Posts by Robert


Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration

Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration


Posted By on Mar 23, 2018

  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”                                                                                                           Luke 22:32                                                                                                       As Satan did with Job, he approached God to ask for permission to assail Peter: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32–NKJ–brackets added).  Some liberal theologians believe that Jesus Christ’s prayer failed to accomplish what He had requested of His Father.  They surmise this because Peter denied Jesus three times, only moments after Jesus had prayed for him (Luke 22:55-60).  Their foolish conjecture [heresy], if it were true, certainly would place Christ’s deity and omnipotence in question.  It is true however, that Peter miserably failed by denying Jesus Christ in the ensuing moments leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.  However, after the Lord’s resurrection and during His re-appearance, He mercifully and graciously restored Peter (Jn. 21:15-17).   Jesus instructed Peter to adorn self-sacrificing allegiance to Him and to encourage and instruct the brethren.  Thereafter, Peter’s faith proved to be a bedrock, in which believers can look to him [his epistles] for guidance and hope. In this article I plan to show that Jesus prayer was indeed effectual and was evidence of God’s forgiveness, because He restored Peter to a high level of trust shepherding many of God’s flock.   For instance, in the book of Acts, especially after Pentecost, when Christ had poured out the Holy Spirit upon Peter and 119 other disciples in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 33), from that day on, Peter boldly preached the gospel of Christ, amidst extreme hostility and persecution.  He evidenced strong agapē love and faith in Jesus–the type of love Jesus sought, when He asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” (Jn. 21:15-17).   In fact, not only did Peter preach with power, but it’s obvious that he was given the authority [from above], to offer repentance and forgiveness.  The Bible records three separate occasions where Peter addressed the multitude, Jewish leaders and the Sanhedrin [Israel’s highest religious governing body].  He courageously indicted them for murdering Jesus.  But, he also offered them repentance and forgiveness (Acts 2:23, 39,...

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Israel is Real

Israel is Real


Posted By on Feb 12, 2018

“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’  Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”                                                        Rom. 11:25-29   Many scholars and theologians consider the book of Romans in the New Testament to be the Mount Everest of theology and chapter 8 as its peak.    In the church not many would disagree with such a majestic assessment.  A believer can peruse through Romans and be comforted by its profound truths and assured of the permanency of their salvation.  In fact, there is not a clearer verse in the N.T. of salvific assurance, than the familiar: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. (Rom. 8:1). Briefly summarizing the doctrinal portion of Romans [chapters 1-11], one is instructed on man’s inherent depraved nature [Rom. 1-3], justified by faith [4], Christ’s incredible and selfless sacrifice on behalf of undeserving sinners [Rom. 5], free from sin’s slavery [6], free from the Law [7], and the guarantee of salvation and God’s inseparable love [Rom. 8].  In the ensuing chapters [9-11], Paul provides a powerful example of that inseparable love, by writing that God will save and restore Israel in the future.  I find it to be perplexing and disillusioning, why this straight-forward truth is difficult for many in the church to accept. Tragically, Romans 9-11 is rarely preached or taught in context and as a complete unit, emphasizing the salvation of national Israel.  Those chapters [9-11] must be taken in succession in order to understand correctly Israel’s relationship and standing with God.  In brief, chapter 9 addresses Israel’s sovereign election; chapter 10, focuses on their rejection of their Messiah and their refusal to heed the gospel.  Chapter 11, culminates with God’s steadfast faithfulness to the promises He made to Israel’s patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:18-21, 26:2-5, 28:10-17). Unfortunately, many pastors utilize only a few selected verses extracted from chapters 9 and 10 and preach them in a topical fashion.  Typically these verses are utilized to explain individual election, salvation, or evangelism; and are always applied to the church.  Worse...

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God bestows “common grace” to all men.  That is because God loves all of mankind.  God provides the necessities of life, including the way of salvation (Jn. 3:16).  Scripture speaks frequently to the concept of God’s common grace.  However, there are instances which only God knows, when He withholds the providing of certain necessities.  Scripture does say that God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).  All Christians must accept this fact, for it’s His sovereign will to do as He pleases.  Mercifully, God provides for all of mankind, whether they love Him or not and believe in Him or not. Uniquely, Christians receive God’s “special” love, a love that will not only manifest itself physically, but will inevitably carry over into heaven–His love will never cease (Jn. 6:40, 1 Jn. 2:24-25, 4:9, Rom. 5:8, 1 Cor. 13:8, 13).  All people have the opportunity for God’s special love, but, an obstacle which hinders most of them, has been the same obstacle for last 2,000 years: “…Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23, and also Acts 4:12).  “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:9).  If only all people would clear this hurdle [belief in Jesus Christ alone], God’s temporal common grace, would turn into eternal love. So what is God’s “common grace”?  To put it concisely, Pastor John MacArthur  defines it as: “…a term theologians use to describe the goodness of God to all mankind universally.” 1  That “goodness” of God is manifested in several ways.  For instance, 1) God provides for mankind the necessities of life and daily sustenance (Matt. 5:45, Acts 14:15-17, 17:25). 2) He allows them to make independent decisions, even many that are ungodly and displeasing to Him.  3) He  allows them to enjoy His creation; its beauty and splendor (Ps. 50:2). 4) He gives talents, knowledge, and physical prowess to all people–many for prosperous purposes.  5)  He sets a government and leadership over the people (Rom. 13:1-5)  6) He restrains sin and evil (Rom. 2:15).   And there are many more ways God is kind  to all of humanity. In this article, I want to focus on one particular way God displays common grace, which is provisionally.  God’s graciously and mercifully bestows goodness to mankind equally: “”The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:9). . In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He said; “…for He [God] causes His sun to rise on the evil...

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We are pleased to be announcing this book! “The Bible Expositor’s Handbook -Old Testament Digital Edition, by Dr. Greg Harris” There isn’t a book we recommend more highly than this, for every Christian expositor of God’s Word; whether male or female, regardless of age, station in life–every expositor will be blessed by the this book’s unique ability to guide the reader through Scripture, illuminating the interwoven history and redemptive plan God has provided through His Son, the Messiah Jesus.   Each chapter brings forth the reader’s ability to understand Scripture in a deeper, richer and worshipful manner, producing joy.   A special thanks to Dr. Greg Harris and B&H Academic for this rare and needed book, which continues to enrich our daily studies. This book can be purchased online at B&H Academic. New book by Dr. Greg Harris, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook—Old Testament Digital Edition    ...

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Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way

Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way


Posted By on Jan 7, 2017

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:5-6    Thomas, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, asked how they would be able to obtain salvation once He departed–to whom will they turn.  Jesus’ answered Thomas by earnestly declaring, “I am the way“; He is the way to eternal life.  In fact, the book of Acts, refers to Jesus Christ often as “the Way”, because He is the object of salvation to everyone who believes in Him (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 23, 22:4, 24:14, 22).“I am the truth”;  every word Jesus ever spoke and every word ever written about Him in the Bible, is without a doubt the truth.  Often, Jesus began a declaration, “verily, verily” or “truly, truly”.  He used repetition to emphasize that the following statement He was to speak  would be of the utmost significance.  “And the life“; salvation is another word for eternal life.  Therefore, if anyone believes Jesus is Savior and Lord, shall indeed have eternal life (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13). “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Jesus declares that He is the only “Way” to be reconciled to God (1 Corinthians 5:17-21); to have peace with Him (John 14:27), and ultimately to obtain salvation (John 6:39-40). In Scripture, Jesus Christ is often referred to as the “Son” and God is often referred to as the “Father”.  That is because Jesus was God’s only begotten Son in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22, John 3:16) “And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved…”  Joel 2:32   Today, as you read this, pick up a Bible and read, call upon Jesus Christ to receive eternal life by repenting of your sins, and begin your personal relationship with God. To be continued…..more foundational...

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  “…and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”  Eph. 1:22b   Most Christians are familiar with Peter’s impassioned proclamation about Jesus Christ, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  To which Jesus responded; “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven… and on this rock I will build My church.”  (Matt. 16:16b, 17b-18b).   The “rock” being Peter’s verbal affirmation of Christ’s deity.  After Jesus was crucified, died, buried, resurrected, and appeared to over five hundred witnesses; He ascended up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  From heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him, to convict the world of sin, and to commence the building of His church (Jn. 15:26, 16:7, 8-11, Acts 2:1-4).  It is through the Holy Spirit’s power the church continues to advance, and that advancement will continue even at Jesus Christ’s  second advent. It is clearly indicated in Scripture that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23).  Having its foundation laid by the prophets and Apostles, the church continues to increase as a holy temple in the Lord. (Eph. 2:20-21).  The church is not a “material” building, but rather people themselves; spiritual bodies each indwelt by the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  It is redeemed people predestined and chosen in Jesus Christ, to receive God’s special saving love and, preserved for glory. (Eph. 2:19-22, Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4, Titus 3:4-6, Rom. 8:30).  The definition of “church” is the “called” or “called out ones” (ekklasia)–anyone who believes and worships Jesus Christ as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). Throughout the world, there are many sects or denominations of the church which gather to worship on the first day of the week, also known as the Lord’s day.  Even though the called may meet in various types of buildings, they are still considered one spiritual organism or the universal church.  Those buildings or locations where they meet, are typically referred to as “churches”.   Nonetheless, the church is still an invisible conglomeration of believers united by the blood of Jesus Christ.   The fortunate few who are “called”, God blesses by bestowing upon them with the grace and faith to believe in the Head of the church. (Matt. 20:16, 22:14, Eph. 2:8).  It is utterly amazing to ponder that God would grant unworthy, undeserving, and sinful creatures, His divine mercy and infinite love.  O how blessed and eternally privileged the called of God truly are! Therefore, it is tragic, perilous...

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“Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great”(Matt. 5:12)   Trials and Tribulation: James 1:2-6  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  (peirasmos)  knowing that the testing (dokimion) of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.   But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.“ Note: The words for “trials” and “testing” (vv. 2-3) are both words for suffering yet, both are entirely different in origin and intent.  One form of testing (peirasmos, v. 2) has the intent of failure, while the other form of testing (dokimion, v.3), is a testing to show the value or quality of the thing tested.  In most N.T. occurrences a peirasmos testing, is one of evil origin (Satanic).  Incidentally, the word “temptation” is also the same Greek word peirasmos, as in the words, “trial” and “testing”.  From his book “The Cup and the Glory“, Dr. Greg Harris wrote;  “While God may allow and even use a trial for His own objective, He Himself is not the origin of evil. ”  cf. Jas. 1:13.  Also, we should always pray for God’s wisdom (v. 5) to help us be joyful when experiencing trials. Romans 5:3-5  “And not only this, but we also exult (boast) in our tribulations, (thliphsis) knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Note: The Holy Spirit was given through Jesus Christ. (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:2, 18, John 14:26, 16:7). Also, the words “perseverance” and “endurance” are synonymous, and literally defined in the original Greek as, patient endurance. Joy (chara): joy; delight Rejoice (chaira): to rejoice; be glad Trials (peirasmos): temptation; a testing; an experiment Testing (dokimion): testing; proof, (a validation of faith -as in James 1:3) Testing (peirasmos): temptation; a testing; an experiment-(as in 1 Pet. 4:12) Tribulation (thliphsis): affliction; distress; trouble Persecution (diogmos): persecution, suffering Exult (kauchaomai): boast; to take pride in-( Boast in tribulations, (as the Apostle Paul did in, 2 Cor. 12:10) Wisdom (sophia): wisdom— Random House Dictionary; “knowledge of what is true or right, coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment”.  Note: sophia is where we get the...

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“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Pet. 5:8   1 Peter 5:8 rarely captures the thought of many Christians today.  Unfortunately,  they fail to consider Satan as an insidious force to be reckoned with and appear unconcerned about his existence.  Believers are however concerned with temptations, sin, sickness, or diseases, but rarely do they consider the great problem of demonic forces, which try them in nearly every aspect of life.  They tend to be so introspective and subjective, that they fail to see the great problem that is outside themselves; a real and active spiritual warfare which works through the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2).  The entire battle is against a triad of evil: the world, the flesh, and the devil, and the means the devil employs to menace and deceive people, is the world system, which is in his control.  (1 Jn. 5:19).  There is a tendency for many Christians to behave indifferently concerning Satan and do not consider him responsible for the world’s wickedness.  I find it ironic though, that the whole of Christendom defaults to blaming the devil when something really bad happens to them or when they see an obvious act of evil in the news.  Tragically, even some Christian leaders deny Satan’s villainous influence in the world or even his existence at all.  Because of this erroneous thinking, Satan easily slips in under their radar regarding culpability for much of this present day’s wickedness. Interestingly, Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones stated; (1) “…some 68 men describing themselves as Academics, and belonging to the Anglican Church, in a letter to the Times (a London newspaper) stated openly that they did not believe in a personal devil or demons.”  That admission by church leaders is frightening, because it is unbiblical.  The entire Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, is replete with references to Satan’s influence and terrorism.  In fact, he is so ubiquitous in Scripture, he is known by a plethora of names. The following list of names for Satan is not exhaustive but merely representative:  The “Accuser” (Rev. 12:10); he falsely accuses God’s people.  “Adversary“, (1 Pet. 5:8) enemy and rival of God and all believers; “Angel of  Light” (2 Cor. 11:14); he emulates righteousness and godliness in order to deceive people, especially in false religions;  “Antichrist” (1 John 4:3); the opposite of Jesus Christ, opposing holiness and obedience;  “Apollyon” (Rev. 9:11); the destroyer; “Beelzebub” (lord of the flies–Matt. 12:24), ruler of myriads of demons;  “Deceiver” (2 John 7, Rev. 12:9); attempts to deceive the whole world;  “Devil”, diabolos (Eph....

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“And when Philip had run up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8:30-31a     Over the years there has been much debate about the significance of expository preaching.  Many Christians, especially pastors and elders, fail to realize the need for expository  preaching, and instead preach utilizing much of their own ideas and philosophies.  I firmly believe the failure to preach God’s exact words and explain His intent behind them is the reason that the church today is weak and susceptible to many forms of heresy.  What man has to say no matter how clever or logical it might seem, cannot save souls; only God can, and He accomplishes that only through the preaching and teaching of His word. (1 Cor. 3:6-7, Rom. 10:14).  James warns aspiring teachers, because they will incur a stricter judgment because of what they say. (Jas. 3:1).  In this article, I provide Scriptural proof, not only that expository preaching can provide growth to a believer, but that is vital for salvation. No longer does God speak directly to man, as He once did in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament His Son Jesus Christ once physically walked among the people, but does so no longer because He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of His Father.  (Heb. 1:1, Col. 3:1).  Therefore, we do not have the privilege of hearing Him teach or witness Him perform healings, exorcisms, or resuscitation’s.  However, today we are bountifully blessed to have the sacred Bible, God’s special revelation.  It is comprised of sixty-six individual books and was written by forty divinely inspired authors. The Bible is God’s own words that we conveniently can read, preach, and teach from both, the Old and New Testaments; from the commencement to the consummation of the human existence.  God, through the Holy Spirit inspired men to document His actions and interactions with mankind past, present, and future.  (2 Pet. 1:21, Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Furthermore, God sent the Holy Spirit to teach, instruct, and guide us, not only in fear and holiness, but to proclaim Jesus Christ to others, so that they might believe and obtain eternal life (Jn. 14:26, 15:26).  God’s chosen methods of communicating with mankind in the past were indeed incredible, but I believe currently having the Bible is even better!  Yes, that is correct, I sanely wrote, even better.  Allow me to explain.  We are blessed to be privy to God’s entire revelation, of the events which occurred in both Testaments....

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Christians Beware of Desensitization!

Christians Beware of Desensitization!


Posted By on Jan 19, 2016

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Col. 2:8 Many American institutions unfairly utilize “desensitization” tactics as tools of manipulation.  They do this in order to gain the public’s, including professing Christians’, acquiescence to a proposed position, even an immoral one.  Unfortunately, desensitization has even been a successful strategy employed against many professing Christians, who normally would oppose immoral positions.  The definition of “desensitize” is; (1)“To lessen the sensitiveness of. 2) To make indifferent, unaware, or the like, in feeling.”  Desensitization is usually most effective when conducted over a long period of time, the ultimate goal being to change the public’s opinion by one-sidedly bombarding them with the propagated point of view.  Virtually every form of medium is utilized to inundate the senses of the culture, thus creating a facade of normality and propriety in the minds of people.  Incidentally, it does not matter if the concept is immoral and sinful, it is presented as being moral, and strongly urged to be accepted. Most “unbelievers”, or people who are nonchalant or morally weak, are vulnerable and the most susceptible to the tactic of desensitization.  Either they will embrace the proposed change or will act apathetically toward it–“As long as it doesn’t affect me”, is typically their attitude.  This attitude basically leads to a verbal or tacit acceptance of the new position.  Such feeble attitudes are expected in unbelievers; those who do not know God and His word.  But, for true Christians, desensitization tactics suborning disobedience will rarely succeed.  Why?  Because believers rely on the truth of God’s word and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, who protects them against deception.  They may be deluded for a time, but will not be able to suppress the voice of conscience permanently.  In essence, desensitization techniques, no matter how clever, pervasive, or intense, will never truly affect a true discerning believer, because believers know that the Bible is clear, authoritative, and impervious to change. Sadly, the American culture is being injected with massive doses of desensitization tactics in numerous areas, attempting to gain acceptance; for example, the homosexual/same-sex marriage agenda.  Once a shocking unthinkable disgrace now is embraced, exalted, and even applauded, thanks to the influential media, which the government has wielded like a bludgeon and repetitively hammered away at cultural thinking.  But, not all methods of desensitization are forceful and overt, more often they are very subtle. They media have done an exceptional job, cajoling and coercing the American public, into accepting homosexuality as a...

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