Monthly Archives: February 2015

Behold Our God

Be transported to the Throne of God as pastors attending a Bible conference meld their voices together to lift up praise and adoration to the Great God and King.

“Behold our God seated on His throne                                                                                                 Come, let us adore Him                                                                                                                                     Behold our King—nothing can compare                                                                                                   Come, let us adore Him”

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Three in One

Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity is difficult for most people. There are even some who think those who believe in the Trinity believe in three different gods, making them polytheistic in their belief instead of monotheistic; “poly” meaning “many,” “mono meaning “one.” But understanding the Three in One of the Godhead brings clarity to the Scriptures and a greater love for Who God is.

Within the Trinity there is God the Father who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, God the Son who became the Sacrifice for sin, and God the Holy Spirit who indwells each believer who comes to faith. All are the One True God manifested in three different ways. An earthly way to describe the Trinity, although woefully inadequate in its description, is how one person can be a father, brother and son all at the same time, or how one person can be a mother, daughter, and sister all at the same time. The person is not three distinct, individual people but one person relating to others in three different ways. That is the way the Triune God is, Three in One, although God relates wholly as Father, Son and Spirit at the same time.

According to Scripture, on creation morn God the Father (Genesis 1:1), God the Son (John 1:1-10), and God the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2) were all present when it was said “Let there be light.” When man was formed out of the dust of the ground God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” referring to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26). On Calvary’s cross God the Father (Luke 23:46), God the Son (I Peter 2:21-24), and God the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17) were all present. At salvation God the Father (Romans 5:8), God the Son (Romans 6:23) and God the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) are all present as One.

Before going to the cross Jesus tried to explain the Three in One to the disciples in John 14, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?… Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” In John 16 Jesus continued, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come… He shall not speak of Himself… He shall glorify Me.”  To believe in the One True God, you must believe in the Trinity. For without believing in any One of the Three in One, you cannot have a belief in God. They are All One; All part of the Godhead.

Three in One;

The Triune God.

The Trinity.

Is Yoga Christian

There are many in the so-called Christian world adopting the use of yoga as a form of exercise and meditation. Churches and schools alike, including YMCA’s, gyms and hospitals, offer classes or sessions to help people young and old calm their spirits and twist and turn their bodies into poses prescribed by the Hindu religion. Is the practice of yoga Christian?

The word “yoga” means “to yoke” and in Hinduism it means to yoke up with their false gods. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:29 we are to take HIS yoke upon us and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly in heart and we shall find rest for our souls in Him. We are also told in Scripture to meditate on His Word day and night, that we may observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then would our way be made prosperous and we would have good success (Joshua 1:8).

Jesus told of the unclean spirit that had gone out of a man. Seeking rest but finding none, the unclean spirit returned to the man and found the man had emptied, swept and put in order his mind but had not filled it with the things of God. The unclean spirit went and found seven other unclean spirits more wicked than himself and invited them to enter in and dwell with him in the man (Matthew 12:45).

Emptying one’s mind is a dangerous thing to do in an attempt to find peace and comfort. Only the Spirit of God filling the mind with the things of God will bring calmness to the mind and rest to the soul. Relying upon a Hindu practice to do so is contrary to all that God instructs us to do in His Word to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, which is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).

Where God Dwells

Scripture gives us all the answers to life’s questions. It also reveals to us where God dwells. The Book of Isaiah records there are two, and only two, places God dwells.

God Himself tells us in Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place.” The vast majority of people believe God sits in the heavens, for since the time of the prophet Isaiah over 2,500 years ago who wrote, “Have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,” (40:22). It is clearly understood God is above us, beyond us, over us.

While being seen by Isaiah as “high and lifted up” the year King Uzziah died (6:1), God also says in verse 15 of chapter 57 in Isaiah’s Book that He dwells “with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.” Albert Barnes in his commentary defines “contrite” in the Hebrew text as “that which is broken, crushed, beaten small, trodden down. Here it denotes a soul that is borne down with a sense of sin and unworthiness; a heart that is, as it were, crushed under a superincumbent weight of guilt.” David wrote in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

Not only does God dwell in the “high and holy place,” but He also dwells in the hearts of all who come to Him with “a  contrite and humble spirit” seeking His forgiveness, repenting of their sinful ways and trusting in His sacrifice of Christ on the cross as payment for their sin.

“Nothing in my hands I bring,

Simply to the cross I cling.”

The Life Beyond

For all who enter this world, death awaits. Death is the separating of the soul from the body. At such time when death occurs, the body remains on earth to sleep in the grave; the soul of the body, the ego, the “I”, the self, the personality enters into eternity fully aware.

For those who have trusted Christ as Savior, at the moment of death their soul receives a spiritual, glorified body, retaining the form and features of a body. Scripture speaks of Moses and Elijah appearing on the Mount of Transfiguration in their glorified bodies. Peter, James, and John were quick to recognize them as they stood before the disciples in the likeness of men (Luke 9:30). In Luke 16 the rich man was able to see Lazarus afar off, request of Abraham to allow the beggar to come to him, dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue, as the rich man agonized in the torment of the flames of hell. He was recognized for who he had been during the rich man’s lifetime on earth.

Death only touches the body. The person lives on, his memory, his thinking, his being, intact.  Abraham instructed the rich man to remember back over his lifetime when he received the good things and Lazarus the evil things, pointing out how Lazarus was now comforted and the rich man was now in torment. The rich man implored Father Abraham with a voice, a tongue, a mouth and the formulation of words to send the beggar back to his father’s house to warn his five brothers what lay ahead for them if they did not repent of their sins and call upon the Lord to save them before death overtook them, “lest they also come into this place of torment” where he was. Abraham reminded him of the Scriptures which the rich man had neglected during his lifetime, saying they have Moses and the prophets found written in the Old Testament to persuade them of their sin and need for the Savior. The rich man’s love for his brothers that continued on into the life beyond is evident of emotions that will still be a part of one’s being throughout eternity.

The Apostle Paul wrote after his vision of being caught up into the third heaven, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (II Corinthians 12; Philippians 1:21). As Stephen received the blows from the stones hurled at him at his death, he was able to say, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7 continues to record, “Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

In the life beyond there is recognition of loved ones and friends, memories remembered, emotions felt, familiar features retained in a spiritual body. In Heaven there is rejoicing around the Throne, worshipping God and saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come…Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou has created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created… Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 4-5).

All We Like Sheep

Jesus refers to Himself in Scripture as the Good Shepherd who leads His sheep (John 10). As sheep are commonly considered dumb animals, many characteristics in their behavior give them that connotation. David was a shepherd boy who spent many hours watching them, caring for them, protecting them. It is through his experience with them he penned Psalm 23.

Without a shepherd to lead them to green pastures, sheep will feed upon whatever they can find, including poisonous weeds. They are apt to drink from polluted water when thirsty, picking up internal parasites when not following the shepherd to the still, clean waters. When sheep are “cast down” getting themselves in a position of lying on their backs with their feet in the air unable to roll over and get up, the shepherd is there to restore them back on their feet. Creatures of habit, sheep will follow the same paths causing ruts and overgraze the same pastures turning them into wastelands without a shepherd leading them. It is the shepherd who safely guides the sheep through  mountainous passes where danger and death lurk. It is the shepherd’s rod that disciplines the flock and protects them from wild predators, from which they are defenseless. The staff is used to gently prod the sheep from getting too close to the edge of steep cliffs, keep them together moving in the right direction, and reunite separated lambs with their mothers. It is the shepherd who anoints the heads of the sheep with oil to control the flies which aggravate them. When sheep have good pasture, clean water, no fear of predators, are healthy and feel safe, they are able to lie down and not be in want of anything.

Isaiah wrote “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way,” (53:6). The herd mentality of sheep causes them to follow after one another. Without a shepherd to guide them they become scattered and leave the path that has been deemed best to lead them to green pastures, inviting all kinds of disasters upon them. David , with great clarity and an abundance of experience, declared, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” To live a life of peace and contentment, and not be led astray by wandering off on another trail, it is imperative to be led “in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” For it is only then when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil. His rod and His staff will comfort us.

The Good Shepherd goes before His sheep,

The sheep follow him;

For they know His voice.