactly what true repentance is in 2 Corinthians 7:10. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”


Godly sorrow of repentance to salvation grows and develops into conviction and perseverance and a relationship with the Lord and joy and fruitfulness in your life to where a change takes place, a real change that lasts past an altar prayer or a day or two in church or some revival meeting that you went to and felt good for a little while. If you have real godly sorrow it will work the effect where God becomes God in your life. Your attitude towards sin has changed. Once you get right with God you begin to see yourself as you really are. The Holy Spirit begins to open you up like a tin of beans. Once you right with God you’ll be shocked at the stuff you will be confessing and repenting of. Once you ever really get serious with God, stuff is going start coming out of your heart that you didn’t even know was in there because we have a way of covering stuff over, everybody’s got tunnel vision when it comes to their own sinfulness. You can see anothers sin real good but you have a difficult time seeing your own.

What Great Preachers of the Past and Present Have to Say About Repentance

“Biblical repentance as preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles, is A CHANGE OF MIND TOWARD GOD AND SIN THAT RESULTS IN A CHANGE OF LIFE. IT IS A SPIRIT-WROUGHT CHANGE OF MIND THAT LEADS TO A CHANGE OF LIFE. It is not a change of life. That would be a works salvation. It is a radical, Spirit-wrought change of mind toward sin and God, such a dramatic change of mind that it changes one’s actions.” (David Cloud “Biblical Repentance”

“But God’s holy eye discerns the sinfulness of every heart and calls upon all to take sides with Him against themselves. Until this is done, saving faith is an impossibility. This is not to limit grace. It is to make way for it. And be it remembered, repentance is not a state automatically produced. It is the inwrought work of the Holy Spirit effected by faithful preaching of the Word. But how seldom today do we hear the cry, “Except ye repent.”” (Harry Ironside page 17 “Repent Ye”)

“…repentance … is a turning from sin, a loathing of it; and if thou hast that, thou hast sure repentance; but not else. Repentance is also a sense of shame for having lived in it, and a longing to avoid it. It is a change of the mind with regard to sin–a turning of the man right round. That is what it is; and it is wrought in us by the grace of God. Let none therefore mistake what true repentance is” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Mistaken Notions about Repentance,” Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England, April 20, 1879).

“What then is repentance? So far as possible I desire to avoid the use of all abstruse or pedantic terms, for I am writing not simply for scholars, but for those Lincoln had in mind when he said, “God must have thought a lot of the common people, for He made so many of them.” Therefore I wish, so far as possible, to avoid citing Greek or Hebrew words. But here it seems almost necessary to say that it is the Greek word metanoia, which is translated “repentance” in our English Bibles, and literally means a change of mind. This is not simply the acceptance of new ideas in place of old notions. But it actually implies a complete reversal of one’s inward attitude. How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God, toward Christ. And this is what God commands. John came preaching to publicans and sinners, hopelessly vile and depraved, “Change your attitude, for the kingdom is at hand.” To haughty scribes and legalistic Pharisees came the same command, “Change your attitude,” and thus they would be ready to receive Him who came in grace to save. To sinners everywhere the Saviour cried, “Except ye change your attitude, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Harry Ironside “Repent Ye”)

“Repentance is a godly sorrow for sin. Repentance is a forsaking of sin. Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore. Repentance is permanent. It is a lifelong and an eternity-long experience. You will never love the devil again once you repent. You will never flirt with the devil as the habit of your life again once you get saved. You will never be happy living in sin; it will never satisfy; and the husks of the world will never fill your longing and hungering in your soul. Repentance is something a lot bigger than a lot of people think. It is absolutely essential if you go to heaven” (Lester Roloff, Repent or Perish, 1950s).

“Saving faith includes repentance. Repentance is not doing anything. It is not a deed, act, work, or rite. Rather, it is a change of the direction of one’s heart. It basically means an attitude of the heart in turning from sin and self and turning to God. That’s what Paul was referring to in Acts 20:21 when he referred to ‘repentance toward God and faith in [toward] our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Saving faith is the human heart turning to God and then trusting in Jesus Christ. … Even as there is the part of trusting Christ, there is also the part of turning to Him. That may seem inconsequential, but I believe that here is a spiritual reason that some go through the motions of believing in Christ but are not really born again. They seemingly want the fire escape but there is no interest in turning to God. There is no interest in repentance. They have the attitude, ‘God, gimme salvation, but I’m gonna keep on doing my own thing.’ … However, if there is no real turning to God from the heart, they have missed the prerequisite for actually trusting Christ” (Sorenson, Training Your Children to Turn out Right, 1995).

“The hand that clutches the assassin’s knife must open ‘ere it can grasp the gift its intended victim proffers; and opening that hand, though a single act, has a double aspect and purpose. Accepting the gift implies a turning from the crime the heart was bent on, and it was the gift itself that worked the change. Faith is the open hand, relatively to the gift; repentance is the same hand, relatively, not only to the gift but more especially to the dagger that is flung from it” (James Stewart, Evangelism, pp. 48,49).

Not once do we find in scripture someone repeating a sinners prayer. I am not saying there isn’t a time for that if one is under deep conviction of sin. Salvation is a personal thing and I treat everyone individually. For example when my brother got saved I spent the first two days talking about repentance, the overcomer, and hell. He came under deep conviction and I told him that he needed to call out to God in prayer confessing himself a sinner and to ask God through Jesus Christ to change him and to trust the finished work of the cross for forgiveness of sins. He did and was radically changed.

Salvation is a supernatural miracle and there will be a testimony and you will change and other people will notice. If you don’t then you have never repented. This is NOT lordship salvation either. God will do the changing but the sinner must surrender and be willing to allow that to happen.

In short, it’s turn or burn. To preach repentance in a bold and illustrated way won’t likely build a big church but “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3




“The Kindness of God”

2 Samuel 9:1-13 David & Mephibosheth

The theme of this story is the kindness of God. In David’s life, we can see the kindness of God. Because David and God had an intimate relationship, David developed a kind heart.


Before David became the King of Israel King Saul tried to kill David and prevent David from becoming King over Israel. King Saul was David’s enemy. For seven years, David fled from King Saul.


Except during times of  religious expediency, King Saul did not obey God. He rebelled against God, listened to the people, and had a stubborn heart.


God rejected King Saul and anointed David to be king over Israel. 1 Samuel & 11 and 23 says, “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried all night.” and, Samuel told King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."


King Saul is like many people. Most people, yea, even a lot of religious people, reject the will of God because they are rebellion against the Bible, stubborn, and will only listen to the world.


David, before he became King, had a close relationship with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Jonathan was an individual who had a love for God, for the will of God, and for the man of God.


Verse 1-3, “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.”


King David loved God and God gave David peace and love in his heart. King David did not have hate nor have bitterness in his heart towards the house of Saul. King David put into practice the love and kindness of God. “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” Psalm 25:6


King David is a good example for us how we should love our enemies and exhibit the love and kindness of God. In this passage twice, King David said that he wanted to show the kindness of God towards the house of Saul. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and a friend of David. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson.


Mephibosheth was lame. He could not walk nor could he earn money. He was very poor. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul. Mephibosheth represents the Christian. Before we are saved, we are a child of the Devil and unworthy to enter into the presence of God and into heaven. And, only the love and mercy of God makes us worthy enough to enter heaven.


“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) Ephesians 2:4 and 5


Love Produces Kindness


Verse 5 & 6, “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!”


Please note that even though David was the King he sought Mephibosheth. King David is a type of God. God loves us and He is seeking us. 1 John 4:9 & 10 says, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”


God loves us!


The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 God is seeking the salvation of man in order for man to escape the torment of hell and enter the joy of heaven.


Jesus loves us!


Verse 7 & 8, “And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is they servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”


The first words out of the mouth of King David was “Fear not.” King David relieved the heart of Mephibosheth. Is that not like the kindness of God? “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10


Mephibosheth realized that he was not worthy to receive this honor and was humble. In this passage, Mephibosheth twice said that he is David’s servant and did not deserve his mercy.


Before we are saved, we are unworthy to enter into the presence of the King of Heaven. We deserve to go to hell. Like Mephibosheth, we need to have a grateful heart to the king of heaven and be God’s servant and follow Jesus.


Verse 13, “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”


King David gave commandments that his servants were to provide the physical necessities for Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth could not take care of himself so David took care of his needs.

The Lord Jesus is our king and one day we will sit at His table in heaven and eat. The Lord Jesus, as an added blessing to the salvation of our soul, will give us a new, glorified body, and will take care of the needs of our new body for eternity. Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”


The story of King David and Mephibosheth is a wonderful story of the loving kindness and mercy of God. It shows us how God gave David love for his enemies’ grandchild. It shows us the humility of Mephibosheth and love and kindness of God in a practical manner. It shows us how God will take care of our spiritual, physical, and eternal needs.


Like King David, when we have a close relationship with God we can have the love and kindness of God in our hearts.


God loves us! He is Merciful and Gracious! Before we loved God He loved us! Because God loves us He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross and become the propitiation for our sins. This story shows us how God is seeking man for the eternal salvation of our soul so we can escape the torment of hell and enter into the joy of heaven.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16



Glory in Heaven

“Glory in Heaven.”

Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
And they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

According to the scriptures, what is wisdom? And who is a wise person?

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28  A person who fears the Lord, and is trusting in the Lord for the salvation of their soul, has wisdom. 

God looks at the heart. Our motives, our character, our personal righteousness (or sanctification), and our walk with the Lord will determine the glory, or rewards, we will have in eternity. In the scriptures, we see a contrast between various people who were wise in salvation and wise in sanctification. 

Contrast in Salvation

The fool trusts in his own heart, merits, works, religious ceremonies, wealth, influence, and other foolish things for the eternal salvation of his soul. The rich man in hell was a fool and Lazarus was the wise person in

Contrast after Salvation

After salvation, a wise person is one who decides to forsake the pleasures, comforts, ideology, philosophy, and the striving for wealth, fame or other worldly pursuits, in order to please the Lord in heaven. Lot was wise in salvation but not in his personal walk with with the Lord. Abraham was wise in salvation and in his walk with the Lord. 

Lot was righteous in the heart but not in his character.

Abraham was righteous in his heart, character, and beliefs.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament”

Winning souls is wise and will be rewarded in eternity. Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

When an individual tells another person, whether by word of mouth, testimony, preaching, a tract, or the manner of his life, and the person witnessed to turns to the Lord in salvation, then that person who witnessed is wise and in eternity will 'shine as the brightness of the firmament.' 

As the glory of one star is different from the glory of another star, so are our rewards in eternity.

Sanctification – Holiness – Right Living

Righteousness in our life, or Sanctification, or Holiness, is wise and will be rewarded in eternity. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 and 7, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; … For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”  

In a direct reference to the shameful living of the Corinthian believers (who were righteous in soul but not in daily living), Paul the apostle wrote, “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” Please take careful note. The lives of the Corinthian saints were 'shameful' even though they were wise in salvation, Paul clearly said they were not wise in judging; i.e., they could not discern spiritual things.

Lot is an example of this type of saint. They are unrighteous, unholy, and not sanctified, in their life. & 8 They allow the world, the pleasures of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, to destroy their testimony. Therefore, they do not win souls by either word of mouth nor testimony and their glory in eternity will not be so bright.

In eternity, those saints who lived in the flesh and taught false doctrine will be ashamed.

A wise Christian is one who is righteous in his daily walk with Christ. Abraham was a man righteous in  his heart for salvation and righteous in his heart in his walk with the Lord. Abraham was holy and sanctified  in his life. Since the scriptures have been written down the personal testimony of Abraham has caused the salvation of many throughout the ages and in many lands. 

Therefore, in eternity, the glory of the rewards given to Abraham will cause him to shine as the stars for eternity.

Righteous in Belief

A heart belief, before salvation, in an incorrect, or unrighteous, doctrine cannot save the soul. 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” The saint who walks with the Lord will take heed about every doctrine he believes.

A heart belief in Buddhism, Taoism, baptismal regeneration, salvation by works, and other erroneous methods of salvation will cause a person to spend eternity in hell. As Timothy preached salvation by grace, through a sincere, and repentant, heart belief in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; Timothy could win those people to Christ. 

Timothy could lead many to righteousness through correct doctrinal salvation preaching. In eternity, Timothy, and many other sound gospel preachers, will shine as the stars in heaven.

A heart belief in an incorrect, or unrighteous, doctrine, after salvation, will cause the believer to be deceived. The false teachers (some are saved, but teach erroneous beliefs), that are teaching in the churches (or an Internet theologian), is causing confusion among the saints by using deceptive doctrines and bibles. 

After salvation, a belief in incorrect, or unsound, or corrupted doctrines, will cause many saints to lose their rewards in eternity. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, they will be ashamed of their erroneous doctrinal beliefs.

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Timothy 2:5  If a man that is in the ministry, or a teacher of the scriptures in any capacity, teaches unsound doctrine, then he is not striving lawfully (according to the scriptures), and is not leading people to sound doctrine, or, a belief in right doctrine.

Unsound doctrine would include, but not limited to,  corrupted bibles (any modern version starting from the RV of 1881 is a corrupted bible), heresies like the Charismatic Tongue Movement, The Gap Theory, any form of a non-belief in the creation of the world in six days, Calvinism, CCM music, Ecumenicalism, and any perversion of the Second Coming of Christ (Preterist, A-millennialism or Post-millennialism).

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. ” 2 Timothy 3:8 & 9 Saints, who resist the truth of the scriptures, are in error.

Paul the Apostle will be rewarded, and shine as the firmament in heaven, for eternity. But, the saved teachers of false doctrines in the churches will be openly shamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Concluding thoughts

If a person is not a Christian, the wisest decision they will ever make it to trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. 

If a Christian is to be wise in their relationship with the Lord Jesus, our lives, and the lips of our mouths, should be a testimony of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus and His work in our lives.

If a Christian is wise, sanctified, and is striving lawfully, according to the correct doctrines in the scriptures,  he will be able to lead other saints to a sanctified life. In eternity, the wise saint will shine as the stars in the heavens.

“The Galactic Bulge – A field of White Dwarf Stars”
Note: A White Dwarf is actually bluish white.
Courtesy of NASA – the Hubble Space Telescope
“Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS)

Galactic Bulge White Dwarfs.jpg

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament:
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3

“… for one star differ from another star in glory.” 1 Corinthians 15:41



1 Samuel 30:6, “Encouragement.”


“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6


Enemies on Every Side


In addition to the world, his own flesh, and Satan, David had many other enemies. In this passage, 1 Samuel 30:1-20,  we will consider three of them: the Philistines, the Amalekites, and King Saul.


David had so many enemies that desired to kill him that he was living in the wilderness like a hunted animal. On some occasions, such as his relationship with Achish, he was able to live in a city. In spite of his enemies, David maintained a personal relationship with God.


David, in his close relationship with God, wrote, “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” Psalm 27:11 David based his daily path through life, his every day decisions, on the leading of the Lord in his life. David knew the will of God in his life and followed it, except with notable exceptions that are not related to this passage, to the day of his death.


Physical Background - Ziklag


1 Samuel 27:1-7 For his service to Achish, Achish gave the city of Ziklag to David. While David was preparing to battle with Achish (1 Samuel 29), against King Saul the lords of the Philistines demanded that David and his men refrain from entering the battle.


As David and his men of war returned to Ziklag they discovered that the Amalekites had burned the city, carried away all of the women and children captive, and took away the spoils of the city. Because David made the decision to leave Ziklag to help Achish, the men of war blamed David. Furthermore, due to the great distress and anxiety in their heart for the loved ones, the men of war were going to put David to death.


Great Distress


In times of one of the most stressful times in his life, David discovered that his own men turned against him and was preparing to stone him to death. David was greatly distressed. Unless God intervened, David was going to die a very painful and agonizing death.


In David’s time of extreme distress, he encouraged himself in the LORD. To further understand David and how he could encourage himself in the Lord we need to look deeper in his soul before this horrific incident occured.


Spiritual Background - David’s Relationship with God


From a child, David fell in love with God, the Law of God, the work of God, and the will of God in his life. As a child, then a teen-ager, and then a young man, David created and sang Psalms, had faith, walked close with God, and continually encouraged himself in the knowledge of eternal salvation in heaven, judgment to come and the wonderful promises of God as revealed in the scriptures.


From his younger years until this time of extreme crises, David desired to have a close relationship with God. David wrote, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD for all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4


In the heart of David, the house of the LORD, the LORD Himself, the holiness of God, was beautiful. In his close relationship with the LORD God in heaven, David discovered the beauty of holiness. “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2 David, from a child, with noted exceptions, walked in the Spirit.


Contrast the relationship of King Saul with God


The relationship of King Saul with God was not good, or, it was non-existent. In eternity, we will discover whether he was truly a saint.


We do know that King Saul walked in the flesh after two years in the King’s office. The power as the King of Israel went to his head. Actually, the phrase “went to his head,” while it is a good phrase, it is not entirely correct to describe a person who lets pride run his life. The phrase, “went to his heart,” is more precise. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” King Saul had a heart problem.


To King Saul, the sacrifices of God were just a religious ceremony, and, he listened to the voice of the people instead of obeying the voice of God. “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15: 22


If a person was honest with himself, like King Saul, a lot of our problems are the result of our own sinful pleasures, worldliness, fleshly desires, wrong decisions, and pride. Please study James 4:1-10. In other words, we are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, Romans 8:5-8, and the fruit in our lives are the fruits of the flesh Galatians 5:15-21


David obeyed God with a loving heart and walked with God. David put his trust in the work of God in his life. David walked in the Spirit and enjoyed the fruits of the Spirit. Please read Galatians 5:22-25


As we walk in the Spirit, we also can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit.



“... but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”


In spite of all of the distress David experienced, he believed that God was the solution to the problem. David placed his faith completely in the hands of God. In times of distress in our lives we need to be like David and encourage ourselves in God.


God in on His Throne in Heaven and He will accomplish His will in our lives. David knew that God had anointed him King over Israel and that God would help him in his time of extreme distress. David inquired of the Lord and plainly asked what should he do. “And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt overtake them, and without fail recover all.” 1 Samuel 30:8


The Victory


David inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him, and David did what God told him to do. David did not question God, David did not walk in his own will, and David simply did what God told him to do.


“And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, either sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” 1 Samuel 30:18 & 19


The military success of David in recovering all of the captured people and spoils from the Amalekites is one of the most successful military campaigns in the history of mankind.


This story is also written to encourage all of us in our walk with the Lord Jesus. In times of distress in our lives, we need to inquire diligently of the Lord that His will is and wait patiently for Him. We need to encourage ourselves in the Lord and in the wonderful promises in the scriptures.


“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31




1 John 4:10, “The Propitiation for Our sins.”


“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us,

and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10


The word propitiation means, “an atoning sacrifice.” An atoning sacrifice is a sacrifice that atones for sins. To atone for ones sins is to reconcile a person to God. The sacrifices of the Old Testament animals, or any animal of any culture, cannot take away sins; they were temporary until the Lord Jesus shed His blood to pay the penalty for our sins. The Lord Jesus became the Lamb of God that takes away our sins.


John 1: 29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”


Only the blood of Jesus can take away our sins.


Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”


The Lord Jesus shed His precious blood on the Cross of Calvary to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ is the propitiation, or atoning sacrifice, for our sins.


Leviticus Chapter 1


The book of Leviticus was given in order for mankind to know that we needed an atoning sacrifice, as a propitiation for sins, for the payment of sins. In these ordinances, God told the nation of Israel how to conduct these sacrifices. In Leviticus 1:1-9, God gives us some very important aspects of the sacrifices. God was very specific about the offering. The sacrifice must be according to what God said.


Leviticus 1:3


“If the offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.” Leviticus 1:3


The sacrifices of the Old Testament Law, specifically the book of Leviticus, were to be brought on the voluntary will of the individual. Every man has a will and God wants our sacrifice to come from the voluntary will of the individual.


“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23


The Lord Jesus Voluntarily Gave His Life to Became Our Sacrifice


“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51 The Lord Jesus willingly gave His life for our life.


God Sent the Lord Jesus to Become the Atoning Sacrifice


God sent Jesus to become the propitiation for our sins. The plan of God, before the foundation of the world, was for the Lord Jesus to leave heaven and become the propitiation, or atoning sacrifice, for the sins of all mankind.


Why? Because God Loves Us


Verse 10 says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”


We also need to notice that before we loved Jesus: Jesus first loved us. In verse 10, the scripture says, that, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.


In the sight of God, man is not righteous and not seeking Him. Romans 3:10 and 11, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”


But, God is seeking man. God does not want anybody to spend eternity in hell. Hell is the place for the punishment of our sins.


Luke 19:10, “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”


The love of God, and the love of the Lord Jesus, was manifested on the Cross of Calvary. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”


On the cross, the Lord Jesus, of His own free will, became the propitiation for our sins. Jesus loves us!


Concluding thoughts


We have seen some tremendous truths in this passage of scripture that can help us understand the love of God. 


And we found out that, God is seeking us and that Jesus Christ willingly allowed Himself to be crucified on the Cross of Calvary that we might be saved. The Lord Jesus became the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice, for our sins in order for to have eternal life in heaven. We need to accept this sacrifice in our hearts for our salvation and have a heart of thanks. 



The LORD is good.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;

and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

Nahum 1:7


“The LORD is good.”


In this short devotion I would like to consider Nahum 1:7 in the light of our Saviour Jesus Christ being LORD and a few thoughts brought out by the Lord Jesus when He preached the Sermon on the Mount.


The LORD is good. The character of God, is good and perfect in every sense of the word. God is good in character, in holiness, in righteousness, and in every act, deed or word. God is perfect in all aspects. To question the work of God, the word of God, or the actions of God, is to put doubt on His character and His word.


The character, the inward righteousness of the Jesus Christ, is good and perfect in all aspects. Jesus is Lord.


God above has given to all of us good things: life, food, shelter, friendship, families, and many blessings too many to mention. God is good to the lost and to the saved. The Lord Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44 and 45


We need to remember the goodness of God in our lives before we were saved and after we are saved.


“…a strong hold in the day of trouble.”


A strong hold is a place of safety and protection from evil and the enemies of the righteous. A strong hold is a place of protection from whatever will harm us. This is true in both the physical and spiritual realm. Heaven is a strong hold.


The Lord God was a stronghold for the nation of Israel when they trusted and followed His words, leading, commandments, statutes, and precepts. God was a strong hold for Abraham, David in the wilderness, King Solomon on the throne and the beggar Lazarus sitting at the gate of the rich man.


The Lord Jesus is our strong hold. The Lord Jesus is our Rock of Salvation. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7: 24 and 25


A wise man will hear and do what Jesus says.


"and he knoweth them that trust in him.”


In the Old Testament, beginning from the days of Adam, through Abraham, the Judges, the Kings of Israel, and the prophets, people have trusted in God.


On the contrary side, in those times there were false saints, false prophets, false priests, and false teachers mentioned throughout the Old Testament. A close look at the work of Moses and the prophets reveal that they were hindered and resisted primarily by false, or backslidden, brethren.


At times, these false, or backslidden, brethren used the very word of God the true saints used, used the very same prayers that the righteous saints used, and, as for as the outward appearance was concerned, was “religious.”


The LORD said, “…and he knoweth them that trust in him.”


The wisest man in the world once observed, “The thing that hath been, is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9


In the New Testament nothing has changed. The Lord Jesus, “… knoweth them that trust in him.”


After the discourse of the Lord Jesus concerning the false prophets in Matthew 7:15-20 the Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name hath cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23


The Lord Jesus never knew these lost, religious, charlatans who used His name to build religious edifices, denominations, good work organizations, and falsely taught and preached His word. As with Moses and the prophets, the Lord Jesus, Paul the Apostle and the other true men of God were resisted by false, or backslidden, brethren or other religious individuals.


The problem is a heart problem. Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We need to trust in the Lord above with all of our heart and do those things which are commanded of us in spite of the false ministers, false teachers, social problems, political unrest, economic unrest, and other problems in this short life.


The Lord knows all and He is good. We need to trust in the Lord Jesus with all of our heart and follow Him.


May God truly bless all of you.



Be Still. Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God:


Every saint should realize that God is God. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. We need to sit back, be still, and just meditate on the attributes and character of God. We need to understand that the very essence of God is eternal and beyond our human comprehension. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14


So often, we ask unnecessary questions and seek un-attainable answers. It is not within us to understand all of the plan, actions, methods, and work of God due to our finite understanding. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29


So, God told us, “Be still, and know that I am God.”


“I will be exalted among the heathen,

I will be exalted in the earth.”


God has a plan to exalt Himself on the face of this earth. His plan was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophets and revealed to us in the New Testament. This plan unfolds in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the exaltation of Christ as the Saviour of the world. “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” John 17:4


The plan of God to exalt Himself continues through the church Age, the 7 Year Tribulation Period, and 1000 Year Reign of Christ on the earth as, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”


The plan of God to exalt Himself on the face of this earth will culminate in eternity. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:1-3


God knows exactly what He is doing and His plan will come to pass exactly as He has planned it.


“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen,

I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10


Pleasing God & Peace

Proverbs 16:7, “Pleasing God & Peace.”


Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”


God can give peace to a person, or a nation, or He can take away peace from a person, or a nation. Isaiah 45:6 & 7, “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”


Most people seek peace through worldly and physical pleasures. Most people love pleasure more than God and sometimes the saints love pleasure more than God. 2 Timothy 3:4, “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”


When a person pleases God than God can give that person peace. God wants us to give us peace in our hearts. The Lord Jesus said, John “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In the early church, the disciples were persecuted severely for their faith in Christ and in the ages since that time, more persecution arose from various false religions and leaders. In the midst of these persecutions, the Lord Jesus gave these people peace.


Even though we sometimes have problems and difficulties, the Lord Jesus can give us peace in our hearts. We need to learn how to please God. Colossians 1: 9 & 10, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”


God can give us peace in our hearts and peace among our enemies if we please him.



Psalm 19:1 Integrity

 “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity,

than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool

Proverbs 19:1


The meaning of integrity is moral soundness or purity; incorruptness, uprightness; honesty.


Job is an excellent man of integrity. Job 2:3, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth [ hate ] evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”


Job eschewed, or hated, evil. Job was upright, morally pure, incorrupt in business, and honest in his dealings.


A person who hates sin, and stays away from sin, is a person of integrity. Psalms 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” Job, a man of God, was a man of integrity.


“... than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool”


The meaning of perverse is: to be obstinate; in the wrong; disposed to be contrary; or stubborn.


Balaam, a false prophet, because his way of life was contrary to God, was perverse. Numbers 22:31 & 32, “Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me.”


Balaam, and other false teachers, are obstinate, contrary, and stubborn against the ways and doctrines of God as written in the scriptures. They are fools and perverse in the sight of God.

Jude 11, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” See also 2 Peter 2:1-22




Job is a fine example of a man of integrity. Job maintained his integrity in spite of intense physical, mental, social (his three friends), and spiritual testing. In these last days of spiritual unrest, false teachers, political uncertainty, wars and rumors of war, legal persecution, verbal animosity, and other trials of these perilous last days, we need to maintain our integrity. May God bless you all.


Trust in the Lord

Psalms 37:1-5, “Trust in the Lord.”


Verse 1 – 5, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”


David was King over the nation of Israel. He was not a pastor, a religious leader, or a priest. He was a man who trusted in God and God anointed him become King. David trusted in God and in the promises in the Bible. So, God lifted him up in his life.


A lot of people commit evil. We see, or hear; people do evil, commit crimes, war, deceit or other bad things. Sometimes we see evil people become famous or rich. Sometimes this causes us to worry or to envy them. God says not to worry or fret. Why? They will perish like the grass one day and spend eternity in hell.


Instead of worrying, or being jealous, we need to trust in God and do good.


Verse 9 says, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”


The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5


All of us have desires in our lives. We have plans and hopes for our lives, our jobs and our families. God can help us overcome obstacles so we can have these desires. God wants to bless us. We need to know and enjoy the things of God as written in the Bible. 1 John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”


In order for God to bless us, we need to decide to commit our lives to Him. God knows our situation and when we trust in Him, He can give us our needs and desires.

Jesus is Lord. When we trust in Christ as our Saviour, He promised to give us eternal life in heaven. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”


God knows the situation of this world. He knows that it is full of evil. So often, because we see the wicked prosper, we forget God. God knows that the wicked will be punished in God’s proper time. By studying the Bible, we can know God. We can know how He will punish the evildoer in the future. And, because we have Christ in our hearts we can overcome the Devil and the world. So, we need to trust in God and not worry. He will bless us when we trust in Him.


May God bless all of you.


Standing Firm In Christ

Is Tithing a Sin?

by Ronald W Robey

Is tithing money a sin? Yes, it is,... if you are tithing money because, "the Bible commands us to tithe.".

God's Word decides what is to be tithed, not us.  If the preacher's tithe sermon contradicts what is written in God's Holy Word, God is right, the preacher is wrong.  If man's belief concerning God's commanded tithe is contrary to what is written in the Bible about God's commanded tithe, God is right, man is wrong.  The decision as to what is to be tithed, to whom the tithe is to be given, and where it is to be observed has already been written in God's Word.  He said His holy tithe is agriculrural, not monetary. (Lev. 27:30-33)  He said it is for the physical descendants of Levi, not for Gentiles on Gentile soil. (Lev. 27:34; Num. 18:24-26; Neh. 10:37-38)

God's Word says that sin is the transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4)  To say that God requires monetary tithes is false, since God's Word says His holy tithe is to be agricultural. To say that God's holy tithe is to be taken to Gentile pastors on Gentile soil is also false, since God said His holy tithes are to go to Levites in farming communities in Canaan.

When those who believe that God's Word commands them to tithe tithe money (instead of agricultural crops and livestock) and they tithe on Gentile soil, (instead of farming communities in Canaan) they transgress the very Law they claim to be keeping.

Yes, to tithe money in response to Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:10, Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42 or Hebrews 7:5-9; or in response to any other Biblical command to tithe is,... in fact,... sin.




                                      Proverbs 1:5
                           Analyzing the Chinese word, ‘Hear.’
Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of 
understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” A wise man will listen to the scriptures
and OBtain counsel.

The Chinese language is unique, interesting, and very complex. Also, within their own 
culture, the Chinese language has a written testimony of the mind of God. 

The Chinese language is an ideographic language. It uses lines, called, ‘strokes,’ and, 
every individual word, is called a, ‘character.’ And, within every ‘character’ are other
‘characters.’ Finally, every line within the word has to written in proper sequence. I 
did not make up the sequence of this message; a Chinese dictionary made the sequence.

The ‘character,’ or word, listen in the Chinese is comprised of six different Chinese 
words put together to form one word: the word listen or to hear. Let us breakdown the 
word, ‘Listen’ in Chinese and see what the Bible says. Also, we will list these words in
the standard sequence that the Chinese use in writing their language.
                               First Chinese Word - Ear 耳

Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of 
them.” God created our ears for us to have the ability to hear words. To God words are
important as they reveal what a person has in its heart. We need to be careful what we 
say and what we hear. God gave us two ears and one mouth so we will listen more than 
we speak.

Proverbs 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall
be abomination.” God gave us the Law in order for us to understand His holiness, His 
righteousness, His will, and our need for a Saviour. The Law is contained within the 
Old Testament. When a person, whether saved or lost, does not want to hear the Law than 
even his prayer is an abomination.

As one studies the Old Testament Law he realizes that he comes far short of the 
righteousness of God and realizes that the Lord Jesus truly fulfilled the Law of God. The
more we learn the Law the more we appreciate the grace of the Lord Jesus.

                              Second Chinese Word - King 王

“For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2 
God rules the affairs of this earth from His throne in heaven. God is in full control 
and He knows exactly what He is doing and why He allows all events to happen.

Revelation 19:16, "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF 
KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” One day, hopefully soon, the Lord Jesus is coming back to this 
earth to rule and reign for 1000 years in His Millennial Kingdom. The first time that the
Lord Jesus came was to suffer the penalty of our sins as a sacrificial Lamb. The next time 
that He comes to the earth, not in the clouds, will be as King over the earth.

                               Third Chinese Word - Cross 十

The Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary for us. He took our sins and died 
in our place. God will not allow sin into heaven. Nor can a sinner atone for his own sins
using any form of works or religious ceremony,

God will only accept a perfect, or sinless, sacrifice for our sin. The Lord Jesus is 
sinless. Therefore, He was able to be qualified as our sacrifice for sin. Apart from the 
Lord Jesus, no other man is sinless. The Lord Jesus became sin for us that we might be 
saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21 declares, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

The gospel is the death, burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we 
believe the gospel, in our heart, then we can be saved.

                              Fourth Chinese word - Blood. 血

God plainly said in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I 
have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the
blood that maketh and atonement for the soul.” God requires a blood sacrifice in order 
to save the souls of mankind from an eternity in hell. 

The blood sacrifices in the Old Testament were never intended to justify the sinner. The 
sacrificial Law was instituted by God to show mankind the need for a sacrifice for sins 
and the coming suffering Messiah that could atone for their sins as a sacrificial Lamb. 
Isaiah chapter 53. 

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which 
taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 The Lord Jesus was the Lamb that takes away 
the sin of the world. When the Lord Jesus died on the cross He shed His blood for our sins.
The Lord Jesus became our blood sacrifice for the salvation of our souls. 

The scriptures are very clear that only the blood of Christ shed on the cross can make an
atonement, or redeem, our souls. Hebrews 9:11 and 12 state, “But Christ being come an high 
priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with
hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves,
but by his own blood he entered in once unto the Holy place, having OBtained eternal 
redemption for us.”

The blood of animals, and any other man made sacrifice, cannot OBtain our salvation. Only
the blood of Christ, shed on the cross of Calvary, can save our souls. We need to hear 
what God says about the blood of Christ. It is very important.

                                 Fifth Chinese Word - One. 一

In Acts 4:10 - 12 Peter lets us know that, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the 
people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom
God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is
the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given 
among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way any person can be saved. Belief in the 
name of Muhammad, the Pope, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, or some other man, 
cannot save the soul.

The Lord Jesus said Himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

All religious attempts to OBtain salvation through good works, earning merit, ceremonies,
striving to keep the Law, or some other religious belief, will fail to save a soul from an 
eternity in hell. Except through the Lord Jesus, there is no other way into heaven. 

                             The Sixth Chinese Word - Heart 心

The things that we believe in our hearts are those things that are dear unto us. We love 
with our hearts. What we believe in our hearts will guide our actions and create our
The same thing is true with salvation. A heart belief is necessary in order to have 
salvation. A lot of people know about the Lord Jesus with their head, but they do not know
Him with their heart. Salvation is a heart belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul said this to the Romans, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the 
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth 
confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9 and 10

When a person truly believes with their hearts that Christ died for their sins, and that 
He was buried and rose again the third day, then that person can be saved. Paul said 
further, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans10:13. 
If you are not saved through the Lord Jesus, than why not right now ask Him in sincere 
prayer to save your soul and give you eternal life in heaven. 


In Luke 9:37 God, speaking audibly from heaven, said, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
The Lord Jesus is the beloved Son of God and we should hear, and follow, Him. The Lord 
Jesus spoke of those things that God told Him to say. The Lord Jesus said in John 12:49
and 50, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a 
commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment
is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I 

A wise man will listen to the Lord Jesus speak in order to learn the will of God.



Following Christ.

Luke 9:51, "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." The Lord Jesus was determined to proceed to Jerusalem to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus did not let the affairs of this life, the Pharisees of the religious world, the issues of His day, and the clamour of the world deter Him from the will of God in His life.

Proverbs 4:25-27, "Let thine eyes look straight on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."

The way of salvation is narrow and straight and the way of proper service to God is also straight and narrow. We should not let the religious hypocrites of this world, the babbling of the Charismatics, the corruption of the new versions of the Bible, the defection of the Calvinists from the truth, and the emerging church dictate how we serve the Lord. We need to reject, ignore them and follow Christ.

The will of God as revealed in the scriptures, the methods of soul-winning and church government, and the doctrines of the scriptures, as revealed in the AV 1611, is our guide. Let us not falter in these last days from following Christ on the narrow path of service.


What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?

We are saved by the Blood of Christ, forgiven of our sin, and eternally secured with Him. But what does it mean to be a Follower of Christ?

1Co_4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
1Co_11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Eph_5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Php_3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
1Th_1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
1Th_2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
Heb_6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
1Pe_3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

To follow Christ is to keep all, and to practice all those things which Christ taught. The first time the phrase “Follow Me” is used in the New Testament, is when Jesus saw Peter and Andrew caster their nets, and Christ said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. The first time Christ called, it was to ask that those that would follow, that they would learn to spread the Gospel of Christ. The first mention was witnessing, Christ’s 1st point in being a follower is learning how to preach the Word of God.

The second point is in Matthew 8:19-23
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

The Lord is instructing his followers to leave those things that would distract you from walking with Christ. The Lord was not being insensitive to this man, but was trying to help him understand that the things and cares of this world are not as important as keeping yourself on the path of the service of the Lord. As He said “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”. The Lord wants us to learn to not care for ourselves, He promised that He would take care of us, that He would provide our every need. So why would we need to take it upon ourselves? Taking the load from the Lords shoulders and placing it on our own.

The third point is in Mat 16:24-27 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

What does it mean to deny ourselves? It is again, to not care for any of the pleasures and luxuries of this life. Like He said to Peter and Andrew, to follow Him and leave behind their cares. They were fishermen, and Christ asked them to leave their livelihood and take up a new vocation as a fisher of men, a preacher of the word. Here the Lord is asking now to deny even the finer things of this life. To fully trust in God is to completely let go of everything that would take your mind off of what Christ would be trying to teach you. “or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” what in this world could possibly be more important than the salvation of someones soul? What could you possibly have in your life that would take the place of the Gospel of Christ?

To leave the cares of this world the Lord doesn’t want us to be as Monks in Monasteries, for we would have to leave this world all together to escape the sin and temptations. The Lord only asks that we would be mindful, and keep ourselves in subjection to His Word.

1 Corin 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Always abounding, that’s being always mindful, praying without ceasing. Inviting the Lord into every aspect of your life, asking Him to bless and guide you in your daily work. Being a follower is more than just accepting a belief, but living it. Zealousness, fervency, and devotion in living out its principles is a must. Knowing to do what is necessary and neglecting it, not only harms your own spiritual life, but will rOB you of a chance for Christ to work with and help you in the physical life. God won’t force you to serve Him, He isn’t going to grab your hand and pull you along the path. But He will wait, He will stand by offering assistance and wait until we have had enough in trying to figure things out on our own, and finally acknowledge Him and ask for His hand.

Denying yourself can be, and may just be the hardest of the instructions that Christ has given us. But God did say in 1 Corin 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The Lord promised that anything that you would be tested by would not be anything more than you could handle. It may seem an impossible task to leave behind your life, but Christ promised that all you must do is ask of Him and He will give you the ability to overcome.

Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
There are many other instructions and teachings that Christ gave. But if these main points are followed, the others will naturally come. You have to want to follow, to want to overcome this life for the Lord to give you the victory. He is no going to make you change, but He is going to prick your conscience and try to get your attention.

Serving the Lord must be with the whole self. Just going through the motions and “tipping your hat to God”, or in any way treating Christianity as just a religion and not a faith, is not being a follower of Christ. Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

God does not want religious rOBots, He wants true disciples, those who WANT to follow and OBey His instructions. Those who would be willing to give up everything to serve Him, if He so called. Being a follower of Christ is more than appearance, it is a sincere full bodied and full life decision. You would be willing to accept any calling, any challenge that the Lord presented you with.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

The first mention in Psalms is the Lord asking that we leave off the way of the world and follow Him. To not think of the way you want to do things, but to constantly think of, to meditate on the teachings of God. But not only to think on, but that it would be something that we would be delighted in OBeying. It is a heart issue, the Lord wants excited followers, He wants, and would like his children to be joyful in the instructions He lays out for us.

The Word of God would be something that would fill you with joy. That it would be something that you just could not get enough of. The Way of the Lord is not a hard or laborious path as it says in Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

To follow the path of Christ is to denounce your own self and desires, and to have absolute trust in Him. To follow the fruits of Christ Gal 5:22-25 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The Lord is not ordering us here, but is asking that we would follow these things, that we would be willing to put aside ourselves. These are the things that the Lord asks us to meditate on and strive to become.

The Lord laid out some instructions for us in Eph 5:1-20 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disOBedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Meditate on these things, strive to follow His teachings. Ask for His help and He will give it.

Standing Firm In Christ

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

The above should be a sOBering thought for all who read it. It should be a challenge for all to "think before you speak," and to "look before you leap."

One group teaches that there is not a verse in the entire Bible where God commands Gentile Converts to faith in Christ to tithe their money.

Another group teaches that God's Word commands Gentile Converts to give a tithe of money to the Church.

One of the two groups is making and loving a lie. Both can't be right

This sOBering thought should cause all peoples on both sides of the fence to be as the Bereans of the first century AD, who searched the Scriptures "to see if it was so." Our teachings and beliefs should be in perfect harmony with God's Holy Word. If not, our teachings and beliefs should change. God's Word is truth and abides for ever.

Matthew 7:21 (KJV) 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 (KJV) 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23 (KJV) 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Standing Firm In Christ

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.” Matthew 12:21

The above statement made by Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees is often taken out of its context and used by pastors and laymen alike, in an attempt to prove that God requires tithe of money from the Church member today.
But, when read in context with the entire discourse, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, it is easy to see that Jesus was not endorsing a monetary tithe at all. Nor was He saying to give money to God at all.
Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
The Pharisees asked Jesus a question concerning tribute paid to Caesar. Jesus’ profound reply is overlooked by many today.
The image and superscription on the tribute money was that of the ruling government… Caesar’s. In our modern language, we would say it thusly, “Pay the government the taxes they require. The money is theirs.”
Jesus also said that the Pharisees were to give to God that which was God’s. Was He speaking of money? Not at all.
In the very first chapter of the Bible, we are told that man was created in God’s image. So, the question arises, “Whose image and superscription is on man?”
That’s right… God’s image. God’s superscription. Romans 12:1-2 tell us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, holy and acceptable unto Him.
“Render unto God that which is God’s.”
In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus was not telling the Pharisees to tithe money. He was telling themselves to yield their own selves to the LORD. And Paul echoed that admonition in his epistle to the Romans thirty years later.

God’s image is on us. May we all be fully yielded to His service.

Standing Firm In Christ

Suppose you are a young adult male who works for a company that has a CEO and a superintendent over you.
One day, the CEO tells you that you are no longer to come to work on Tuesdays; that only females are allowed to work that day.
Later that day, the superintendent calls you into his office and tells you you are expected to work for four hours every Tuesday.

Who do you OBey? Would you not go to the CEO to get the confusion straightened out?

Well, look at God as the CEO and the pastor as the Superintendent. God's Word says that His tithe is to go to Jerusalem. He gives no other location that it must go. He also says it is to be agricultural in nature. He gives no other options.

The pastor says, "Tithe to the Church where you are fed," and "Tithe money."

Uh-oh... conflict of interest. LOL

So what do we do? We go to God for the answer. We ought to OBey God rather than men. So if we are going to tithe. it's best to do it in the manner that God prescribed, is it not? Otherwise, it is not OBedience to God, it is OBedience to man who is teaching something contradictory to what God says.

Thankfully, God does not hold us to the Law of the tithe. In Romans 7 we are told that if the saved go to the house of the Law, it is an act of adultery. Let us strive to be faithful to Christ and not be guilty of going to the house of the Law while married to the One who was raised from the dead. RWR

Standing Firm In Christ

Three elderly gentlemen are sitting on a park bench.

#1: It's windy today.
#2: No, today is Thursday.
#3: So am I. Let's go get a drink from that fountain.
#1: I don't want to sing on the mountain.
#2: What did you say was sinful sounding?

The three men in the illustration enjoyed each others company that windy day. Yet because they were not listening carefully to one another's words, their words were lost with each other.

So it is with many people today.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

What is it we have heard? That the tithe was for the children of Israel.

Leviticus 27:34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

The command to tithe was not given to Gentiles. So many have allowed themselves to be deceived that God expects them to tithe due to a hearing prOBlem.

Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

The Word of God reveals the tithe was agricultural.

Leviticus 27:30-33 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

Revelation 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

God said the tithes were agricultural, but because of hearing prOBlems people attempt to tithe money.
God said the tithes were for the children of Israel, but because of hearing prOBlems, Gentile Converts were easily deceived into believing that God expects them to tithe.
God said the tithes were to be eaten by Levites, widows, orphans, foreigners in Israel, the tither and his family. But because of hearing prOBlems, Gentile Converts believe that they are to give tithe in the form of money to a Church at the detriment of caring for self and others.
So many in the Church today have a great hearing prOBlem. And because of their hearing prOBlem, they do not understand what God says when He speaks to them in His Word concerning what He said tithes were.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

So many today, because the will not hear the Word of the Lord, because they will not study the Word of the Lord, because they will not search the Scriptures to see if what their pastors have told them is so, will one day find that they will not be able to hear the Word of the Lord at all. God will allow the Word to be taken away from them. And all they will have left is memories.

Are you memorizing the Word of God? David said, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Commit yourself to the studying of the Word. Commit yourself to searching the Scriptures. If you don't learn it, when it is taken away, what will you have left?

So many today try to quote verses, such as, "He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Yet, the majority, though believing they know what that verse says, so often misquote it. "He that spareth the rod spoils the child" is often the quote that is given.

How much more of the Bible do they misquote? A misquote is not the Word of God, my friends. It is the result of one who does not hear God's Word. Just as the words that the three elderly gentlemen were speaking were fruitless due to their hearing prOBlems, God's Word is fruitless to the one who will not hear.

Standing Firm In Christ

Many today, in their zeal to defend the doctrine of a monetary tithe requirement, will cite 1 Corinthians 16:2, saying that the word “prospered” is speaking of “proportion,” or “percentage.” It is not.

1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

The word “prospered” is translated from the Greek word “euodoo”, which means, “to help on the road, i.e. (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively, to succeed in business affairs:–(have a) prosper(-ous journey).”

euodoo was never translated as proportion in the Bible. The word used by the Greeks for “proportion” was the word “analogia”. Found only in one verse of the New Testament.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Back to 1 Corinthians 16:2. That verse was not speaking of proportion or percentage. It was speaking of prosperity. As God had made them prosperous in life, Paul encouraged the saints at Corinth to help the poor saints in Jerusalem. But percentage was never mentioned. God leaves the amount given up to the giver…

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

“Purposeth”– “proaireomai”– “to choose for oneself.”

Not only was Paul not speaking of percentage or proportion, Paul also was not speaking of tithes. Rather, he was speaking of a collection (Grk. logia) for the saints at Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection (logia) for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings (logia) when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

The Greek word for “collection” was the word “logia.” Again, nothing to do with tithes. Had Paul been speaking of tithes, he would have used the word “apodekatoo.” Paul did not use the Greek for “tithes” in any of his epistles. The collection in 1 Corinthians 16 was to be freely given (not of coercion) to ease burdened saints in Jerusalem.

Standing Firm In Christ

The Proper Teaching of Malachi 3:7-11

The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that tithing was an ordinance given to national Israel, not to the Church.

The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that Malachi was referring to a tithe of crops and livestock... not money.

The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that the curse associated with not tithing was locusts and withholding of rain... not loss of jOB, loss of money, ill health, automotive repairs, etc..

The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that the blessings associated with tithing was rain from heaven and withholding the locust from eating the crops... bringing about a bountiful harvest... not more money, better jOB, good health, close-knit family, etc..

The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 is that it was written to Israel, not to the Church. The Church was not rOBbing God... the Priests of Israel were.

Monetary tithe requirement teachers clearly distort the proper teaching of Malachi 3, turning the rebuke and exhortation into something that God never said. The monetary tithe requirement doctrine is in improper doctrine and has no place in the post-cross Church.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Pastors need to allow the light to shine upon Scripture as they study it. Take off the blinders of religion and tradition, and let the mind of Christ interpret the Scripture. If they do, God will reveal to them that which He has revealed to many concerning the tithes of the Mosaic/Levitic Law.


Jonah 4

“And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” (v. 2)

This seems to be the reason that Jonah did not want to go in the first place! He wanted Nineveh to fry! He, no doubt, was a bit of a “Pharisee” at least in spirit, and his self righteousness demanded attention from God. Jonah knew that there was a chance that Nineveh would repent, and suffer no harsh judgment for their evil ways, and he did not want that to happen. He definitely did not have the heart of a soul-conscience believer. Yet, how often do we hear of something in the news and wish God’s severest judgment on them? A heinous crime brings out the devil in us, it seems, and we relish in the judgment of God upon those involved. Why do we not weep for their souls? I, unfortunately, ask this of myself most of all! Though some seem so wicked and heartless, they are still a living soul, and need to be saved. That is the answer to the prOBlems of society, getting wicked men saved and doing right. It is not in legislation; it is not in the penal system, but in changing them from within, which only Jesus can do. In Nineveh we see the hope of the Gospel and the hope of the soul-winner, that the entire city would be saved.

God truly is gracious and full of mercy, but we forget that it is given to us too, as well as those very wicked men and women we would condemn. Read our text verse, and know a little more about the nature of God. He is very kind; gracious; slow to anger, and merciful. He is an Almighty, loving God, and loves the souls of the wicked in the same way that he loved us while we were yet in our sin. Our God loves sinners, rather, He loves to redeem them! God used an illustration to teach Jonah that if it were him in Nineveh, he would be happy about the warning, and about God changing His mind too. Jonah seems to care more about himself, and a silly old gourd, than he did about a multitude of souls in hell. Shame on him, and on us who know better when we find ourselves emulating Jonah in our attitudes.