En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


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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Employ Discernment!

Employ Discernment!


Posted By on May 14, 2014

At times it seems as if Christians today have lost their ability to discern truth.  We would never say the Holy Spirit is failing to guide and teach us the difference between right and wrong as stated in the Bible.  But, some seem so desensitized by the culture that they are disregarding God-given perspicacity and partaking in obvious blasphemies. At the beginning of his letter to Philippians, the Apostle Paul prayed for them to grow “more and more in real knowledge and discernment” (Phil. 1:9). And in the following verse wrote; “so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;” (Phil. 1:10). So, why are Christians abandoning essential biblical discernment and recklessly partaking in what is abominable to God? Perhaps, the lack of discernment stems from being destitute of biblical study, thus void of biblical wisdom, which will severely cripple any believer, in numerous ways. For we are we are exhorted to renew our minds and perform what is pleasing to God. (Rom. 12:2).  Therefore, it is imperative to daily read and study the word of God and obey His precepts as the Holy Spirit aids us. At the risk of being accused of propagating legalism, ostracizing myself from many fellow believers, or jeopardizing some close frienships, I write this article. Currently, there are a myriad of movies, books, articles, blog articles, etc., appearing in the media making outrageous and erroneous claims, alleging “receiving new biblical revelation” or fraudulent and heretical revision of biblical history. Tragically, the Christian world is being inundated and attacked by these numerous unbiblical productions; Christian discernment must be at its pinnacle. All of these works have one thing in common, they are blasphemous or heretical, and ought not be considered. Such productions, remind me of a Greek word the Apostle Paul used to describe his life accomplishments and status prior to his conversion; he described them as, “skubalon” (refuse; dung; manure) (Phil. 3:8). I cannot restrain from applying that term to numerous alleged biblical productions, because it is so appropriate! That said, it is because of the rampant proliferation of this “skubalon“, that I can no longer remain silent and must defend the good Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many brothers and sisters in Christ are forsaking their God-given discernment to read or view heretical productions. Regardless, if they are chosing to exercise liberties in Christ or are desirous of entertainment (Rom. 14), they are opting to partake in blasphemy; yes, blasphemy! There is no other way to identify it. How are they blaspheming, you may ask? According to Scripture, if Christians are willfully purchasing a book, or paying admission to view a...

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Freedom Won~Read your Bibles!

Freedom Won~Read your Bibles!


Posted By on May 9, 2014

“The English Reformation was a biblically based movement that took as its motto the right of each Christian to read …the Bible in one’s native language. Luther had first given this theory its definitive expression: “We have never yet desired anything else…than the liberty to have the Word of God, or the Holy Scriptures, to teach and to practice it” English Protestants echo the sentiment. Whereas the Roman Catholic powers wished to have people memorize and recite select portions in Latin, under their purview, never understanding true salvation.  Puritan William Tyndale, a multi-linguistic genius, was more ambitious, and became a martyr for translating much of the Bible, at the moment of his death praying “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” By 1560 the Geneva Bible was produced in English including the Puritan and Calvinistic interpretation notations in select passages. And for the first time Scripture was divided into numbered verses, making it readable by ordinary people. Christians of the Reformation era knew the Bible better than their evangelical counterparts today. We need to heed to many Puritans, one such godly man such as Richard Baxter begged his readers “love, reverence, read, study and obey the Scriptures.” “After reading this book today, it is a solemn reminder to all Christians, to rejoice in your freedom, and seek today and everyday to read the Holy Bible!” Let us praise God for the hard work being done which brings us gifts to our study such as the 28th Ed. Nestle Aland, Greek New Testament, and excellent clear versions such as the E.S.V. and  N.A.S.  All of which are testaments of years of labor by people who have been working for years in their perspective scholastic fields, verifying, validating documenting manuscripts, physical evidence, archeology, christian historians, all who authenticate exactly what our first century brothers and sisters were reading themselves. In fact we have more evidence of the Holy Bible than anything else in history.  Pray to our Lord God for an insatiable unending desire and love to study the Holy Scriptures daily, seeking to become more obedient each day, glorifying our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by every thought word and deed.  Spread the Gospel to all~ Amen, and may God bless you! [excerpts from “Worldly Saints The Puritans as They Really Were” – Leland...

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Elder’s Worthy of Double Honor

Elder’s Worthy of Double Honor


Posted By on Apr 30, 2014

Elders Worthy of Double Honor.     “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Tim. 5:17-18).   What type of elders are “worthy of double honor”? They are men who excel at serving a Body of believers in a local church, as superintended by the Holy Spirit. They are men who work diligently at studying and proclaiming the word of God for the edification and sanctification of their congregation. Not only are they required to teach God’s word accurately (1 Tim. 3:2, 2 Tim. 2:15, 24, Titus 1:9), but must also demonstrate, by example, lives reflecting integrity of what they teach (Phil. 3:17, 1 Tim. 1:16, 4:12).  Although the word “integrity” is not in the text of 1 Tim. 5:17, it is definitely implied by the stringent qualifications an elder must possess (1 Tim. 3:2-7, Ti 1:6-9): “…An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Tim. 3:2-7 NASB). If a man is devoid of any one of these qualifications, he is disqualified from becoming an elder.  These austere qualifications are not required for an individual to possess secular employment, but according to God, they are absolutely imperative and mandatory to possess to be an elder. Very few men are truly called for eldership, for these men will have the onerous responsibility of shepherding Christ’s church. Therefore, we ought to thank God for such men and help them bear such serious obligations, by constantly praying for them, loving them, supporting them, submitting to them; and by willingly following their lead.   So there is not any confusion regarding the terms given to New Testament church leaders, an elderin the original Greek, presbuteros (an old man), is synonymous with: bishop episkope (overseer), overseer episkope (overseer, appoints, attend); all of these titles are interchangeable for the same person.  Furthermore, some elders...

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