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The Sufferings of Christ

The Bible declares that the believer will partake of the sufferings of Christ.  That this is in their best interests. That the believer will partake of the glory when they have also suffered like their predecessor Jesus.  Jesus has gone before us, we are to follow him.  Job declares that he knew of God, he had heard of him previously, but when Job suffered he stated he then saw God, gained understanding, and abhorred himself for his complaint against God.

Job suffered when he stood alone in his faith.  His friends contradicted him, his wife encouraged him to curse God.  Job experienced the loss of his family, his children, his friends, his possessions, his standing and respect in the community.  He stayed faithful to God, and afterward was richly rewarded by God in this life, and I am confident, in the life to come.  In the kingdom of God.  How could Job be happy with what God gave him after he had experienced such devastating losses?  God makes it possible.  Our further understanding makes it possible.  God’s work in us makes it possible.  The Bible says that with God nothing is impossible.

The New Testament says that we need to arm ourselves with this knowledge of the believer suffering.  It is happening in the world today and believers in the western nations don’t understand it.  Arm yourselves with this mind, the Bible says.  Christ suffered, and so you can expect that you will suffer as well.  Are you greater than your teacher, the Bible says?

Do we suffer in a vacuum away from God?  No, God is with us.  He makes it possible.  He provides.  It is not easy, but the suffering will end.  Paul states that if it is God’s will that you suffer for a period of time endure it like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  These are teachings that are lost to the western church doctrines in our day.  It should open our eyes as to who is a true leader of God’s people in our day and times.

 

 


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Legalism

Legalism, in my view, is relying on the Mosaic Law for our righteousness. The Bible says that the law was good as it was originally given. The issue was that the hearts of men could not be changed by the law. If righteousness could have come through the law the scripture says it would have been done that way by God. Man needed to be reborn into righteousness after the fall of Adam and Eve. This was accomplished through Christ, a righteous man, dying on the cross and being raised again to new life. The Law was instituted as a tutor of righteousness until the appointed time of the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s requirements have not changed in Scripture. Beginning in the OT and then into the NT God teaches us about his requirements for right living, right thinking, and right hearts. What Jesus did was to make our transformation in these areas possible. We can now do through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit what we could not do under the Law. We can become a new creation in Christ. The scriptures teach us how we are to make these changes.

Today’s modern teaching on legalism has made it about overlooking God’s requirements for righteous living. That we have no choice but to continue to sin. This teaching denies the new birth in Christ. It puts believers in the camp of the unrighteous, with no real power, and at the control of sin. This is false teaching according to the Bible.


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Fear and Grace

The Bible repeatedly exhorts God’s people about fear. We are not to fear. The scripture encourages believers to ‘Be strong, be courageous’, that God has ‘not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and love, and a sound mind’. We are facing fearful times in our day. Church leaders are fearful. They are conforming to the requirements and compromise the world is asking for in order to avoid persecution. They want to be friends and a blessing to the ungodly of our day. This is the result of the teaching about grace that has permeated every church in the USA and Canada. We are to turn our eyes away from sin and love everyone (especially the world) in order to show God’s unconditional grace. To get people saved. This is false teaching. This is not taught in the Bible. This teaching has not been balanced with other teachings in scripture about grace. Grace to obey God. Grace for gifts. Grace to conform to the will of Christ in our choice of lifestyle, in our mind, and in our heart. Grace to endure hardship. Grace to remain faithful to God despite the circumstances. Grace for our transformation into the image of Christ. Grace to die to ourselves, to our old nature. Etc. etc.

As believers we must overcome fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Currently, fear is being used to manipulate believers and church systems by the world. Churches are falling one by one to these demands. A prominent church teacher is telling believers here in North America that they can side with the antichrist (to the point of taking his mark of ownership) and still be saved at the end. This is presumptuous and absurd. Once we are the devil’s he will not let us go, and we do not have the power to deliver ourselves. We will have turned our back on Christ and the power of the cross. The Bible teaches that at that point there will be no more sacrifice for our sin.


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Two Covenants meaning Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:21 begins a teaching about the two sons of Abraham. The story in the OT of the two sons named Ishmael and Isaac tells of how Ishmael and his mother Hagar were sent away by Abraham. In Galatians the apostle Paul says that we can look figuratively at the mothers of Abraham’s sons as representing two covenants, one of the natural, and one of the promise through the power of the Spirit. Paul clearly teaches that the present Jerusalem is of Hagar. She will not share in the inheritance of God. Paul declares that there is a Jerusalem that is above and that she is the mother of those who are in Christ.
Today we have many teachers and preachers who make errors in dividing the word of truth. They teach one part of the Bible as full and complete truth, but when other parts of the Bible are read their teaching is contradicted by other Scriptures. This means there is error in what they are teaching.
The present church system that we know of in North America does not have checks and balances. There is alot of control implemented in the majority of churches. We can be certain that this type of control of people and of what we are being taught is not of God. We seem to have a mishmash of teachings related to both Hagar and Sarah. On the one hand we have freedom in Christ, on the other hand we are subjects and children to these church systems. The Hagars of our day.


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A New Covenant

In the book of Hebrews  chapter 7 and 8 the Apostle Paul speaks about a new and better covenant.  This new covenant, or second covenant,  has made obsolete the first covenant of the Law given to Moses, for his people.   As with a second Will that a person makes to distribute an inheritance, so also this second covenant with his people that God made through Jesus, supersedes the Law of Moses. Because it was made after the first one, just like someone updating their Will, the updated Will is the one legally in effect when that person dies.  Hebrews chp. 8:13 says “In speaking of a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete.’

Hebrews 8:9 says that this new covenant is not like the first covenant.  Paul explains in these chapters of Hebrews that the Law was not able to deal with the consciousness of sin.  The Law revealed and exposed sin.  The Law dealt with sin through the outward rituals of the flesh.  Laws about drink, food, and washing of the body.  Atonement for sin was dealt with by the shedding of animal blood.  These rituals had to be performed continually to try to alleviate sin.

The sacrifice of Jesus in the death of his own body on the cross for the atonement of sin, was done once for all eternity.  Jesus will remain the High priest of God forever.  Jesus the Son, is the new covenant that God has established with his people.  God has made Jesus the way to himself.  Jesus states ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life’.  No one comes to God except through me. ‘