En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


The Peril of Omission!

The Peril of Omission!


Posted By on Feb 1, 2015

The Peril of Omission!  During my recent reading of Proverbs 6:16-19; the seven sins that are abominable to God, the sins which stood out from the rest of the text were the sins of “lying” and “false witnessing” (vv. 17,19). As I contemplated heavily on these particular sins, I then realized just how easily they flow out of our mouths.  Lies or to proclaim false witness is when a person openly declares a falsehood or presents false testimony.  But, as I ruminated on these iniquities, what struck me as equally evil, is the “omission” of a truth, particularly biblical truth and especially when proclaiming the Gospel. “Omission” is when a person deliberately and purposely conceals the whole truth and presents only part of it.  An unidentified Puritan wrote: “You can recognize a false teacher, not by what they say; but rather, what they don’t say”. And Pastor John MacArthur stated: “A half-truth presented as a whole-truth, is not a truth at all; it’s a lie”. In other words, someone who willfully withholds proclaiming God’s full truth; this is omission and a form of lying.   Many of today’s evangelical preacher’s teach solely on God’s loving attributes, while intentionally omitting other attributes of God such as; wrath, justice, holiness, especially when they present the Gospel.  Some preachers commit this sin because they fear men, desiring approval rather than fearing God- enough.  Therefore, they craft powerless, ineffectual, and crippled sermons, designed to “tickle” the ears of the hearer, condemning them to hell.  In other words, they preach what their congregations desire to hear, rather than what they need to hear (1Tim. 4:16).  In fact, Scripture prophesies that people will have an ever-increasing penchant for a water-downed message, and will ardently seek molly-coddling preaching and surround themselves with compromising preachers. (2 Timothy 4:3-4).   Furthermore, some teachers omit saying the word “Hell” in a sermon while only declaring “Heaven”. Please don’t misunderstand me, preaching about God’s love and the glories of heaven are definitely important aspects of total Gospel message. But, equally imperative is teaching people about being born into sin, God’s just wrath against sin, His divine justice, yet providing mercy and grace by sending His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ to save those who are called and will receive eternal life. Others who have not heard the full Gospel will die with un-forgiven sins, condemned to hell.  Incidentally, the word “Gospel” means “good news”.  I ask; if pastors preach merely God’s love and the glories of heaven, then why would anyone need “good news” presented to them? Might people deem Jesus’ death on the cross insignificant? Might they ignorantly inquire...

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Love, A More Excellent Way!

Love, A More Excellent Way!


Posted By on Jan 20, 2015

Love, A More Excellent Way! Interestingly, the Apostle Paul concludes chapter twelve of his first letter to the Corinthians, by exhorting them to desire earnestly “the greater gifts” and how he will show them a more “excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31).   Paul, then proceeds into what is perhaps the most definitive chapter on “love” in the entire Bible; it is definitely the most known by Christians.   He urges the Corinthians earnestly to pursue love.  Interestingly, love is not even a spiritual gift, but rather a “fruit” of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).  In John MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Cor. 13 he states: “The truly spiritual life is the only life in which the gifts of the Spirit operate.  The health of spiritual living is not reflected in spiritual gifts but in spiritual fruit, the first and chief of which is love. (Gal. 5:22).  Without the fruit of the Spirit the gifts of the Spirit cannot operate except in the flesh, in which they become counterfeit and counterproductive.  Through the fruit of the Spirit God gives the motivation and power to minister the gifts of the Spirit…Walking by the Spirit is Paul’s way of defining day-to-day obedience to the Word of God and submission to the Lord. (Col. 3:16).” To possess love is tantamount to faith in Jesus Christ; examples of this are taught with inculcation throughout the New Testament.  Peter exhorts Christians to love one another fervently and states how “agape” love (sacrificial; selfless) covers a multitude of sins.  Only two verses prior, he wrote instructing believers to use their spiritual gifts for the edification of one another.  (1 Pet. 4:8-10).  But perhaps the greatest exhibition of love recorded in Scripture, occurred in the Upper Room, where Jesus washed His disciples’ feet on the eve of His crucifixion.  (John 13:3-12).  Here was God, Creator of the universe; condescending to the level of an insignificant galley slave and washing the feet of sinful men.  Who, He omnisciently knew, very shortly, would all abandon Him at the time when His arrest and crucifixion had arrived!   Incidentally, Jesus even washed Judas Iscariot’s feet, the disciple who would betray Him.  This was the ultimate act of “loving your enemies”, as He had commanded during the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:44).  When Jesus had finished washing their feet, He commanded His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).   This was a new commandment Jesus had given...

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We Must Speak God’s Word’s!

We Must Speak God’s Word’s!


Posted By on Jan 1, 2015

  We Must Speak God’s Words! Evangelism must contain the proclamation of the Gospel; God commands it!   “…how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher”? Rom. 10:14    A sign posted outside of a Christian church read; “You can preach a better sermon with your actions, rather than your words.”   Another sign of a local church ominously read; “Preach the Gospel by how you live, and if necessary, use words.”  In other words, both signs insinuated that you can have a successful Gospel outreach and “attract” those to Christianity, by just living a godly life without proclaiming the Gospel.   Although, there is truth to that statement, we ought to live a sanctified life, always demonstrating the Gospel and Christ-likeness.  But, it is perilous to eliminate the essential vehicle the Holy Spirit employs to grant souls unto salvation.  In fact, the use of words is God’s chosen method to convey His truth, the Gospel message; a message vitally necessary for everyone to hear.  Scripture commands us to proclaim God’s truth in many verses and obviously this command includes the use of words (Matt. 28:19-20, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, 5:20, 10:33, 42, Rom. 10:14-15); as well as in numerous other places in the Bible.  Both, in the Old Testament and the New Testament God’s servants, prophets, or Apostles, were commanded to declare His unadulterated truth especially to recalcitrant and  stony-heart people.    The Old Testament prophets were commanded by God to proclaim words of repentance, judgment, wrath, or destruction to His people.  God did not simply “suggest” to His servants, that they live in a godly way, with the hopes of others responding positively to their examples.  But rather, He commanded them to proclaim with words exactly what He desired them to “speak”.  For example, the prophet Isaiah was commanded to preach a message of imminent destruction and captivity to the city of Judah.  Furthermore, God declared to Isaiah that nobody would listen to his warnings.  When Isaiah beseeches God how long he was to proclaim that impending judgment on Judah, God replied,  “…Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people, And the land is utterly desolate.” (Isa. 6:10).  That was an extremely difficult command for Isaiah to obey.  Just think, if you were commanded by God to proclaim ineluctable judgment on a very hostile nation, and had no good news to tell them; no light at the end of the tunnel.   Yet Isaiah unwavering obeyed God! Jeremiah faced similar circumstances, but even harsher.  Throughout the book of Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah and commanded that...

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Witnessing A Missionary’s Heart!

Witnessing A Missionary’s Heart!


Posted By on Dec 8, 2014

Witnessing A Missionary’s Heart! “…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” Isa. 52:7, Rom. 10:15   We crossed the border and entered Gallup, New Mexico at 3:30 pm, approximately thirty-five miles from our destination, the Zuni Indian Reservation. Fatigued and famished from the long commute, our missionary suggested that we dine and proceed to sleep; for we needed to wake very early the next morning.  Our spiritual brother, close friend, professional linguist, and Zuni missionary, Curtis D. Cook, had a full itinerary planned for us to accomplish the very next day. Once in our hotel room, we prayed for Curtis and the Zuni people; asking for the Lord’s blessing upon this very brief, yet extremely important missionary trip.  Curtis was eager to distribute his recently completed and self-published; “A Practical Zuni Dictionary.”  For us, it was indeed a privilege and honor just to hold his “landmark” Zuni dictionary in our hands, a work designed to accompany the Zuni “Gospel of John”, which he began to disseminate on a previous trip.  Ingeniously, Curtis intends for the dictionary to serve as adjunct to John’s Gospel, by further aiding the Zuni reader to understand many of the terms that occur in the Gospel.  We observed Curtis’ masterful work contained many years of effort, diligence, and sacrificial love to produce. In essence, Curtis selflessly utilized his God-given gift of language translation by melding it with a passion for the Zuni people’s salvation. Curtis Cook is a seventy-six year old Christian man who resided among the Zuni people for many years and has continuously ministered to the Zuni people for over fifty years.   On January 1, 1964, at a tender age of twenty-six, he moved to the Zuni reservation.  Once arriving, he immediately, with zeal began learning the Zuni language.  Remarkably, by 1967, a mere three years later, he completed and distributed a translation of the Gospel of Mark.  It is evident that God called and gifted Curtis at an early age to accomplish such significant work for the advancement of His kingdom.  It is also apparent that God has great accomplishments in store for him as He continues to open doors for his Zuni ministry to continue.  We have encouraged Curtis that, because of his unique ability, we believe God has entrusted him with five talents as in Matt. 25:15. As an example to all of us, Curtis rose to God’s high calling, acted as a responsible steward zealously performing tasks required of him.  It is evident to all who have witnessed his work that Curtis has a God-given deep compassion and love for the Zuni...

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There seems to be an obvious aversion to preaching and teaching the “Fear of God”, for fear of scaring away potential Christian prospects. But a healthy fear of God is an intrinsic characteristic that all Christians possess upon conversion. Not only is such a characteristic instilled upon a believer at reception of the Holy Spirit, but God repetitively commands the believer to “Fear Him”. For example; “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ” (Job 28:28); “The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.” (Isaiah. 8:13); “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). There are myriads of verses in the Bible, but for the sake of brevity, I’ve only referenced a few. However, I encourage you to do a Bible study on the word “fear”, and you will be amazed how often it is in Holy Scripture.   Therefore having a fear of God is germane and tantamount to living the Christian life (Ps. 25:14, Acts 9:31). Embracing God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and at times, His unpredictable chastisement should not only invoke terror within the soul of the believer, but captivate awe as well. This unique inimitability of God is a phenomenon which seems oxymoronic and paradoxical, yet is magnetic. Take careful note when you read through the book of Acts, and you will recognize how often great fear besieged the multitudes. Yet, amazingly that fear led to countless people joining the church; fear was a catalyst not a deterrent!   For church (Acts 5:11), yet three verses later many men and women joined the church, even though God’s judgment upon Ananias and Sapphira for example, after God struck down dead Ananias and Sapphira immediately after they had been caught lying to the Holy Spirit. Great fear gripped the whole ira was swift and severe. That extreme fear sparked multitudes to join the church! (Acts 5:14)   Another example was a Jewish exorcist priest named Sceva who, with his seven sons attempted to exorcise an evil spirit from a man in the name of Jesus, the same Jesus that was preached by the Apostles. Agitated, the evil spirit from within the man exclaimed; “…I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15). Then attacked Sceva and his sons, overpowering and injuring them; they fled battered and naked. But you’ll notice, even though the instance became known to both Jews and Greeks...

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Dear Friends of the New Creation in Christ! The apostle Paul was still a man after he was converted to Jesus Christ. He was still subject to the same kinds of fears, anxieties, frustrations, temptations, failures, and doubts that all men experience. But he was a “new creation”. What does this mean? In simple terms it means that when someone is born from above there is a spiritual change that affects every part of his/her being. There is a change in how we think, and how we feel, and how we know. The change was so dramatic for the apostle Paul that he could say that it was no longer he who lived (Galatians 2:20). His view of himself, Jesus Christ, the world around him, and the world within him was forever transformed. All who are in Christ have been altered from within and no longer view the world with the same eyes as before. There is a real re-ordering of understanding and conforming actions that take place in all who are born from above. There is a marked re-orientation and a progressive growth in spiritual maturity that is part and parcel of everyone’s salvation experience. The pace of maturity, expertise in navigating life in Christ, and the swiftness of bringing every thought obedient to Christ vary in each individual. But one thing that all Christians have in common is a changed life. Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone the new has come (2Corinthians 5:17). The obvious question that arises in light of the above is, “how does one get in Christ?” It is surely by God’s doing that we are in Christ. But by what means? The means from heaven is grace. The means from earth is faith alone. We are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ by grace through faith alone. To be in Christ is eternal life. To get in Christ is by the grace of God. The response to efficacious grace is faith alone. Hence even our faith is a gift of God. Faith alone in Christ alone puts us in Christ. In Christ we live, we move, and we have our being (Acts 17:28)! With this said it becomes apparent that any kind of gospel that suggests a different means to be in Christ, or a different outcome in the life of anyone who claims to be in Christ, is illegitimate. This month I am on my way to Austin, Texas to do two more videos. One will be on those who deny that good deeds flow from true faith. The other two videos...

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It is a church leader’s obligation and responsibility to accurately identify the context of a passage, properly exegete it, and then convey it to his congregation. Also, they must disregard the many requests and temptation to preach ear-tickling sermons catering to felt needs or emotions. (2 Tim. 4:2-5).   Furthermore, they must refrain from caving-in to the ever-increasing pressure applied by an amoral government and culture; this could prove to be most difficult.  Our government, and sadly now our society is focused on squelching true churches from preaching the whole counsel of God, thus keeping all people ignorant. The implications are devastating to Christ’s church which is already practicing flagrant sin.  In fact, liberal groups who hate God’s commands, strive to legalize sin, empowering them to apply serious repercussions to orthodox churches.  Recognizing our modern-day culture helps us to realize that it is not only our church leaders responsibility to teach ALL of God’s Word soundly, and it is also every Christians’ duty to study and spread the Gospel as well; it is biblically mandated.   By contrast, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not similar to political campaigns.  For instance, in politics, incumbents strategize to gain voter popularity. In fact, everything politicians do or say is predicated upon catering to the majority of voter’s desires and then promising to fulfill those desires.  They do this in order to gain support and ultimately votes. Unfortunately, this usually encompasses mitigating or eradicating truth, (humanly speaking) and promising whatever is necessary to lure voters. In essence, it’s all about popularity, with no intention to fulfill those promises.  Aren’t we blessed to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not work this way?! All of God’s promises which are written in the Bible have been fulfilled or will be; one-hundred percent of the time!  So, in reality, the Word of God is diametrically opposed to all political strategies. Thus, all ordained and faithful men of God, considers not the desires of the people, remaining solely focused on glorifying Jesus Christ, while reaching the lost and encouraging saints to live holier lives.   Unfortunately, many church leaders are making theological errors, by incorporating philosophically based worldly traditions and flesh-pleasing events, meanwhile treating their congregants similar to a politicians voter. They attempt to appease their congregation, while appealing to non-believers, and to do so, they mitigate the perspicuity of Scripture and water down the Gospel message.  If  pastors held strictly to following biblical guidelines, people’s fleshly desires would be of no relevance, while proclaiming the Truth. The Bible contains the perfect anthropological diagnosis and prognosis of man’s natural state. Therefore, we must speak God’s...

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Since the gospel must be proclaimed boldly, it’s as equally imperative to declare the gospel in its entirety. The entire gospel message must always contain two parts, a positive and negative side (humanly speaking), and it’s absolutely indispensable that both sides are equally promulgated. The Bible warns not to add or omit any portion of Scripture. (Deut. 12:32, Prov.30:6, Rev. 22:18-19). Therefore, the negative side of the gospel, the side which is the most compromised, perverted, or omitted altogether, must be purely broadcasted. In actuality, the gospel in totality is good news. The word “gospel”, in the original Greek language; euaggelian, is defined; good tidings; good news. The positive side of the gospel contains: God’s love, grace, comfort, forgiveness, patience, long-suffering, mercy, peace, blessings, etc. This is what all people desire the characteristics of God to be, and are comfortable hearing these attributes stated. In fact, some people only believe the positive attributes of God, and will not entertain the biblical characteristics of God which reveal the contrary. The seemingly negative side of the gospel is: sin, sinners; Law, submission, obedience, sanctification, discipline, chastisement, ramification, wrath, judgment, condemnation, hell, etc; and is what makes the positive side of the gospel make sense. Pastor Steve Lawson stated; “You cannot give people the good news, unless you give them the bad news first.” I compare performing evangelism similar to a question that many people have posed at one time or another; “I’ve got good news and bad news; what do you want to hear first?” Typically, people want to hear the bad news first, so that the good news has a mollifying effect when the bad news is presented to them.  In this case that is true, tell people the bad (negative) side of the gospel first, so the good (positive) side, our Savior Jesus Christ, offers the hearer eternal hope and a powerful reason to avoid the negative eternal consequences. “Charles Spurgeon wrote; “We rob the gospel of its power if we leave out its threatening and punishment”. In many of today’s churches, preaching the entire gospel with boldness and conviction is considered unpopular or unacceptable to the ears of many congregates. And sadly, many pastors are acquiescing to the ear-tickling desires of their congregations by compromising the completeness and gravity of its message. In fact, they are preaching the opposite, by aiming to appease the people (John 12:43), by molly-coddling them; only teaching ambiguously and quixotically, glee-filled messages. According to Dr. Al Mohler, “this is a seismic shift in the culture”. And tragically, it leads to generations of pastors who do not faithfully proclaim the gospel, because many do not...

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