Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Wages Of Sin Is Death (Original Sin?)

Romans 6:20-23

"For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I have been struggling for months to understand what really happened in the garden of Eden and what actually passed to us because of the sin of Adam and Eve. My problem was with the doctrine of "Original Sin", stating that the SIN of Adam and Eve passed to us and all mankind is BORN IN SIN, meaning every baby that's born into this world is utterly depraved, sinful, and wicked.

There is no scripture that tells us this and I asked myself if this is true then the millions of babies that are aborted, still born, or die after a few months of life ect.... should go to Hell and be eternally separated from God, children who die should go to Hell as well according to the original sin doctrine. But don't we see Jesus saying, "suffer not the children to come unto me, for theirs IS the kingdom?" There has to be an explanation for the state we are born in, so what is it according to scripture?

I have begun to understand that because of Adam and Eve's sin, each soul that enters the body of a fetus inside the mothers womb is spiritually dead, because this is what happened to Adam and Eve AFTER the fall, their spirits were separated from God. Even though they were still physically alive, their souls were cut off from the Holy Spirit and life of God, and they died spiritually. When Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel this spiritual death and separation of the soul from God was passed on to them, but NOT the sin Adam and Eve committed themselves. Cain committed his own sin when he killed his brother Abel, and the curse of death spread to him because of his sin.

Ezekiel 18:20

"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."

We can understand from these scriptures that we did not inherit the original sin of Adam and Eve,  but we suffer the consequences of their sin.

Romans 5:12-14

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come."

What is sin? 1st John 3:4

"Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness."

Sin is something that you practice, commit, or do according to the scriptures, and this means that an infant cannot sin because it's an action not an inherited substance. If we were born in sin, then we could not commit, or practice sin, because we would already be sinners and would have no choice to obey the laws of God.

I can understand that even though an infant has not committed any sin, done good or evil, their soul is still spiritually dead and born under the law of sin and death. At some point this infant will grow up and commit a sin, then the curse of death will spread to them. If they die in their sins without being born again or receiving the free gift of salvation, their soul will be sent to Hell where they will await the judgement of the Lord and if their name is not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life they will be cast into the lake of fire and eternally separated from God, (the second death).

1st Corinthians 15:20-22

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."

 If we remain in Adam our souls will die, but if we are baptized into Christ our souls will be made alive through the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit as He comes to indwell our bodies.

Romans 8:11

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

Romans 5:18-19

"Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous."

I have learned that every soul born on the face of this earth needs Jesus, must be born again, and needs to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The only way we can be reconciled back to God is to accept His free gift of salvation, and understand that God sent His Son Jesus to set us free from the law of sin and death that came into this world through Adam and Eve.

I welcome any additions, revelations, questions, or insights to this message because I am still learning, praying, and fasting about this very deep spiritual subject, which has been hard to understand.

Abiding In His Love,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Message to Fornicators

Today in the morning I was praying with my baby daughter and I heard this question:

"Are you making more sex than a prostitute that you cannot stop it?"

And then I said Lord, what is this message for and for who? And then I heard the title of this message: "A Message to Fornicators" And then I received this below:

If a prostitute that earns money to make sex can stop sinning and serve Jesus Christ in purity, why can't you? If she had faith to go to Jesus, why don't you? Do you believe He can take you out of the situation you are in today? Do you believe He can help you decide in marrying or not with the person you are just living with? Don't you believe that Jesus can help you stop being a fornicator? Don't you believe that He can make you stop sinning and give you the person who will love you until the end of your days in this earth?

If you believe today, right now, your faith can make you start obeying what Jesus says in His word: Repent, confess your sins ,be baptized in the waters and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you do this, you will be born again and be sanctified and purified and be called a child of God and be treated like one as well and receive Eternal Life.

You can also watch these links related to this message to encourage you to choose Jesus Christ today. Today is your day, today God is talking to you:

You must believe the Word of God today. I am inviting you today to be in the banquet of God for your life:

Why you must repent and turn away from fornication (and of course other sins if you do have them as well) and obey God?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

I pray that this word convicted you and that you will repent and live for God not to your flesh anymore.

God bless you,
Cynthia R. Palmer

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Tithe?

This Law of Moses that was given to the Israelite nation by God has been used for centuries to collect money from believers to fund the buildings of man and the salaries of clergy. The misuse of the tithe has led to divisions in many families and marriages, causing a multitude of Christians over the years to go without food, pay their bills, put gas in the car, buy clothes, and many other necessities of life. It has also caused many believers to feel manipulated, guilty, and afraid that God will curse them if they don’t tithe or can't give due to their financial situation.

The scriptures used to validate the tithe in the New Testament church comes from:

Malachi 3:6-12

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts; And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.”

The first question we need to ask is: Who was Malachi prophesying to?

Malachi 2:6To you priests who despise My name.”

The main recipients of this prophetic word were the levitical priests of Israel who offered defiled food, lame, sick, and blind animals on the altar of God. They were the ones who went away from the ordinances of the Lord and were doing evil in His sight. It was the priests in the temple who asked the Lord ‘in what way shall we return?’ ‘Will a man rob God?’

The nation of Israel was robbing God of His tithes that were commanded by the Law of Moses to be given for the priests to live on in the temple. The priests withheld the pure and unblemished offerings that were required by the law to be sacrificed to God. This is why God said bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, that there may be FOOD in My house, not money! The Israelites tithed on their food and livestock so that the priest’s and those who needed it would be fed. If they did this THEN God would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on the nation of Israel and their land, NOT on Christians today!

When we read ALL of Malachi in context we can clearly understand that God was not talking to those under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. In truth He was talking to the levitical priests and the nation of Israel who were under the Old Covenant.

Malachi 2:1

And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name,” Says the LORD of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart.”

The Lord makes it very clear who He was talking to through the prophet Malachi!

Malachi 3:9

You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.”

What nation? The nation of ISRAEL!

When man takes scripture out of context and uses it for his own gain the consequences always fall upon the sheep who listen to them and trust them. Many ministers are afraid to speak the truth for fear of losing the sheep and their salaries, but every shepherd must realize that the sheep are the Lord’s and we are just tending the flock until the Great Shepherd returns!

Now take a look at how the New Testament church began under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, the Covenant of grace, truth, and faith by the law of the Spirit.

Acts 2:44-46

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

The saints in the New Testament church were exhorted by Paul to excel at the grace of giving, and to give from the heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion. There are no scriptures that command the Christians to tithe ten percent of ALL their income every week to the church.

2nd Corinthians 9:7

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

2nd Corinthians 8:1-4

“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”

The first century churches were concerned about taking care of one another and providing for the needs of the poor, their offerings were free will offerings. The apostles didn’t have to tell them to give, they gave joyfully even under affliction and poverty. They wanted to minister to the needs of the saints. If the believers today were like this, there wouldn’t be any need that couldn't be met!

2nd Corinthians 8:12-15

For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

Giving in the first century was all about equality and sharing the blessings of God, but today we see guilt giving, reluctant giving, and giving to get something back from God. Is there anywhere in the scriptures that tell Christians to do what we hear coming from the mouths of ministers and televangelists today? Paul told the saints to give according to what they had, not what they didn’t have, so there would be equality in the church.

1st Corinthians 16:1

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.”

Again we see a collection being made for the SAINTS and NOT for the clergy or a building, but to provide for the other churches. The church in Jerusalem was in need so Paul told the Corinthian church and the churches of Galatia to set something aside as they have prospered so a collection could be made for the Jerusalem church; NOTHING about the prophecy of Malachi in these scriptures. In truth you will not find any of the apostles quoting the prophet in order to get money from the saints, and Paul knew the Old Testament scriptures well and quoted them often, why didn’t he quote the prophet Malachi?

In truth, you will not find one scripture in the New Testament that commands a Christian convert in the first century church to tithe, and tithing is NOT a New Covenant obligation for the saints today. If the apostles in the first century church didn’t command it, why is it being commanded and taught today?

If you have more questions and would like to go even deeper into the truth about the tithe, here is a link to a very detailed and in-depth study:

In His Service,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Dreams From Tyrone & Cynthia

Tyrone: After some days of study, prayer, and meditation on many things that are not found in scripture but man believes, teaches as doctrine, and tries to support with scripture, the Lord gave me this dream.

In this dream I was inside a classroom full of people who were studying the bible and they were listening to a teacher tell them that they were sinners and they would always be sinners, I was sitting in the back of the classroom casually listening to all of this knowing that what he was teaching was error. As the teacher came to where I was he sat right across from me, and then I lifted up and looked him straight in the eyes and asked him a series of three questions but I can only remember one of them, I asked him “why didn’t Paul say to the saints that they were sinners?” As I started to speak I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the whole class got up and came very close to me to listen to what I was saying because I wasn’t speaking very loud, but the power of the Holy Spirit drew the people to me. Then I said to them all, “if it’s not found in scripture it is not true, don’t believe it”. End.

Cynthia: After much talking with my husband, prayer, and fasting, concerning death bed conversions and other things the Lord gave me a dream.

Dream: There were 2 men talking, one was like a mocker. And the mocker said to the other man: “You do whatever you like in your life and 2 years before you die you do all this Jesus stuff”. Then, the man looked at the mocker and asked himself: “But when am I going to know when I will die?” And then I woke up.

**In closing: We can understand from these dreams that we cannot make up doctrines or believe something that is not written down in scripture. We will not limit God for anything because with God ALL things are possible, but we will NOT teach or preach something that is NOT found or made clear in scripture.

For those who are not born again you have time right now to hear the gospel message of the kingdom of God, you have time right now to believe in Jesus Christ whom God sent into this world as an atoning sacrifice for your sins and the sins of the whole world so that you may be reconciled to God. Jesus offered Himself as an unspotted and unblemished sacrificial lamb to God on the cross of Calvary, He died and was resurrected from the dead by the power of God on the third day, He was lifted up to heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God. What must you do in order to be saved? Believe this message, repent, confess your sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

"We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

With Love In Christ,
Tyrone & Cynthia

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Trinity?

The word ‘trinity’ is not found anywhere in scripture, but there is a whole doctrine and belief system that has been built upon this word. Did Jesus and the apostles teach the doctrine of the trinity? Did man make it up? We will find out the truth as we search the scriptures and learn what the Word of God tells us about His nature.

The foundational scripture used to support this doctrine is:

Matthew 28:19

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

This scripture has nothing to do with the nature of God and has been used for centuries to support a doctrine of man. There are many scriptures that tell us exactly who God is, and what God is; but this scripture is not one of them.

In truth what this scripture tells us is that Jesus wanted His apostles to baptize all nations of disciples IN THE NAME OF, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When you read the book of Acts you will find the apostles doing exactly what Jesus commanded them to do; baptize new converts in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is JESUS!

You will not find one scripture where the apostles baptized anybody using three names, why? Because they understood that the NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit IS JESUS.

Look at what Peter said in Acts 4:10-12

“let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

This scripture tells us plainly that there is NO other NAME under heaven GIVEN among men by which we MUST be saved!

Jesus Himself tells us in John before His death that He had manifested (to make evident) the name of the Father and given it to the men the Father gave Him out of the world.

John 17:6

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.”

And what NAME did the apostles use to drive out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and baptize in? JESUS CHRIST! The Jewish name for God (Yahweh), was already given to them from the books of Moses and the prophets, but they received a new manifested name of God from the Father; Jesus.

John 17:11-12

“Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.”

We can understand from these scriptures that Jesus had NOT manifested the name Father, because the Father is a manifestation of the One God, not His name! Paul said in Galatians 3:28 that we are one in who? Christ Jesus!

“For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus says in John 17:26

“And I have declared to them Your name (Jesus), and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Mark 16:15-18

“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name (Jesus) they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The apostles and the 1st century believer’s did all these things in the manifested name of God; Jesus

God is NOT One God in three persons. God is Spirit, God is One, and He is manifested in three ways; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John 4:24

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”

Galatians 3:20

"Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one."

1st John 5:7

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (JESUS), and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”

God is One, and the scriptures never use the words ‘three persons’ or ‘trinity’.

John 1:1,14

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten (Son) of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Word never stopped being God, but the Word was manifested in the flesh and became the Son of God, who was given the name Jesus.

Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God-With-Us).

Luke 1:31,35

"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS"

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God

1st John 1:1-2

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us

John again tells us that the Word was manifested to the world; He was an invisible Spirit that became flesh when He was born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit miraculously impregnated Mary, which allowed God Himself to enter this physical realm in the flesh of man.

Philippians 2:5-8

"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”

Jesus, who is the Word (God), was manifested in the flesh and made Himself of no reputation; He had all the powers of an omnipotent God but set aside His divinity so that He could save mankind, and He only lived by what the Father gave Him from heaven.

Colossians 2:9

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;”

Jesus could have done anything He wanted to do at anytime because the fullness of God lived inside His body, and the Holy Spirit worked through Jesus miraculously. But Jesus never went outside the Father’s will and He was obedient until His death, setting an example for His followers to depend solely on the Father for everything.

Colossians 1:15-17

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

This scripture tells us that God is invisible (Spirit) NOT a person, and that Jesus is the image of God. All things in heaven and earth were created by Him, because He is the Word of God manifested in the flesh.

1st Timothy 3:16

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Look at Genesis 1:1-3

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

When God spoke, it was the power of His Word that brought the creation into existence; this same Word that created all things was manifested in the flesh and came into this world through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. God is NOT three persons, God IS SPIRIT! and God IS ONE!

In All Sincerity And Truth,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What does it mean to be born again?

The first thing we need to do to answer this question is look at the words of God in the flesh, the Word Himself, Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would never pass away. He said in John 12:49-50 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

I lay this foundation because Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life, what He spoke IS absolute truth. What He spoke He received directly from the Father and this is what He taught His disciples and they accepted His word.

In John 3:1-7 Jesus tells the Pharisee Nicodemus a ruler of Jews what one MUST do in order to be born again. Let's take a look at what Jesus said:

"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’"

In these scriptures Jesus tells us plainly what it means to be born again. Unless we are born again we CANNOT see the kingdom of God. And unless one is born of water AND the Spirit he CANNOT enter the kingdom of God. Then He goes on to say that we MUST be born again, not should be, or need to be, or maybe, but MUST be.

Now let's look at what born of water and the Spirit is according to the scriptures. Many have a problem with the word 'water' here and say that it's the birth water, or the water of the word, but that's error and when we look at the Greek word for water in John it's the same word that's used in Matthew 3:13-17

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

In these scriptures Jesus is giving us an example of what it means to be born again, He gets baptized by John and immediately He comes up from the water and John was able to see a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of God descending from heaven LIKE a dove and landing upon Jesus. (Like the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:3)

The word 'water' here is the Greek word: Hudor

5204. hudor hoo'-dore, and genitive case, hudatos hoo'-dat-os, etc. from the base of 5205; water (as if rainy) literally or figuratively:--water. (Strong's Greek Lexicon)

This is the same word used in John 3:5

The word Spirit is also the same in Matthew and John:

4151. pneuma pnyoo'-mah from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze (Strong's Greek Lexicon)

Now going back to John 3:5 we can understand clearly that what Jesus said to Nicodemus is that one must be born of water (hudor-baptism) and the Spirit (pneuma-Holy Spirit)

Without these two things as Jesus said, we cannot see or enter the kingdom of God.

This is what it means to be 'born again'. Water + Spirit = Born Again!

We can read of the culmination of this teaching of Jesus in the book of Acts when the Holy Spirit was ushered in with power on the day of Pentecost and 3000 new converts to Christ heard the gospel message preached by Peter and were born of water and the Spirit.

Acts 1:4-5

"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 2:1-4

"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

The initial evidence of receiving or being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in other languages!

Mark 16:17

"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;"

Acts 2:36-39

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Acts 2:40-42

"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly  received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."

In The Love Of Christ,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Should We Pray, Ask, Or Invite Jesus Into Our Hearts?

The modern day teaching of praying, asking, accepting, or inviting Jesus into your heart is not found in the New Testament scriptures. There isn't one example in scripture where you find Jesus saying, 'you must accept me into your heart or repeat a prayer in order to enter the kingdom of God'. He didn't teach it to His apostles who He sent out to be witnesses of Him throughout the world, and they never converted any Jew or Greek to Christ in the 1st century doing it. So why is it being taught today?

Let’s take a look at the few scriptures that are used as the foundation for this doctrine.

Romans 10:8-12

“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

These scriptures definitely sound like the roadmap to salvation don’t they? And in truth these words are a part of the good message that the apostles preached about the kingdom of God. But who was Paul talking to here? Was he talking to us today giving his apostolic revelation of the gospel? Or was he talking to unconverted Jews and gentiles who needed salvation? Let’s answer these questions.

Take a look at Romans 1:7 and 10:1

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”

We can read clearly in these scriptures that Paul wrote this letter to the Roman saints, who were already converted to Christ during the two years that he spent in Rome after arriving there as a prisoner from Jerusalem. (Read Acts 28)

Paul is talking to the brethren in Rome telling them his heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that THEY may be saved. Why? Because they were rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ! These scriptures were not written for us to quote and repeat for the salvation of our soul. If that were true then everything else Paul said regarding the gospel message he preached would be in question. For example:

Acts 16:29-33 (The Philippian Jailer)

“Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

This is an example of an unconverted person in need of salvation. If all you had to do was confess Jesus with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead then Paul would have said that to the Philippian jailer in Acts, but Paul told him to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and THEN he spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house, and immediately after that the jailer and his whole family were baptized!

Paul also told the disciples he found in Ephesus what they had to do in order to be saved.

Acts 19:1-6

“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

In the above scriptures Paul finds some disciples in Ephesus who had believed John's message and received his baptism of repentance, but after Paul asked them some questions he understood that they were NOT born again and they needed to believe on Jesus Christ and be baptized in His name, then they would receive the Holy Spirit. The same message Peter preached on Pentecost. Most are taught today that all you have to do is believe, or repeat a prayer and that's it, but here we can clearly see that the salvation process is more than just believing.

How would you respond if you were those disciples Paul met in Ephesus? What about if a minister today were to question you about your salvation experience? What would you do if your experience didn't line up with the conversion process outlined in scripture?

The truth is that ALL the apostles preached the same message, they didn’t change the gospel to suit the people; they were obedient to what they were taught by Jesus Christ. Here is part of the gospel message the unconverted Jews heard preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:36-39

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Again we read the conversion process for unconverted people. Hear the gospel message preached, believe the message, repent (change your mind or think differently), be baptized in water, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now back to Romans 10, when you read further down and put the preceding verses of scripture in context, you can understand that Paul was not telling the Roman saints then or us today what we must do to be saved.

Romans 10:14-16

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! ”But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”

Clearly what Paul wrote to the Roman brethren was not a roadmap to salvation, but a word for the already converted saints to know how much Paul wanted to see his own countrymen saved!

If you believe that you are saved just by quoting the scriptures, repeating a prayer after someone, asking, or inviting Jesus into your heart, then you must understand that you are disregarding the very words of Jesus Christ Himself whom you profess to believe when he said in John 3:5Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” You would also be dismissing the inspired words of Peter, the rest of the apostles, Phillip the evangelist, and Paul who received the gospel by revelation from Jesus. And all scripture is inspired by God! (2nd Timothy 3:16)

In The Love Of Christ,