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You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Cor. 9:11

 

 

Please find below many "Messages" that Dennis Smith has written based on scripture. To comment or ask a question contact Dennis via email: Dennis@ManosdeDios.org

Message: OK GOD, LET’S MAKE A DEAL!
Have you ever tried to make a deal with God? Have you said something like, “OK God, if you will do this for me I will follow You closer or I will cut back on a certain sin if only You will help me out and grant my prayer request.”
I have done that in the past, but, thankfully I have not done it in a long time. However I have to admit the thought has crossed my mind a few times in the past years. When that thought comes to me it is usually when something very serious is going to happen in my life and I am unsure of the outcome and I need extra help from God. Fortunately, I have been able to ignore the thought of making a deal with God and rely on my faith, as I should, to carry me through.
The thought of making a deal with God passed through my mind just recently but I did not let it take possession of my thoughts and returned to my faith. You see, I am going to have major surgery in the next few days and I was a little worried about the possibility of becoming paralyzed. Dying is “OK” because I would be with Jesus, but being paralyzed is another thing. Instead of trying to make a deal with God I chose to rely on my faith in Jesus, trusting that He will be with me whatever happens. I turned my cares over to Him and now I am comfortable with my situation. What a blessing it is to be able to put all my cares on Him!
What prompted the thoughts of making a deal with God is the fact that I feel like Paul when I sin. Romans 7:15 “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” And I can’t get my thoughts (that sometimes turn to actions) to reflect the way Christ wants me to think. The $64,000.00 question for me is, “How do I conform my thoughts to reflect what is right and pure?”
Well, God, in His wisdom, led me to church Sunday and Pastor Scott’s message answered that question for me. To put it briefly, I need to control my thoughts as much as I possibly can.
To do this I need to follow the guidelines in Philippians 4:8-9 and meditate and think on the things listed. Philippians 4:8-9 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
I also need to change my attitude. Philippians 2:5 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
And continue to work on changing the way I think. Romans 12:1-2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

As I learn to do these things I will no longer be tempted to consider making a deal with God, I will walk closer with Him, and I will be growing into the person He wills me to be.
One last comment. We can change our brain by actively living out the 8 principals of Philippians 4:8. I pray that I will constantly strive to do just that.
Dios te bendiga (God bless you),
Dennis
September 30, 2013

 

Message: THE NEW COVENANT IS A PROMISE COVENANT

Covenant; Agreement God made with mankind based on the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Under the new covenant God would write His law on human hearts. There would be a new knowledge of the Lord, a new level of obedience and a new forgiveness of sin.

When did the new covenant start? I have heard some say it started at Pentecost, some say when Jesus broke bread at the last supper and some say at the resurrection of Jesus. After studying scripture I feel it started at the resurrection of Jesus. Here are the reasons that support why I believe this.

If we read Luke 22: 19-20 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, they make a good argument that the new covenant started at the last supper. At the last supper Jesus reminded the disciples that He was instituting the new covenant (that had been prophesied in the Old Testament). He spoke of the new covenant as “My blood,” Luke 22:19-20 (NIV): And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. And also in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (NIV): The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

However, when I read the above scriptures it tells of something that was to happen in the future (His body had not been broken or His blood shed yet) because Jesus has not been crucified and resurrected yet. He also says to do this in remembrance of Me. This tells me that the new covenant is to start at a future time.

In Hebrews 8:8 -13 it tells what the Lord says about the new covenant. And we read in Hebrews 8:13 (NIV): By calling this covenant “new,” He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. This tells me that for the new covenant to start something has to happen. I think that it is the death and resurrection of Jesus. That is when the new covenant is ushered in to our lives.

I also read that the Old Testament shows a covenant of the law (which we could not follow because of our sin nature) and that the new covenant (mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments) is a covenant of the promise. The blood of Jesus would start the new covenant when we are justified by His blood and by God’s grace and mercy.

The death and resurrection of Jesus served as sealing the oath (the promise from God) of a new covenant where by we would be saved. Hebrews 7:28 (NIV): For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath (new covenant), which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. I read that these things could only happen after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:15 (NIV) states; For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. To get that eternal inheritance Jesus had to die as it states in verse 15. This is another reason I feel the new covenant started at His resurrection.

Hebrews 10:22 (NIV); let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. This scripture also tells me that the new covenant started with the death and resurrection of Jesus in the ‘full assurance that faith brings”. In the old covenant we had to rely on sacrifice; in the new covenant we have faith in the blood of Jesus. “Hearts sprinkled to cleanse us.” Sprinkling of blood is talking about the blood of Jesus. “Bodies washed with pure water.” This pure water is Jesus, He is the living water. For these occurrences to happen Jesus would have to have died and then been resurrected. These scriptures are why I believe that the new covenant started with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

You may wonder why I think it is important to figure out when the new covenant started. Good question. I am interested in finding the start of the new covenant because some people (and denominations) use the start of the new covenant as a guidepost as to the meaning of things that happen in the old and new covenant. They use that date to justify their beliefs. For example, some people believe that baptism is a condition of salvation. When the question is brought up that if this it true then why did Jesus tell the thief that was next to Him on the cross (there was no proof that he was baptized) he would be in paradise with Him today? Their answer is that the thief and his death were under the old covenant law because the new covenant did not start until Pentecost.

Defining the start of the new covenant can have an effect on how scripture is viewed and in my opinion is important.

Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

Dennis

06/10/2013

Message: "Does God Change His Mind?" (Part #3)


This final part of this series will be concerning God’s will as it pertains to prayer.


We are told in scripture to pray and ask according to His will and we will receive what we ask for. 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” Then the next question should be how do we know what is “according to His will?” We can find the answer in scripture.


As stated, God’s will for us is to:
Ask that His will be done: Matthew 6:10
Have faith and don’t doubt: Matthew 21:21
Be persistent: Luke 18:1
Be thankful: Philippians 4:6
Ask for wisdom: James 1:5
When we ask we must believe and not doubt: James 1:6
Bring glory to the Father: John 14:13
Obey His commands. Do what pleases Him: I John 3:22
Have a sincere and genuine heart: Psalm145:18
Have a forgiving heart free from resentment and filled with love: Mark 11:24-25
Be right with others: Matthew 5:21-26; Col. 3:12-15
Pray with confidence in God's goodness rather than with a complaining attitude: Ps. 37:5-7
Pray with the right motives: James 4:3


With so many books, DVD’s, preachers on TV, seminars and messages out there on “how to get our prayers answered” it’s no wonder that I think we have forgotten the purpose of prayer. I have discovered that the importance of prayer is not to get what I want; it is to build that true, trusting, growing relationship I am called to have with my Lord and to trust in His will. It’s about the bonding between my heavenly Father and me that only can come from a relationship in which we know each other and where there is exceptional love and respect. And for me to grow that kind of relationship, I must pray to Him (communicate), study His words (scripture) and show my love for Him by following His ways (obedience).


Learning to pray according to scripture will lead me from trying to get my prayers answered to learning to have my prayers aligned to what the will of God is for me and all whom I pray for.


God has a plan, He knows the end from the beginning, He knows what is best for us and those we pray for, He has no problem separating our needs from wants in our prayer request and His “will” will come to pass no matter who tries to intervene. I do not read in scripture that my prayers will be answered or God will change His mind or answer my prayer a different way because of something I do. I read that my prayers will be answered when they are in alignment with God’s will and I surrender myself to Him and His ways.


This has been a very challenging series. As I studied, sometimes I was in total conflict with what I was reading and understanding as to what I viewed in my heart, i.e. what I wanted to be true. But as a Christ follower I can not follow what my heart wants me to believe until it is tested by scripture because my heart can be deceived no matter how bad I desire something.


When following Christ, we must make difficult choices. It may even come to where following Christ will pit father against son, mother against daughter. We will even have to swallow our pride and change our ways and the way we perceive things. I even know of people that say “God will never give us more then we can handle.” That is not a true statement, 1 Corinthians 10:13 tell us “He will not let us be tempted by more then we can bear.” Some people will not believe the truth even when you give them the correct scripture. Many times we hold on to the attitude that “we believe and therefore we know we are right” that is ingrained in our mind. With God and scripture we can’t do that. If we are quoting scripture it must be accurate and we must believe what scripture holds to be true no matter what our heart wants us to believe or how right it seems.


I wonder if we take the scriptures literally where they state “we can have anything we ask for in His name (John 14:14); He will give us the desires of our heart; and we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer if we have faith.” If that is literally the case, then I wonder why Alejandra (a child in Mexico) hasn’t been cured of the effects of Bacterial Meningitis. I have been praying for her healing for about four years now and she has not been healed. We need to realize all scriptures in the correct context as we figure out its true meaning. Do we strictly follow scripture such is mentioned in Mark where it states “we will drink poison and not die and we will pick up deadly snakes and not get hurt if bitten?” Also in Mark it tells us that “if our eye offends us we must pluck it out.” Is God really telling us to tear out our eye? Or is He reminding us how serious He regards sin and if what we are looking at what causes us to sin, we must remove ourselves form that temptation? The fact is, no matter what scripture we are reading (the theme of prayer included), we must read and understand the scripture in the context that it is being written. Another scripture I struggle understanding is Matthew 21:21, Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.'” As far as I know and I don't recall reading where anyone has done that. How do we reconcile this scripture with what we believe and the power we currently have concerning prayer?
Then there is Matthew 10:7-9 that states to go out and heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. If this scripture is literally accurate, then we should be seeing many pastors and Christ followers casting out demons, healing the sick and raising the dead on a regular basis and in great numbers. I have not seen or heard of this happening. From reading scripture I believe that demons can be cast out, sickness can be healed and the dead can even be raised……but only at the will of God and in His timing. I can pray for these things to happen and they will happen, but only when God is ready to allow them to and he will decide when and where those miracles will occur.


I know there are people that do not agree with me and I pray that you will give me your feedback (backed up by scripture) concerning my comments and scripture I offer in defense of my opinion.


What I strive for is the truth being known about scripture, for myself and all of us; for an open, honest and loving discussion between believers that is backed up by studying scripture; and having an open mind to what scripture tells us and not one set on “what I think” as being true while we discuss our differences. I am sad to say (and it is not my choosing) that my viewpoint has already caused a split in a close relationship I have with a friend(s). What makes it more disheartening is that they do not want to discuss scripture. They have decided they don’t like what I said and how I said it and want to be removed from receiving further messages, which I honored. However, I will not be deterred and I will continue to study, learn, and talk about the challenging things in scripture. I will also continue to solicit advice and council from trusted Christ following pastors and friends who advise me on my accuracy regarding scripture and the attitude and way I present it. (And your opinions are always welcome.)


God does answer prayers, in His will and sometimes NOT the way we want them to be answered. And for that I am very grateful!


His student, Dennis

 

Message: "Does God Change His Mind?" (Part #2)

Before we go any further let's touch on possible contradictory scriptures such as in Genesis, Jonah, and in Exodus. Genesis 6:6, “The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain” Jonah 3:10, which says, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.” Exodus 32:14 , “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He had threatened.” I read these verses as speaking of the Lord “relenting” of something, not changing His mind. And when you study these passages they seem to show that they tell us God does not change. In the original language, the word that is translated as “repent” or “relent” is the Hebrew expression “to be sorry for.” Being sorry for something does not mean you have changed. It simply means there is regret for something that has taken place. In Genesis 6:6 it states that God was grieved. If He truly changed His mind and regretted putting man on earth then why did He not destroy all people in the flood? Why did He save Noah and his family and allow them to reproduce? Besides, if God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10-11) He knows what is going to happen and does not need to change His mind. Scripture seems to show that ordinary things undergo change, the changeless Creator does not. However, if God did change His mind, I ask, is that a characteristic of a divine being or is that a characteristic of a human being? God does what He needs to do to cause humanity to fulfill His perfect plan. To us it may look like change. God gives us a choice in all things and when we make the choice He is not changing His mind, we are choosing and deciding the final outcome.

Now I will try to tie this information in to how it fits concerning prayer. First I will tell you where I stand concerning prayer and the answering of prayer. I BELIEVE GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! However, let me preface that with He answers them according to His good and perfect will. And I do not think that He changes His mind no matter how many people there are praying for something, how sincere we are in our prayers or how many good deeds we have done for Him.

If our prayers can change God's mind then it seems to suggest we can manipulate God. Can God be manipulated? I think God uses our prayers to get us in line with His way of thinking and when we are, our prayers align with what His answers were going to be, and thus it means our prayers were answered (according to His will). However, He did not change His mind to fit our prayer request; we changed our prayers to fit His way of thinking and to what He was going to do for us anyway.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to God to be relieved from this pain and suffering He was about to endure; Matthew 26:39, "Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'” God did not answer His Sons prayer. Why not? Was it not because God already knew what had to be done and His decisions were for the best and not changeable? So, if Jesus (the perfect Man/God) prayed to His father and His request did not change God’s mind, doesn't it make it easier to understand that we can’t change God's mind with our prayers?

Exodus 33:19, “And the LORD said, 'I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.'” Does this not say the Lord will have mercy and compassion on whom He decides to have mercy and compassion, and not those who have many people praying for them? It is repeated again in Romans 9:18."Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” God is in control and makes His own decisions.

What some Christians don't fully understand is that the purpose of prayer is not as a means for man to change the thoughts of God, but as a means of communion. In that time, God might change the thoughts of man and conform our heart to His will. It is a method for personal spiritual union with God, so that we are the one being petitioned, learning and being changed.

Isaiah 40:13 “Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as His counselor?” In prayer, we don't really counsel God on what changes we want, we actually are brought to a closer relationship with Him so as to understand the changes He wants. His omniscience prevents Him from being unaware beforehand of any prayer that would "theoretically" change His mind. Since He already knows the end from the beginning, how could our prodding change His mind? He already knew our prodding before He made the decision. So to me it makes no sense that prayer changed His mind.

Does our praying really make a difference? I think so and the Biblical answer is yes. I think the difference prayer makes is in us and in those around us, not in God. Prayer is for our sakes, for it is through prayer that the believer is learning more about himself through this lifeline to God. When we are praying and continuing to grow in our prayer life, we learn that God is our protector and our strength. When we are praying to God we are not focusing on the world, we are continuing to build our relationship with Him and we are learning to be more in His will then ours.

God desires us to petition Him so that we may grow in grace and communion with God, by us realizing our need for Him. Prayer instills God-consciousness in us as we continually pray. An important part of the purpose of prayer is to assist us in aligning ourselves with God. In the act of repentance and prayer, God teaches us to submit to His will. Prayers will not be answered if they are not aligned with His will according to scripture. A Christian website reads “one of the main purposes of prayer is conformity with the will of God, not the commanding of our own requests rooted in self-gratification.” It’s not about us or what we want or would like to happen.

This is a response from one of my former readers that responded to Part 1 of my message on "Does God change His mind?". “Why pray if He will not listen, answer or change His mind? It's already done, predetermined, over, case closed.” My personal feeling is that this is a sad and an incorrect way to look at God and prayer. If a person were to read scripture concerning prayer they would find a multitude of reasons why we need to pray. Some examples are we must pray: according to His will (1 John 5:14 and Matthew 5:5-15), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), to rejoice, pray continually, and give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), to repent (Acts 8:22), to resist temptation (Matthew 26:41), for wisdom (Ephesians 1:15-22), for those that persecute you (Matthew 5:44), and not to give up (Luke 18:1).

And, please remember I am not telling you what to believe and I am not saying that I know everything. What I am doing is giving you scripture as it relates to God, change and prayer, and how I read it. The rest is between you and God.

The next (and last on this series) message will be on the will of God. Comments are always welcome.

His servant, Dennis

Message: "Does God Change His Mind?" (Part #1)

I welcome you, the reader's, comments, thoughts and appropriate scripture quotes on this subject. I think this series of messages will be interesting and, if you choose to get involved, will go deeper and challenge what you think about some scripture. In the end I pray it will help us grow in our understanding of our Lord. So let’s get started.

What do the following scriptures tell you and what do they all have in common? (Please read these scriptures before you go on to read my comments.)
Malachi 3:6 declares, “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

James 1:17 states, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Numbers 23:19 proclaims “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

Isaiah 46:10-11 “…declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not done, saying, My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure … What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do”

Psalms 102:26-27 states “They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing You will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and Your years will never end. And with the Lord there can be no variation."

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 4:12-13 “for the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Job 23:13 “But He stands alone, and who can oppose Him? He does whatever He pleases."

Psalm 33:11 "But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations."

Before I give you my perspective on the above scriptures let me tell you where this message is going and why I am asking these questions.

In the past I have heard people say things like 'if we can get enough people to pray for something, God will answer our prayers.' And 'God will change His mind if the circumstances are right.' I have challenged these statements and stated that what I found in scripture is that God does not change His mind and no matter how many people we get to pray for something, God will not answer that prayer because of the number of people praying. This difference of opinion has caused some friction between friends so I decided to study the idea of God changing His mind and answering prayer a little more deeply. It was also commented that I was undermining the power of prayer. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to pray. Jesus calls us to pray. We are told to pray for all things and the list of why pray can go on and on. But that discussion is for messages in the near future, so lets stick with the “does God change His mind?” discussion for now.

As for me, there are too many scriptures in both the Old and New Testament that state the Father God (and Jesus) does not change His mind for us not to believe it! And if He knows the end from the beginning then He knows exactly what is going to happen, when it is going to happen and the outcome. With all this in mind and if God is Omniscient (definition: The attribute of God by which God perfectly and eternally knows all things which can be known, past, present, and future. And that God knows how best to attain His desired ends.) then there is no need for Him to change His mind.

If God did change His mind according to the requests of us (His children) then wouldn’t it mean that we know more than God and we know what is best? Does that sound like the culture of God? In scripture does God say we can know more than He does and that He needs us to help Him decide what to do and what is best?

I will end this message with one two questions, “Are we supposed to talk to God and try and get Him to change and see things our way and to serve our purposes? Or are we supposed to change to see things His way, to desire His will, and not try to figure out why He does what He does?”

I welcome and look forward to your feedback and discussion. Feel free to reply directly to me at: Dennis@ManosdeDios.org. Note: consider reading Psalm 139


His student, Dennis

Message: "Christ followers and Satan"

WHAT POWER DOES SATAN HAVE?

Limited! And that information comes directly from scripture. However, he is still dangerous and we must take him seriously. An unknown author put it this way “Demons cannot live in Christians hearts, but they can perch on Christian shoulders and whisper in Christians ears.”

CAN CHRISTIANS BE POSSESSED?

Many people think that Satan can possess a Christian and make them do sinful things. Some Christians even think that there are Christians that are possessed by the devil and there are words you can say with the power of Jesus and drive them out. This is not a true statement and there are scriptures that refute that claim (as I will show in this message). Satan cannot possess a true Christ follower! However, Satan can oppress or influence a Christian and that is the big difference. In the New Testament scriptures dealing with Satan and spiritual warfare, no one has ever been told to or has cast out an evil spirit from a believer. Repeatedly though, we (believers) are told to resist evil.

WHO DO WE BELONG TO AND WHO IS IN CONTROL?

Before we get into what power or lack of it Satan has, we need to look at ourselves and what the scriptures say about us and the power we have to fight him.

The Christ-followers I am refering to are defined as people that truly and honestly accept Jesus in their hearts as their Lord and savior, repent, accept His ways and change their lives in order to follow Him. They are the believers that have total faith in Him and with this confession, the Holy Spirit will live in them and they will be a new creation.

With that said, let’s start with 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

First off, we belong to God and our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. God dwells in us. This is also backed up by Romans 8:9. "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." And in 1 Corinthians 3:16 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"

As we all know, we can only have one master. Iti is in Matthew 6:24 that we are told; "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." And in Ephesians 6:9-10 we are told who our master is. "And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him."

In 1 Peter 1:18-19 it tells us we were purchased with Jesus’ blood. "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." And with that purchase we became a new creation as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

1 Corinthians 10:21 “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.” And in Matthew 6:24 we are told; "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Do these scriptures not tell us that if we have accepted Jesus and He reigns in us that Satan can’t possess us?

For all the logical people, let’s put faith aside for a moment and look at this logically. Do you think if there is a God, He would sacrifice His Son for us, save us from eternal damnation, make us a 'new creation' and then allow Satan to share power, control and allow His children to be possessed by demons? I think not, both logically and scripturally.

Who has controlling interest in us? Look at 1 John 4:4. "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Who is in us? The Holy Spirit. Who is in the world? Satan. God is greater than Satan.

I think scripture has established who we belong to and who is in control. Now let's look at what scripture has to say about how much power Satan has and how we are to fight him.

SATAN’S POWER AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

Satan and his angles have the power to do many things and even perform miracles. As told to us in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." And 2 Thessalonians 2:9, "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders."

There are many scriptures that state his power is in tempting such as in Luke 4:13, "When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him <Jesus> until an opportune time." 1 Corinthians 7:5 notes "Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." And Mark 1:13, "and He <Jesus> was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan."

Satan's strategies also include;

Leading the whole world astray; Revelation 12:9, "The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
Trying to outwit us; 2 Corinthians 2:11, "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
Becoming a stumbling block Matthew 16:23, "Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'"
Getting a foothold; Ephesians 4:27, "and do not give the devil a foothold."
Devouring us; 1 Peter 5:8, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Trapping us; 2 Timothy 2:26, "and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

Again, Satan’s power is limited to tempting, tricking, scheming and lying etcetera.

WHAT DO WE DO TO RESIST?

Rely on the Lord and follow the instructions He gave us in scripture and follow the promptings from the Holy Spirit who lives inside us.
Most importantly, scripture tells us in James 4:7, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We are to submit to God and then resist the enemy.
1 John 4:1, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." In order to test the spirits we need to know about them. And to test them we must know the Scripture.

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us to rely on the power and the armor of God when challenging or being challenged by Satan. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." And verse 18 tells us to PRAY. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."
Hold fast to our faith and the Lord will be faithful as stated in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."

What I have learned from this study it that as a Christ follower can’t be possessed by Satan, the devil, or the evil one (or whatever name he goes by). If a person is thought to be a Christ follower and is acting as if possessed they are either faking it or they have not honestly turned over their lives to the Lord. God will not allow us to serve two masters at the same time.
As far as being influenced, tricked, tempted, seduced, pursued, and having weaknesses, yes, these are real. And Satan will use any and all of his tricks and schemes to get us to distance ourselves from Jesus.

There is one more thing I need to add to this study. There is another common assumption of Satan's power that is untrue. It is the belief that Satan can make you sick. In all the research I did, I did not find any scripture in the New Testament that states Satan can make you sick, give you a disease or kill you when ever he wants. Illness and disease are from things like germs, poor hygiene and an unhealthy life style. Sin and death have been in our lives since Adam and Eve.
Unfortunately many people spend too much time talking about Satan and his attacks. This is what he wants. When we are talking about him we are not talking about Jesus, who should be our main focus.
We need to concentrate on Jesus, how He wants us to live and walk in His path. And when Satan comes to tempt you or get involved in your life, acknowledge that he is there but then send him away by the power of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) and rely on Jesus to see you through.

One last thing, remember 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
If you have surrendered you life to Jesus, YOU BELONG TO THE LORD!

Message: "Communion"

Some of us take it weekly, some monthly and some quarterly. I have taken it at all three different times. I have taken it in denominational and non-denominational churches. I have even tried to take it a Catholic church where it was immediately pulled back (inches away from my lips) when they found out I was not Catholic.

Scripture states in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I have received from the Lord what I also pass on to you. The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, this is my body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after super He took the cup, saying, this cup is the New Covenant in my blood, do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."

Scripture does not tell us when to take communion. It does tell us to give thanks (after breaking the bread He gave thanks – a Jewish tradition). It does tell us to remember that the breaking of the bread is a symbol of His broken body and the cup is a reminder of His blood that was shed for us to remove our sins and His blood is also a symbol of the coming of the New Covenant.

Communion is a time to reflect on Jesus, what he did for us and the suffering He went through to accomplish prophecy. To me it is to be taken seriously, because we know what He was in store for when He broke bread that night. However, the disciples still did not understand at that time.

The reason I am mentioning this is because Lucy and I had the opportunity to take communion the other day in a totally new way. This made me reflect on how many different ways I have taken communion.

The standard way I use to take communion when we attended denominational (and non-denominational) churches was pretty much the same no matter where we went. After the message we would get ready for communion. The words spoken by the pastors were pretty close to the same concerning communion. We would pray and then communion was served. The ushers would come down and serve the bread and juice and we would partake, either together all at the same time or some would allow you to reflect for a minute or so before taking the elements when you were ready. Usually there was more time taken serving the elements then there were time spent on prayer and preparation for the elements. Most of the churches we have attended serve communion every week and in the same manner. And the activities around serving the elements, before and after, always seem to be rushed. Could it be because it is usually at the end of the service and people are in a hurry to do whatever it is they have too do after church?

I never noticed it till now, but communion has become quite a let down for me and did not even see it coming. Maybe taking communion every week, going through the motions hearing the same message about communion has made me not take it very seriously. I also see myself, and others, going through the motions of communion, hurrying through prayers and getting it done so we will not hold up the preacher; he is on a time schedule and must keep it! I am going to change my attitude about communion.

Why have we become in such a hurry, what has happened to us that has made us go through the motions and not really take the sacraments very seriously? Is not the death and resurrection of our savior worthy of a little more of our time and attention? And why are some of us in such a hurry to leave church when the service is over?

What brought up all this reflection on my part was taking communion at the church we attend in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico and the way it was presented.

The Friday evening service was a praise and worship service to God and then there was to be communion. We spent the first hour singing praise songs to God, mostly up beat and full of joy. In between songs, prayers were offered up to Him concerning our sins, His forgiveness and our salvation through the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood. It was a time of joy and serious reflection concerning the last supper and what it really meant. There was no hurrying, no rushing and no time schedule. Just time spent with fellow believers that had one thing on their minds: worshiping Him, thanking Him and remembering His sacrifice. For the first time in a long time I actually had time to think about what I was doing and the importance of it. What a great feeling!

Before communion we were advised to hold no offence to anyone before we took the elements. It was also suggested that if there was anyone in the room that we had a conflict with, we should go to them and make amends.

1 Corinthians 11:26-30 states pretty clearly what our attitude should be before we take communion. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”

Shouldn’t WE also be right with Jesus before we take communion in honor of Him?

Let’s slow down and remember His broken body and His shed blood, all done to save our lives.

May His words be burned in your heart.

Message: "Hell, temporary or permanent?"

A number of weeks ago I read a blog from a nondenominational pastor that stated “after studying scripture and reading books on the subject of Hell,” he changed his mind about the eternity of Hell. This pastor went on to say that Hell was real but there were two legitimate interpretations regarding the nature of Hell among serious Bible believing scholars (he did not mention any names). He also stated that Hell is a disputable subject and after studying, any final decision would be an opinion for people to make on their own!

The two views of Hell are; First) the traditional view; the first is seen as the traditional view, where Hell is a place of conscious eternal torment. This view holds that the wicked, or unsaved, will experience eternal and final conscious punishment and be aware of it and experience it forever.

The second view, (the one he now believes in) is sometimes called annihilationism. This view holds that Hell is real and permanent, but a soul experiences a temporary punishment that ends in destruction rather than eternal torment. Hell is not an eternal torture chamber for the lost, but its fires destroy the soul so that the unbeliever is eternally separated from God. The unredeemed are punished for their wrongs and then cease to exist.”(The two views are a quote from his article).

Wow, what a change from what I had learned and read in scripture. I had never given the question of the eternity of Hell a second thought because scripture gives some pretty good information on Hell and what it entails. I read, Hell is permanent just as heaven is permanent and it is not a disputable subject.

After studying scripture, this is what I discovered and my view has not changed (Hell is permanent for those who do not accept Jesus).

As far as I can tell, the views of annihilationism are wrong. The punishment for not accepting Christ is permanent as stated in many scriptures and not “the unredeemed are punished for their wrongs and then cease to exist” as stated as their belief.

And the comment that “Hell is not an eternal torture chamber for the lost” to me is an insult toward God. Scripture makes it very clear many times that we have a choice and can avoid the punishment of Hell if we accept Him. Scripture gives us many examples of how to avoid damnation and have a blessed eternal life in Heaven if we chose to! (see John 8:11, Romans 1:16, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Titus 2:11, Hebrews 5:9 to name a few). God does not torture anyone. God gave us the Bible and sent His Son Jesus to us to show us how to avoid the punishment of Hell. Then, when we do not heed His advice and realize the prospect that we may spend eternal punishment in Hell we say God is a torture for sending us there, I think not. To me that is just another excuse some of us make because we have been taught not to accept responsibility for our actions and to blame our deserved punishment on someone else’s harshness. He gives us a way out but many of us don’t take it. We chose to either follow Him and have eternal salvation or be disobedient and have eternal damnation. We sinners, bring upon our self the judgment we rightly deserve. C.S. Lewis stated “the doors of Hell would be locked from the inside! We walk in freely and by then it is too late to return.

Matthew and Thessalonians tells us that punishment is eternal; Matt. 25:46, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." And then we have 2 Thess. 1:8-9, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.”

Some people say that eternal punishment is being removed from the presence of the Lord. Second Thessalonians tells us that we will be eternally punished and removed from the presence of the Lord if condemned.

Other scriptures that tell of eternal torment and punishment are; Matthew 25:41, Jude 1:7, Revelation 14:11 and 20:10.

Please let me know “how do you read it” as Jesus asked in scripture.

His student, Dennis

Message: "The Love Wins controversy"

There has been a lot of talk about this new book by Pastor Rob Bell, “Love wins” on TV and in the newspaper. In a recent Associated Press story (Arizona Daily Star 03/28/2011) it states; “in Rob Bell’s new book he states that he questions the existence of Hell for eternity. That God’s love can triumph over every obstacle including sin. That notion is appalling to many people.” Bell also states “the book is saying we need to take Hell a little more seriously because the people who warn about Hell don’t seem to talk about it very much.” That last statement is the only statement that I agree with him on. The average pastor rarely seems to talk about Hell and I will go a little further and state they also don’t talk very much about the responsibilities we have as Christ followers and what is required of us if we say we are believers! And I think that is a sad commentary to those ministers. Many don’t want to teach or talk about the tough stuff in the Bible. Then it goes on to say “There’s no broad agreement within Christianity about what happens to people after they die.” That may be a true statement and it is only true because so many people profess to be Christians but want to change what the Bible says to fit their own cultural or social needs. To the Christ followers that believe in the Bible and that it is the written truth, there is no discussion; hell is permanent as stated in Scripture.

The article also Talks about the Christian faith. “Some mainline Protestant churches started moving away from the familiar concept of hell as long ago as the 19th century. The Unitarian Universalists Association, which is not a formally Christian denomination but has roots in Christian churches, contains in it’s very name the concept that Bell’s critics accuse him of endorsing; Universalism, the notion that every soul will eventually be united with God in paradise.” The article then closes with the comments about some important denominations and theologians have moved quickly to criticize Bell’s book and that it has generated a lot of discussion. The last paragraph states “this is partly due to Bell’s influence in evangelical circles. His 10,000 member church in Grand Rapids Michigan has grown significantly, and his online videos and breezily written books are popular among young evangelicals.”

I won’t go into what scriptures states about the eternal existence of hell (for more information see my teaching above about hell) except to give two scriptures that state it pretty clearly; Matt. 25:46, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." And then we have 2 Thess. 1:8-9, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” What I would like to cover is the other comments made in this article and comments in general I do not think are accurate or appropriate.

Personally I believe the Bible is accurate and the written word of God inspired by Him; 2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." I also believe that we are not to change Scripture as stated in Revelations; Revelation 22:18-19, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." And we are not to be swayed, Hebrews 13:9, "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings." I think the Bible is also clear as to who we are if we accept Him; John 1:12, "yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of people that don’t believe in God and people that say they believe in God but are very far away from His teachings telling us what the Bible says and means.

Rob Bell states that God’s love can triumph over every obstacle including sin. He is incorrect; God’s love has triumphed over everything including sin as is stated in scripture, Romans 4:25, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." However, the power He has over sin does not remove us from the responsibilities we have. If we are a true Christ follower we be a new creation; 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" And what are we asked to do as a new creation? The Bible tells us; Colossians 1:10 "so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." Another comment he made was that there is no broad agreement within Christianity about what happens to you after you die. That may be correct for those people that call themselves Christ followers and then manipulate the Word of God, but it is not true of those of us who believe in His Word and Scripture is the Word of God.

The article quotes “The Unitarian Universalists Association, which is not a formally Christian denomination but has roots in Christian churches. It contains in its very name the concept that Bell’s critics accuse him of endorsing; Universalism, the notion that every soul will eventually be united with God in paradise (this is another quote from the article).” My question to the reporter is 'why are you even mentioning comments from an organization that is not a Christian denomination on matters that concerns Christians?'”

The last paragraph in the article just serves to add fuel to the fire for those non believers who point fingers at us Christians and say we are in it for the money. To the sadness of many believers that statement is true and can be see by the number of ‘name it and claim it’, ‘prosperity gospel’ and other evangelists that seem to promote wealth for themselves. The statement is (talking about the wave of discussions that is going on) “this is partly due to Bell’s influence in evangelical circles. His 10,000 member church in Grand Rapids Michigan has grown significantly, and his online videos and breezily written books are popular among young evangelicals.”

To this I can only say, what should we expect? We live in a culture where rarely do people take responsibility for their actions and often blame someone else for their problems. Our attention span is measured in short minute increments, we want to do what is easy and fun, we want to read breezy (and lets not leave out sexual) written books and we want to stay away from the hard stuff. We also must include our lack of desire to commit.

As Pastor and marriage counselor Emerson Eggerichs stated “the Beatles gave us a song, ‘All we need is love’, and we bought it hook, line and sinker.” Yes, love is important. It is the most important commandment; Matthew 22:35-37, 35 “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: '‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'” But love does not relieve us of the responsibilities that come with it.

Some of the ways we can show we truly love Jesus is by following His request as stated in Ephesians. Ephesians 15-20, "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." If we don’t attempt to follow the ways of Jesus and do not truly accept Him, then we better consider what it states in Matthew 7:21; "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

And as for every soul going to be in paradise as believed by the Unitarians and others, I wonder how they would reconcile the teachings stated in the following scriptures. Luke 13:5. "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Matthew 7;13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Luke 12:49-53, 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Hebrews 5:9 "and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him."

Remember what Paul told us in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

Another thing I find interesting is that some people state they are Christ followers but they don’t really believe everything in the Bible. They want to change some things and make it more palatable (easier) to follow. Some even say they feel this way because they can’t believe Jesus would actually carryout the difficult things, like not allowing people into heaven that don’t accept Him – even though He clearly states He would deny them entrance.

If these people do not want to believe in what the Bible states or do not think Jesus is the same person He states He is in the Bible, that’s ok. They have a choice and we (the believers) are not to try and force them to believe. In Luke we find scripture that states if people do not accept the words of Jesus you (the messenger) are to leave town and leave judgment to God. Luke 9:5 says "If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

When a person becomes a Police Officer they take an oath to uphold and enforce the law and they have a code of conduct they are supposed to follow. If you do not like those requirements, you don’t become a Police Officer. It is same with a Fireman and many other career choices. Society depends on them to follow the oath they took when they accepted the position. No matter what organization you belong to, you are required and expected to believe in and follow what their guidelines spell out. And most people do. If not, they move on and disassociate themselves from that organization.

Why should we treat the Bible and the words of Jesus any different? If people don’t like what the Bible states or don’t believe in it, don’t belong to the family of believers. In America you are welcome to start your own religion, set your own rules and regulations and make it as easy as possible for people to follow you and believe in what you are saying. Do that instead of trying to change scripture to fit what you 'feel is true'.

I have never understood why people want to join something because they like it and then say, “well we can make it better if we just adopt the changes I think need to be made.” So if someone can do that, then everyone in the organization has the same right to infuse their changes so to make it better (as they feel it would). Eventually the organization will have completely changed and it will no longer resemble what it started out to be nor does it have the same goals and results. Can anyone explain this logic to me?

If I could offer any advice it would be; if you want to have a religion where there is love without responsibility, little or no consequences for your poor choices, and no absolute truths then go for it. Start your religion and promote it. Make your god, give him/her another name and write you own set of scriptures, if you want. You can do all this if you want but my God is the only God, His word is the only word in scripture and He has no other name (there is no vacancy in the Trinity). And His word is not to be added to or taken away from. So start your own religion and I will stand up for your rights to worship even though I don’t believe in your faith, but please leave Jesus out of it.

I will close with one final question Lucy brought up.“If there is no permanent hell and we do not go to eternal punishment if we don't accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then why did Jesus come to Earth and then have to die?”

Dios te bendiga, Dennis

Point to ponder; Romans 16:17-18, "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."

 

Message: "God’s Word is alive!"

Some people say that God’s Word is alive. Yes I agree it is. They also say that it is living and can mean one thing now in a person’s life and years later mean something else. That, I don’t think is true.

Yes, scripture is alive and living according to 1 Peter. 1 Peter 1:23 ” For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” As time goes by and we mature, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we learn and understand scripture more clearly. We need to remember that it is we that change and grow in God’s living and enduring Word, not the scripture. In John chapter 1, it tells us that God is the Word. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And in Hebrews we are told that Jesus never changes. Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” If anything changes, isn’t it us?

Some people say there are many interpretations of scripture. Scripture seems to state this is false. There may be many suggested interpretations but only one true meaning. Having only one meaning does not mean that the application of scripture is limited. The Holy Spirit will guide you to see other applications. However, they will remain true to scripture's original meaning. Example; scripture states to lust is a sin. I may think that lust refers only to physical lust of another person. While that is true, lust can come in many different forms that I don’t want to admit. I may refuse to believe I am lusting after a new car until the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to the sin of lusting for a possession. Then I will see that the application of the sin of lust has changed for me, but not the meaning and sinfulness of lust.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” If we are not living according to God’s Word, His Word can be painful (when we are convicted of sin) as stated in Hebrews 4:12.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” This scripture and Hebrews 4:12 talks about God’s Word and does not mention it changing with the times or with different cultures. God’s Word never changes, it is permanent and forever. Again, the application in our lives of God’s Word does and can change. As we grow in our walk, tackle different challenges in life, mature and take Jesus more seriously we see scripture differently. Just the other day I was reading a book on evangelism for the second time. When I read a book I highlight important things I want to remember or re-read. As I was reading, I noticed I needed the yellow highlighter because there was important information that I wanted to remember and that I must have missed the first time. I did not miss that information, it’s just that it is more important to me now because the circumstances in my life have changed. I change, the Word of God does not.

Isaiah 40:8, tells us God’s Word is forever. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 55:11 tells us it has a purpose and will accomplish His will. Again there is nothing about change. Isaiah 55:11 says “so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

The following scriptures tell us of His word being holy, cleansing, the Word of truth, living and enduring. Nothing is mentioned of it changing or being flexible.

Ephesians 5:26 "to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word,”

James 1:18 “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.”

1 Peter 1:23 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

If we believe 2 Timothy 3:16 (and other scripture), we must then believe that God’s Word is not to be changed. If it could be fluid, then how could the Word of God be profitable for reproof, correction and instruction?

Yes God’s Word is living but not changing.

What do you think?

His servant, Dennis

To read more of Dennis' teachings go to the Blog in English link on right column at top of this page.

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