Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Test the spirits"

One of the best characteristics a Christian can exhibit is the ability to stand for the truth and defend it at all costs. On the other hand, problems arise when individuals become what we would call wishy-washy and believe everything they hear. Paul speaks of those in Ephesians 4:14 when he says “who are carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine.” John says in 1 John 4:1, “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.” The phrase “test the spirits” means to prove someone’s belief or doctrine to be true. Paul also says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “test all things.”

So how do we “test the spirits” to make sure someone is not a false teacher? We do it by the word of God! First Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Many other scriptures show that the word of God is the truth and the only truth (Psalm 119:142, 160; John 17:17; 1 John 5:6). The word of God is the only information that can put what people say to the test. Do not believe anyone without scripture, not even those in the pulpit!

Jonathan Glaesemann

Friday, April 19, 2013

A privileged pair

Exodus 24:9-11 reads, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.”

Most Bible students don’t realize that Nadab and Abihu had the opportunity to witness the glory of the Lord. Given these circumstances it seems incredible that just a few years later they were offering “strange fire” to the Lord (Leviticus 10:1-2). These men lost their lives because of their presumptuous sin.

How could this have happened? How could two people with such a tremendous privilege throw it all away? Regrettably, it happens all the time. Christians are a privileged people (1 Peter 2:9), chosen to show forth God’s glorious praises. However, we need to take heed lest we fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). If they can sin after having seen the glory of the Lord, we can sure sin without having seen it! Do these encounters keep one in the path of righteousness? No! What will? Hiding the word of God in the heart (Psalm 119:11). Have you put it there today?

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Godly breadcrumbs

Everywhere Abraham went he built an altar to God and confessed his faith in Him (Genesis 12:7-8; 13:4, 18). In this way, Abraham left “godly breadcrumbs” that dotted the landscape and attested to his devotion to God. Of course, the greatest altar that Abraham built was the one that contained the greatest sacrifice any man has ever been asked to make: his only son Isaac (Genesis 22:9). In faith, he offered up his son and forever earned a right to be preached among the faithful (Hebrews 11:17-19).

What would be written of your life? What would be said of your faith? Have you left any “godly breadcrumbs” on the earth that would attest to your devotion? Having recently attending the funeral of a godly saint, I am reminded about the importance of influence and the memory others will have of me when I am gone. I pray that I will live worthy, and I pray that you will too.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, April 15, 2013

"No provision for the flesh"

In Genesis 39:6-13, Joseph is confronted by Potiphar’s wife who tempts him to lie with her. I want us for a moment to consider how Joseph handled this situation as a young man and a servant if God.

First of all, we must understand that we are all susceptible to temptation by the opposite sex. Any one of us could find ourself in a similar situation that Joseph found himself in. So what did he do? Well, first of all, he saw what she was trying to do from the very start: tempt him to lie with her. He ignored her to the best of his abilities and even tried to explain why he could not do such a wicked thing and sin against God (vss. 8-9). We must be on our guard and make sure we understand when someone is wanting a relationship with us that we can’t give them.

But of course, the temptation did not stop with just the request to lie with her. One day, while no one was in the house, she caught him and kissed him and said, “Lie with me” (vss. 11-12). This is where it would have been the hardest for Joseph. Let us remember the young man he was and what a temptation this would have been. From this point on there are a lot of things Joseph could have easily done. He could have thought, “Just one kiss won’t hurt or maybe I can stay a while and just talk her out of it later.” We get the idea. But what did he do? He fled away! He did exactly what the apostle Paul said in Romans 13:13-14, “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.” When it comes to any sin we can’t give Satan one inch! We must be like Joseph and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. Getting to heaven is not easy. It takes disciple but that discipline will be worth a lot when we stand before Almighty God in judgment.

Jonathan Glaesemann

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The price of ignorance

The last couple of decades have revealed to the American public that ignorance is one of the most expensive commodities we have in this country. It’s costing us more than we could probably calculate.

Most people are morally good, but they are ignorant of God’s word, and that condemns them. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).

The ignorance of the Jews produced the worst of all crimes, the death of Christ: “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17). He furthermore said, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3).

Knowledge is intended to produce the fruit of obedience and righteousness. Peter wrote, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14). Ignorance equals acting upon lusts, and the instruction that can pull people out of sin must overcome ignorance in the heart. The Hebrew writer knew this and rebuked his readers: “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). Don’t pay the high price of ignorance -- eternal condemnation. Learn of God what you need to do to be righteous.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why not the 120?

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles. Some say that the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 disciples who were gathered at Jerusalem which included the apostles (Acts 1:13-15). By this reasoning they try to prove that the baptism of the Holy Spirit included more than just those on the day of Pentecost and Cornelius’ house in Acts 10. They believe Holy Spirit baptism occurs today, working in an individual’s salvation. We will now look at some reasons showing the Holy Spirit fell on just the 12 apostles and not the 120 disciples.

First of all, they word “they” in Acts 2:1 one refers to the Twelve and not the 120. “They” is a pronoun and usually refers back to the previous noun. The previous noun mentioned is in Acts 1:26, which mentions Matthias being numbered with the apostles, not the 120.

Second, when the apostles started speaking in tongues, some of those who heard heard them said, “Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans?” (Acts 2:7). The crowd would have included Mary the mother of Jesus and others in the 120 disciples who were not from Galilee.

Third, some of the people who heard the apostles thought they were drunk and said in Acts 2:13, “These ‘men’ are full of new wine” (KJV). There were women in the 120 disciples (Acts 1:14).

Finally in Acts 2:14, “Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” Notice Peter stands up with the other apostles and not the 120 disciples.

It is a common error to believe that the Holy Spirit literally works in us. He does in a spiritual way if we have the word of God dwelling in us (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Holy Spirit baptism was a sign to show that the apostles were approved. It is never referred to as a means of salvation. However, water baptism is essential for our salvation and is the only way we can become a Christian and get to Heaven (Mark 16:16).

Jonathan Glaesemann