Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Can a Man that is a Sinner do such Miracles? John 9:16

When Jesus made clay and healed a blind man on the Sabbath day, there was division within, and opposition from, the religious leadership of his time.[i] All who opposed the works of God, did so simply because they were not of God.[ii] But some were confused and asked how a man that is a sinner could do such miracles?

That’s a good question, and it is one that Jesus addressed in Matthew chapter seven when he spoke of the false prophets who would not be granted entrance into his Kingdom.[iii] Jesus clearly told us that there would be men (and women) who were not of God doing miracles and performing great signs and wonders.

In the book of Acts, we read of a man named Simon who used sorcery to deceive the people. He claimed to be a great power of God and from the least to the greatest, because of the signs and wonders he performed, the people believed him.[iv]

The apostle Paul prophesied concerning the Man of Sin, who would use miracles, signs, and lying wonders to steal the souls of those who, because they chose to follow what they could see with their physical eyes rather than the truth of God’s Word, would follow The Son of Perdition into eternal condemnation.[v]

And finally, in THE REVELATION, the apostle John was shown that spirits of devils could deceive people through the working of miracles and that some wonders are indeed lying wonders.[vi]

How can we tell the difference? Some have been given the gift of Discerning of Spirits. Others have not. But all have been given the gift of the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD—THE BIBLE. We worship God through his risen Son based upon what has already been WRITTEN.[vii] We discern what is of God and what is not of God in the same way. But if we are hearers of the Word and not doers of the Word, if we heap teachers to ourselves simply because what they teach makes us “feel good,” then the scriptures are clear that our discernment will be seriously distorted, and we are headed for a fall.[viii]

The Bible tells us our physical bodies are beneficially or adversely affected by distorted discernment, so it is not advisable to take lightly anything that may interfere with our understanding of the expressed, will of God according to his written Word.[ix]

If someone claims to be a great power of God simply because they perform signs and wonders, examine their doctrine (and lifestyle) against the light of scripture. Does it measure up? If it does not, do not make excuses for them. Flee from them!

Run to Jesus. Run to his Word. And you will be safe.[x]

Is it well with your soul?

[i] John 9:16, All scripture references in this commentary are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures
[ii] John 8:47
[iii] Matthew 7:22-23
[iv] Acts 8:9-11
[v] 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
[vi] Revelation 16:14
[vii] Isaiah 8:19-20
[viii] Matthew 7:24-27, 2 Timothy 4:3-4
[ix] Proverbs 4:20-22, Luke 11:34-36
[x] Proverbs 18:10, Proverbs 14:26,
[xi] John 3:14-21, Romans 10:9-10. 13

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Link to All Hingry Hearts Revelation Studies

We have done so many Revelation studies, we set up a site dedicated specifically to that book of the Bible. There are written studies as well as audio /video studies on this site


Ephesians 4:8-10 The Lower Parts of the Earth: Did Jesus Suffer in Hell?

God promised to send a man, the seed of woman, to strip the serpent of his power over mankind and completely crush him (Genesis 3:15). The phrase, bruise thy head, in Genesis 3:15, means to strip of power or to crush (the head representing rank or authority). But until such time as the serpent would be stripped of his power, the righteous dead were held captive, for their protection, in a place called Abraham’s Bosom located somewhere in the heart of the earth.

This place was beautiful enough to be called paradise, but it was not Heaven (Luke 16:22-25, Ezekiel 31:16, Job 14:13). When Jesus ascended to Heaven after his resurrection he took these “captive” souls with him, but first he had to descend into the “lower parts of the earth” to get them (Ephesians 4:8-10). This is one of the proof scriptures that Jesus never suffered in hell. How could he have suffered in hell for 3 days when he told the thief, who was crucified with him, that they would be together in Paradise on the very day they both died?

According to the words of Christ, the price [for sin] was completely paid while he was still hanging on the cross (John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost). There was no need for him to suffer further in hell.

We see from scripture that Jesus was quite busy during the time his body lay in the tomb, and he didn’t spend any of that time burning in hell fire (Luke 23:43, 1 Peter 3:19-20).

Had Christ failed in his mission and refused to die on the cross during that long ago Passover, possession of those captive souls, in Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise, would have defaulted to Satan and been doomed—forever—along with him. Not only would they have all been without hope, but you and I would be without hope as well. But we are not left without hope. We have a living hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ if we will come to him. Jesus said, “He that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

Romans 10:8-13
8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Predestination: Committed to Dishonor—Fitted For Destruction, Romans 9:21,23,22, Romans 8:29

   Does every person have a choice, at some point in their life, to choose Christ and live forever? Or, are all people, from the moment they are born, created for either honor or dishonor, life or destruction? 
   If the latter is the case, then the scriptures lie, and we are all locked in caste. 
  If we are all, from birth, predestined to honor or dishonor, eternal life, or eternal destruction, why bother preaching the gospel to anyone, or attempting to live lives pleasing to God—our fate is already sealed…correct?  
    Fortunately, the scriptures do not lie, and the above hypothesis is incorrect.
   The God of the Bible, is a God of redemption—not of caste.
   Romans 9:21, says that God makes some vessels to honor and other vessels are made to dishonor (KJV). Romans 9:22 says God endures with “much long suffering” the vessels fitted to destruction.
   Pay close attention to what these verses say. They say that some vessels are made to honor or dishonor—not that they are made for these things.
   This is an important distinction.
   The vessels, in verse 22, are fitted to destruction, not for destruction.
   That is relevant distinction.
   Remember, every word of scripture is God breathed, even the little words.
   The word “makes,” in verse 21, comes from the Greek word, poieo. Poieo, is a root word with a literal meaning of “make” or “do.” But, depending on context, the word has a wide variety of applications, some of which include the meanings of, commit, ordain, raise up, or appoint.
   Someone can be committed, ordained, raised up, or appointed to something at any point in their lives. It is not necessary that they committed to it at birth.
   It would not contradict the context of, Romans chapter nine, or the definition of the Greek word, poieo, to translate verse 21 as, “God commits” some vessels to honor, rather than, “God makes [or creates] some vessels to honor...”
   The alternate reading gives a different and clearer perspective on the passage.
   A case in point, is King Saul. God raised up and appointed a righteous young man, Saul, to become his ordained King over Israel (even though it was not God’s perfect will that Israel have a king at all). After coming to power, Saul made some personally destructive choices. Yet, he was also given freedom to make righteous choices. Few will argue that King Saul was given both option and opportunity to do things differently—to become a vessel of honor rather than dishonor.
   Pharaoh could have done things differently, as well. Did the apostle really write that Pharaoh was made for dishonor and destruction? That, from the moment of his birth, he was locked into a cosmic caste system from which there was no escape?
   Was Pharaoh really created for the sole purpose of condemnation?
   Was the prophet, Jeremiah, lying when he wrote that God had a plan and purpose for all of us—plans to do us good and not evil?
   No. He was not.
   So, we see that the Word of God must be rightly discerned.  
   Romans 9:22 speaks of vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
   The Greek word translated “fitted” (in the King James Bible) is, “Katartizo.” Katartizo has a literal translation of “complete thoroughly,” “adjust” or “repair,” which makes perfect sense within the context of Romans 9:22, when deeper study reveals the word, Katartizo, is derived from yet another Greek word, “Katah.”
   Katah is a root word, meaning “down.”
   The meanings of the words, Katartizo and Katah, when combined, mean that Romans 9:17-22 [22]) is saying, that vessels are adjusted down to destruction. They are committed to that destruction only after God endures their sinful choices with “much long suffering.”
   Taking the “thoroughly complete” definition of the word, Katartizo, into account, it becomes clear that God’s plan for Pharaoh, because of Pharaoh’s own choices, was adjusted down. And it was at that point, he became committed [or ordained] to dishonor and destruction.
   Setting aside English-Translation-Theology (our Bible was not written in English), a careful reading of Romans 9:17-22, makes it clear that Pharaoh was not committed to dishonor and destruction until after God had endured his sinful choices with “much long suffering.”
   1 Timothy 2:3-5 states that it is not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth. If it is not God’s will that any should perish, then He is not going to violate His own will by creating anyone for the specific purpose of deliberately destroying them.
   However, in his foreknowledge of all things, God knows who will, and who will not, choose life and godliness Romans 8:29.
   According to 1 Timothy 2:3-5, It is God’s explicit, written, will, that we are all given [at least one] opportunity to choose life. The Word of God also explicitly states that Jesus died for the sins of the world—not just for the sins of the predestined elect.
   Romans 8:29 says that predestination is according to foreknowledge. And 2 Corinthians 6:2, states that there is a period of Grace in which the door to salvation remains open (today is the accepted time...today is the day of salvation 2 Corinthians 6:2).
   But, if any refuse to accept Christ, the Bible says the period of “much long suffering” can pass. And, as with Pharaoh, the opportunity can be withdrawn.
   The door can close.
   It is at that point—and not one moment before—that God’s perfect plan for a life can be adjusted down. From that point on, one can be committed to, or ordained to…destruction.
   God’s power will be revealed, his purpose will be accomplished, and his name will be declared throughout all the earth, regardless of what individual choices are made by his human creation.
   But we must always remember, that God gives us a choice. He is the one who said, “I have set before you blessing and cursing, life and death…Choose life, so that you and your children may live. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eternal Godhead Revealed in Genesis: Romans 1:20

What is the Godhead, and where in Genesis is the Eternal Godhead revealed?

The book of Colossians tells us the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus bodily (Colossians 2:9 kjv), and we read in Romans 1:20 that the invisible things of God are clearly seen from the creation of the world…even His eternal power and Godhead.

People may be able to argue whether or not there is such a thing as the trinity, because the word trinity does not appear in scripture, but what about the Godhead?
Since scripture assures us the Godhead is revealed in the creation, the logical question would be to ask where in the creation is it revealed? That naturally takes us to the book of Genesis. In the very first chapter of Genesis (1:26), God said let “us” make man in “our” image.

Was God communing with the angels when he said this? He could not have been as there is no indication in scripture that angels are made in the image of God. God reserved that incredible privilege for mankind alone. Was the conversation recorded in Genesis 1:26 an example of what is known as “plurality of majesty” used by royalty when referring to themselves alone as “we” and “our”? God does not imitate man. The plurality of majesty came about from royal persons imitating the way God referenced Himself in Genesis 1:26, not the other way around.

Just as the apostle assures us in Romans chapter one, Genesis 1:26 clearly reveals a conversation between the members of the Godhead. Many scriptures shed more light on this. Jesus, the Son of God (also called the “Word” in John 1:1), is a member of the Godhead. We understand that from the clear language of Colossians 2:9. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead. In Acts chapter five, the apostles clearly stated that lying to the Holy Spirit was the same as lying to God. And nowhere in scripture is there a clearer statement concerning the Godhead than in 1 John 5:7-8, where we read that there are three in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and that these three are one.

There is no doubt 1 John 5:7-8 (also called the Johanneum or Johannine Comma) is authentic. Detractors cannot account for early references (see the book, MY BIBLE DOESN’T SAY THAT! by Jocelyn Andersen).

The eternal Godhead was revealed in the creation of man. Man is made in God’s image, and that is a triune image—a composite unity. Man is a composite unity. Man is spirit, has a soul, and lives in a body. In man, there are three, and these three are one. Man, like the God in whose image he is created, is a three in one. Even if the existence of the soul is denied and only the spirit and body acknowledged, the fact that man is a composite unity is not changed.

The revelation of the Godhead in the creation of man is but one of the ways the invisible things of God is revealed in the creation of the world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joel's Army: Joel 2:11, Who or What is the LORDS Army Described Joel 2:11

Joel's army is described in Joel 2:11, where the prophet predicts that an army, described as the LORDS army, will one day cover the land wreaking terror, pain, and destruction, but since Joel calls it the LORDS army, there is much confusion and debate about whether or not this army is a righteous host rather than demonic.

How can a demon (or demonized) host be called the LORDS army? The answer to that question is quite simple—the LORD calls the shots regardless of who is carrying out his will, and there are numerous examples in scripture of the LORD using Satan and/or his fallen angels in order to carry out his will or judgments. One clear example of this is found in 1 Kings 22:19-23 where the prophet Micaiah reveals God’s strategy [in using demonic spirits] for bringing down King Ahab for all his wickedness in leading Israel into Baal worship.

Micaiah is given a glimpse into Heaven where he sees the LORD surrounded by HIS armies, and asks who will persuade Ahab to go into a battle that would end in his death, and we read of a spirit volunteering to be a lying spirit in the mouths of Ahab’s prophets. No righteous angel could be a lying spirit, so the spirit that stepped up to the plate must have been a fallen angel.

It is interesting to note that the armies of the LORD that stood on his right side and on his left side included both holy angels and fallen angels (as evidenced by the lying spirit that came forward at the LORD’S challenge). Matthew 25:33, tells us that the sheep (righteous) are placed on the right hand of the King and the goats (unrighteous) are placed on his left hand. By that, it can be concluded that the armies on God’s right hand were holy angels and the armies on his left were fallen angels. That conclusion is legitimately debatable but nevertheless a valid consideration.

Like the lying spirit we read about in 1 Kings 22, the army described in Joel chapter two, is anything but a righteous army. But both the spirit and the army are agents of God in the evil tasks they are assigned to accomplish. The army Joel describes causes much pain and leaves widespread destruction in its wake.
The army Joel describes corresponds closely with the demon army described by John in the Revelation (Revelation 9). Very likely it is the same army. This demon army will bring great destruction during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (The Great Tribulation).

The LORD’S army described in the book of Joel, is a demon (or demonized) army, used by the LORD in executing his judgment on a rebellious world during The Great Tribulation. It is called the LORD’S army, not because it is a righteous army, but because it is executing the will of God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ephesians 4:11-14 Ministry Gifts

Ephesians 4:11-14 lists the ministry gifts bestowed by Christ Himself on the Church. They are as follows: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.

The gift of the evangelist is rather forthright. The evangelist is a gifted soul-winner. The gift is an outreach ministry carrying a strong message of salvation towards unbelievers. The ministry gift of pastor is generally exalted above all gifts in today’s Church with the pastor at the top of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. This is Satan’s perversion of the gift and should not be so. The gift of pastor is a gift designed to minister to the spiritual needs of local congregations—to the care and nurturing of believers. The gift of teacher is likewise a discipleship ministry to believers. Although the application of these gifts have become somewhat corrupted in the hands of men, few have issues with the validity of the ministry gifts of evangelist, pastor or teacher. However, the gifts of apostles and prophets are extremely controversial and have either been dismissed as obsolete, or have been misunderstood, perverted, and abused.

The ministry gift of prophet is a gift generally directed towards God’s people and has not changed in function from Old Testament to New. Prophets have always spoken under the direct inspiration of God and often showed God’s people their transgression. God’s New Testament people transgress just as his Old Testament people did. God has not left us without the gift of the prophet to help us. The Word of God recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:20 has not changed. If we believe the Lord our God, we will be established. If we believe his prophets, we shall prosper.

Prophets are given much insight into people, situations and even the future, but many today, who present themselves as “prophets,” are in reality nothing but soothe-sayers passing Satan’s counterfeit gift of divination off as "prophecy." This an abominable perversion of the legitimate gift of prophecy and should be rejected by God's people. Knowing and obeying the Word of God in tandem with the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God helps us discern the real from the counterfeit.

The gift of apostle carries with it leadership authority and combines the gifts of prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. Apostles spread the gospel both locally and in faraway places where it has never been heard, and scripture records that they stay and nurture their new converts while they develop new leaders—pastors, teachers, etc., in each location.

Many who are designated as “missionaries” are in reality apostles, but prejudice against the ministry gifts of apostle and prophet along with prejudice against women in the ministry has caused the gifts of these dedicated workers [to the cause of Christ] to go unrecognized. This should not be so. The scriptures command us to recognize those who labor among us.

Ephesians 4:12-14 tells us why the ministry gifts have been bestowed and also how long we can expect them to be active in the Church. They are bestowed in order to build up and complete the Body of Christ until we all come into the unity of the faith and are mature in every way. That will not happen until Jesus comes. Therefore, the ministry gifts are still needed and are still being bestowed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

How Do We Worship in Spirit and in Truth? John 4:24

In John 4:23-24, Jesus declared that God is a Spirit and that He must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

How do we do that?

Does worship consist of gathering at church every Sunday and singing beautiful and deeply emotional songs along with a congregation? That may be a component of worship—as long as the worshipper is worshipping God in spirit and in truth and not simply worshipping the music. Music is a common inordinate affection (Colossians 3:5). But how can we know we are worshipping THE ONE TRUE GOD in spirit and in truth?

One young professing Christian was absolutely convinced he was worshipping the ONE TRUE GOD in spirit and in truth. He posted to his blog, for all the world to read, how he loved to “WORSHIP!!!!!” Yet a mere year or so after posting those words, his living testimony brought a reproach upon the name of Jesus Christ as he led a defeated Christian life living in fornication with a member of the opposite sex without the benefit of Holy Matrimony. What happened?

What did Jesus mean by the words “in spirit and in truth?”

The original languages the Bible was written in make it possible to translate the words of Jesus to read, “by Spirit and by Truth.” That rendering simplifies matters considerably. For there is only ONE SPIRIT by which we can approach God and be received, and that is the HOLY SPIRIT. The HOLY SPIRIT lives within those who belong to Jesus Christ. And there is only one TRUTH which leads to eternal life and that is the person of JESUS, the ONLY CHRIST, who is revealed by the HOLY SPIRIT in the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD—the BIBLE.

The only worship THE ONE TRUE GOD will accept is that which is offered by His people by way of his RISEN SON, through His HOLY SPIRIT, and based upon the TRUTH revealed within the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD—THE BIBLE. That is worth considering the next time we think we may be worshipping when in actuality we may be only singing beautiful and deeply emotional songs along with a congregation.

Read your Bible every day, always picking up today where you left off yesterday. We recommend a King James Bible with no chapter headings or study notes. To find out why, visit Hungry Hearts Ministries online at www.HungryHeartsMinistries.com