Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Sweet Influence of the Gospel

Much of the irrational, hateful behavior and judgment we see in our time is a direct result of society holding back from this generation the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus.  The sweet influence of the gospel is so great that even if a person does not become a believer, if he has been taught the gospel story, his spirit is influenced for the better by it.
This is a plea for you fathers, and you mothers, to take advantage of the precious time you have with your children still in your home, and teach them about Jesus.  Read the Bible with them.  If you want them to be reasonable in their dealings with others, if you want them to be happier and more stable persons in this life, God has given you the tools and the opportunity to help make it happen.
THE MEETINGS OF THE SAINTS ARE NOT ENOUGH!  The meetings are not the answer.  The greatest help the young will receive is in the quiet of their home, with you.
Love your children with the kind of love which does the most good.  Love them with the love you received from God as He patiently taught you many stories about His Son.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

John, and the “Instead-of-Christ” Movement

In John’s first epistle, he warned that an “anti-Christ” movement had become very strong (2:18; 4:3), but to perceive his meaning, we must understand that in first century Greek, anti did not mean “against” as it does today; rather, it meant “instead of ”.  For example, Jesus said, “What father among you, when a son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or also a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of [anti] a fish, will he?” (Lk. 11:11).  So, what John meant by “anti-Christ” is “instead of Christ”, not “against Christ”.
This agrees with Paul’s description of false teachers who, he said, considered themselves to be apostles of Christ (2Cor. 11:13).  Those men did not present themselves as enemies of Christ, nor did they speak evil of him.  If they had done so, no believers would have followed them.  What those men did was to proclaim – in Jesus’ name – a gospel different from the true one, and by doing that, they persuaded God’s people of a way of worship different from the right way.  And by doing that, they were, in fact, teaching a Jesus that was different from the real Jesus, and a spirit that was different from the real Spirit of God, just as Paul said (2Cor. 11:4; cp. Gal. 1:6–7).  They were not opposed to the name, “Jesus”, or to the word, “God”; they just offered a different Christ than the true one.
John called such men “deceivers”, adding that they had “gone out [from the faithful saints] into the world” (2Jn. 1:7).  It is important to note that John did not say that the deceivers had come in from the world.  Sinners of the world would not come into the Assemblies of God to proclaim any kind of gospel at all.  These “instead-of-Christ” ministers were believers who “went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they were of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out that they might be exposed” (1Jn. 2:19).  John’s point was that those men did not stay among “us”; that is, the believing Jews.  James referred to brothers who had gone out from the Assembly in Jerusalem to teach believing Gentiles not to trust in Christ alone, but to trust also in the law: “We have heard that certain men among us, to whom we gave no charge, went out from here and troubled you with words, saying you must be circumcised and keep the law. . . .” (Acts 15:24).  These were some of the men who, as John said, “went out from us,” but “were not of us.”
Finally, it should be noted that the word “anti-Christ” does not appear in the book of Revelation.  And it does not appear in that book of prophecy because Revelation concerns the future, and the “instead-of-Christ” movement was already going strong in John’s day.  John had no need to prophesy of a future enemy of God named “the Anti-Christ”, for he said, “even now, many have become anti-Christs” (1Jn. 2:18).
You need not look for the anti-Christ to come in the future.  As my father, “Preacher Clark”, once said, “The anti-Christ has been here so long, God’s people have forgotten about him.”

Monday, February 6, 2017


The LORD takes pleasure in His people. 
He will beautify the meek with salvation.”
Psalm 149:4

The new, glorified bodies that Jesus has promised us are beautiful, every one of them, and every person who receives a glorified body when Jesus returns for us will be a stunningly beautiful creature.
Let’s live meekly in the beautiful life of holiness now, so that Jesus will crown us with a beautiful, glorified body at his return.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

God’s Dwelling Place

Let them praise the name of the LORD . . . .
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
Psalm 148:13

God does not live in heaven; He lives somewhere far above it.  When He glorified Jesus to sit at His right hand, He glorified him, Paul said, “far above all heavens” (Eph. 4:10).
This heaven and this earth shall be destroyed.  Jesus said so (Mt. 24:35).  But God’s dwelling place shall never be destroyed.

Friday, February 3, 2017

“Don’t Internalize Me”

I cried to the LORD with my voice;
with my voice did I make my supplication to the LORD.”
Psalm 142:1
Jesus spoke to Brother Gary not long ago and told him, “Don’t internalize me.”  What Jesus meant was that he wants us to speak out loud when we pray.  He wants us to really talk to him, the way David said he did, “with our voices”.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

God Has Done His Part

He shows His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
He has not dealt so with any nation.
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
Praise ye the LORD!
Psalm 147:19–20

Just “a remnant” in ancient Israel obeyed God, but that sad reality does not negate the fact that God chose and blessed Israel and blessed as He did no other nation.
In this covenant, just a remnant in the body of Christ walk in the Spirit, but that sad fact does not negate the fact that God has chosen and blessed the body of Christ as He has no other people.
God has done His part.  He has always done His part.  And He is doing His part right now for those who trust in Him.  Praise ye the LORD!