Pages

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Christian "Bar of Soap" - 1 John 1:9

Bar of Soap
1 John 1:9 has become the “Christian’s bar of soap” but very few have actually studied the verses before and after (as we should always do) to put the verse in context.

If you apply the antithesis rule to the verse, you will see it is obviously not for Christians….”If we DO NOT confess our sins, He is NOT faithful and just to FORGIVE our sins and to CLEANSE us from all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS”.

All our sins HAVE been forgiven past, present and future. As Christians we cannot ask Jesus Christ to do something He has already done.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus HAS taken away our sins. The sin issue has been dealt with.

John was writing a letter to the elders/pastors who had mixed congregations of saved and lost. There were Gnostics in the congregations who believed that Jesus hadn't come in the flesh and was an apparition and that they were without sin – John was correcting them. He did that in 1 John 1:1 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. He then explained in 1 John 1:8 that they were with sin “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”…… He then explained in 1:9 how to get saved. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". He then followed up in verse 10 " if we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us".

This whole notion of Christians asking for forgiveness is incorrectly based on 1 John 1:9. There is not ONE verse in Scripture where this is commanded. Don't you think the writers of the New Covenant would have mentioned what a Christian should do after they had sinned? There is no mention of it because they understood the finished work of Christ on the cross. Jesus said "It is finished".

Read Hebrews and it becomes clear. God remembers our sins no more. The Holy Spirit doesn't convict believers of their sins - how can He when you read Hebrews 10:11-18  

11  "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15. Wherefore the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16. This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Of course a Christian must acknowledge when he has sinned and agree with God that his actions are wrong but nowhere in Scripture is the believer told to confess his sins in order to be forgiven.

People equate the word "confession" with asking for forgiveness. Confession simply means to"agree with".

We often hear about  “parental forgiveness” and “judicial forgiveness” as relating to “breaking of fellowship with God” when we sin. This is a man made teaching and is nowhere to be found in Scripture. 1 Cor. 1:9 (fancy that) says we have been brought into fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. We are brought into fellowship when we get saved – never to be broken.

We cannot go in and out of fellowship neither can we go in and out of light and darkness. Light in Scripture always refers to salvation and darkness always to a lost condition - every single time these words are used they refer to that -WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

How can we, by our actions make ourselves more acceptable to God? That’s works. We didn’t WORK to get our salvation and we can’t WORK to keep it.

The teaching that 1 John 1:9 is for Christians, keeps Christians in a state of confusion and does not allow them to “enter into the rest”.

What do they do about the sins they have forgotten about and don’t “confess”? They live in a constant state of worry – I used to do that. I would start my prayer time with “Lord, please forgive me for the sins I’ve committed knowingly and unknowingly…..”. That’s just not Scriptural. The Lord HAS forgiven our sins. Thinking like this is not believing in the finished work of the cross.

What I have found when sharing this with Christians is that they put forward all sorts of arguments/points, none of which are based on Scripture.

I hope this will help some Christians out there like it helped me.

The Leadership of Men

Some thoughts on the leadership of men and their various responsibilities

It is very interesting that in the scriptures, the woman is NEVER told to love the husband but the husband is instructed four or five times to love the wife.

The world tells us that marriage is 50/50 and yes, each party has to do their share, but the initiation according to scripture, is only done by the man.

Genesis 2:24 says “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh". The operative words here are "leave" and "cleave".

The man has to "leave" his parents (emotionally and not to say "My mother used to cook it this way" etc.") and "cleave" to the wife.

The word "cleave" has as its origins with the meaning of sticking like glue. It is a verb – a doing word - The actions are to be taken by the husband in wooing his wife, providing for her and taking the lead in every aspect of their lives. Not to boss her about or give orders but to, as it says in Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it".

Now we ask ourselves, did Christ love the Church only if the church "cooked his food right" or "didn't put on too much weight" or " didn't have her beauty fade as she got older" - obviously not and so is a man to love his wife - not that she doesn't have her responsibilities, but with the husband loving, leading and caring for his wife she will automatically respond to him. How many women do you know that wouldn't be happy being treated that way, being put first in all things?

The world has given us a picture of the woman chasing a man and sitting at his feet with him being all casual, distant and playing hard to get with "weak neck muscles" and "lazy eyelids" like Rambo. Have you seen the romantic novels where the man is standing with his shirt torn and there is lightning in the sky behind him and at his feet is this “damsel in distress” who has thrown herself at him.

Some years ago when cigarette advertizing was allowed on billboards, I remember seeing an advertisement for a cigarette showing an unshaved, unwashed man in the Amazon forest in a canoe, smoking a cigarette – and that was the world’s depiction of a man – I remember thinking to myself – that’s no man – that’s an idiot – lost in the middle of the Amazon.

When you hear about a Christian couple having marital problems, just ask yourself "Is the husband treating his wife like the Scriptures say and is the wife obeying the Scriptures like she should? This is why it is so important for a man to be a leader.

I was listening to some tapes years ago (1996) and a Christian counselor said that he has counseled so many men that were CEO's etc. of companies but they couldn't lead their own families.

Leading is like working with a piece of string - it can't be pushed - it can only be pulled. Too many men marry women and want them to be "mothers" instead of wives. That is as a result of their upbringing.

Wives, remember the Lord will never hold you responsible for a bad decision made by your husband
.


Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.

Eph 5: 25 Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

Cleave – dabaq to cling, cleave, keep close. Used in Modern Hebrew in the sense of to stick to, adhere to, yields the noun form for glue and also the more abstract ideas of loyalty and devotion.

Col 3:19 Husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them. Women are fragile… and must be treated gently.

Eph 5:28-33 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. 29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church. 33. Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife as the weaker vessel, and being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.

There is a wonderful parallel of Jesus loving the Church and the husband loving the wife…..

The husband is to care for the wife, protect and provide for her as the shepherd cares for the sheep.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd – caring, feeding, protecting leading, guarding.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not.

In Luke 11:5-7 We have a picture of the father covering his children…..“for the door is now shut and my children are with me in bed, I cannot rise and give thee”.

God has placed men in the role of leadership

God is a male

Jesus is a male

The Holy Spirit is a HE – not an it or a she

The 66 books of the bible were all written by men

All the apostles were men

All the disciples were men

All Elders, deacons and pastors were men – the scriptures dictate that these positions are only to be held by men

Only men speak in the assembly

1 Tim 2:13-14 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

The husband can only lead if his family follows. Sounds strange, but a man can be a good leader but if no one follows him he is not leading. The wife and children must follow his leading.

God has placed men to be protectors of their wives……


How the wife is to love her husband and children

As mentioned, only the man is instructed to love the wife and not vice versa. I shared this with a wife in an Assembly and she answered straight away and said.. “That’s because God knows we women have lots of love and He doesn’t have to tell us to, it’s only the men that need to be told”.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, (5362 – philandros - fond of man – affectionate as a wife – love their husbands) (5388 - fil -ot-ek-nos - fond of one’s children – maternal – love their children) to love their children.

There are three types of love found in Scripture

Agape – love for God

Phileo – love for man

Storge – natural affection

Eros – from the world – attraction – sexual love – not in the bible but is found in literature

Wives – allow your husbands to be the leader – we need your encouragement and support – anyone can criticize us – but not our wives.

Ephesians: 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands:

1 Peter 3:5 being in subjection to their own husbands.

Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.

Wives are to submit to their own husbands, not any man – a woman isn’t a second rate person.

Exclusivity

There should be exclusivity between a man and his wife. She should be the only woman he compliments - about her looks, her hair, her perfume, her dress etc. This also applies to the wife – the husband is the only man she should compliment.

We have a beautiful picture of exclusivity when we look at the Jewish custom with the Orthodox Jewish women who wear their hair up and only the husband sees her with her hair down.

We are the bride of Christ – we must be faithful to Him. Israel played the harlot and brought destruction to herself. Jesus is faithful to us. There is exclusivity. We don’t follow after false doctrine and the Lord doesn’t abandon us. Remember, when we follow after false doctrine, we are abandoning the Lord.

In John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name".

Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God".

2 Cor 6:17 “Therefore come out from among them
 and be separate, says the Lord. 
Do not touch what is unclean,
 and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you,
 and you shall be My sons and daughters,
 Says the Lord Almighty.”

Proverbs 5:15 "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well".

Proverbs 5:18 "Let thy fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth".

Proverbs 5:19 "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe:….. and be thou ravished always with her love".

While on the subject of exclusivity…..

George W. Robinson (1838--1877 ) wrote this hymn in 1876…..

Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace! O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.

A Note for Husbands

In the business world, R.O.I. (return on investment) is the basis for any business decision. With your wife, giving her love and caring for her will give you an R.O.I. unequaled in any business venture.

Of course we don't care and love our wives to get something back, but I mention this as an encouragement to husbands so you know your labor will not be fruitless.

Husbands have you sat your wife down and read Proverbs 31:10 to her? The Virtuous wife…

We husbands are to remember our first love we had for our wives.

Jesus in Rev 2:1 speaks through John to the Church at Ephesus… “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thou first love”.

How were we when we were courting our wives – opening doors, being attentive, putting her first in all things? Are we still like that?

When was the last time you washed her hair, gave her a pedicure, a foot massage, a back massage, breakfast in bed, looked after the kids so she could sleep in?

Is she second in your life only after the Lord? Does she come before your children, family and friends, sport, TV?

When she wants to talk to you, do you put down your magazine or newspaper and listen to what she has to say? I’m sure she chooses her times to talk to you and not in the middle of a game or when you’re on the phone:)

When she asks you to change a light bulb, or a plug or fix a shelf, do you do it straight away or within a few hours at least and not days and weeks. When a woman has to wait for something to be repaired or done when she has asked you and it takes days or weeks, her interpretation is "He doesn't love me".

Are you concerned about her welfare and let her know you are. Do you satisfy her spiritual, emotional and physical needs?

Do you pray with her and the children and take them to Church – have Bible reading?

Do you lead your family, discipline the children and make her life as smooth as possible?

Males and females are different

Breaking News

"Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle -- convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don't become limitations."

-- TIME Magazine, cover story, March 7, 2005

In spite of what the world says, God has made males and females different and women are to be treated differently. They may be our best friends but we have to be gentle with them and not treat them like men.

Fathers are to lead the children

Prov 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it". Train – chanak – khaw-nak – narrow/channel - initiate…. discipline

Fathers should teach their children about various aspects of Scripture.

Ephesians: 6:4 "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture (training and upbringing) and admonition (gentle reproof) of the Lord".

Ephesians 6: 1-4 "Children obey your parents in the lord: for this right".

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Eighteen Wheelers

As someone who is the other side of sixty and who has been saved for many years, I see the frustration of Christians that has arisen essentially from wrong teaching.

A lot of the problems and frustrations Christians experience are as a result of the Church structure. Let me explain.

Most Pastors have one foot in the Old Covenant and one foot in the New. Only confusion can result from this.

Secondly most Pastors don’t trust the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives. For some, this is a big one – no drinking, dancing, smoking, movies, trousers for women, short hair for men, facial hair, Deacons must only wear white shirts – the list is endless.

Thirdly, the “one Pastor” system is not Scriptural and brings with it a host of issues.

Scripture doesn’t teach the “one Pastor” system, rather a plurality of Elders, of which the Pastor is one. The Pastor is not a title but an office. We don’t talk about Deacon Joe or Elder Bob so why Pastor Bill?

Deacons do not have a spiritual role in Scripture. It has been said that a lot of Churches are run by strong willed, Deacon’s wives.

How often do you hear people talk of the “Pastor” in breathless tones. My wife and I some years ago were helping out a Church that was starting up and the wife would refer to her husband as “Pastor” when talking to the congregation. “I’ll ask Pastor” or “Pastor doesn’t want to do that” or “Pastor will decide”. Even his young children spoke that way. It was “Stepford Wives” all over again – cultish.

With the “one Pastor” system, the Pastor is put on a pedestal by default. Mankind, as with Israel, always wants a leader, someone they can see and touch. The only difference between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church is that the latter preaches a salvation message (sometimes). There’s still this reverence for “the man”.

God wants his people worshipping Him directly and not going via a man. Of course, I’m not speaking about Church structure and discipline but there are a lot of Churches where the Pastor is “the boss”.

It is not natural for one man to be “in charge” of a Church. With our fallen nature we will fail. Pride will set in and every carnal thing if left unchecked. Just look at the outrageous behaviour we have seen with the Hyles type Churches. Google “Independent Baptist Cult Survivors”. It’s terrible to see what has been done to families by these men.

John MacArthur in spite of his Reformed Theology is a great example of how a man should preach. In over twenty years of listening to him, (and there is nothing about Reformed Theology that I agree with) I still don’t know his wife’s name, or how many children and grandchildren he has and obviously their names. He preaches the Word. He doesn’t spend time cracking jokes, although he has a good sense of humor.

I don’t care and a lot of people don’t care either what the Pastor likes or doesn’t like to eat, wear or his feelings about social matters. I want to hear him present the word of God – that’s his job. We don’t read anywhere in Scripture of any writers cracking jokes and making light of a situation.

As mentioned initially, one of the biggest problems Pastors have is that they don’t trust the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives. This is born out by their insistence in putting their congregations under the Law.

The problem is that most of them don’t understand the difference between Law and Grace. They mix the two to suit their needs. They will preach tithing, bringing their congregation into bondage, instead of preaching the New Covenant and relying on the Holy Spirit to work in people to provide for the Lord’s work. There is not ONE verse of Scripture in the New Covenant to support tithing – so what do they do – pull out Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God”?

Some show their lack of understanding of the Gospel by telling the lost they need to be willing to give up their sinful life (clean up their act) before they can get saved. A very well known Internet personality (weekly posting on the web) had a lost person “come forward” at one of his meetings to receive God’s free gift of salvation but he had a wife and a concubine. (He was from another country and culture) The preacher told him to go and sort out his personal life and when he had done that to return and accept God’s free gift of salvation. Where do we find that in Scripture – nowhere. Is anyone going to stop sinning or never sin again once they accept the Lord’s gift of Salvation? Of course not.

Some teach that we are sinners saved by grace. Well I’m not. I was a caterpillar and am now a butterfly – I cannot go back to what I was and neither can you if you are saved – it is an impossibility.

As saved people, we have the righteousness of Christ – God said it, not me.

Some Pastors preach that Jesus paid the price for sins, past present and future and that the sin issue has been dealt with “once and for all”. They even sing hymns to that effect but then in the next breath will teach that we have to ask for forgiveness each time we sin and they use 1 John 1:9 not understanding that verse has nothing to do with Christians. They don’t have an answer for the “sins” that we have forgotten about and haven’t “confessed”. They don’t have an answer when asked, “If I die with unconfessed sin, will I go to heaven”? They will however, follow up and preach a message on Eternal Security.

They don’t understand that “light” and “darkness” is being saved and lost – you can’t go from light to darkness and back again. You can’t be saved (in the light) and then walk in the dark (lost) they mix those terms as well as not understanding what they mean. They don’t understand the meaning of “confession” – they think it’s asking for forgiveness. Some of the don’t understand the meaning of “repent” – it’s something we only do once. Doing a 180 on thinking who Jesus Christ is.

Some teach that Christians lose fellowship when they sin. Where in Scripture do we find that – nowhere. 1 Cor 1:9 tells us we have been brought into fellowship with God through Jesus Christ – never to be broken. This “in and out of fellowship” is just not in Scripture. 1 Cor 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord”.

Some teach that the Holy Spirit convicts the believer of sin. What about in Hebrews where the writer says “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”.

Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17

In fact Hebrews Chapter 8 needs to be studied by these Pastors. Chapter 8 is about a BETTER COVENANT.

All this wrong teaching - keeping people under Law and in bondage and causing so much confusion when the Gospel is so simple. It takes man to complicate it.

It is disgraceful for Pastors to be wrongly dividing the Word and being arrogant and dogmatic about it. It’s not what they believe and teach that gets me angry but the confusion and hurt they cause people.

I’ll end with my favorite story on being teachable.

A man is standing waiting to cross the road when a little four year old says to him “Excuse me Sir, you can’t cross the road now”. He is insulted that he has been told what to do by a child and pridefully proceeds to cross the road muttering to himself how dare that child tell him what to do. Only problem is the child saw the eighteen-wheeler hurtling down the road that he didn’t.