Keep your lamps burning

“[35] “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, [36] as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. [37] The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! [38] He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. [39] “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” [41] Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?” [42] And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. [43] If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. [44] I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. [45] But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? [46] The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. [47] “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. [48] But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – [Luk 12:35-48 NLT]

Recently in the State of Washington and generally in the United States, laws were passed that are an abomination to God and His Word. If I have offended you with my first sentence, then I caution you as you continue to read. Please understand that it is not my intention to offend anyone… only to speak what is true. If the truth offends you, please take some time to pray and seek God’s Word for yourself.

When these new laws passed, I was outraged as were many other believers. However, today I stand corrected. You see… outrage is our natural inclination but it should not stop there. Our outrage needs to lead to genuine grieving for the state of this world and then a realization that all that is happening around us is truly a sign of the times that are upon us.

As Christians (believers in Our Lord Jesus Christ who identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the saving of our sins who choose to daily die to themselves so that they can obey the Word of God in it’s entirety), it is our complete responsibility to know the Word of God and all that it has for us. Luke 12 above, speaks of the servant that is awaiting the return of his Master. In this passage, we see a servant that is actively waiting and watching. Have you ever watched for someone at the window? There is not much else that you can do when you are watching at the window right? A real watchman… Today, we can liken that job to one of a security guard or a guard at the gate whose only responsibility is to wait and watch for people who come to the gate.

We are called to wait and watch (Ezekiel 3:17-21) for Him and His return. We are called as in v35 to keep our lamps burning so that we can see His Coming and open the door for Him. Our lamps that illuminate our paths and us is defined in Psalms 119:105. Your WORD is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. Unless we are reading our bibles, we will have NO IDEA of what is going on around us.

Let me illustrate this point with this. When one converts to Judaism or Islam or Mormonism etc.. there is a period of required study to fulfill the conversion. Therefore the conversion process allows a person to be fully committed to the religion and start practicing the facets of the religion. However, when one comes into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ… the one and only LIVING GOD, there is a careless nonchalant attitude toward our conversion. For most it stops at the act of receiving salvation and then is supplemented with periodic visits with the bible, peppered with sermons and books (not the bible). 1 John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. If we don’t understand, absorb, read and consume HIS word daily.. Then what is the basis of our relationship with God?

Is it any wonder that Christianity has become a joke among many. Even pastors don’t know what they are doing anymore. Immorality, extortion, pride is abundant in churches and there is no longer a standard of holiness that anyone can follow.

In fact, we are so confused right now. Most Christians don’t even believe that the word of God is true in it’s entirety. Chapters and books in the bible are written off as being ‘meant for the old testament times’. Therefore leaving the entire Word of God open of interpretation… everyone’s individual interpretation. See how messed up we are! A quote I hear again and again is, “Only 10% of professing Christians actually read their bible”. It is no wonder we are so confused.

Let’s continue thru this reading with Luke 12:37-38 that speaks of the servant who is ready and waiting His return. So ready in fact, he opens the door for HIM. This is the servant who has not taken his eyes off the Lord, pouring through His word so that he would know when The Lord was returning. It is with this servant that He will enter and allow to sit at the Lords table and be served (Revelations 19:7-10).

Then we see in v42-48 where the warning is for teachers and leaders. There has been a sinful fallacy taught in churches over the last couple of decades that has lifted the leaders and pastors up to a level that is higher than the congregation. That is not only sinful but is also considered witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23). Be aware leaders… you are a servant of God.. no one is your servant.  [James 3:1, Eze 34, Matt 15:14]

Know this.. as long as you still have breath in you. It is not too late. If your seed has become choked with the cares of this world and is now unfruitful (Matt 13:22), then repent and turn back to God. Examining our lives daily to ensure that we have not become complacent (Prov 1:32-33, Zephaniah 1:12) or lukewarm (Rev 3:15-16).

Read More

Spiritual Birth

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of GOD.” John 3:3

Is it really necessary for us to experience this Spiritual birth? Why aren’t we just born into it? You see, when Adam choose sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17), it changed everything for us. God initially created man for fellowship with HIM, in fact HE gave Adam and Eve everything they needed in the garden and they had no need, suffered no pain, experienced no death. They CHOOSE to reverse this when they sinned. Because of that we are all born into the same SIN(Eccl 3:2, Eccl 5:16. Eccl 9:5, Romans 5:12-16). Sin that caused both physical and spiritual death (Genesis 3:6-7, Genesis 3:19). Adam’s spiritual death brought separation from God (Genesis 3:21-24).

What does that have to do with me? If Adam sinned why am I paying the consequence? When Adam chose to sin, he was cast out from the presence of God into the world and so it is a curse that is upon each of us because we are born into this world. Jesus CHRIST then experienced DEATH so that we could have forgiveness for this very sin and be restored unto GOD (1John 1:7). To be restored is to be put back in the place where you ORIGINALLY were. Jesus died for us so that we can have the same blessing and promise of eternal life that Adam and Even originally had. Now, how is that possible?? When we receive salvation… do we get transported back to the Garden of Eden?

Not quite… but we do have a promise that when we end our temporary lives here on earth…. we will have ETERNAL LIFE… in ETERNITY. Let’s put this in perspective…. if you compare the 70 – 120 years that you could potentially live on this earth… with ETERNITY…. how long is that…? Try a mere breath.. if even that! You see, our lives on this earth are so temporary… even though we make so much of it. We are actually living this life in preparation for eternity! Worth it??? YEAH!! Eternity compared to a breath? Think about it!

God’s love and mercy causes us to be born again (1 Peter 1:3). How is this possible? It is a spiritual birth that we must experience (John 3:3-7). We must be born of water-cleansing through repentance (John 3:5, Matthew 3:11, 1 Peter 3:21). We are also born of the Spirit (John 3:6, Romans 8:2-4, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 John 2:29). We are born again through having faith in JESUS (John 3:16). Our spiritual birth we talked about above.. is when we believe in Jesus. You see, this is a LIFE CHANGING event! It is more than just a decision you make in a crowded room or at a big rally or with a friend… when you choose to believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior and that HIS death on the cross and resurrection took away death from you and washed away your sins… your life WILL change (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)! We undergo spiritual birth by believing in Jesus (1 John 5:1-5, Romans 10:9-10)… this salvation can ONLY be found in JESUS (John 14:6).

Now, when you are born again the righteousness of God is imparted to you (Romans 6). What does that mean? When you are born again, you are made right again in the eyes of God.. you are restored to what he originally had intended for Adam and Eve… you are given a chance to live out the life that HE originally made you for! Walk out in the newness of life (Romans 6:4, James 1:22-25, Philippians 2:12-15). This walk will not be easy as you walk in a fallen world… but when you walk close to your FATHER, filled with His Holy Spirit, and keep HIS WORD (the Bible) in your heart every day… it will be possible.

God bless you! We pray that this study has been a blessing to you… watch for the next study in this series of “BUILDING A FOUNDATION” called The Assurance of Salvation

Read More

A Little Leaven

A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. Galatians 5:9

What is leaven? Leaven can be defined in two ways:

  1. A substance such as yeast or baking powder used to make batter or dough rise
  2. Any influence spreading through something and working on it to bring about a gradual change

What type of leaven is being talked about in Galatians 5:9? The leaven believers are being warned against in Galatians 5:9 is false teaching. By reading the entire passage of Galatians 5:1-12, you will learn that some had come to teach them that they must be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1), that is why Paul tells them in verse 6, that it is faith not their state of circumcision that has meaning.

Is this the only example of false teaching being a form of leaven? No, JESUS Himself warned His disciples against the teaching and actions of the Pharisees and Herod (Matthew 16:6-12, Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1-3)

So is false teaching the only form of leaven? No, sin in any form is leave (1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Ephesians 4:22-32), if we go back to Galatians 5:7, we learn the reason false teaching is leaven. False teaching causes one to be hindered in their obedience to the truth, so false teaching causes one to sin (Job 24:13, Romans 2:8, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 4:17).

What would be an example of false teaching causing one to sin? There are many examples in our daily life, but here I will give two examples found in expressions used by “christians”:

1) “christians are not perfect, they are forgiven”, what does this expression teach you? That as a christian you are going to sin, so just seek forgiveness instead of perfection. From Scripture let’s demonstrate why this false teaching is counter to The WORD of GOD:

  • GOD tells us to be perfect for He is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Genesis 17:1, Leviticus 20:26, 2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Peter 1:15-16)
  • GOD shows us that perfection is maturity in CHRIST (Philippians 3:12-15, James 1:4)
  • GOD commands us to strive for perfection (Luke 13:24, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Philippians 2:12, 1 Timothy 4:7-10, 2 Peter 1:5-10)

2) “you care living law”, this is a new expression that has the same meaning as an older one “you are under grace not under the law”. These expressions are teaching you to ignore the Old Testament and GOD’s laws contained within it, and they too are false teachings that run counter to The WORD of GOD:

  • Let’s look first at what JESUS said about The Law, and what He says about those who teach not to observe GOD’s Laws in Matthew 5:17-20
  • When we are saved, GOD writes His laws upon our heart (Jeremiah 31:33-34, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Romans 2:14-15, Hebrews 10:15-17), so we should indeed be living the law!
  • GOD tells us that it is the doers of The LAW (Romans 2:12-13, Matthew 7:21-23, James 1:22, 1 John 3:4) that will be justified
Read More

A Backslidden State

The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his.

Proverbs 14:14

What does it mean to backslide? The word backslide comes from the Hebrew word “sug” (5472). It means to move away, to turn back or turn away. The backslider:

  1. Turns away from ADONAI (Numbers 14:43, Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 2 Chronicles 15:1-4, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 17:13)
  2. Turns away from their first love (Revelation 2:4, Matthew 24:12, Jeremiah 2:2, John 14:15, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6, Revelation 2:5)
  3. No longer delights in serving ADONAI (Job 22:21-28, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 40:7-10, Psalm 94:19, Psalm 122:1, Ephesians 5:10)
  4. Turns away from the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 3:1-5, Galatians 5:4-7, 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Revelation 2:14-15, Revelation 2:20)
  5. Turns to Satan (1 Timothy 5:15)
  6. Turns to Evil (Psalm 101:3, Psalm 125:5)
  7. Turns to the World (2 Timothy 4:10)

A backslidden condition is gradual. You gradually slide away or abandon your faith. Little by little you stop obeying the Word and the faith you have been professing (Proverbs 24:30-33, Proverbs 19:15-16, Galatians 5:9, Song of Solomon 2:15). As pointed out in Isaiah 1:4, turning away from the Lord happens in the following three stages:

  1. Abandoned— backsliding occurs first in the mind. The backslider forgets The Commandments of ADONAI (Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 4:1-4, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 2:8). This happens because the backslider is not a doer of the Word, they never move forward, learning to know Him. Instead they stay the same or grow less spiritual over the years. (Psalm 119:1-8, James 1:22-25).
  2. Despised— backsliding then occurs in the heart. The backslider’s heart turns away from ADONAI (Deuteronomy 11:16, 1 Kings 11:3-10, Isaiah 1:4-6, Isaiah 57:17, Jeremiah 17:5, Hebrews 3:12) appears to be a Christian, but the heart is filled with lying, lust, unforgiveness, jealousy, bitterness … Instead of being convicted by truth, they are offended (Amos 5:10, Galatians 4:16).
  3. Turned Away—backsliding finally occurs in the actions (Titus 1:16)

Indications You Have Backslidden

  • You haven’t felt the presence of The Holy Spirit in quite some time (Numbers 14:43, Isaiah 59:1-2, Hosea 5:15)
  • You don’t remember the last time you heard the voice of ADONAI (Amos 8:11, 1 Samuel 3:1, 2 Chronicles 15:3-4)
  • Your joy in serving ADONAI is gone (Deuteronomy 28:47, Psalm 118:24, Psalm 122:1, Isaiah 9:3, Nehemiah 8:9-12)
  • Your knowledge of The Word is inconsistent with your life (Hosea 8:2, Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 6:46, Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:4)
  • You No Longer believe you need to fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • You can’t remember your last in-depth bible study (Psalm 111:1-2, Psalm 119:47-48, Ezra 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Most of your prayers seem to be hitting the ceiling (John 9:31, Job 35:12-13, Psalm 66:18-20)
  • You don’t feel ADONAI loves you (Isaiah 32:17, Proverbs 3:32)

How Can You Turn From the Backslidden State?

Humble yourself, confess your sins (Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9)

Pray (Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 4:2, James 5:13, 1 Peter 4:7)

Seek Him earnestly (1 Chronicles 16:11, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 3:10)

Turn back to ADONAI-Repent (Psalm 7:12-16, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30-31)

How Can You Avoid Backsliding In the Future?

1)     Cling to The LORD (Joshua 23:8, Joshua 23:11, 2 Kings 18:6)

2)     Delight in The LORD (Psalm 1:2-3,Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:24, Psalm 119:33-35, Psalm 119:47, Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:142-144, Psalm 119:97-107)

3)     Keep your mind on ADONAI-Meditate day and night upon His Word (Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 16:7-8, Isaiah 26:3)

4)     Stand Firm in your Faith in JESUS (Colossians 1:23, Ephesians 6:10-11, Hebrews 10:39, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 14:12,)

5)     Persevere in Keeping ADONAI’s Commandments (Matthew 24:13, Luke 8:15, Romans 2:7, Romans 5:3-5, Romans 15:5)

6)     Be on Guard-Stand Alert (1 Timothy 4:16, Acts 20:28, Luke 21:36, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9, 1 Peter 5:8)

7)     Walk in Sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6, 1 Timothy 6:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:3-5, Titus 1:9-11, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:6-15, 2 Peter 3:16 )

8)     Keep yourself separate from evil doers (1 Corinthians 15:33, Psalm 1:1, Psalm 119:115, Proverbs 1:10, Proverbs 1:15, Jeremiah 15:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Revelation 18:4)

9)     Keep yourself from evil (Joshua 23:6-7, 2 Chronicles 4:10, Psalm 101:1-4,)

10)  Understand the causes of Backsliding

  • Disobedience (Matthew 24:12, James 4:17, 1 Peter 2:8, Revelation 3:2-3)
  • Discouragement-Lack of Faith in ADONAI (Psalm 78:22, Isaiah 26:2-3, Habakkuk 2:2-4, Luke 18:8, Hebrews 11:6)
  • Doubt (James 1:6-8, Mark 11:23, 2 Peter 2:14)
  • Fleshly Lusts (2 Samuel 11:13, 2 Samuel 12:1-13, Romans 7:4-5, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Peter 1:4, James 4:1-3, 1 Peter 2:11, Galatians 5:16)
  • Indifferent to Sin (Revelation 3:15-16)
  • Jealousy (Matthew 5:23-24, Galatians 5:15, Hebrews 2:15)
  • Love of Money (Matthew 6:24, 1 Timothy 6:10)
  • Love of The World (2 Timothy 4:10, James 4:1-4, 1 John 2:15-17)
  • Murmuring-Complaining (Exodus 17:3, Job 33:13-17, 1 Corinthians 10:9-11, James 5:9)
  • Over confidence (Matthew 26:33, Romans 11:20, Romans 12:16, )
  • Pleasing man rather than ADONAI (John 5:44, John 9:18-23, Galatians 1:10, Acts 5:29)
  • Poor Prayer Life (Zephaniah 1:6, Mark 14:37-41, Luke 18:1, James 4:2)
  • Pride (Proverbs 16:18, Jeremiah 8:12, Hosea 13:6, John 5:44, 1 Corinthians 10:12, James 4:6, 1 John 2:16 )
  • Rebellion-hardened heart (1 Samuel 15:11, 1 Samuel 15:23, Nehemiah 9:17, Nehemiah 9:26, Psalm 106:43, Psalm 107, Proverbs 28:14, Isaiah 1:19-20, Isaiah 65:2-3, Jeremiah 2:27-32, Jeremiah 5:6, Hebrews 3:15, James 4:8)
  • Shrinking back from persecution, tests and trials (Psalm 106:13-14, Matthew 13:21, Matthew 26:56, Matthew 26:70-74, Mark 14:72, 1 Corinthians 10:6, Hebrews 10:38-39)
  • Stubbornness (Judges 2:19, 1 Samuel 12:25, 2 Kings 17:14, 2 Kings 17:40, Jeremiah 5:3, Jeremiah 8:4-7, Jeremiah 44:15-17, Hosea 11:7, Zechariah 7:11-13)
  • Spiritually blind (Revelation 3:17-18, Hosea 7:9)
  • Unequally Yoked (1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Peter 4:2-4, Joshua 23:12-13)
  • Unguarded thoughts (Psalm 104:34, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:8)

Consequences of Remaining in a Backslidden State

  • Your name is blotted out of the book of life (Exodus 32:32-33, Psalm 69:28, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 22:19)
  • There is No Help from ADONAI (Isaiah 59:9-14)

Examples of Men Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Israelites (Ezra 9:1-2)

King David (2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12, Psalm 51:1-14, Psalm 61:10-12)

King Solomon (2 Kings 11:1-13,)

Job (Job 42:6)

Peter (Luke 22:31-34, Luke 22:54-62)

Other disciples of JESUS (Matthew 26:56, John 6:66)

Hymaenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:18-20)

Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Timothy 1:15)

Fellow worker of Paul, Demas (2 Timothy 4:10, Philemon 1:24)

Examples of Churches Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)

Galatians (The Book of Galatians, Galatians 1:6, 3:1, 4:9-11, 5:6-7)

Asia (2 Timothy 1:15)

Ephesians (Revelation 2:4-5)

Pergamum (Revelation 2:14-16)

Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-23)

Sardis (Revelation 3:1-3)

Laodicea (Revelation 3:15-19)

Read More