En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


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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We are going to post an 8 part series of “Spread the Gospel Boldly, not Reticently”. Please check each Friday for the next part. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a merciful life-saving proclamation which no other message distributed among human beings is as vitally important, nor life-giving. The Gospel is heralding the exclusivity of Jesus Christ; His death, burial, and Resurrection. And that all who believe unto Him in their heart, will be forgiven of their sins and inherit eternal life (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Mark 15:24-25, 1 Cor. 15:4, Rom. 10:9-10, 13, Luke 5:24, Acts 10:43, 13:38). It is only the gospel message that is instrumental in leading people to the glorious supernatural phenomenon of salvation. And unbelievably, God grants Christians, mere finite creatures, the honor and privilege of participating in this miraculous process. How magnificent it is, to know the Divine Creator allows His children to plant and water (evangelism) the seed (the word of God), which God employs to perform the miracle of growth on who He chooses (salvation–1 Cor. 3:6). It’s through man’s sowing of the seed, that God reaps His crop. In essence, the gospel message is God’s chosen means to bring about salvation. (Rom. 10:15). Incidentally, God does not need man’s assistance in the salvation process, but amazingly grants mankind an important role to perform in His glorious plan of redemption. But, just so you do not think I’m promoting heretical doctrine, I’ll say it again; God does not require man’s help to bring about salvation, but, has chosen to use human instruments to herald the life-saving gospel to the lost. In fact, evangelism is not just a privilege of Christians, it’s a mandate. Moments before His ascension, Jesus commanded that the gospel be declared to all nations. And Paul requisitioned it to be proclaimed “boldly” and frequently (Matt. 28:19, Acts 10:42, 2 Tim. 4:2). The Father gives the Son love-gifts; those chosen for eternal life, in whom the Son guarantees to raise up on the last day (John 6:39, 49, 44, 10:29, 17:24). Therefore, it is for this very reason that all Christians should dutifully, zealously, and boldly engage in the spreading of the gospel. The word “boldly” according to the “Random House Dictionary”, is defined; “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring”. Or, The Collins English Dictionary definition is: 1 “Courageous, confident and fearless; ready to take risks”. 2 “Showing or requiring courage”. 3 “Standing out distinctly; conspicuously”. The word “boldly” in the original Greek language (parraiazamai) is defined; “To speak freely or confidently”; as in Acts 13:46, 14:3, 18:26,...

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* (Guest writer~Apologist Rob Zins)* Dear Friends of His Mercy, Often times we use the phrase “think it through” in order to examine whether a proposition will work out in the end. It does not matter what kind of proposition. The idea of “thinking it through” is a wise thing to do. We try to see the end of it. We want to know if any given thought or activity will have a good result or lead to disaster. When I coached football we as a staff were always “thinking it through”. We wanted to know what plays both offensively and defensively would work to win the ball game. When I was in business we always tried to “think it through”. We were trying to get a handle on costs and potential profit. Everyone should “think it through” before planning anything or buying into anything. Just take some time and effort and “think it through”. This advice seems simple enough and even wise. We are cautioned from Scripture “to examine everything and hold fast to that which is good” 1 Thess.5:21. My point in bringing this up is to remind us as Christians that we have a responsibility to think things through when it comes to what we are being told on Sunday mornings, evenings, and Wednesday nights. We are called to contemplate, reflect upon, consider, deliberate, and “think it through”. This has great value in taking on board whether something is ultimately good. We are to take on board (hold fast) that which is good. This will build up discernment in the Body of Christ. The more discerning we are the better we are able to defend the essentials of Christianity. We are able also to avoid many other pitfalls like megalomaniac (power-hungry) leaders, and ecumenical propositions that are out of place in the Body of Christ. The ecumenical movement is successful because it dumbs down doctrine and theology. But I think the natural man is left to his own desires, he will prefer deceivers rather than truth-bearers, vice rather than virtuecumenical movement is the fruit of years and years of erosion of discernment in the local church. It is hard to say when “experience” began to trump truth in the American evangelical world. I am sure numerous factors have contributed to dissolve any resolve to have a discerning Body of Christ in America. At points along the way doctrine, theology, exegesis, study, scholarly “thought through” thought-provoking sermons, and teaching gave way to happy little homilies, or clichéd, and banal attempts at communicating the Word of God. For whatever reasons we are left with the fastest growing so-called Christian...

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Contend, Out of Love for Jesus!

Contend, Out of Love for Jesus!


Posted By on Jun 8, 2014

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3   Jude was well aware of the infiltration of false teachers which threatened the church and realized he had to address this treacherous and rapidly spreading cancer by writing a warning to believers (Jude 1:1). He was first compelled to write believers regarding their “common salvation“. According to great theologian Martin Luther, Jude’s letter was purposed to be a letter of exhortation; 1”To hew a clear path for your feet in the faith that has once already been preached to you. To be on guard and continue on the right path.” But, because of a more dire necessity (the threat of false teachers), Jude changed the letters context to a stern admonishment; he urged believers to “earnestly contend” for the faith (Jude 3). What made these threats even more perilous was the fact that these false teachers were creeping into the church unnoticed (Jude 4). The word “unnoticed”, in the original Greek, pareisduo, is defined; to settle in alongside of“, this implies false teachers were gaining trust among church leaders and comfortably moving up the ranks to teaching positions. John Calvin wrote; 2“He (Jude), teaches us that it is an intestine evil; for Satan in this respect is also crafty, as he raises up those who are of the flock to do mischief, in order that they may more easily creep in.”   According to Calvin, it is the work of Satan and since his evil realm is a force to be reckoned with, Christians must adorn themselves with the armor of God and prepare for battle against his nefariousness. (Eph. 6:13-18). The Webster dictionary defines the word “contend”; to strive in combat; fight. In the original Greek; epagonizomai (ἑπαγωνιζομαι), defined; to conduct a strenuous defense of a belief. Jude was not riling Christians up to be inappropriately offensive or contentious toward others with their beliefs. But rather, he was warning believers to vehemently defend the very truth they had come to know and to refrain from the error that these false teachers attempted to corrupt the church. For Jude to change the epistles initial intent of the content, demonstrated just how pernicious he believed these threats truly were.   In fact, throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, heresy and apostasy were a commonly repeated occurrence. The apostle Paul, for example, spent much of his time writing to various churches refuting the plethora of doctrinal...

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Living for love?

Living for love?


Posted By on May 31, 2014

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Rom. 3:28) Recently, I was blessed by a exceptionally fine series of expositional sermons on the “Sermon on the Mount”.  Just as our pastor was concluding his last sermon while making his final point, he stopped speaking, slowly walked away from his lectern, with heavily slumped shoulders, appearing burdened and exhausted.  With long deep sighs while looking down at the floor, he looked grieved.  It was upsetting to watch.  Suddenly he lifted his head with his eyes bright and filled with zeal, he thundered with a powerful voice, “Quit playing religion! Don’t come back if you are here to do some kind of duty! Stay home, unless, today, you begin to take your Lord Jesus seriously!” I was stunned and yet I knew it was needed exhortation. A thought ran through my mind, it is true, our modern Christian culture does take Christianity for granted.  After what seemed to be a long pause, as our pastor looked through the congregation, searching, tears filling his eyes, his face flushed.  Finally, he returned to the lectern, and slowly bowed his head, with his hands clasped over his Bible, he began to pray for his flock.  His prayer was exceptionally loving, affectionate, attentive and detailed to all of his flock’s spiritual needs.  It was evident that he knew his flock very well.  As he humbly asked for the Holy Spirit to fill his congregation with “a true insatiable hunger and thirst for righteousness…desiring the things of God over the things of this world…” he continued on with other biblical needs which were very personal.  It was a blessed insight to a shepherd who deeply loved his flock and earnestly sought our Heavenly Father’s intercession. Afterwards many of us discussed the sermon and his exhortation realizing how much we needed our beloved shepherd.  He said something from his heart, deep within his soul, and with no pre-written notes as some pastors do, prayed for each of us with precision.  Additionally, his exhortation and prayer was very much needed….for me.  When my husband and got home that Lord’s day, I continued praying, realizing I needed to change the desires of my heart.  Jesus expects us to give all of our heart, mind and soul to Him; never withholding any part of ourselves.  We are commanded to put to death the desires of our flesh, asking God to help us fight against Satan and his dark domain as they viciously war to pull our affections away from our loving Savior.  We live in a world where Satan is loose,...

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Flee From Idolatry!

Flee From Idolatry!


Posted By on May 24, 2014

The word “RUN” has been reverberating through my mind since I heard it sonorously proclaimed from a pastor expositing 1 Cor. 10:14. He admonished his congregation to flee from the sin of idolatry and vehemently exhorted them to run from this deleterious and perilous iniquity, because it cripples sanctification and is an affront to God. Idolatry can manifest itself in many guises, either subtlety or overtly in the life of a believer. But in either way, idolatry is an insidious sin which must be dealt with intensely and consistently. In fact, idolatry is so serious to God, that He has this abomination classified in the first two of the Ten Commandments from which we are to obey. (Ex. 20:3-4). In the Old Testament, carved idols or graven images was an obvious type of idolatry committed by the Isrealites that evoked God’ just wrath. They constantly slipped into this transgression, thus infuriating the LORD.  Probably, the most well-known example of their idolatry was the fabrication and veneration of the golden calf by the newly-freed Israelites, as they impatiently waited for Moses, while he was conversing with God up on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 32:1-8). Today many religions are still culpable of committing this form of idolatry, and even in some Christian circles. But, a more surreptitious and pernicious form of idolatry, is the idolatry of the heart, which is rampant among many of today’s Evangelical Christians, especially in the United States where affluence and material excesses are prevalent. And because of these excesses, many times this form of idolatry remains un-confessed or un-dealt with.  In America idolatry of the heart is like a hidden internal cancer, unseen but very caustic to the life of a believer. Idolatry of the heart is equally abominable to God, because it allures the person’ adoration and affections away from the transcendent Creator and disobediently onto His creation (Rom. 1:25). Therefore, many of us wrestle with idolatry of the heart, because we live in great comfort and ease. The media glorifies materialism, portrays all excess’ as virtue and promote the need for immediate gratification in all things.  Just watch most television commercials and you will quickly be tantalized into discontentment with what you currently possess and suddenly begin coveting what you don’t have. Biblical idolatry is defined; as any person, place, or thing, that elicits more affection, attention or love from us, than that for our Heavenly Father God. When we detect idolatry’s presence tempting us, we ought to “run” fast and far from it. But, I prefer employing the word “flee”, as Paul does in 2 Tim. 2:22. Here he uses the word “flee” which is a much more appropriate word which always indicates...

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