Has the Church replaced Israel?


“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston Mass., and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference. “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”

I believe that the Vatican and the institution of the Roman Catholic Church as well as some other denominational churches are gravely mistaken and have embraced the “replacement theology” and are in the process of abandoning Israel. 

Replacement theology also known as supersessionism  teaches that the Church has replaced the nation of  Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God. There is no biblical evidence that God has cast Israel aside, quite the opposite is true. God has made an everlasting covenant with Israel, in Genesis God made a covenant with Abraham: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” Gen 17:7 

God said everlasting, not just for a certain time period. God promised Abraham that through his offspring all the nation shall be blessed i.e. the promised Messiah would come through the nation of Israel (Gen 3:17)  from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God made another covenant through Abraham’s son Isaac: “Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.Gen 17:19 

The word everlasting appears 100 times in the KJV/NKJV and if God says everlasting it means everlasting i.e. forever. The replacement theology has been around for a long time,  but is contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Israel and the Church are two different entities, God has not made a covenant with the Church as He did with the nation of Israel as for example the mosaic law which was conditional and involved works.

The New Testament covenant is unconditional, no works, such as animal sacrifices or the keeping of dietary laws etc. We come through faith not by works. God made an unconditional covenant with Abram in Genesis 15. It was unconditional, God put Abram to sleep and walked among the animals and it was God that upheld the covenant without any works or doings of Abram. Please note, at that time his name was still Abram not Abraham which came later when God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation which were the twelve tribe of Israel.

Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. We as the bride of Christ come through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is His righteousness that is imputed onto every believer. God’s sovereign plan of salvation. We are saved by His grace through faith. It is true and documented in the Bible that Israel disobeyed God many times, which caused them many afflictions, enslaved to Egypt for 400 years, captivity in Babylon for 70 years and much strives and wars with the neighboring nations.

They rejected Jesus as their Messiah at His first coming, which resulted ultimately in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by Titus and the fall of Jerusalem which caused them to exist as a nation, resulting them to be dispersed all over the world. Because of their rejection of Jesus/Yahshua as Messiah, the Gentile nations became heirs, with that God fulfilled the promise He made to Abraham, that, through him all nations will be blessed:  “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,…” Eph 3:1-6

God wanted the nation of Israel to be a shinning light before the pagan nations, He chose them not because they were special people but because He loved them and keeps His promises: “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; “and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.” Deu 7:7-10

Israel did not keep the commandments, and they even went in to idolatry, something the LORD hates, they failed miserably, despite all this, God has not cast them out or broken His covenant with them. Currently we are in what is called by many the Church age, which began at the time of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the believers. (Acts 2)  God is using the Church to preach the gospel of salvation in Christ and Him alone. The Church was chosen by God for a specific time period i.e. Church age,  to preach the gospel and reach the lost, the church was grafted in. (Rom 11:17)

The apostle Paul certainly did not believe that Israel was cast out by God, he wrote: “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Rom 11:1-4

God has always preserve a Jewish remnant. One of the biggest evidence of God not breaking His covenant is manifested in the re-birth of the nation of Israel on May 14th 1948. After almost 2000 years of Israel not existing, God brought them back into the land as prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36. The Jews are back in the land, as one nation/kingdom not two as it was before the dispersion, ( 2 southern tribes Judah and Benjamin and the 10 northern tribes) they speak one common which is Hebrew and the shekel is their currency. Today Israel is one of the most fruitful areas in the Middle East, they are the biggest vegetable and fruit exporters in the region. Israel is on the news daily and Jerusalem with the temple mount has been a sore point to many nations and has become the epicenter of the world. Israel is surrounded by many hostile Islamic nations, and one day the war of Gog and Magog will take place as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Most scholars believe that at the time of the rapture of the believers in Christ, the church age will end and will usher in a 7 year tribulation period on the earth spoken of in Daniel chapter 9. 70 weeks were determined for Israel, 69 weeks or 483 years or 173880 days have been fulfilled, from the commandment by King Artaxerxes in 445BC to rebuild the walls and Jerusalem and with Jesus riding into Jerusalem April 6 AD 32 as prophesied by Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech 9:9

The Messiah was cut off as prophesied in Daniel 9 i.e  the crucifixion and finished work of Christ upon the cross.  This leaves a seven-year/one week period which has not been fulfilled, commonly referred to as Jacobs troubles or the  seven years of great tribulation. It is in these seven years of tribulation that God will once again turn to Israel and they will recognize that Jesus is their promised Messiah, and they will embrace Him as such. The tribulation period will be a time of trouble like the world has never seen before or ever will again, God will pour out His wrath upon the unbelieving world and Christ will come again with all the believers, which is the second coming, this time He will come not as a lamb but as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. Christ will judge the nations, and the once who made it through the seven-year tribulation period who did not take the mark of the beast will enter into the millennial reign of Christ here upon the earth. This is the separation of the sheep from the goats. 

“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Rev 20:4-6
 
Many Jews will receive Christ as their Lord and Savior during the great tribulation, many Jews and Gentiles will have to die/martyred, but because they have not worshiped or bowed down to the Antichrist , they will be saved and enter into the kingdom of God and have everlasting life. God has not cast out the Jews, neither has He forgotten them, God keeps His promises, to us as Christians and to His chosen people; Israel. God has always preserved for Himself a remnant.

The Roman Catholic Church is wrong regarding Israel and the Bishops are contradicting what the word of God clearly states. As true followers of Jesus, we must stand with Israel and love them, they may not have yet embraced Yeshuah as Messiah, but in due time God will open their eyes. We should bless them and not cast them aside.

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 12:3

“You Must Be Born Again”


“This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:2, 3

Nicodemus came to Jesus because he knew in his heart that Jesus was someone special, nothing that he had ever seen or heard before. He saw the miracles Jesus performed, he heard Him teach with authority. He knew Jesus was no ordinary man, he saw the glory of God in Him. What did Jesus mean when He said to Nicodemus,  “you must be born again?” I’m sure many people have heard Christians use that term, “born again”. What does it mean to be born again? Nicodemus ask Jesus that very question,  not clearly understanding what Jesus was talking about.  Jesus was talking about a spiritual rebirth.

Every person that is born, is born of the flesh with a sin nature due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the garden. The result of their disobedience was sin entering the world and sin brought forth death i.e. spiritual death. Mankind was separated from God because of the inherent sin nature that is passed on throughout the generations. The Bible speaks of iniquity and that all were all born in iniquity. What is the definition of iniquity?  1) lack of justice or righteousness; wickedness; injustice.  2) a wicked act; sin. King David wrote about iniquity in the Psalms.

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Ps 51:5 God also spoke about iniquity when He gave the ten commandments:  “…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:5, 6.

This passage makes it pretty clear,  that those who hate God and reject Him have a curse upon them, from one generation to another. There is a lot of truth to this, character defects, personality and behaviors get passed on from generation to generation. Many times we hear of people ending up doing the same things previous family generations have done. For example, the son that had an alcoholic father, has a tendency to be an alcoholic himself. The children of a dysfunctional family have the tendency to be dysfunctional themselves when they start a family. People that are born out-of-wedlock, most likely end up doing the same thing, bringing forth children born out-of-wedlock, just as their parent did. Divorces are another example, many children of parents that got divorced end up in divorce themselves. These tendencies get passed on from one generation to another and it is an endless cycle unless that cycle gets broken. The good news is that this generational curse can be broken when a person turns to God. The passage in Exodus states that He will visit the iniquity of people from generation to generation, but only to those who hate Him. “…but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Ex 20:6.

Once a person turns to God, by repentance i.e. change of mind, that person has broken that endless cycle. He or she has becomes a new person, old things have passed away and all things have become new.  There are countless testimonies of people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ that had a life transforming experience and not only that, many times other family members will come to faith in Christ because of their radical transformation. I am no exception, I grew up in a non believing family and I inherited many of these iniquities/tendencies. My two grandfathers were alcoholics, my three uncles were alcoholic and I ended up being an alcoholic. I had the tendencies to become an alcoholic and I did. There are many other things that I did. Today I can see certain family members displaying the same behaviors and they have not changed, they go around in circles blaming everybody else or society.  So many say, I cannot help myself,  I am an addict or this is how I was made. I don’t believe that they were made that way. There is a way out to break free from this inherent curse. The way to true freedom is through Jesus Christ, He can change the life of anybody, if they are willing to come to Him and submit their will.

Most people are self-willed, they want to do as they please,  without being accountable for their actions. Actions have consequences and unless the cycle is broken, people will go around in circles doing the same things over and over again, just as the once that came before them, and as the once following them. Jesus wants to set people free from all of this bondage, this heavy load upon people’s lives. Jesus can break this vicious cycle. If you are reading this and find yourself in bondage to sin or in a seemingly endless cycle with no hope or end in sight, may I say that there is? The way out is through Jesus Christ the Savior of mankind who calls you out of this lifestyle of bondage, pain and grief. He wants to set you free from all of this and break the cycle. God loves you and He wants you to return to Him.  Turn to Him now and He will shower you with His love and will embrace you into His loving arms. It is never too late to turn, to turn away from those things that offend God. He will change you life, as He has changed mine and the life of countless others. He will give the believers a life of abundance.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
A lifestyle of sin steals the person of true joy. Sin is deceiving and may look inciting for a while, but in the end it stings, making life miserable. That is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be free from the heavy load of sin in our lives. Whatever you may be facing in your life right now, turn it over to Jesus and He will set you free. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The world hates you…


If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18, 19

As Christians i.e. followers and disciples of Jesus we  are to be separated from the things of the world. We are in this world but not of this world. If we are genuine believers we should separate ourselves from many things that this world has to offer, we are not to participate in the things that the world seeks after. Jesus said: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mat 6:33.

The apostle John in his second letter warned the Churches of the danger to compromise with the world: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 2John 2:15, 16.

It was pride that caused Lucifer to fall from heaven, (Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14). When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used those three to tempt Jesus to compromise and to worship him. Jesus did not give into those temptations. Jesus answered all three temptations with scripture, “It is written”.  Satan is the ruler of this world and Jesus did not deny that, but He did not sub-come the schemes of the devil. Just as he tempted Jesus, so is he tempting people all over the world today. Satan really has no reasons to change his tactics, he knows mankind too well and knows how to keep the world in his grip. If it is not broken, why fix it? As Christians we have to be very careful not to buy into the deceptiveness of the world.

We need to discern the times and stand up against the wiles of the wicked one. We need to put on the whole armor of protection. (Eph 6). Everyday we are getting bombarded with all kinds of temptations, just turn on your TV.  Everyday we have to decide, do I wanna serve God or do I want to serve the world?  The problem is that the closer we want to be with God, the more Satan attempts to make us fall. Genuine believers have a bulls-eye painted on their chest. Satan could care less about the backsliders or lukewarm Christians, they have already compromised with the world sitting on the fence, one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom.

I am not writing this to criticize others, I am including myself in this and I once walked in the things of the world just as most of you have. When I surrendered my life to Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness, my mind was changed, I looked at things differently. I repented, which means a “change of mind”.  Things that I used to do, just like everybody else, not even thinking that it is wrong in the eyes of God. Looking back now, most of the stuff I did was unfruitful, unimportant and a waste of time.  Seeking after the things of the world never satisfied and I was striving after the wind as the wise King Solomon said. Sin may satisfy for a while and there certain pleasure in it, the Bible does not deny that, but in the end it stings. Living after the world is traveling on the broad road that leads to destruction, as Jesus said, “many will enter into it”. Traveling down the road of destruction has caused people all kinds of pain, just look at the world, it is so broken and lost, there seems to be no way out. Society is on a moral decline and is sinking deeper and deeper into it.

Paul wrote this:  “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Rom 1:28-32. 

Sounds just like the world today, doesn’t it?  This last part of the verse, “that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Do we as believers approve of these things, or have we become silent, not speaking out against these things?  There are many that have the attitude of “live and let live” like it’s ok, let’s just not ruffle any feathers. I assure you if we as Christians stand up for the truth and  the things of God  not giving in to the world standards and it’s beliefs, we as people and children of God will suffer persecution, ridicule, mocking and genuine hatred. Just as Jesus said, the world loves its own, but they will hate us if we stand up and speak up.

As disciple of Christ we have to choose, either the narrow gate or the broad road that leads to destruction. Compromising and giving into the world is dangerous and can lead to a broken fellowship with God. Jesus had John write seven letters to the churches, Jesus rebuked all of them to a degree, except the church of Philadelphia. These seven churches were actual churches in then Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) but they were also representative of the churches throughout the church age. I also believe that these seven churches represent different believers, some have compromised, some have mingled with the world and some have become lukewarm. I think that Jesus had a purpose for the letters for us today, we need to examine ourselves if we are truly in the faith and are indeed seeking after the kingdom and not the world.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2Cr 13:5

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat 7:13, 14

If the world calls us narrow-minded, good, it is better to be narrow-minded in the things of God, rather than being on the broad and dark road that will lead to certain destruction in a person’s life.

For unto us a Child is born…


“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6, 7 

“For unto us a child is born” This glorious prophecy of the birth of the Messiah reminds Israel that the victory bringing Messiah would be a man. The Messiah could have been an angel. The Messiah could have been God without humanity. Neither of those options would have qualified the Messiah to be our Savior and High Priest as Jesus was. The Child had to be born.

“Unto us a Child is given” This Child would be a man, but more than a man. He is also the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead. Theoretically, the Messiah didn’t have to be God. He might have been a sinless angel, or merely a perfect man like Adam. Neither of those options would have qualified the Messiah to be our Savior and High Priest as Jesus was. The Son had to be given.

“And the government will be on His shoulder” Ultimately, this will be fulfilled in the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will rule the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Revelation 20:4-6, Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 65:17-25, Zechariah 14:6-21.) We are still waiting for the ultimate fulfillment of this promise.

“His name will be called”  This is not be mistaken as the literal names of the Messiah. Instead, these are aspects of His character, they describe who He is and what He has come to do.
The Messiah is “Wonderful” The glory of who He is and what He has done for us should fill us with awe and wonder. No one can really look at Jesus, know Him, and be bored. He is “Wonderful” and will fill our heart and minds with amazement.

The Messiah is our “Counselor”  Jesus is the One fit to guide our lives, and should be the Christian’s immediate resource as a counselor. Jesus can help us with our problems. He may use the presence and the words of another Christian to do it, but Jesus is our “Counselor”

The Messiah is “Mighty God” The God of all creation and glory, the Lord who reigns in heaven, the One worthy of our worship and praise.

The Messiah is the “Everlasting Father” The idea in these Hebrew words is that Jesus is the source or author of all eternity, that He is the Creator Himself. It does not mean that Jesus Himself is the Person of the Father in the Trinity.

The Messiah is the “Prince of Peace” He is the One who makes peace, especially between God and man.

From His names and character/attributes, verse 7 goes farther into the future, into the millennial reign of Christ.

“Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end” The reign of the Messiah will not last merely 1,000 years, though the millennium is a special aspect of His reign. There will be no end to the reign of the Messiah, and He will rule for all eternity.

“Upon the throne of David” Jesus will rule on David’s throne, and over his kingdom that is Israel. This is a fulfillment of God’s great covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.

Jesus Christ can be the Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace for everyone now. One day, these offices will be imposed upon the world. For now, they are real for those who receive Jesus and submit to Him. Have you surrendered your life to Him? Jesus is coming again to set up His kingdom here on earth. At His first coming, He came as the Passover lamb, at His second coming, He will come as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Which one would you rather meet, the lamb or the Lion? Jesus will come in judgment, He will judge the world in righteousness, those who rejected Him will face judgment at the great white throne of God. Do you think that you can face God and defend your life before Him? Those who put their faith and trust in Jesus will not face the great white throne judgment. Believers in Christ have the imputed righteousness of Christ and God the Father will not look upon their sins, they are forgotten as far as the east is from the west.

If you are not sure if you go to heaven or hell, call upon Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart, He will forgive you, no matter how bad you may think you are. The only unpardonable sin is to reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He laid down His life for you, so that you can have eternal life and be with God forever. It is a choice everyone has to make, whether they believe it or not. God is real and death is real, physical death will come to all, no one is excluded. Are you sure that there is nothing after you die? How can you be sure? Jesus has told us of the afterlife, what happens to those who reject God and it is not a pretty picture, eternal separation from God.

Eternity is a long time. I hope and pray if you have not received Jesus into your heart, stop and think, you may be young at this time, healthy, but things change real fast, sooner than you know you will look back at your life wondering, where did it go? Our spirit will not die, the decision whether to follow Jesus or not can have dire consequences, once a person dies without Jesus, it is too late. Think about it.

“For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2Cr 6:2

The Christian Dilemma


“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…Phl 1:27

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Phl 2:1, 2

When Paul made these statement to the Church in Philippi, division and false teaching had already crept into the churches. Paul exhorted the believers to be like-minded and to be of one spirit and of one mind. Just as in the past, we see much division in the body of Christ today. We have denominations that vary in doctrine i.e. teachings. Some are so liberal that they deny the inerrancy of the scriptures. Pastors today preach a seeker friendly message from the pulpit in order not to offend anybody.

Many are driven by the prosperity gospel, thinking God is a ATM machine and others have embraced the “green gospel”.  Paul and the other apostles had to deal with a lot of false teachers, deceivers and heretics. Looking at Christianity today around the world, the picture is not much different. Some churches have completely departed from the faith, denying sin, denying the deity of Christ His blood sacrifice on the cross and they do not want to talk about hell at all. The goal is to make people comfortable and cozy by preaching a watered down gospel, which really is no gospel at all.

I heard someone say once that if John Wesley, who founded the Methodist church, would preach a sermon today,  he would be kicked out of his own church. There are so many divisions within the church today that it can get very confusing to the unbelievers who may be seeking God and instead are getting bombarded with different doctrines. How is it that if we all read the same book, come up with so many different opinions, views and teachings? Are we not suppose to have the same Holy Spirit living within us and teachings us all the same truth? How is it that some that call themselves Christians come up with false teachings, taking scriptures and twisting them to fit their own theology?

Could it be that many that claim to be Christians never really study the Bible and rather listen with itching ears what others teach? They follow men rather than the word of God. They call themselves Calvinist, Armenians, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and the list goes on and on. Every one of them claims to have the truth, but obviously are not of the same mind and spirit as Paul exhorted us to be. The Bible is the infallible word of God and the absolute truth, by which we must abide. It is the responsibility of every believer to study the Bible and to know the word, so that they would not listen to false teachings or getting trapped into legalism.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Timothy 2:15

Paul is making it very clear, we as believers need to study the word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and if we do we will not listen to false doctrine. We who know the word will not be lead astray from the truth and we will have the knowledge to defend the truth against those who are contrary to the teaching of the Bible.  The institution of the Roman Catholic Church kept the people in darkness for over 1100 years, telling the people that they can not understand the Bible and that they need to be taught by the priest, rather than reading and learning for themselves. Until today, most Roman Catholics don’t know the Bible.

Many believers in other denominational churches are in the same boat, because they are not getting encouraged by their pastors to read and study the Bible. I believe that knowing the word of God, by studying and attending a Bible believing and teaching church is crucial to every believer. If not, many that confess to be Christian can easily be drawn into false teachings and liberal views and there is a  danger to fall into the hands of a cult or legalistic oriented church. These false fellowships are all over the place and many are drawn to these movements like the Toronto blessings, the Holy laughter movement, the emergent church headed by Brian McLaren and Rob Bell and the many seeker friendly, make me feel good churches. The Christian dilemma is that we look divided, striving with one another and are not of the same mind and spirit. To the outsider, the churches do appear to be divided and striving against each other.

That is not what the Bible teaches. We as believers are the body with Christ being the head of His church. We are to follow Christ and His teachings and not the teachings of men. Do we trust and believe in Men or do we put our faith and trust solely in Christ Jesus?

“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1Cr 1:11-13

Just as in Paul’s days, today we have many that follow certain men and their teachings rather than being one and all in Christ. Christ is all-sufficient and we do not need anybody to lead us into the truth. God has given us His truth and it is not hidden or in secret for some select people. God wants us to know the truth and it is revealed in His word. Christians, I exhort you to read and study God’s word, the word of truth.

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32

Free in Christ


“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Rom 8:1.
If we are in Christ, we are not condemned, His love for us does not depend on our performances or how”good” we are, but what Jesus has done for us. Jesus said “it is finished”. He has done it all for us, so don’t let Satan fool you into a life of guilt or condemnation.
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36.

Jesus wants us to live in freedom and in confidence, abide in Christ and He will never forsake you, no matter what.


Relationship or Religion?


True and genuine biblical Christianity is not a religion but rather a close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There are many religious people out there that think they have to add to the grace of God by their works. They are trying to please God by their works. The problem with all religions is that man is trying to reach God on their own merits. 

Christianity teaches the opposite, God has reached down to man. The religious people are trying desperately to please God with their righteous works and deeds. It is not the righteousness of man who God accepts, it is the righteousness of Christ which is imputed by God to every genuine believer.  True Christians do not stand on their own righteousness, they stand on the righteousness which is in Christ. 

Our own righteousness are filthy rags before God. “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6

Salvation is believing in Christ alone, not any church, denomination etc.  Jesus had to deal with religious people in His days i.e. the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees were the conservatives and the Sadducess were the liberals of the day.  They were doing all the outward religious practices, the looked and acted holy and people thought of them as the most spiritual people.  Jesus confronted them on many occasions about their religious behaviors and teachings. The religious people thought that they obeyed the law of Moses perfectly. They thought that they have kept the Ten  commandments perfectly.  Jesus showed them otherwise.

In the sermon on the mount in the gospel of Matthew especially chapter five, we find how Jesus looked at the law.  It was not the outward obedience and fulfillment of the letter of the law as the religious leadership believed and taught, but it was an issue of the heart.  Here is one example, “you shall not commit adultery”.  The religious leader would have boasted, “we never slept with a woman besides our wives, thus we never broke that law.”

Here is what Jesus said concerning adultery:“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mat 5:27, 28 Clearly Jesus showed His authority over the law when He said, “but I say to you.” He raised the law up a notch, showing them that it was not the letter, but that the law was written upon every man’s heart.  It was a matter of the heart, the law was a school master to drive man back to God. Jesus also said: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. “These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Mat 15:18-20.

Personally,  I don’t care how religious or good some may think they are, or how spiritual,  if the heart is not right, nothing else matters. How does God view man’s heart? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah17:9, 10

People that are portraying themselves as more spiritual or claim to have more knowledge, often border on self-righteousness.  The bottom line is that religion, certain rituals, church membership, titles, affiliations or head knowledge that will and cannot save a person. Salvation is in Christ alone through faith. Genuine faith is demonstrated in good works, bearing fruit,  we are not saved by working for our salvation.  Salvation is a true gift of God and the person that believes and has received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is justified before God.

Christianity has no room for religion.  Justification by God is a one time deal and cannot be improved on or changed. Sanctification is a life long process in which God changes the believer more and more into the image of Christ. It is Christ that has justified us the believers before God and it is God that works in the lives of every believer until they are face to face with Him.  “..being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;…” Phl 1:6

“Jesus Wept”


“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) That is the shortest verse in the entire Bible, yet those two words are so profound and powerful. Why did Jesus weep? Might it be because Jesus seeing Martha and Mary in such a grief and anguish over the loss of their beloved brother Lazarus? Jesus already knew that He would raise Lazarus in just a few moments, but He still wept.

I believe that Jesus felt compassion, seeing the grief death causes to those who have lost a loved one. Death is not natural and came into the world because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their sin caused first of all spiritual death i.e. eternal separation from God, and secondly physical death. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them perfect, they were sinless and in communion with him. They had a relationship that was close and intimate, and I believe that they would have lived forever in eternity with God, if it were not for that one-act of disobedience. Just think about it, one sin and they were banished from the garden. God gave them the world and they forfeited it to Satan by their disobedience and listening to the deceiver rather than God. Sin brought forth death and with it dire consequences, the first murder, Cain killing his brother Abel.

I can just imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt seeing the death of Abel by his brother as a result of their sin. And as we know things got worse from there, being separated from God, people lived after the flesh and the works of the flesh are evident even today: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (Gal 5:19-21).

I believe that at the time of Jesus, people had lost hope and Jesus seeing this wept out of compassion for them. People were lost and felt helpless. Jesus came for that very reason, to reconcile mankind to God, to die for the sin of the world and overcome death so that those who believe will have eternal life with God. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and He raised Lazarus from the dead, not only for their benefit but for ours also.

Jesus demonstrated His power even over death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.

We may all die physically, but the spirit of the believers will be with Jesus at the moment of death. Mankind is lost and it is by the mercy and grace of God, that He has sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. When Jesus saw the anguish and pain in the faces of Martha and Mary, He wept for a moment, but knowing full-well that He a few days later would lay down His life for them. Jesus loves us so much that He became sin for us and willingly went to the cross and faced the wrath of God which was reserved for us. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, He paid the price and appeased and reconciled us to God the Father.

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:17-19.

That is glorious news in which we as believers can rejoice in. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified before God and the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto them. We as believers have nothing to fear, death can not hold us and Satan has no more power over our lives (unless we let him). Just as Jesus wept over the condition of man, so should we have the heart of God for our fellow-man, the once that are lost and without hope. Seeing the condition of the world should bring us to tears, weeping as Jesus did. It should make us wanting to share the gospel the good news about Jesus and the salvation through Him. Do we have the compassion Jesus had for the lost? Are we willing to share with our friends and neighbors about the coming judgment, or are we just plainly satisfied with our own salvation? I hope that we all have a heart for the lost and are eager to share the gospel of truth with them.

I hope that we all have the heart of God, the compassion, the mercy, the love that He demonstrated for us by going to the cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Peaceful Christianity?


DrRowan-WilliamsThroughout Church history there have been times of peace. The early apostolic church suffered from very heavy persecutions under Nero, who was trying to wipe out the church and killed many, but instead of wiping out the church, the church grew. The early church continued suffering persecution until Constantine embraced Christianity. Unfortunately Constantine compromised with the world and kept many of the pagan symbols and customs of various religions in order to unite all people under the banner of Christianity.

At that time there was relative peace in the Empire and the known world. When the Roman Catholic church came into existence in the 4th century, there was relative peace, but they also lorded over the people and kept them in darkness. People didn’t have Bibles on their own to read and they followed whatever the Pope and the Priest would tell them, many things that had and have no biblical grounds and it was taught in Latin. In the pre- reformation period, the Roman Catholic Church persecuted and killed those who translated the Bible into English.

Later with the reformation at the time of Luther, many suffered persecution and death. The reformation gave the word of God back to the people into their own hands. People were finally able to read the Bible in their own language and they learned from it that salvation is by God’s mercy and Grace. Luther re-introduced the biblical teaching that was lost, that “the just shall live by faith.” Something that the Roman Catholic Church did not teach then and even until today. They still teach that salvation is based on works, good behavior and continues membership in the Roman Catholic Church.

There always have been some kind of persecutions throughout the history of the church. In the 20th century alone, more Christians have been persecuted and killed worldwide then in the 19 previous centuries. Christian are persecuted in the Middle East, Africa, China and many other places. In the US for example there is relative peace to worship and live as a Christian at this time, which may change in the future. The problem with “peaceful Christianity” is that it can lead some Christian’s to become complacent and comfortable.

The believers that are persecuted worldwide, live out their faith, even unto death. The church has always grown under persecution. For example here in the US we have Bibles, we have technology to reach the world, but for whatever reason, there are still many unreached people. Why is that? Have we become comfortable and complacent? Unless someone goes into those unreached areas and preaches the gospel, how will they know about Jesus and the free gift of salvation?  Many sit in the pews on Sunday’s and think, well, that was my service for the Lord and they go on with their busy lives during the week.

That maybe peaceful but at the same time very comfortable and complacent.  Jesus Himself said this: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.

There can be peace for a Christian, but that also means that they may have compromised with the world. If anyone anywhere in the world lives and proclaims the name of Jesus and teaches biblical principles, he or she will face some kind of persecution on way or another,  either from the government, religious leader and people in general.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2Timothy 3:12.
Here is a so-called Christian (I chose him just as an example) that has compromised the Gospel and compromised with the world: The Archbishop of Canterbury. “Dr Rowan Williams also criticized Christianity’s history for its violence, its use of harsh punishments and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.” That in part is true, I can not make any excuse for the history of the Church, some terrible things were done in the name of the Lord.

But were those crusaders real biblical Christians? Or the inquisitions led by the Roman Catholic church, real biblical Christianity? I think not. Many horrible things have been done throughout the history by the organized church. Just because someone or a denomination calls themselves Christian, does not necessary make it so. Jesus never told His followers to kill and overthrow governments or persecute those who do not agree with certain dogmas. He said: “love your enemy, do good to those who hate you”.

Dr Rowan Williams also said the Christian belief in the Trinity; “that God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost at the same time – “is difficult, sometimes offensive, to Muslims”.
“Trinitarian doctrine conflicts with the Islamic view that there is just one all-powerful God.”

Considering his influence as a church leader, maybe he could reach out to the Muslim leadership and community and explain why Christians believe in a triune Godhead i.e. the Trinity. The concept of the triune nature of God is found in the very first page of the Bible in the book of Genesis. We as Christians believe in One God, we are monotheist. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation through Him alone is offensive to many, including Islam, Atheist who really are Anti-theist and many that do not want to believe or are blinded by the god of this age.  

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1Cr 1:18.

We can either compromise with the world, being quiet trying not to offend anyone, or we can speak the truth in love to those who will perish without the Son. Let us pray that many around the world would have their eyes opened through the love of Christ. It is all about Jesus, not a church or denomination, we follow Jesus, not the teachings and opinions of man.

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