Things were better in Egypt, give us what we had there!

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The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
(Numbers 11:4-6)

Israel got sick of God’s provision, the food was much better there and so was the lifestyle!  “Sure we lived in bondage to the Egyptians, but we ate better, we had a roof over our heads and we enjoyed all the benefits of living in Egypt!”

How like many in today’s churches!

“We’re bored with eating just the manna of the scriptures, we want to be entertained by the preacher!  We’re tired of hearing all this stuff about repentance, of sin and the judgement to come!  We want to hear how we can live for God and still enjoy all the pleasures of the world!”

“We don’t want to hear all that stuff about carrying a cross and being hated by the world!  We want to know how we can avoid all that and prosper!  We don’t want to know about not laying up for ourselves treasures on Earth, we want to own land and properties and be a success in this life!”

The average Christian in this 21st century would like to be admired and loved by the world for all the good things  they do.  They want to persuade the world that their opinion about Jesus is wrong and, thus, they work hard at getting the world to love Christ!

“If we use the methods that the world uses to sell its wares we would be more successful at spreading the good new of Jesus!”

“Surely if we would work with the religious authorities and not against them. Sure we might not agree with everything they stand for but they pray the Lord’s prayer! Surely if we got Rome on our side we would be able to reach many more people and fill those empty seats in our church buildings? A little compromise wouldn’t hurt just to keep them on our side?”

“Let us gather together with the scribes and Pharisees of our day, let us sing along with and pray with wolves and goats! We need not fear the devil and his deceptions, we are filled with the Holy Spirit!  We know that we are because have we not prophesied in His name? and in His name have cast out devils? and in His name done many wonderful works?”

“Aren’t we rich and increased with goods and have all the gifts of the spirit?  What else do we need?”

 

Is Love More Important Than Truth?

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The growing trend in the 21st century church is to suppress doctrinal differences for the sake of unity. Many are saying that we should avoid doctrine because it is divisive. Instead, we supposedly need to focus on just loving Jesus and seek unity with all Christians; but which Jesus? Paul warned that some would come and preach “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4). How can we love the true Jesus without truth? The only way is to be sanctified, or set apart, by the truth of His Word (John 17:17). Sanctified believers, who love Jesus as He is gloriously revealed in Scripture, can never have biblical unity with the cults and world religions who love “another Jesus.”
Those who say that love is more important than truth will point to the words of Paul. He wrote, concerning faith, hope and love, that the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13). They say that should settle it. Love is greatest. But Paul also wrote, in the same chapter, that love rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13: 6). In these days of great deception, relying on love without truth can be fatal. We must love God with all of our mind, which means discerning the true Christ from the many false christs (Matt. 22:37). Love must be the servant of truth because true love loves truth! Those who fail to love the truth are in danger of perishing (2 Thess. 2:10).
Our only protection from deception is to know the truth. Love, by itself, has no defense against false teaching and deception. We must love the truth and hate what is false (Psalm 119:128). Truth gains nothing by being mixed with falsehood, but falsehood gains everything by being mixed with truth. Without the true and pure knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word, people can easily be led astray to love “another Jesus”.
  • Mormons say Jesus is a god but not the eternal God
  • Jehovah Witnesses say He is savior but not the eternal God
  • Some “Christians” claim Jesus as Savior but not as Lord
  • Muslims say He is a prophet but not God
  • Catholics and Orthodox deny Jesus is the all-sufficient Savior who finished the work of redemption
  • All of these religions and cults reject Jesus as the only mediator between God and man
Those who love and worship a counterfeit Jesus (such as the Catholic Eucharist) are committing the same sin as the Israelites who worshipped God in the form of a golden calf. God displayed His righteous anger by putting 3000 to death for committing the fatal sin of idolatry (Exodus 32:28-35). We must love God by walking according to His commandments (2 John 1:6). True worshippers will worship God in truth (John 4:23). Our love of God must never compromise the Word of God, which is forever settled in heaven.
Our love for the Lord Jesus will motivate us to be faithful to His Great Commission. We must lovingly confront those who are embracing another Jesus. When we truly love people, we will do what is best for them in the light of eternity. It starts with speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). To love someone in light of eternity is to share the truth of God’s Word, which will set them free from the bondage of deception (John 8:31-32). May our abiding love for the Savior compel us to be ministers of reconciliation by sharing the glorious truth of His Gospel (2 Cor. 5:14-21).
By Mike Gendron

Are you living godly in Christ Jesus?

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The Rev. Teresito Suganob, in still from video released in 2017. (Screenshot)

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)

One thing is for certain, if you intend to follow Christ, expect to be hated and suffer for it!  Persecution is not something that a Christian might suffer (if they are unlucky), it is a sign that a person is living a godly life.

In the Philippines Christians know this all too well.  In 2017 seven Christians were shot to death by Islamists in Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur Province on the island of Mindanao, where a kidnapped priest appeared in a propaganda video pleading for his life.

In Nigeria nine Christians were shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s central Plateau State on Nov. 7, 2017, as they returned from a weekly village market.

Attacks against the Christians have been frequent in Pakistan.  In December 2017, a week before Christmas, two suicide bombers had stormed into a packed church in Quetta and killed 10 and wounded at least 44, in an attack claimed by the Islamic state.

In the UK there have been numerous arrests of Christian preachers.

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Many in today’s churches view street preachers with as much, if not more, disdain than unbelievers do.  They believe that the preachers probably deserve to be arrested because of the method that they use and the message they use.

They forget what happened to preachers in the New Testament, or preachers throughout history.

Perhaps if Stephen had been a bit more tactful in his preaching, had simply focussed on preaching about love and been less offensive in his message then he might not have angered the crowd so much and he wouldn’t have been killed.

Perhaps if John the Baptiser had not have challenged Herod and Herodias about their relationship, and told them about how much God loved them, then he might not have been incarcerated and lost his head.

Perhaps if Paul had been more tactful with the Jews and the idolaters, and preached love he might not have been arrested so often and, ultimately, might not have ended up being executed as a criminal.

And what about Jesus?  Why, if he’d’ve worked with the ecclesiastical authorities and the civil authorities he might have had more success in winning people over.  Imagine what he could have accomplished with the Sanhedrin’s and Pilate’s help.  He might have gained more financial support and good publicity!  Imagine if he’d worked with the religious system, he might have persuaded the Temple authorities to deal with the money changers and animal sellers, instead of taking the radical and extreme action that he did.  I mean, it wasn’t very loving of him or very Seeker Sensitive, now was it?  In fact it didn’t seem very Christian of him!

So many modern Christians want to make the world a better place and get the world to love Jesus when, in fact, Jesus said that this was a waste of time…..

So Jesus said to them (his unbelieving family), “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” (John 7:6-7)

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Himbut you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
(John 14:15-17)

If you were of the worldthe world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

 

The Exclusive Gospel in a Pluralistic Culture

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Claims of exclusivity are often met with great resistance in societies where different religious paths are accepted as equally valid. Christians who communicate the exclusivity of their faith will experience this in a variety of ways. They are either dismissed, ridiculed, mocked, or considered intolerant. These responses to the Gospel have been occurring for 2000 years. Paul wrote: “we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:23).

Why is there so much antagonism toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It is because people do not want to be told there is only one way to heaven in a society deeply influenced by pluralism and postmodernism. Yet when it comes to the Gospel, Christians must contend for its purity and exclusivity (Gal. 1:6-9).

The call for ecumenical unity among all “professing Christians” must be met with determined opposition. We know that “truth” is exclusive and cannot be compromised because “No lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21). Truth is as incompatible with error as light is with darkness. Any teaching which contradicts or opposes biblical truth is false, and it must be exposed for what it is. As Christians, we cannot be passive or indifferent towards any distortion of the Gospel. We must contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3).

The Gospel is exclusive because it is about only one Person and two historical events (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It reveals the good news of man’s redemption, which was accomplished by the eternal Son of God incarnate, through His atoning sacrificial death and glorious resurrection from the dead. The Gospel is a unique and eternal message (Rev. 14:6). It is the same message for every generation and must be proclaimed, protected and defended.

Only One Saviour

The apostle Peter proclaimed this exclusive statement to an already hostile audience: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Only One Mediator

The apostle Paul made this exclusive declaration: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Only One Way

The Lord Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He said, “the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mat. 7:14).

 

Only One Source of Eternal Life

The apostle John declared: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:11-12). John also said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

Only One Exemption from Judgment

Jesus satisfied divine justice as the sinless substitute for all believers. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

The Gospel is also exclusive because it is the only message with the divine power and promises to reverse the curse of sin (Rom. 1:16; 8:21). God’s Word makes these exclusive promises to anyone who repents and believes the Gospel.

Sins are forgiven (Col. 2:13-14)
Divine justice is satisfied (Rom. 5:1; 8:1)
Christ’s Righteousness is imputed (2 Cor. 5:21)
Redemption is paid (Heb. 9:12)
Reconciliation with God is accomplished (2 Cor. 5:18)
Death is conquered (John 11:25)
Resurrection is promised (John 5:29)
Salvation is secured (1 John 5:13)

How can Christians communicate the exclusivity of the Gospel effectively in our religiously pluralistic society? We need to understand that the Gospel is offensive to those who are offensive to God. It humbles people under the sovereign hand of God and strips them of their own righteousness. We must tell them they have broken God’s law, they are condemned by God’s justice, they deserve God’s wrath, they need God’s mercy, and their only hope is God’s Son.

By Mike Gendron

 

How are we to test the spirits?

 

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Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  (1 John 4:1)

So, how do we test the spirits and what does it mean?

The above illustration shows Lot and his family fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  the Lord said something very interesting to His religious critics:

But I say to you, That it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you! (Matthew 11:24)

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were considered to be so vile and so wicked that the only remedy to rid the world of their influence was to totally annihilate them with fire and brimstone from heaven.

But why would it be more tolerable for them in the day of judgement than the good upstanding religious folk?  For one thing they had never witnessed the power of God amongst them as the pious Jews had when the Christ was amongst them, but more importantly Sodom had no Bible!

They did not have a prophet of God who preached the Word of the Lord amongst them.  Nineveh did and repented at the preaching of Jonah!

The only way to truly test any spirit is to compare what that spirit is teaching with the revealed Word of God as contained in the scriptures.

The Apostle linked testing the spirits to the danger of false prophets.  Christ, Himself, gave as the first sign of the end would be the rise of false prophets that would arise and deceive many.

The Apostles spoke of a time when Christians:

will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

We are to TEST the spirits, that is, to judge whether or not a teaching (or doctrine) is true by comparing it with New Testament teaching.

Now some may recoil at the term “Judge” remembering what Christ commanded in Matthew 7:1

Judge not, so that you will not be judged.  

Just as believers are not to condemn others, we are not to ignore sin. In a sense, this requires the act of judging others in a biblical way. It is important to know the difference between the judging mentioned in Matthew 7:2-5 and the righteous kind of judgment that comes with discernment. John 7:24 says, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

If a believer sees another believer sinning, he is instructed to confront the person in a respectful and loving way. Matthew 18:15-17 says:

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

We cannot go through life without judging.  Legislation has been enacted to criminalise drunk drivers because excessive levels of alcohol in the bloodstream impairs one’s judgement.

Before crossing the road we must judge the traffic in order to see whether it is safe to cross the road or not.

Before going out we must judge the weather in order to dress appropriately.

False teaching leads people astray, just as true teaching will lead people into righteousness.  The doctrines espoused by any group or individual must be tested and compared with revealed Biblical truth.

We judge those groups that teach a false gospel to be cults and heretical.  The Apostle Paul was very outspoken and direct in describing such teachings:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)

According to the Holy Spirit, such teachings come from deceiving spirits and are nothing less than doctrines of devils.  For this reason we much judge everything that we listen to so that we are not deceived by teachers that espouse doctrines of devils. The Berean Jew were considered more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica because:

in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:10)

Some groups we spot easily because what they teach is so obviously unscriptural.  Paul spoke of those that preach a different gospel and even have a different Jesus than the one taught by the Apostles.  Others are a lot harder to spot seeing as much of what they teach is seemingly built on scripture.

They undermine Biblical truth by denying basic Biblical Dogma, casting doubt on the nature and person of Jesus Christ, the efficaciousness of the cross, His vicarious sacrifice, His bodily resurrection.  This they do by drawing into question the very authority of the scriptures themselves.

The Pharisees of Christ’s time did so by appealing to oral tradition handed down by the Rabbis as the standard by which people were supposed to live and believe.  This oral Tradition is called the Mishnah.  This is what Jesus was referring to when he said:

making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. (Mark 7:13)

Such teachings are additions to the scriptures and similar ideas can be seen in various other groups:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons or LDS) have The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and The Doctrines and Covenants.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have The Awake and The Watchtower.

The Roman Catholic Church (aka Catholic Church or RCC) has the Tradition of the Church and The Catechism.

The Christian Science Movement has Science and Health.

The Unification Church has Sun Myung Moon’s Divine Principle.

This is but a small list of some of the better known groups.

 

Hebrews Chapter 6

Car_off_cliff_sign.JPGExamine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates?
(2 Corinthians 13:5)

1   Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  3 And this will we do, if God permit.  4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that cometh often upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God:  8 But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

In the previous chapter we saw the best way to avoid falling into apostasy., by remaining firmly grounded in God’s word and putting the things we hear into action.. By following this advice we would grow from a state of immaturity to the fullness of stature of the new man in Christ.

The writer declares his readiness to assist them all he can in their spiritual progress; and for their greater encouragement he will go through it with them. He states, “Let us go on”. Note that he does not say, “You must go on”.

 In order to grow the believer must leave behind the rudimentary beliefs and principles of the faith. How, then, are we to leave them? We must not forget them. They must be laid up in our hearts as the foundation of our expectations and our lives; even so we are not to rest in them and stick in them. We should never continually lay this foundation, we must go o and build upon them.

The foundation is first laid so that something can be built upon it. The foundational teachings of the Gospel are these:

  1. Repentance from dead works. There has to be repentance from dead works. Those that are not born again are dead in sins and trespasses and so are their works.
  2. Faith towards God. We must believe that God is, his nature, attributes and perfection. The essential nature of the Godhead and the mind and will of God through the revelation of the Son of God. Repentance from dead works and Faith if God cannot be exercise independently from each other because without faith it is impossible to please God, and faith without works is dead!
  3. The doctrine of Baptisms. (Note that it isn’t the doctrine(s) of Baptism, but the doctrin(e) of Baptisms). For there is the necessity of baptism both in water AND in the spirit. The first is an outward sign; the second is an inward work of the Holy Ghost through the effective work of the same via the Blood of Christ.
  4. The laying on of hands. It is good that when a person is baptised the elders gather round them in order to lay hands on them in order that they may be affirmed. This need only be done once.
  5. The resurrection of the dead. This refers to the resurrection of dead bodies that will be reunited with their souls either to eternal life or to eternal damnation.
  6. Eternal judgement. The judgement is the passing down of the sentence declared for both the righteous and the unrighteous; the righteous to be received into the Joy of the Lord, the unrighteous cast out into outer darkness.

These are the foundational truths that every believer must know and understand. It is essential that new believers be carefully instructed in these foundational truths and established in them and must never depart from them. Without these any other foundation is weak and will not support the building upon which the person intends to build.

 Now the writer states some very hard things:

4  it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

It is entirely possible for a person to start off on the right path and yet fall away and be lost.

They may be enlightened, that is, they may have some knowledge and their understanding be illuminated somewhat and yet still fall short of Heaven. Balaam was such a person yet he went with his eyes wide open into darkness.

And he took up his parable, and said, “Balaam the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eyes are open has said”:  (Numbers 24:3)

They may have tasted of the Heavenly gift, having felt something of the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They enjoy the fellowship, feel moved by the music and the atmosphere that is produced in the meetings and yet will not deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Christ to the end.

They may even have partaken of the Holy Ghost that is they may have cast out devils in His name and done miraculous signs and wonders and still face rejection on the day of judgement. Remember Judas, he was an apostle of Christ who Christ sent out with the power to heal, cast out demons and raise the dead.

They may taste of the good word of God. They may have pleasure in the doctrine, may remember it and speak well of it and yet do not conform to its teaching.

They may have tasted of the powers of the world to come.

All these things and yet ultimately they will turn apostate. The apostate turns away from truth and against the work of Christ and God, and for these there is no way back. Once such a person has fallen away they have fallen away completely.

They are like a tree that is devoid of strong roots and will ultimately fall because they have no strength in the inward parts. What they do have is but a show of godliness.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
(2 Timothy 3:5)

 To apostatise is to recrucify the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame. Their actions declare that they approve of what the Jews did in crucifying Christ, and that they would do the same thing again if they could. They pour the greatest contempt upon God Himself. For them Christ and his doctrines are a shameful thing.

 There can be no repentance for them again. All that work done in cultivating them only for them to be found fruitless like the fig tree that the Lord cursed. They grow up in the same soil as others; whereas the others bring forth fruit these bring forth only thorns and thistles

Its end is to be burned. The apostates will be punished with everlasting fire that will never go out.

 We do others no service if we maintain them in ignorance of these things!

 

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9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope to the end: 12 That you are not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men truly swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which enters into that within the veil; 20 Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

After the warnings to them concerning the dangers of apostasy, and knowing these believers very well, the writer encourages them by concluding that he is persuaded better things of them. God knows whether or not a person displays those things that accompany salvation. There ARE things that accompany salvation. These do not produce salvation, nor do they contribute to God’s reasons for granting salvation, nevertheless they do accompany it. Salvation must produce a change in a person.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; see, all things are become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

True, a man may say, “You have faith, and I have works”: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was Abraham our father not justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith fashioned with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
(James 2:18-23)

 When it comes to the subject of “salvation and good works,” there are two serious errors that plague the church. One is that of Roman Catholicism, which teaches that in order to gain enough merit for salvation, we must add our good works to what Christ did on the cross. Under this view, you can never know for sure whether or not you are saved, because there is no way to check your “merit balance” to see if you’ve stored up enough. So you have to keep adding good works in the hope of gaining eternal life. Under Roman Catholic teaching, a person could never say what Paul says in Ephesians 2:8, “you have been saved.”

 The other error, which is more pervasive in evangelical circles, is that good works have no connection whatsoever with salvation. This view teaches that since we are saved by grace through faith alone, a person may believe in Christ as Saviour, but there may not be a life of good works to follow. A person may pray the sinner’s prayer and profess to believe in Jesus as his Saviour. Later he may profess to be an atheist and live in gross sin, but he will be in heaven because he made a decision to receive Christ. This view fails to realise that salvation requires God’s raising a sinner from death to life, which inevitably results in a changed life. It divorces repentance from saving faith and teaches that saving faith is simply believing the facts of the gospel.

 Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians answers both of these points:

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Genuine salvation is entirely of God and inevitably results in a life of good works.

 There is no conflict between Paul and James on the issue. Paul is attacking the Pharisaic notion that our good works will commend us to God, whereas James is attacking the antinomian notion that faith does not necessarily, or need to, produce good works.

If a person believes they will act accordingly!

In verse 10 Paul declares that God has not only saved us, but that He has saved us in order to produce good works.

In writing to these Jewish believers the author shows that he believes that these good works have been produced and that they have shown great love towards the other believers.

Loving concern and actions towards other believers is what we are commanded by Christ to do and being saved and born of the spirit will cause us to have this love.

By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
(John 13:5)

Good works and work that proceed out of love for God will never go unrewarded.   They may not go rewarded right away but they will eventually.


Then will the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.  (Matthew 25:34-36).

Those that persevere to the end in this manner will have full assurance of hope. The way to attain such an assurance is spelled out in no uncertain terms: not to be slothful. The slothful love their ease and they lose many opportunities.

 We are to follow those examples of the people of God who have gone on before who inherited the promises made to them.

Abraham is the classic example. He believed God and did what God told him to do. He did this by faith, not knowing where he was being sent. All he had to go on was God’s promise of a land flowing with milk and honey.

Normally men promise to do a thing because the reward is given by someone’s guarantee, someone of greater authority. For example, company agents cannot offer anything unless authorised to do so by someone with greater authority. With God there is no one greater so God swears by Himself.

God promised to bless him and multiply him.

In due time Abraham obtained the promise, however Abraham had to patiently endure. God had promised Abraham an heir. Years passed and Sarah was still barren. On Sarah’s behest he lay with Hagar in order to bare him a son. It would be 13 years after the birth of Ishmael that Isaac would be born!

Our ultimate redemption will not come until Christ returns, until then, we will have to wait patiently through good and bad! Anyone who cannot wait patiently is doubting God’s oath and, ultimately, is calling God a liar!

 The fact that we may trust God is founded upon two immutable (that is unchangeable things); the counsel and the oath of God, for which it is impossible for God to lie, being contrary to His divine nature.

The promises are given to the heirs of the promises by inheritance, by virtue of the New Birth and union with Christ. The curse is the inheritance that we are born into; the promise is what we are heirs to by virtue of the New Birth.

Maintaining this hope will keep us anchored to the promise and enable us to remain patient enduring to the end. The anchor is attached to solid bedrock within the veil, the holiest place where the very presence of God abides. This bedrock is Christ, himself.

He has entered the veil where He intercedes on our behalf. He is thee forerunner of the people and has entered in order to prepare them a place and assure them of a place there. He remains there as High Priest in the same way as Melchizedek, a priest forever. Our faith must remain in Him and the work that he has accomplished on our behalf.

Not only has he brought reconciliation and redemption but he has entered heaven where he has prepared and is maintaining a place for us! This is what we ought to keep at the forefront of our minds. This world is not our home, this world (and anything in it) is not our inheritance.

If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then you shall also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

The Return of Jesus Christ

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For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God.
(1 Thessalonians 4:6)

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs….Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)… For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will….For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect….But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory
(Matthew chapter 24)

Jesus’ disciples asked Him concerning the sign of His coming and the End of the World. Jesus gave them several signs that would occur before this event, but first He warned that there would be an increase in the number of false Christs and false prophets who would deceive many.

There will be wars and rumours of the threat of war. He speaks of great famines and earthquakes in various places. Yet these will not be the way things will end, these are but the beginning.

He then points them to the message contained in the Book of Daniel concerning something called THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. Daniel speaks of a future ruler:

Forces from him will arise, desecrate the Holy Place and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:32)

The Holy Place that He speaks of is the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the regular sacrifice refers to the animal sacrifices that were carried out there.   So the ruler that is to come will stop the Jews from practicing their ritual sacrifices and set up this abominable thing in the temple.

Within 40 years of this prophecy, the Roman Legions of Titus destroyed the Temple that existed in Christ’s day. As Christ did not return at this time we can only assume that another temple is to be built in Jerusalem.

Does this seem far-fetched to you?

Well in 1987 a group of Jews, under the leadership of Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, set up the Machon HaMikdash (Temple Institute).

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Rabbi Yisrael Ariel

The vision of these men was to build a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. For the past 30 years the Institute has been fabricating the vessels and musical instruments for the temple. The priests have been selected and even the High Priest has also been appointed.

The New Temple has already been designed and for the past few years the Priests have even sought to restore the yearly Passover sacrifice.

kohanim.jpgKohanim (Jewish priests) make a priestly blessing in authentic Temple garb over the sacrifice of the Pascal Lamb. (Courtesy, United Mikdash Movements)

It is no longer a question of if the temple will be built but when!

The prophetic word IS coming true, and it is no more outlandish than telling the Jews in the Nazi death camps in 1943 that within 5 years the State of Israel would exist!

For centuries the restoration of the Jewish homeland was seen as nothing more than a vague hope, yet this vague hope became a concrete reality in 1948.

England’s most influential non-conformist preacher and popular theologian in the last half of the 19th century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) wrote:

“We shall at once profess our attachment to the pre-millennial school interpretation, and the literal reading of those Scriptures that predict the return of the Jews to their own land.” (Jerusalem Which is Above,” Sword and Trowel, August 1866, pg. 372)

In 1607, Thomas Brightman published a book in Basel called “Revelation of the Revelation”. In this book he wrote:

“What, shall they return to Jerusalem again? There is nothing more certain; the prophets do everywhere confirm it.”

More signs.

In Revelation John speaks of the coming ruler (aka The Beast) who would set up the abomination in the Temple and force everyone to receive a mark in his or her right hand or forehead. This mark would be the infamous 666.

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 13:16-18)

The word translated into English as “Mark” is the Greek word χάραγμα (Charagma), which literally means a branding or a tattoo. Many believe that this mark will be a computerised chip however a chip must be inserted under the skin. The Book of Revelation states that it is a mark on the skin.

In 2014 the Motorola Company, with funding from the US Government Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), revealed it’s latest invention the e-tattoo.

 

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Patently Apple reported in an article in January 2014:

While reading Motorola’s patent, we discovered a very bizarre entry as follows: “Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin responses than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

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Extreme Tech‘s John Hewett reported in January, 2014:

Motorola patents e-tattoo that can read your thoughts by listening to unvocalized words in your throat:

Incredibly, a new application from Google-owned Motorola Mobility seeks a patent not for any particular utensil, but rather, for setting the table. In other words, if you have an electronic smart tattoo, and want it to speak to your mobile communications device, you may soon be able to do it in spades, but you will have to do it Google style.

But hold on for a minute, as there is a bit more to the whole concept than might first appear. The tattoo they have in mind is actually one that will be emblazoned over your vocal cords to intercept subtle voice commands — perhaps even subvocal commands, or even the fully internal whisperings that fail to pluck the vocal cords when not given full cerebral approval. One might even conclude that they are not just patenting device communications from a patch of smartskin, but communications from your soul.

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This has all the hallmarks  of “Big Brother” and could very well be the mark of the Beast of Revelation.

When Jesus returns He will not come as a “Meek and Mild” baby, He will come as the scriptures declare:

…to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
(2 Timothy 4:1)

Turn to Christ today that you may be spared from the judgment that is to come when He returns. Do not delay!

Welcoming In the New Year!

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New Year 2019

Before we begin, let me offer everyone New Year’s greetings….A Blessed New Year to all!

Of course 2018, like every other year, was seen out and the New Year was welcomed in with a blaze of the traditional fireworks.  Each major city across the world sought to, not only, out do last years display but also to outdo one another.

 

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Yet in some parts of the world the common hopes for a prosperous New Year have been shattered.

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A man and woman covered in blood are treated at the scene

Vehicle ploughs into New Year’s crowd in Tokyo, injures eight people

  • At least eight people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle ploughed into crowds celebrating New Year’s Day in Tokyo early on Tuesday.
  • NHK said the suspect had initially described the incident as an “act of terror” but later said the attack was in retaliation for capital punishment.

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Jiji Press | AFP | Getty Images
Police inspect a car whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds in Tokyo early January 1, 2019.

Foiled New Year ‘Terror Attack’ in Venezuelan Oil Plant Leaves Two Dead

Oil Minister Quevedo claimed the attack forms part of a plan to sabotage the oil industry.

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The filling plant in La Yagua, Carabobo State, was the site of an alleged terror attack on New Year’s Eve. (Agencies)

Police foil New Year’s terror plan in Karachi

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INP

1:38 PM | December 30, 2018

Security forces Saturday night foiled a major terror bid designed to target New Year eve in Karachi and arrested five suspects, local media reported.

Events in 2018

A Warning to North Korea

Self-proclaimed “respected prophet” Cindy Jacobs kicked off 2018 by delivering a word of warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that God would remove him from office unless he converted to Christianity.

“He’s not going to allow Kim Jong Un to stay in that position,” Jacobs prophesied. “He is not going to allow compromise to come. Something is going to dramatically happen because his time for being a dictator is over, unless he turns his heart to the Lord.”

At last check, Kim Jong Un has not converted to Christianity and yet remains in power.

The Bible Code

In May, preacher Lance Wallnau prophesied, based on a passage from the Book of Esther, that by June 6, the nation would see “the unraveling of the entire deep state intrigue” that he believed was at work to take down President Trump.

Wallnau made this claim repeatedly, insisting that there would be “a major breakthrough” and “massive disclosures, a virtual hemorrhaging of information” by June 6 that would utterly destroy Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

“It’s going to happen,” he guaranteed.

It didn’t.

Blood Moon Fiasco

The blood moon is said to signify the second arrival of Jesus Christ, as stated in Joel 2:31: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”

The blood moon prophecy predicts the world as we know it will end after a series of four lunar eclipses, which is known as a “tetrad”.

Christian pastor, Mark Biltz predicted the return of Jesus in 2015, which coincided with a tetrad. He wrote of this in Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs, where he cites Joel 2:31.

John Hagee also wrote of the Blood Moon Prophecy, in his book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.

Mr Hagee believes the event of a tetrad will result in an apocalypse. For the record, there have been 62 tetrads in the last 2000 years and zero apocalypses.

Both these books attracted mainstream media attention in 2014.

Jim Bakker’s false prophecy:

2018 is the beginning of the end, the time of sorrows has begun, famine and pestilence, and a terror attack at the Winter Olympics.

No Terror attack at the Winter Olympics!

Rapture Discord

much division has ensued because several leading teachers have declared the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture to be heresy and denounced its proponents to be heretics.  This has led to a virtual civil war within churches between the various camps.

People began to openly attack their brethren and accuse each other of being heretics.  This is a sad state of affairs.

We believe that there will be a rapture of those that remain at the coming of the Lord however even we do not agree as to its precise timing.  We know what we believe and we also know that we might be mistaken.

The important thing is to bear in mind that we all may enter eternity at any moment and we should be ready for this eventuality.  In other words, each one of us might die before His return and before the coming rapture!  This is what we should concentrate on.

Instead of arguing over dates and timings Christians should be spreading the Gospel of Christ by any and every means possible!  The command to the churches is to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everybody”!


What will we face in 2019?

The quick answer is, more of the same! More false prophecies concerning the future!  More false teachings concerning the future and more apostasy!

Let us pray that we be found faithful, consistent and stedfast in the truth!

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:9-11)

 

 

False Ecumenism

Ecumenism_symbolNeither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:20-21)

The above scriptures came from the last prayer of the Lord for His followers before He died.  Unity is something that the Lord has always desired:

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalm 133)

Churches have always understood the Lord’s desire for unity amongst brethren and have sought to enact this unity.  Throughout time various initiatives have been enacted in order to bring about unity.

The general way that most Christians view this is that we set aside our differences in order to concentrate on those things that we hold in common.  This doctrine can be seen in the UK through a movement called “Churches Together in England”.

The Basis for Churches together is, in accordance with CT’s own statement is:

Churches Together in England unites in pilgrimage those Churches in England which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves:

  • to seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is his body; and
  • to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world

to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

https://www.cte.org.uk/Groups/234695/Home/About/Basis_of_CTE/Basis_of_CTE.aspx

The Unity that this organisation promotes is based on a very basic and loose foundation.  We can see this through an invitation recently handed out to people in the Cheadle area of Stockport.

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You will note that the first church on the list is a Roman Catholic Church, 3 Church of England Churches, a Methodist Church, 2 Baptist Churches, a United Reformed Church Church and The Society of Friends (Quakers).

True Unity does not come by adhering to a common purpose or joining together in work of a social nature.

The principle basis for unity between brethren are shared doctrines that are firmly rooted in the truth of God’s Word principally; the nature of Christ, the Gospel and the authority of scripture.

Upon these essential points there can be no division or disagreement.

The Protestant Reformers limited these essential pillars to five basic truths they called the Five Solae.  These are:

  • Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
  • Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
  • Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
  • Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
  • Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)

Sola Scriptura means that Holy Scripture is the sole authority upon which any and every doctrine, practice and spiritual experiences are to be based as well as tested.

Sola Fide means that salvation is by faith alone and that our righteous deeds cannot be counted upon to save anyone.

Sola Gratia means that Salvation is a free gift that is given without any merit of our own, it is purely an act of God’s grace alone.

Solus Christus means that salvation is Christ’s work alone and

Soli Deo Gloria means that only God can be credited for our Salvation, that we are indebted to Him and Him alone for Salvation.  God does not grant salvation because he sees any merit in us that would make Him grant us salvation, it is purely down to His mercy.

Anyone or any church that teaches contrary to the above are teaching another Gospel contrary to the Gospel that was taught by the Apostles of Christ.

The scripture has harsh words about any that would preach a different Gospel than the one taught by the Apostles:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

So how can there be any unity between these churches?   This is a false ecumenism and not the one that the scriptures teach.

There are also certain types of Christian that we are instructed to avoid or even have nothing to do with:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

We are not to entertain such people nor are we to allow their teachings to be taught in our churches because it will corrupt the hearers and lead them astray:

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

This false Ecumenical Movement is part of the Great Apostasy spoken of by the Apostle Paul:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Therefore we must have nothing to do with it and those that participate in it.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Hebrews, The Epistle

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Papyrus Amherst 3a, 3b – Morgan Library, Pap. Gr. 3 – private letter + Epistle to Hebrews 1,1.

Introduction:

This is a purely Jewish epistle written by a Jewish believer to other Jewish believers. It reveals how Christ is the fulfilment of the Law and the prophets and the change, in Christ, from the Old Covenant and its reliance on priests and Levitical rituals to the New Covenant and its reliance on Christ.

It teaches the Excellency of the Gospel compared with the Law and the supremacy of Christ over Moses.

Many believe that the epistle was authored by Paul but in all his epistles he claims authorship. In this epistle we do not read of its author’s name. What is a fact is that if not written by Paul it certainly reflects the Gospel according to Paul.

Chapter 1:

1   God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, who he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels said he at any time, “You are my Son, this day I have begotten you“? And again, “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” 6 And again, when he brings in the first begotten into the world, he says, “And let all the angels of God worship him.”   7 And of the angels he says, “Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your  God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” 10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands: 11 They will perish; but thou remain; and they all will grow old as a garment does; 12 And as a vesture you will fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.” 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, “Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?” 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent along to minister for them who will be heirs of salvation?

Here the author establishes that God has been speaking to the world through many and different ways by the mouth of Prophets. However the time arose when He spoke through His Son.

The Son has been appointed the heir of all things. Thus all things that the Father has been passed on to the Son. The Greek translated as Worlds is αἰῶνας (Aionas), which means the Universe as well as the perpetuity of time. All things were created by the Son, the Word (John 1:1).

The Son is also declared to be incarnate deity. He is the exact image of God; (the Greek here is χαρακτὴρ Characteer), the perfect reflection of God, the embodiment of His person (The Greek here is ὑποστάσεως hypostaseous.  The doctrine of the incarnation is known as the Hypostatic Union) (Colossians 2:8-9). He is also the brightness of His glory. When light shines brightly all things are clearly seen. Thus Christ stated that those that have seen Him have seen the Father.

Christ upholds all things by the word of His power. (The Greek translated “Word” is ῥήματι Rhemati which refers to that which is spoken). The Lord speaks and his word brings everything into being. He commands and it is done.

God speaks through His Son and so the authority of Christ is established.

Now he begins to establish the position of Christ in relation to all other messengers of God and every creature of God. Christ is better than the angels for His name is greater than theirs. The Angels are not addressed as sons. so the author begins to quote the scriptures that compare the person of the Son and that of the angels.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us understand that Jesus is the Archangel Michael. However we see that the Son is never described as being an angel. None of the angels is considered to be the only begotten Son of God.

Angels must worship Him. The word worship is προσκυνησάτωσαν Proskynesatosan, which is the equivalent of the Hebrew תשתחוה tistahaweh. Both mean to bow down to and kiss, to worship.

Angels are referred to as ministering spirits, however the Son is declared to be God. He is also declared to be Eternal (Hebrews 7:3). He has always been and will always be He is the first and he is the last.

No angel has ever been told to sit at the right hand of God until his enemies are made His footstool, whereas the Son has. Angels are meant to serve the purposes of the Son and all those that are the heirs of Salvation.

The authority of the Son is indistinguishable from that of the Father, as is His position, for they are ONE! This oneness is not simply one of agreement but it is one of nature, essence.

Christ not only speaks through his teaching but he is the very embodiment of that teaching. The Hebrew Bible is called the Torah, which literally means teaching. Thus He is the living word of God. None of God’s messengers before Christ were such a complete package as Him.

Thus it is important to take heed to Christ’s words.