“…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...Read More
“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....Read More
10-1-15 Dear Friends of Truth! How bad is it in America? Let us take a look at the non-Christian media and the so-called common man’s reaction to the Pope’s visit to America. In surfing through quotations of people who went to great extremes to simply have a look at the Pope we find some mind blowing comments. One man boldly proclaimed that his curbside view of the Pope mobile was in fact the closest to God one could ever expect to get on earth! Others burst into tears. Others paraded around in a kind of euphoric hysteria. Others pinned their hopes for everything on Pope Francis. Some came away awestruck. The speaker of the House of Representatives resigned after crying during the Pope’s address to the Congress. Others became dream-like and talked about love, joy, peace, happiness, and utopia. It was sort of like a religious Woodstock to them. Only something supernatural could have brought about America’s fawning, groveling, obsequious, and general sycophantic response to the Pope’s visit. We do not think that the “something supernatural” was anything other than a broad burst of anti-Christ display of the powers of demonic darkness. How else could we describe the nation’s servile swarming over someone who must only be described as “Platitude Rex”? Obviously there was no mention of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the authority of the Word of God in the Pope’s address. He is not capable of telling the truth of Christianity or giving a credible witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But to think that an entire nation could be taken in by a stream of platitudes, clichés, and banal bromides is an indication of the spiritual malaise that characterizes our nation. Here are just three examples of his never-ending stream of applause grabbing insipidities: “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.” “Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.” “To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” Now consider all of those organizations, statements of faith, joint resolutions, and declarations signed by Evangelical leaders endorsing the RC religion. Consider what they must be thinking while watching the sacrilegious Mass of the RC religion on national TV and listening to the ecumenical garbage spewed by Francis. Where will the outcry against the Pope at Rome come from? Ugh! How utterly contrary to the apostle Paul who reminds the church at Corinth of his visit: “And when I came...Read More
“I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.” 1 Cor. 4:16 While reading the New International Version of the Bible, I noticed a rather disturbing and disillusioning fact. What ought to be the word “exhort” for the Greek word parakaleo, was often exchanged for a less urgent, non-imperative word that weakens the authors intent. In many instances, “encourage” is employed, substituting exhort into many modern English translations of the Bible. In certain passages, the word parakaleo in the original Greek language, was intended as a “calling out” or “admonishment”, to its recipient and therefore, should not be substituted with a word that removes the author’s intent. If you use encourage for instance, you will not be conveying an admonishment to someone and the power of the passage is lost. Therefore, all believers should be familiar with the word exhort or exhortation, because it conveys a truer context to a specific passage of Scripture. This is vitally important, when warning the flock of false teachers who threaten the church with pernicious doctrines. If you juxtapose the words encourage and exhort, you will discover a significant difference in their meaning. For instance, the definition of the word encourage according to the Random House Dictionary, is defined; “To inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence“; “to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc“; “to promote, advance, or foster.” The word exhort, on the other hand, is defined: “to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.” As used in such texts: Acts 2:40, 20:2, 1 Cor. 1:10, 4:16, 1 Thess. 4:1, 2 Thess. 3:12, 2 Tim. 4:2, Ti. 1:9, 2:15, 1 Pet. 5:1; Jude 3-KJV). Notice the significant diversity between these words in the definitions. Please understand, “encourage” and “exhort” are interchangeable in many verses of the Bible. For example, the same Greek word parakaleo is used to “encourage” in the following verses: Acts 11:23, 14:22, 16:40, 20:2, 27:34, 1 Cor. 14:31, Col. 2:2, 4:8, 1 Thess. 3:2, 5:11, or Heb. 3:13. Or, it is also used to “comfort”, as in: Matt. 2:2, 5:4, Luke 16:25, Acts 20:12, 2 Cor. 1:4, 7:6, 7:7, Eph. 6:22, 1 Thess. 3:7, 4:18, 2 Thess. 2:17. But, when parakaleo was meant to convey solemnity, caution, warning, or urgency; the English word exhort is the more accurate and appropriate word choice. It is extremely important to accurately represent God’s intended meaning, when translating the original language into various languages. Many times it is extremely difficult or virtually impossible, to translate certain Hebrew of Greek words or phrases exactly; in this case, into English. Therefore, it was essential to utilize the most fitting word or phrase to translate God’s...Read More
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58 “And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!'” Matt. 14:33 Much ink has been spilled on whether or not Jesus Christ is God, especially since He never proclaimed the exact words, I am God in any of the four Gospels. It is however, understandable that the unregenerate man doubts and opposes Christ’s deity, because they know not the things of God and considers them foolishness (1 Cor. 2:14). But, what I find extremely disconcerting, is the fact that there are many professing Christians who deny Jesus’ deity, whether out of ignorance or blatantly. I can understand those who are ignorant of the truth and pray they soon become enlightened. But, it is those who are exposed to the truth and still deny it. Tragically, many of these deniers or heretics as they should be referred; teach at Christian seminaries, churches; engage in debates, make public assertions, publish literary and video works, pervert the teachings of Christ; all under the guise of Christianity. Such pseudo-Christians are the most pernicious to the church, because they assume a certain amount of credibility within the evangelical realm. This makes their erroneous assertions difficult to disprove because they have duped minds. Such pseudo-Christians do the most destruction, because they pollute pure innocent minds with cleverly-plotted deceptions (2 Cor. 11:14-15); even some true Christians are led astray by lies regarding Jesus. Interestingly, even Satan and his demons recognized Jesus as the “Son of God.” (Matt. 8:29, Mk. 5:7, Luke 4:3, 4:9, 4:34, 4:41, 8:28). As the book of James states; “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble” (James 2:19). If only believers would discipline themselves to thoroughly search the Scriptures, saturate their minds with the published works of reputable theologians, and study church history; they would be virtually impervious to the trappings of false teachers. (Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 2:15). However, if the whole of Scripture is considered, we can easily determine by the sheer weight of evidence pointing to Jesus Christ’s deity, it is indeed a biblical truth. In his book, The Forgotten Trinity, Dr. James White wrote; (1) “There are literally hundreds–no thousands–of passages that testify to the deity of Christ once we understand that no creature could possibly do or say the things that the Lord Jesus did. we would not be able to catalogue them in this brief work”. Jesus’ claim to deity was not only overt by His many proclamations, but also...Read More
“A Christian Witness To Roman Catholics”-Apologist Rob Zins-Defending The Truth Will Elicit Persecution!
I think we would all agree that the word “persecution” brings to mind a variety of thoughts. There are many kinds of persecution. I can remember in the early years of desegregation how often the word “discrimination” was used in the media. Like the word persecution the word discrimination brings to mind various kinds of discrimination. However the Word of God is interested in one main category of persecution and discrimination. It is the oppression and torment associated with standing for the Word of God over and against false gospels. We often get criticized for our stance against the false hopes of the Roman Catholic religion. We do not believe in the dual errors of ‘go along to get along’ and ‘Christianity is a big tent with many kinds of gospels’. Either of these two ideas will ruin the gospel. Sometimes the denigration of our outlook brings out some severe chastisement. Here is an excerpt from a recent e-mail sent to me from a Roman Catholic: “Over the years I have studied the Christian faith and the arguments utilized by proponents and opponents of Roman Catholicism, and among the individuals who possess the lowest caliber of intelligence and ability to think critically would be yourself as well as a few other such Protestant apologists.” This is a pretty typical response from those who are upset with this ministry. This of course stings a little bit but it hardly qualifies for the persecution and discrimination that some of our brothers and sisters are experiencing all over the world. We take this in stride and try to give a level headed response. We understand that the gospel has a cutting edge to it that makes it the focal point of anger for those who reject it. We also take encouragement from Scripture that promises those who are persecuted and slandered for the sake of the gospel are blessed. But straight forward antagonism and insult form only one small piece of the persecution pie. We as Christians need to take into account the cost of being Christian. We lose family members and friends who simply do not understand or want to understand the gospel. We live in a world within a world whereby Christian values and ethics can raise the ire of the general worldview of an anti-Christian society. We find ourselves swimming against the current of modern affairs. We are constantly being pushed to the edge of marginalization by the vanity fair of the worldly wise. Our Lord reminds us to rejoice and be glad for great is our reward in heaven for in the...Read More