church

January 25th, 2012 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org

The right book!

1, 8, 3, 1…  which are you?  What is this about?  Read on and see –>>

   In the scriptures, in Matthew 26:36-46, we read about 13 people that I want to address.  Jesus and 11 of his disciples when to a place called Gethsemane.  At this time Judas was off betraying his Lord for some money.  Jesus brought Peter and the two sons of Zebedee closer and gave them an assignment to watch with him.  Jesus went on a little further and prayed to the Father.
   Here is our break down: 1 person is off betraying.  8 people are given no assignment. 3 are given an assignment and struggle with it.  1 goes on to the presence of God and perseveres.
   In our churches, Bible study groups, cell groups or gatherings we find within Christianity this same break down. Which are you?
   The bad 1.  Are you the one off running your mouth? Judging, condemning, running others down with your words?  Is there sin in your life that turns others away from the Lord? Are you giving non-Christians ammo to destroy confidence in Christ?  I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Lord protect me….. from thy followers!” 
  The 8.  Are you just a pew-filler?  Are you one of those Christians that attends church or Bible study? You support financially, and there is no actual fault in your doings.  You just don’t actually do anything much for the Lord.  You’re just… there. This is the largest group.

The 3.  Are you a worker? Do you tell people about the Lord and his free gift of salvation? Do you actively do what the Lord wants in your life? Yes, you might struggle and mess up, but do you try to serve God? Do you take what you learn in your daily scripture reading and try to apply it? Do you actually do what you hear in church or read in the Bible? Or do you fall asleep and fail the Lord?  Do you serve God or expect to be served by him?

  The good 1.  Are you the one who goes on into a deeper relationship with God?  Not the work of the Lord only, but the Lord of the work.  Are you hungry for the presence of God in your life?  Do you continue in prayer, not to bring your shopping list of what you want from him, but to surrender yourself to him?   Do you want that closeness with God more than anything? Do you pray earnestly from the heart, honestly… until you are heard by him? Is loving him more important than anything else?  Are you willing (as Jesus was) to separate from the others enough to get alone with God and really focus on him and his will for you?

Are you a 1, 8, 3, or 1? 

  Here are the verses:
Matthew 26:36-46  “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.   And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?   Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 
  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” 

Straight ahead!

  December 12th, 2011 | Buen Consejo| for http://www.baptist.org
 Under the law securing an eternity with the Lord and not spending eternity burning in the lake of fire was set up differently than it is now under grace.
A confusion enters here: Someone asked Jesus (while under the law):  Matthew 19:16, 17  “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  You might say, this was a trick question. He did not ask what is needed to have eternal life. He asked, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” That is where confusion starts.
  It might seem well founded, if you don’t know enough about the scriptures. Simple requirement under the law: Leviticus 18:4, 5  “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.”
  These are the “works” to do. But the works or deeds of the law are not going to get you to heaven. (I’m still talking old testament, under the law) Romans 3:20  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  The deeds or works did not and will not get anyone into heaven.
  Habbakuk 2:4  “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”  The law had to be “attempted” to be done perfectly as a demonstration and exercise of truly seeking him and his ways.  But it had to be done by faith.  Not the faith that says, “Jesus died for me, I’ll trust him.” But a faith that said, “God said to do these things, so I will try and live in them, trusting that, though I will fail, he will have a way to get me to him.”  But if you would not try to do the works and live in the holy law, you were not really seeking him.
  Under the law blood sacrifices and offerings of many kinds were prevalent.  They did not save anyone.  Hebrews 10:4  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” These sacrifices did not take away sin, but covered it for the time being.  That is also why, when the old testament saints died they went to paradise in the center of the earth, not heaven. Their sin was covered, not taken away.  
   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.”  When Jesus paid the price of his precious blood (and presented his risen body to the Father), the salvation of old testament saints was complete.
   So under the law eternal life came by walking in the law of God by faith, trusting his sacrifice system and mercy to not give you what the law showed you you really deserved.
  Works are not “Wow, you built an orphanage, you deserve heaven!” Works are showing you trust the LORD, seek him and want his ways. But it’s still his grace that keeps anyone out of the lake of fire!
Buen Consejo | October 24, 2011 | for http://www.baptist.org
 
What is the difference between Redemption, Remission and Forgiveness?  Did you even know that they are different?  Which one saves you?? Can you have one of the other two and still be lost?
Many people say that if you ask God to forgive your sins, you’ll be saved. That is not how it works. Forgiveness only restores the relationship that wasthere before.  If some neighborhood kid breaks your window with a baseball, then comes to knock on the door to apologize, you might forgive him.  But that will not make him your son. That will not fix the window. If a lost sinner asks God to forgive him, his life will improve. He will not become God’s child or have his sin washed away.
  Remission means to be covered up or retained to not spread, increase or be in the way. But it is still there. Like a cancer in remission is still a cancer.
  Redemption means to actually buy something and go pick it up.  That is what saves you. Jesus Christ died for  your sins to purchase you and own you. He will also one day come and pick us up.
Let’s look at some scriptural evidences-  First came preparation. Luke 1:77  “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,”  Through remission of sin (to get it out of the picture, but not gone) the way is prepared to receive knowledge.  Jesus cleared the way for your understanding of salvation so you could chose it, if you want. Matthew 26:28  “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  Acts 10:43  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Next he would actually offer himself to take away that sin. 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.” He would pay the price to buy us out- redemption.  Leviticus 25:51  “If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.”  Numbers 3:49  “And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:”
  Romans 3:24  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:7  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”  Ephesians 1:14  “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (earnest means- down payment)
  We also get free forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:14   “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”   Romans 4:7  “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”  Acts 5:31  “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Forgiveness is only in there because of the repentance that allowed you to submit to him for redemption.
  After salvation remission is irrelevant and redemption is permanently fixed, but forgiveness to maintain and sustain a close, blessed walk with the Lord is a continual process.  It has nothing to do with going to heaven or  hell. It has to do with the personal relationship between you and the Lord.  If you have a son and he behaves poorly (imagine that!), you might punish him.  If he wants a new bike, you might deny him that. If he needs help with something, you might not help him…. but does not cease to be your son.
  In your personal walk as a Christian forgiveness is a daily, if not hourly process, even moment to moment, depending on the individual. You will not receive forgiveness with blanket prayers like, “Lord, forgive my sins..”, “Lord, forgive me for not doing what I should have and for doing what I should not have, and where I failed you…bla, bla..” The scriptures are clear: 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  You don’t ask for forgiveness. You confess your sins to the Lord.  Confessing sins means enumerating  them, that is, name and itemize them.  “Lord, I lied.”, “Lord. I knew I should read my Bible and did not.”, “Lord, I felt I should talk to that person about you, but chickened out.”  This way, when you have agreed with the Lord that these items are sin, you get forgiveness and can’t claim next time that you did not know it was sin.
Summary:  Remission prepares the way for you to receive the knowledge of salvation.  Redemption gives you the actual salvation. Forgiveness is thrown in to start the relationship at a new beginning.  
September 10, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org |

The right book!

As you continue reading the Bible, I thought it prudent to make you aware of what is going on in the world of truth. Since the days when Eve (Gen 3:1-6) replied to the serpent’s questioning of the words of God, the battle has been on. She replied with her own, re-worded version in her own words and easier to understand (though it was riddled with inaccuracies) and Satan answered with a more scholarly version (having more truth than hers, just one lie). Mankind fell! Jesus was also tempted of the Devil and answered with correct, word for word quoting of the words of God and stood! (Matt 4)
The current day battle over the hearts and minds of Christians is still on the forefront.
Psalms 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The word of God is the main source of Christian strength and improvement.
1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,”
it is also the main weapon in the fight against evil.
Ephesians 6:17b “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
There are many, even in the ministry that use the “so called Bibles” and hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
Here’s where it stands: In Old Testament times the majority of God’s people spoke Hebrew (a little Aramaic). The Old Testament was written in Hebrew (a little Aramaic). In the first century the majority of God’s people spoke Greek. Hence, the New Testament was written in Greek. God’s promise of preservation of the scriptures did not stop there.
Psalms 12:6, 7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
There was a time when the Bible went into English. It happened at the time of the reformation. It triggered it. It was in accordance with the Biblical prophesies of the book of Revelation, during the Philadelphia church period (1500 and on). The majority of God’s people speak English. That makes the English Bible the most important book on the planet.
According to the scriptures the source of the Old Testament would be the Jews. So the Hebrew Old Testament was used. It is called the Mazaratic Text. In the book of Acts and throughout the scriptures we find that Antioch, Syria was the place of Christian and apostolic headquarters. Therefore, the Textus Receptus, Antioch manuscripts were chosen for the New Testament. Theses were put together in the King James 1611, also known as the Authorized Version. And there it stood. All nations with religious freedom were established on the King James 1611.
Around 1888 (at the beginning of the Laodicean church period– the worst, most corrupt) two men named Hort and Westcott decided to stir things up. They were heretical misfits who did not believe in many sound biblical principals. They took some manuscripts based on a work called Hexapla from around 270 AD. It was the fifth column of Origen’s self proclaimed work. Other columns had grocery lists and commentaries. Origen did not believe in many of the biblical principals of Christianity. Therefore he re-wrote it to suit himself. These manuscripts were used to make the Egyptian family of manuscripts consisting of Vaticanus, Codex Ephramis, Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus. These counterfeits had always been rejected by the church.
There was also another counterfeiting job of the Old Testament back in the second century. There were some Jews that rejected the whole Messiah, Jesus thing. They re-wrote the Old Testament in Greek to reflect that. There were about 70 of them (72), so they called in the Septuagint (Latin for 70) or LXX.
Hort and Westcott took all these corrupt manuscripts and made the Revised Standard Version of 1888. Then Fundamentalists took the manuscripts and made the American Standard Version. Another denomination took them and made the International Version. Each one re-writing the counterfeit manuscripts to suit their beliefs. Then, the one-up-manship of the New Revised Standard, New International, etc.. Now there are well over 100 versions in English. All based on counterfeit manuscripts.
In 1982, as a fund raising idea, Jerry Falwell joined together with Thomas Nelson to make a New King James. It was a fiasco! To get a copyright on an existing work one must change 35% of the text. For that they had to go to the Egyptian manuscripts again. After it’s completion Dr. Falwell pulled his name from it and denounced it. Thomas Nelson went and sold it anyway.
The bottom line is: there is only one Bible in English that comes from the correct manuscripts. It is the King James 1611 or Authorized Version. It is written in Old English, more specifically, literary English for accuracy. The grammar and sentence structure resembles Greek and Hebrew better than modern English. Those that whine that we don’t talk like that anymore should know that they did not talk that way then either. Regional English then was as poor and corrupted as modern English.
The part people complain about is the blessing! The literary English is better than modern English. Not only because it uses more and more accurate verb tenses, but because of those Thees and Thous. We struggle in modern English to express the difference between You (singular) and You (plural). In Texas they use Ya’ll for plural. You’s Guys in New York, You’ins in some states. What a mess! In literary English there is no mess. Thee and Thou are singular. Ye and You are plural. One might think that it doesn’t matter much, but in makes a large difference in many critical areas.
It usually takes a couple of weeks to get used to the Old English, then, … you’re hooked!

November 4, 2010 | Da Yong –

Little to no knowledge of the Bible

The growth explosion in the Third Church of China is causing a great deal of stress and trials.  Even though the TC is made up of intellectuals there is a great void in solid biblical teaching.  Remember that China has been essentially a spiritual vacuum for over 60 years.  China is officially atheistic to it’s core even though there is a State run church.  From schools to home Chinese learn from day one that there is no God.  There is no understanding of basic Bible stories let alone deep theological issues.  Kids in the USA have a greater understanding of the Bible than most TC Christians.  This causes many false teaching and cults to grow out of this lack of understanding of the harder theological issues.  One of the strongest cults in China is known as ”Lightning from the East” lead by a woman who says she is Jesus.

Lack of Full-Time Workers

Even though all these TC fellowships are popping up all over the urban centers of China there is a lack of leadership (pastoral and lay leaders) among them.  Member care is falling short because there are large numbers coming to the Lord and very few people to disciple, guide and ground these new Believers.  There is a real need for pastoral/lay leadership training to help build up and strengthen the new coverts and to keep out false doctrines, teachings and the cults.  It is unfortunate that many of the new Believers are not receiving the milk they need as ”baby Believers” and end up falling away.  One church that we helped plant was being lead by a pediatric heart surgeon.  This Brother was working 60 plus hours a week as a doctor, he is married and has a newborn.  On top of all of that he needed to be ministering to his flock.  In reality this Brother should be a lay leader not the pastor, but, there was no one else that could take his place.

Intellectuals and Continued Learning

The intellectuals that make up the TC fellowships pursue knowledge and wisdom continuously.  The Chinese have a real love for reading and expanding their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects.  In the past most Christian literature was written to the uneducated masses in the country-side.  These books are intellectually inferior to the TC Believers.  They find these books and materials too simplistic.  Some big cities in China now have Christian book store with a wide variety of Western Christian books translated into Chinese, but, the supply for the demand simply does not make the cut.  The need for more resources is staggering.  The Chinese Christians here in the West need to help meet this need by translating more Christian resources.

Living Daily for Christ

In our work among the Chinese we saw a real disconnect between “my Sunday life as a Christian and my weekly life as a citizen”.  The mentality was that they were two separate lives that did not merge together.  One brother explained as most Chinese look at their faith as a “hobby”, something they did on the weekends.  The TC Believers need relevant and practical training for every day life.  They need to understand that their faith is not a “hobby”, but, a radical life changing event that goes everywhere with them.  Whether it is the home, the
office, on the street or in church they exist for the glory of God and therefore they need to live their new life out in front of everyone.  The Chinese are faced with more and more social problems as the country as a whole gains wealth, power and influence.  Divorce, abortions, homosexuality, immorality and many more sin issues are coming to the surface and the TC Believers need to be grounded so they can resist these sins as well as help unbelievers out of these troubles to Christ.  Training the TC Believers is a huge task, but, it will be well worth the effort when we see the TC making a godly influence at all levels of life.

How Can You Help

Prayer of course is the first step in helping our fellow Brothers and Sisters in China.  Pray for the need for more full-time workers, literature and training materials to be translated and that their Biblical knowledge will be increased and deepened.  We are all called to SEND and to GO, so, which of these two are you doing?  There is no in between!  If you want to know more about how you can help send or go contact the author of this article.


Amazon.com Widgets

Da Yong
American serving the Lord in China
Contributor – Baptist.org

Featuring : The Trials of the Third Church of China
email: [email protected]

New fellowships will ‘preserve the harvest’ of new Christians.

Interview by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | posted 10/18/2010 09:40AM

Craig Culbreth, the director of partnership missions for the Florida Baptist Convention, has been visiting Haiti for the past 12 years and working with the country’s more than 1,000 Baptist churches. After his most recent visit, Culbreth spoke with reporter Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra about his work.

  • Countless churches lost property in the January earthquake.  How many new churches have been started since January 12?

Since January, 215 brand-new Baptist churches have been started. None of these churches meet in a building. I wouldn’t even call them

Many churches were destroyed by the January earthquake that hit Haiti.

tents. There are no walls. A piece of plastic has been put up over wood or frames to get them out of the sun and rain.

  • What are the long-term prospects for these congregations?

Very good. Our plan involves Bible training, working with established pastors for encouragement, and small salary supplements for pastors. We believe everything rises and falls on leadership.

  • Why should planting new churches be a priority over housing or education?

You have to be on similar tracks that run together. You have to provide for them spiritually, or we’ve become just another relief agency.

  • Has there been a net gain in Baptist churches?

Yes. We had 891 before the earthquake, and now we have about 1,105.

  • Were many people in these congregations previously active in a church?

No, just the opposite, in fact. We are finding many new converts from the earthquake experience. We have records of 162,314 conversions since the earthquake. We believe our new churches are made up of these converts. We are after a relationship with Jesus Christ, not a nation that has religious people.

  • What are the differences between these new churches and the ones that existed before the quake?

All are under plastic tarps versus fixed buildings and full of new believers, so all are eager to learn. Their pastors are leaning heavily on God for everything. The pastors have no American supporters, which is not so bad.

  • How do church-planting methods change in times of disaster?

The church-planting movement in Haiti is a result of the harvest of believers. We did not seek to start church plants to reach people, but to start churches to preserve the harvest. Big difference. During a disaster, we push for people to come to Christ. When that happens, we seek to start a church with new believers.

Copyright © 2010 Christianity Today.

Read more at Christianity Today……

Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 10/14/2010 4:00:00 AM

A Christian constitutional expert thinks the Internal Revenue Service’s lack of response to a recent initiative shows there is no longer any reason for pastors to be silent on political issues when standing behind the pulpit. (See earlier story)

Current law prohibits pastors from speaking on politics or endorsing a political candidate, but David Barton of WallBuilders says the IRS’s intimidation of removing a church’s tax exemption status is unconstitutional. Even though some pastors have intentionally crossed the line, Barton does not think the IRS wants to take them to court because it may lose.

“The IRS doesn’t have any interest in doing this because if they do, I believe they know they are going to lose. And if they lose, you have 370,000 pastors in America who suddenly find out that there’s no restriction on them,” Barton suggests.

David Barton - WallBuilders

The WallBuilders president explains that churches are guaranteed tax exemption status under the Constitution, but he believes many pastors are afraid to speak about politics because they fear they will lose their letter of tax exemption.

“You cannot lose your tax exemption as a church because as a church, you have a constitutional standing for tax exemption,” he points out. “So with that basis, losing your letter means absolutely nothing — and that’s something pastors are now figuring out.”

Barton argues that the pulpit was and should continue to be the news perspective for America, so he encourages all pastors to speak out and stand for truth.

Read more at One News Now…..

Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 10/12/2010 3:50:00 AM

By participating in a recent pulpit initiative, pastors across the nation are begging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take them to court.

Nearly 100 pastors, backed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” September 26 and challenged the IRS by speaking about politics in church. David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, believes it is necessary for outspoken pastors to speak out in order to prove that the IRS is prohibiting their First Amendment rights. (See related story)

“The IRS regulation, which was added in the 1950s and 1960s, is probably blatantly unconstitutional on its face, but we’ll never be able to prove that if we don’t have an instance whereby to take them into court and have it really adjudicated,” Barton explains.

David Barton - WallBuilders

He says the list of pastors who respond to the call grows every year — and includes one Iowa pastor who has essentially challenged the IRS to sue him. Barton likes the trend he is seeing.

“For the last three years, we have clearly had dozens and dozens…of pastors intentionally step across the line and…turn themselves into the IRS and say, ‘Ok — we’ve stepped across your line; come after us,’” the WallBuilders founder shares. “The IRS has refused to do that for three years, and that pretty much validates what we knew — that this restriction is blatantly unconstitutional.”

Barton points out that the church used to be the news source for the public during the days of the Founding Fathers, but the regulation brought on by the IRS has had a major role in changing that.

Read more at One News Now…..

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