En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


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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Disciple(s) Are All Believers!

Disciple(s) Are All Believers!


Posted By on Feb 28, 2014

Disciple(s), Are All believers! If you continuously “follow” Jesus Christ, you are a “disciple”!   After joyfully, yet meticulously studying the book of Acts, I interestingly discovered a different way in which today’s evangelicals use the word “disciple”, which is in contrast to the early church’ employment.  Over the years, I have attended many churches which taught that a “disciple” of Jesus Christ, connoting a different meaning or usage, other than the way God originally intended in the book of Acts, nearly 2,000 years ago. “Disciple” which once was used to identify all followers of Jesus Christ, is now being employed ambiguously or rarely to identify Christians.   Interestingly, even some churches that maintain staunch, austere doctrine, and, are fastidious to Biblical accuracy, have acquiesced to the tergiversation or scant way the word “disciple” is employed.  To them, a “disciple” typically references a special type of Christ follower; a unique individual; someone possessing zealous aspirations to follow Christ, thus requiring special “discipleship” training, and, not all believers are equipped for it.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  If you possess the Holy Spirit (which all believers do-1 Cor. 6:19), you are considered a true “disciple”; ALL believers of Jesus Christ and who persevere, are indeed “disciples”; no special training or instruction is required.  The only exception is leadership training and I will explain this later in more detail.   However, being a disciple of Jesus Christ does require obedience and willingness to submit to His Lordship and no believer is exempt.  It is not as simple as accepting His doctrine, or believing in His performed miraculous recorded in the four Gospels.  In the Great Commission for instance, we are exhorted, to “observe”; watch over; guard, ALL that Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:20).  The nascent and amelioration of Christ’s church depicted in Acts, is the quintessential paradigm for Christ followers i.e. disciples.  According to Acts, everyone who believed in Jesus Christ, followed Him, or those who were instructed and believed in Him, were called “disciple”.  The ISBE Bible Dictionary, defines the word disciple as; “A learner”, Grk; Mathete; “to learn”, Grk; Manthano;” a scholar” Latin, discipulus; “a pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher”, Grk; didascalos.  Or, Easton’s Bible Dictionary: “A disciple of Christ is one who 1) believes his doctrine, 2) rests on his sacrifice,  3) imbibes his spirit, and  4) imitates his example”  Mt 10:24 Lu 14:26,27,33 John 6:69.  The original language of Greek, and a exceptionally concise definition of “disciple”, which brings one to understand how distinctive this label identifies Christ followers  of “disciple” –is the Greek word “archaios“, meaning “one from the beginning” [Pentecost], in Acts 21:16.  However,...

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Love from God; demonstrated through family   As I recall certain moments in which my heart was so full of love, demonstrated through and by my earthly biological family, I now realize I was actually experiencing God’s love, through what is known as “common grace”.  The grand metanarrative within all lives is God revealing Himself through creation and Biblical revelation.  All people know God through the revelation of His creation and their consciences reveal “right from wrong” which only comes from our Heavenly Father who is holy.   It is when we stop “suppressing the truth” and repent of our sins, turning to Jesus as Lord and God that we begin to experience true love.  (Rom. 1 -3) Recalling specific cherished memories experiencing love from and for family, is evidence, that our Triune God blesses us with our earthly family, to enable us to recognize and cherish God’s unwarranted, immutable, unconditional, immeasurable, perfect love.  Our love for God, obeying the first greatest commandment “Love thy God”, and the second greatest commandment “love thy neighbor” expands our family to include “spiritual brothers and sisters” for all eternity.  Our spiritual family is those who have been “called”-before God created the universe, who will worship Jesus Christ as Lord, quickened by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 10:9) Our spiritual family is every believer of the Messiah, throughout history, the “visible and invisible” church, who worship Jesus as Savior, Redeemer and Lord God-who rescued them from their sins.   What a magnificent and glorious thought, such love!  Our merciful God blesses us with mysterious divine bonds which provide connectedness with our “spiritual” family, even though we are not biologically related. When God brings us together through providence, we inexplicably feel an instant love and desire to be with one another, sharing our experiences of His sovereign will, also yearning to worship our Lord God in unity.  We desire to share the Gospel with the lost, so they too may become part of God’s designed family, knowing Jesus as Lord while worshipping Him in glory.   Though Heaven is described in the Bible, none of us know how utterly glorious it will be until we are there, but we have glimpses through Scripture and our experiences. On a personal note, I wish to illustrate my point, through a story from my childhood.   Having been born into a family with ten children, it was our common routine to start and end the day, completing chores together.  As a little girl,  on a early winter morning, my siblings were so eager and excited to see the deep snow which accumulated on the ground, that they burst outside, instead of coming into the kitchen...

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Should Musicians “Set-Up” During Final Prayer?   There has been a disturbing trend that I have witnessed occur with increasing frequency at the conclusion of many Christian church services, or theological conferences.  It happens when a pastor, theologian, or Bible teacher is ending his sermon or lecture with an impassioned prayer to our Heavenly Father, and there is noticeable disruptive activity.  There is a distraction which takes place, by the musicians who provide the concluding worship music.  Many of the musicians seemingly appear oblivious to the final supplication to God on behalf of the entire assemblage.  They amble into their positions and employ that “closing” prayer time to set-up for the final worship song, and unlike everyone else in attendance, who actively prays along with the beseeching man of God, are missing that spiritual nutrient vital to feeding their souls.  In almost every situation when there is a gathering of believers, the worship band usually misses part, or the entire closing prayer orated by the pastor or lecturer.  It is as if they are exempt or excluded from that particular prayer and are not part of the unity of all believers in attendance.  Do our musicians not need prayer, especially the final blessing from a man of God, who implores everyone to pray along with him?  Are they not equally valuable as all believers?   Are church leaders so concerned with keeping rigid “time schedules” that they insist on having their musicians employing the final prayer time preparing for the last song? Is the rational that of, therefore the musicians should be excluded from participation in the final congregational prayer?  That form of practice may not be appropriate with the ways of God (Isa. 55:8-9), and it does give the appearance of church polity or orchestration transcending God and mitigating absolute and total reverence of Him.  I think it is safe to say, that a pastors or theologian’s closing prayer is intended for ALL attending believers, therefore participation by everyone should be the norm; a unified holy reverence.  It is my belief, that God does not receive complete reverence and honor when the musicians do not partake in the final corporate prayer.    If we believe there is power in corporate prayer, and trust that God hears every supplication made from every one of His praying saints, it is essential for every gathering believer to pray in reverence.  Pastors or theologians of our churches, seminars, or conferences, should Biblically evaluate and discern the propriety of this modern day trend.  All musicians desperately need prayer just as any finite, fallen and sinful creature, who constantly requires Gods’ intervention (through prayer)...

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Jesus Christ; God’s Gift to man!

Jesus Christ; God’s Gift to man!


Posted By on Dec 11, 2013

Jesus Christ; God’s Gift to man!   The “Christmas” season is already upon us and it appears to be commencing earlier and earlier each year; commercially, that is. I admit I enjoy the Christmas season. People typically are much more amiable, good-natured, and there is a tranquility and camaraderie present in the air during that time of year. However, it’s business as usual.  The United States economy depends greatly on the spending of the American people during the Christmas season (upwards of 30% of annual income). Tragically, the real reason of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, is nebulous, obscured, or even eradicated all together; typically because of people’s avariciousness. On one hand, stores remain open longer, products are elaborately and strategically advertised, vast amounts of merchandise is stocked, and prices are desperately and drastically slashed by merchants hoping to allure spend-thrifty consumers into their stores. While on the other hand, people shop religiously and rigorously, amass things they do not need, exceed set budgets, and accrue financial debt which might take years to abolish.   This all culminates with the bandying back and forth of Christmas gifts on December twenty-fourth or twenty fifth.  Any repercussions that have resulted from extravagant spending leading up to the “Christmas day” crescendo are usually set aside until the New Year begins. Eggnog libations heavily infused with alcohol, aid in a temporary much-needed anesthetization from all the previous stress and anguish brought on by the required lengthy shopping sprees and accrued debt. Amazingly, this self-abusive behavior will be voluntarily repeated again the following year. For the most part, financially, the Christmas season does more harm than good to people. And spiritually, Jesus Christ is becoming less and less significant to the Christmas season, and sadly, even among many professing Christians.   Soon I fear Jesus Christ will completely disappear from the existence of this monumental and historical holiday. As I noted before, the birth of Jesus Christ, is the real meaning for celebrating Christmas, but soon it will become an archaic identifier of the “once was” meaning of Christmas. In many people’s vernacular, even Christ’s name is removed from the “Merry Christmas” designation. For example, many anti-Christian or atheist groups have removed all traces of Jesus Christ’s name in relation to the Christmas season, by referring to Christmas, as “X-Mas”. Sadly, even many professing Christians, are ignorantly and flippantly succumbing to this flagitious strategy, or, becoming desensitized to the subtlety of Satan’s strategic craftiness.  They’re willfully partaking in an anthropocentric Christmas, and even a Christ-less Christmas, by placing the emphasis on decorating, food, gift-giving, singing secular carols, entertaining, and even subjecting their children...

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HARMONIZATION OF THE SALVATION PARADOX   As finite human beings we are only comfortable or satisfied when we have answers to all of our questions. If we receive an answer, we will accept it, even if the answer is unfavorable to our liking; at least we have an answer. But, when we are given two apparent contradictory answers, and yet both are truthful, it’s befuddling and disconcerting, and so many times we will reject one of the answers.  This conundrum is known as a paradox, and the Bible has many of them within its pages. The Random House Dictionary defines the word “paradox” as: “A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.” However, a “Biblical paradox” has a different meaning; it is not just a “possible truth” as the secular dictionary defines; it’s an absolute truth! And, this, I believe, is why so many believers reject the Biblical doctrine of “election”.  It’s a very difficult truth to believe! The reader is asked, to believe two equal truths of Scripture, and both are essential tenants of the Christian faith.  To our infinitesimal, feeble, mortal minds; this doctrine does not make sense; it defies human logic. On one hand, God is absolutely sovereign in “choosing”, who He effectually draws to exercise saving faith to believe unto Jesus Christ. (John 6:44, 6:65, Eph. 2:8-9). On the other hand, man is entirely responsible and called to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, otherwise he will perish in his iniquities. (Rom. 10:9-10, John 1:12, 3:18, 3:36, 8:24). What many people fail to accept is although this Biblical paradox is unfathomable to our limited minds, God who is infinite, perfectly harmonizes these apparent contrasting truths.  Many people, including evangelicals, argue that Biblical election is an “unfair” doctrine and claim God would never decree an unfair doctrine such as election. But, I would argue because all people are sinners, and God is perfectly just; He has the right to display unmerited mercy on whomever He deems. And, therefore, has chosen to elect some unto salvation, while passing over others. (Rom. 3:23, 9:15-18, 20-21).   Because of this difficult truth, election is probably the most controversial paradox in the Bible. And even though the Bible is fraught with verses illustrating God’s sovereignty in salvation, God’s election is still disregarded in many churches.  For example, God has chosen certain individuals for salvation, even before the foundation of the earth was created (Eph.1:4). He alone draws individuals to Himself (John 6:44). Only He is capable of changing the heart (Ezek.36:26). And, even the faith to believe in His Son Jesus Christ...

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