|Was hoping that I would have time to write a new blog, but probably won’t. This afternoon is our Women’s Luncheon at church, and then in the Evening my Girl Scout troop is having a sleepover (should call it an awake over), and I will be there. They are working a bit on their silver projects, and then we experiment with our hair, do nails, a few arts and crafts, watch movies, eat Chinese food, and popcorn and snacks and hopefully do a lot of talking over these activities. Sometimes unstructured events like this are great ways to hear their concerns and put in a few good ideas during the fun times. Pray that this is a fun and productive night.
Friday Bible Study – Pastor Don Moore
Living Word Chapel will be having La Fayette Scales speaking and prophesying on Monday and Tuesday of next week – 7:00 – you are very welcome to come and hear him. I heard him teach before and he is very enlightened.
Today was one of those hodgepodge Bible studies. Pastor Don is very approachable with questions and will gladly answer any we put to him. One of our members picked up a Bible at a yard sale – it was small and easy to carry, she then found a Jehovah Witness flyer inside, and started glancing at the Bible and felt uneasy. Pastor Don told us there is a way to test if a Bible is a good translation or not.
1 John 4:1-4 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
This is a big test to see if teaching is false, do the people teach that Jesus Christ is God, that He was in the flesh, God/Man. Jehovah Witnesses do not believe this, neither do the Mormons. Christ was not Jesus’ last name – He was Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus son of Joseph. He was fully human and fully God when He walked on the earth. Christ means anointed. Jesus is and was God, who willingly chose to accept a human body, die for our sins, and was raised from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
1 John 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us, he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Those who are of God can hear the truth about Jesus, that He is Son of God, that He was God in the flesh, they can hear the Spirit of Truth. Those who refuse to believe this, are operating under a spirit of error, a spirit of antichrist.
People have the right to choose what they believe. They are given the choice to believe the truth about Jesus or not – if they choose not to believe, they will face eternal consequences for believing lies. That being said, Pastor Don also pointed out that God is bigger than our theology or doctrine. There will be people in Heaven that we wouldn’t think belong there. God is sovereign, and He will perfectly judge people.
Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.
Pastor Don then showed us a few passages in the JW Bible that are VERY DIFFERENT from other Bibles. In fact, theirs is the only one who translates the passages the way that they do, all other Bibles translate the passages correctly. He also told us that one of the translators of the JW Bible, on tape, has disavowed the translation, and wanted them to take his name off as a translator.
One of the best clues is John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the JW Bible they say (and I don’t want to put the passages on my blog), that the “word was a god”. Notice the lower case god – as if Jesus was one of many gods, and they also teach later that he is not son of God, but created being.
Then Pastor Don read their version of Philippians 2:5-11 where they mention torture spike, and the passage is so confusing in that translation and they do everything possible to not claim the divinity of Jesus Christ. What they are trying to do is take away the important symbols of Christianity.
The Bible translation that they present is done so that their tenants can be presented, but it alters the meaning of the Bible. They will be answerable to God for that spirit of antichrist they are presenting.
Churches and institutions like that operate under a principle of self-preservation. They base their theology and interpretation and survival by taking the Word of God, and choosing the passages that highlight their basic tenants, and ignore those or change those who do not support them.
It is also important to realize that all denominations have areas that are not exactly Biblical – we all get things wrong somewhere. (But Christian churches all accept the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and His death for our sins and His and resurrection). Pastor Don pointed out that when Paul would go into a town like Galatia, he would raise up pastors from that area. There are denominations who don’t do that today, they appoint pastors and leaders and send them to churches in whatever area they want to appoint them. Why would they do that? It helps to control the churches, but is is not biblical. Paul picked pastors from the area where they lived.
(Pastor Don’s father was a Baptist preacher) Baptist churches can vote out their pastor through deacons, and the congregation (who receive the hand of fellowship) vote in pastors. The problem with that is that a person who is right on the outside, does right things, lives a good life, may not really be born again on the inside, yet they can decide who will be pastor. Democracy was not God’s plan for the church.
Churches may have meetings to plan things, but God does not keep our schedules. When people make decisions out of God’s timing, they are making decisions based on their human experience, personality, or desires. They end up relying on the flesh to determine who should be a pastor, or what the church does. Many times the flesh makes decisions that are in error.
God has a benevolent dictatorship. We can voice our opinions to God, and God will listen, but will do what is right for us. God is most powerful, most intelligent, most understanding, most experienced, and wisest – he designed us to have the spirit of man operate under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Then we are better able to function within His will.
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.
We are sons of disobedience if we are not yielded to God. Satan is an “unbenevolent” dictator. He wants to take us down. He does not right now spend much time in hell, but is 100% present on the earth in a way that we don’t see with our senses. He is in the first heaven right up to the edge of the stratosphere. He was cast down to the earth and Adam’s disobedience gave him the ability to rule and reign on the earth until the time when God will put an end to him. You may think that him being in the air is no big thing, but think about this, we walk upright and our bodies walk through the air. We have the airwaves, tv, radio, internet.
Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
While this was a description of the Ephesians and their lifestyle, it is also a description of each of us. We all are in some ways in rebellion. We have battles in our head, battles in the flesh, and a rebellious spirit. We often procrastinate doing what we are supposed to do, giving way to our own desires instead of obeying God.
The truth is that we can’t get better as human beings until we get broken and realize that we need a savior.
A democracy inside of our mind is what will lead us to distress, only when we have a benevolent dictator (The Holy Spirit/Jesus/God) in our minds can we make right decisions.
When we allow all the thoughts in our head debate, satan adds his thoughts to ours, and his vote to the assembly in our heads, and that can lead to confusion.
Pastor Don gave an example of how we might have to confront a person about a situation, and we don’t like confrontation, so we avoid the confrontation, come up with reasons not do do so, and stew in the situation. Eventually things come to a point where two or three days later you approach the person and then realize that you should have done this a long time ago.
We need to seek God for all of our decisions, major and minor – and that will save a lot of confusion and false teaching.
Ephesians 2:14-15 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two thus making peace.
When our spirit man is in charge, the rest is inconsequential. So often we get distressed when circumstances are tough. In the clamor of life everyone is voting in our head, and we get so busy that we don’t have time to hear God.
We end up bombarded by demons that cause us to spend our time striving, overloaded, under pressure, worried, with too many things to do.
Pastor Don pointed out that with Rosh Hosannah, it is a contemplative time. We need to take this season to make sure that this year God shows us which seeds He wants us to plant, and make sure what harvest God wants us to produce. So often other people plant your seeds for you, and these are not the ones God wants you to spend your time on.
Pastor Don said that the Body of Christ needs to spend some time loving themselves. We need to be able to say, “I love me,” (not in a self-serving, selfish way, but in taking care of ourselves, our health or homes, or minds – so that we become effective in God’s kingdom). God is not served if we are running ourselves ragged, doing what God doesn’t want us to do. God has prepared a field for us to work, and if we take some time for ourselves to listen to God, we will do what He wants us to do. (Heather’s note: if we are working within God’s will, he will prosper what we do, and we will not be grinding our wheels going nowhere).
This is sort of a wonderful positive circle – when we love ourselves, we are more able to love God. When God loves us, we become more able to love ourselves. (Heather’s note: Remember, Jesus gave two commandments, one was to Love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds. And the other was to love our neighbor as OURSELVES. Well, that implies loving ourself too.)
We then read the following passage: Ephesians 2:4-13 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created n Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands–that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Pastor Don closed by saying that we need peace in our minds so that the Word of God can help us to find out what good stuff He has for us. God wants to bless us, and blessing comes from obedience.
We actually closed Bible study a bit early, and that gave time for a few good testimonies. God sure is working wonderfully in the lives of people in our church!
Have a blessed weekend.