Monday, June 24, 2019

Earthly Evidence Versus Heaven’s Proof

There may be a mountain of evidence that the Bible is true, but there is only one proof of it: the baptism of the holy Ghost.  That is what John the Baptist told Israel that the long-prophesied Messiah would do (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16).  Therefore, whoever baptizes with the holy Ghost is the Messiah, the Savior of the world.  Men can believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and believe it very deeply, (just as demons do – Jas. 2:19), but that is all we can do without help from God.  Without the holy Ghost, no one can say (and know for certain it is true) that Jesus is Lord (1Cor. 12:3).
We can be so devoted to belief in Jesus that we give up our lives for it, but that self-sacrifice will mean nothing to God unless it was motivated by the love of God, which enters our hearts only by the holy Ghost (1Cor. 13:1–3; Rom. 5:5).  We need the holy Ghost baptism because Jesus said we must be born again (Jn. 3:3, 7), and the baptism of the holy Ghost is the way to enter, or be born into, God’s family (cp. 1Cor. 12:13; Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).  We need to hear about Jesus because the Father gives the holy Ghost only to those who believe in Jesus and come to Him in Jesus’ name (Jn. 14:26).  Though we pray to God in the name of Muhammed from now until doomsday, He will not give us the Spirit because the Spirit comes only in Jesus’ name.
So, don’t get too excited about historical evidence concerning the scriptures and the Messiah they proclaim, whether it be archaeological or documentary evidence.  God’s living proof of His Son is infinitely more exciting.  An empty tomb is evidence, but it does not prove that Jesus rose from the dead; only the holy Ghost does that.  “The Spirit is the witness”, John wrote, “because the Spirit is truth” (1Jn. 5:6).  Historical evidence can be interesting, but its value pales to worthlessness in comparison to God’s living testimony of His Son.  That baptism is not like a dusty potsherd, known by and useful to men long ago, but not now.  No, God has never stopped offering His unique proof that Jesus is Savior and Lord; in every generation since Jesus suffered and died, God has been baptizing with the Spirit humble souls who obey Him (cp. Acts 5:32).

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Definition of a False Prophet

A false prophet is an unfaithful prophet, one who has had a real connection with God, but has wandered from the right way.  Among the ancient Gentiles, many prophets prophesied ungodly things, but none of them are referred to as false prophets.  In the Old Testament, we find no false prophet outside of Israel, except in very rare cases, such as Balaam, who was a true prophet of God before he surrendered his integrity for earthly gain.  God said of men who began to prophesy things He did not send them to say, “I did not send these prophets, but they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied” (Jer. 23:21).
In this New Covenant, a “false prophet” is the equivalent of a “false apostle” (2Cor. 11:13) or a “false teacher” (2Pet. 2:1).  These are ministers who are confident that they are ministers of Christ, when Christ has not sent them.
Those who have not been sent by Christ cannot speak for him.  And it is a pitfall into which a religious society has pushed many a young man with a heart for God.  We can do evil, thinking we are doing God service, and if He has not sent us, whatever we claim to do in His name is false.  In order to truly speak for Christ, we must first be spoken to by Christ; otherwise, the term “false prophet” will apply to us as well as to those in the Bible who did wrong, thinking they were doing right.