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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sermon material

Matthew 10:21 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and [fn] cause them to be put to death."

I have been born again for 24 years, I've heard two or 3 sermons a week, and listened to many sermons online, BUT i have never heard this sermon preached.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Romans 3:21-22 Finally

Finally the beauty of the gospel, exalted and cried out for all to hear.

Romans Bible Study #8
Romans 3:21,22 Jesus

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; NASB

But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. The Message

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, 22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, The Amplified Bible

“But now” as we have seen sin, over and over again associated with us, tied to us, revealed as ‘in us,’ we have been longing for a little phrase like, “but now,” to turn the corner and show us the way out. God’s order of, first make the person very aware of their need, and then unveil the answer is being played out before us. Before the ‘but now’ we are cast adrift on an ocean that is too big and too wide for us to ever be rescued and no effort of our own could accomplish our rescue, and the rule book we have been given actually mocks our efforts to rescue ourselves, because it only reveals our ineptitude. The ‘but now’ is heralding a rescue effort coming from outside of ourselves. Unseen up till now, an eternal plan is about to be revealed. Stand up, stretch your neck, strain with all you have, to see this new revelation. The “impossible possibility, the gospel of transformation, the acquittal in condemnation, life in death, eternity in time” Barth

Barth entitles this section “Jesus.” He is the “but now.” He is the Answer.

“Apart from the Law” God speaks, He chose to speak through the Law, ‘but now’ He is choosing to speak, apart from the Law. If any part of this is tied to our ‘doing’ of the Law, this is not good news. This gospel must come to us “apart from the Law,” and blessed be God, it does!!

“The righteousness of God,” He created the world and us. He is righteous when He judges us. His wrath is the right response to our unbelief. He is the one who has ‘hemmed us in,’ and handed us over to the god of this world. “In this negation God affirms Himself and pronounces His claim upon men to be decisive, permanent, and final.” WE HAVE NO WAY OUT, unless God provides a way.
His forgiveness, is the ‘new covenant.’ His righteousness comes to us from outside of ourselves. He pronounces a verdict, but unlike any other verdict, it is not a result of what has proceeded it, it is a “creative verdict.” He pronounces His enemies to be His friends. All this is “wholly independent of every attempt, or imaginable attempt, that we could make to achieve liberty. The righteousness of God is therefore the sovereign and regal display of the power of God: IT IS THE MIRACLE OF RESURRECTION. The righteousness of God is our standing-place in the air--that is to say, where there is no human possibility of standing--whose foundations are laid by God Himself and supported always by Him only; the place where we are wholly in His hands for favor or disfavor.” Barth

“has been manifested,” Let the trumpets of the angels resound, announcing this amazing event. The righteousness of God has been manifested, not to condemn us, but to “put things right again.’ We proclaim a God whose nature is “to remain faithful in spite of human depravity.” God’s ‘nevertheless’ has come in to human unrighteousness and offered forgiveness. By faith we have seen it, experienced it, trusted in it.

“being witnessed by the Law and the prophets,” Abraham, Moses, the prophets, the psalmists, Job, all give witness to the righteousness of God, to redeem, forgive, and pardon, “apart from the Law.” This is not a ‘new thing’ that Paul is proclaiming it is the “essential truth in every thing that is old; we proclaim the incorruptible of which all corruptible is a parable. Our theme, therefore, is the theme concerning which the parables speak and to which they bear witness.” Even the Law is called to be a witness, from a negative point of view. It says, the righteousness of God cannot look like laws to keep or you are doomed. For humans to get it, it has to be given freely.

“even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” Grace allows us to discover the amazing truth that God in His faithfulness has been waiting on us. All human activity is a cry for forgiveness and in Jesus, forgiveness appears in a concrete form. Jesus places himself under the judgment of God. His life moves toward the cross and death. His greatest achievement is a negative achievement. He laid down all that He was to live an obedient life. The righteousness of God is manifested in a life of humble, perfect obedience. A life that God can then exalt. The flesh, all mankind, human works, come to an end here, the new era of the righteousness of God starts here.

“for all those who believe;” The truth is not accessible to our perception. It is not a historical or psychological experience. It cannot be taught or handed down by tradition. It is not a subject of research. If it were any of these things it would not be available to “all.” Only God can communicate it, and we need it communicated from God every day. God protects himself from the impertinence of man-made religious efforts by this veil. This faith in Jesus is a scandal to Jews, he can not accept the “God-man.” This faith is foolishness to the ‘greeks,’ because they can not think there way to it. There is not ‘Stairway to Heaven.‘ Again, if we remove the foundational truth, that there is a ‘vast chasm,’ between us and God, we risk removing the “amazing” from amazing grace. God is incomprehensible, hidden, unseen, to believe in Him is a risk, a hazard. Faith, no more, no less. Everyone is capable of it. It is a leap into the void. Equally possible and impossible for all men. So in praying for the unsaved, we are praying for God to reveal Himself to them, for the veil to be removed, and for the person to express belief.

“for there is no distinction;“ Men of all ranks are grouped on a single step. United in our desperation, we see we are all separate from God, and doomed. Faith then “sees” that Jesus is our only hope. All flesh must be silent before God, all flesh must see itself equally ‘far from God’ with the only access being faith in Christ.

Illustration/story. It’s Judgment Day… a book of sins is read aloud, quickly you realize the book being read is all of your sins, on and on it drones, and you feel worse and worse, finally the reading stops and God asks, “Whose name is on the bottom of that horrible list?” and the reply is…… JESUS!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Israel end times understanding

Once again a rather long post. This time from Reggie Kelly, a man whom God is using to point out the truth of God's covenant with the land and the people of Israel. It is an aspect of the times of the end, that is being glossed over and scripture does not gloss over it at all, SO, it must be an annoying PRIDE on the part of the "church", who ignores Romans 9-11 and has decided that they have replaced Israel. It is called replacement theology and it is a LIE, feel free to 'blow off' anyone who teaches it.
Reggie's letter starts here.

I believe how we see Israel is a gauge of how we see God. The tragic story of the church's historic rejection of God's declared intentions towards Israel is beyond mere flesh and blood.

Since time will not permit more, I want to call your attention to just one verse that is telling of so many others. It is Daniel 2:44. Notice that the scripture says "in the days of these kings." What days? What kings? Dn 7:24 makes clear that the kings in view here are the ten kings that are contemporary with the final Antichrist. In John's apocalypse, he is the beast that tramples down Jerusalem for the last 42 months (Rev 11:2; 13:5) before Christ's return. Thus, it could hardly be clearer that these then kings are immediate contemporaries of the Antichrist. They are united with him through their mutual hostility against "the holy covenant" (Dn 11:29, 30). In this context, the term "holy covenant" is clearly identified with the 'literal' holy places and institutions, which are situated in a very literal Jerusalem (Dn 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15-16). Hence, the Antichrist's assault on Jerusalem is a further chapter in Satan's long war against the covenant, which in this context is shown to be inseparably related to the literal Land and people of Israel.

Now observe: Regardless of when the book of Revelation is dated, Rev 17:12 is clear in showing that none of the ten kings had as yet come to power ("And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings that shall arise, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast"). If, therefore, the ten kings are contemporaries with that particular beast ('little horn'; Dn 7:8; 8:9; the 'king of fierce countenance' (Dn 8:23), the 'vile person' (Dn 11:21), the 'willful king' (Dn 11:36), 'man of sin' (2Thes 2:4) that is on the scene when Christ returns (2Thes 2:4, 8), then it could hardly be more clear that it is NOT UNTIL the destruction of the beast, this "last" beast (Dn 7:11; Rev 19:20), that the God of heaven sets up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed ..." (Dn 2:44; 7:14)

Regardless of what form the kingdom has taken in the present revelation of "the mystery of the kingdom" (Mk 4:11; Col 1:13), this is clearly the millennial (post day of the Lord) phase of the kingdom. This kingdom is not "set up" (in this particular sense) until "the days of these kings," and it is clearly 'set up' on earth ("under the whole heaven" (Dn 7:27), "fills the whole earth" (Dn 2:35).

But here is what I particularly want us to notice: "And the kingdom shall not be left to another people." That is a very significant phrase. Who are the people that receive the kingdom at this time? Well, to be sure, it is the 'saints of the most high' (Dn 7:18, 22, 27), but that is not all it means. According to Dn 9:24; 10:14; 11:14; 12:1, the people in view are Daniel's people in particular ("your people"), i.e., the Jews. That is what is meant when the scripture says "not left to another people." The "kingdom shall return to Jerusalem" (Mic 4:8), and "He shall yet choose Jerusalem again" (Zech 1:17; 2:12). When? Unmistakably, it is 'after' the unequaled trouble, at the same time the dead are raised (Dn 12:1-2). That is when "your people" (Daniel's people) shall be delivered, and not a moment sooner (Ps 102:13; Dn 11:35).

It is the day of the Lord, the time spoken of by all the prophets. It happens at the end of Jacob's trouble (Jer 30:7 w/ Dn 12:1), the time of unequaled "great tribulation," (Mt 24:21), which is started by the Antichrist's fateful desecration of the holy place in Jerusalem (Isa 63:18; 64:10-11; Dn 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15-16, 21-31; 2Thes 2:4). What could be clearer? The kingdom will in fact be "restored to Israel" (Acts 1:6) precisely "in the days of these kings." This future certainty of the kingdom restored to Israel is precisely the contrast that Jesus has in mind when He calls this present age "the times of the gentiles" (Ezk 30:3; Lk 21:24; Ro 11:25; Rev 11:2). A people called to prophetic discernment should be asking why is something so plain so hidden, and for so long?

As Christ returns to destroy the Antichrist ("in the days of these kings"), the elect remnant that has been preserved through the terrors of Jacob's trouble now become the "saints of the most high" through new birth (Isa 66:8; Ezk 39:22) when they "shall look upon Him whom they pierced" (Zech 12:10, thus fulfilling the glorious type of Joseph's self disclosure to his brethren; Mic 5:3-4). Certainly, this is much more than a physical kind of 'seeing.' The best analogy would be Paul's transforming encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.

To conceive, let alone accept, such a privileged status for the Jewish people in the future millennial kingdom is a great offense to the church's deeply replacement orientation. But the kingdom will return to Israel, and it shall "NOT be left to another people." For a while God has provoked Israel to jealousy through 'another people' (a 'foolish nation', a 'not a people' (Deut 32:21), but not forever (Deut 32:36; Dn 12:7). God shall yet require all nations to acknowledge and honor His love and special election of this people in particular (Isa 49:22-23; 60:9, 14; 66:20; Zech 8:23; 14:16-17). God has a point to make, and one reason the millennium separates this age from the eternal state is precisely to drive home that point.

God knows infinitely better than we the deep contention that Satan and the powers have against Israel's restoration. Satan knows that their regeneration and return spells the end of his illicit rule. Their restoration is the ultimate threat to Satan, because of what they represent concerning the covenanted Word of God, since it is through them that God has chosen to very publicly and demonstrably sanctify His name in the sight of all nations (Ezk 39:27). This well explains Satan's desperate attempt to destroy the woman, not only her spiritual seed, but the physical seed (the "natural branches"), as the elect vessel that God will set forth in the sight of all nations as His great statement.

The question has always been whether God can bring in (into abiding inheritance through holiness) the very same people that He first called out (Num 14:15-21; Ezk 36:22-23). The Jew is God's own self-chosen "mission impossible." They were meant to be. That's why it's no accident that the church is translated and Satan is bound precisely at the point that the Word of God is openly vindicated by the regeneration and return of this impossible people. But before God's eschatological triumph, the "Jew in the midst" has always been a divinely ordained test among the nations to reveal hearts, particularly what calls itself the church. We may be sure that this test will be pressed in an even more ultimate way as the day approaches. Considering all that God has intended Israel to represent, it is no wonder why Paul was so urgent that believers should not "be ignorant of this mystery." Mystery indeed!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

romans 3:1-20

Romans Bible Study #7 Romans 3:1-20 Word: Law

Here we go with Paul as he puts the nail in the coffin of human “goodness.” One last section of bad news before he un-wraps the good news. We cannot over-estimate how important this section on sin is. God’s order is clear we must see the absolute hopelessness of our situation BEFORE He reveals His mercy.
1 Then what advantage has the Jew ? Or what is the benefit of circumcision ? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. The truth of God, the Ten Commandments, they were and are perfect laws, so having them in your society is an advantage. Having them as the foundation of your culture is an advantage. Paul acts like he is starting a list, when he says, ’first of all’ but that is the only thing he actually says, at this point. The Bible says, "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;” Isaiah 40:4 Barth explains this verse in an amazing way. The Law, seen as a revelation of God, puts all men on ‘one line, and their secrets are judged before Him and Him alone.’ The power and intelligence of man, the human moral acheivements, all are brought down. Those who were seen as lacking these in human history are brought up, and the way that human wisdom saw and evaluated things is seen to be profane and trivial.
3 What then ? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED." G_d - the Hebrews were smarter than us, they did not presume to even say or write His name. He is in need of nothing. He doesn’t benefit from anything we do and He is not “worse off” from anything we do either. He does love us, He is grieved when we choose death but this verse says our unbelief does not make Him any less - period. God is so beyond man, so separate from man, so ’other’ that all of our ’thinking’ is off We are unable to comprehend this until it is revealed to us by the grace of God. We ’naturally’ think that humankind is the center of all things. That our best efforts are impressive to God, but like David in Psalm 51, one revelation of the truth of God brings us to the place of seeing that our broken, contrite heart is all we can offer to God, and recognizing this is “victory.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say ? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world ? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner ? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say ), "Let us do evil that good may come "? Their condemnation is just . Yikes again! Here we have another verse, just like last study, where if you catch the full meaning of it, you will be astounded. Paul says the condemnation that people who try to play word games with the gospel get, is just. Remember we do not want justice from God, we want mercy. Those who are convicted in their heart that God’s word is true, and then try to twist it to fit into their own desires or to nullify it, have rejected HIM and receive only condemnation that is just. It is actually more scary than any situation one can imagine in this lifetime to be found standing before God on the day of judgment knowing that you ’knew’ God’s word was true but you played a “word game” to put it off. The reasoning and logic here is wrong because it assumes that men are in a position to further the truth of God by their actions. “That assumption is false. God is assuredly not the world, and is is impossible for men, etiher by their lies or by their obedience, to add anything to or subtract anything from His truth and glory. He triumphs whether He receives or rejects us, whether He condemns us or has mercy upon us. Whatever my fate may be I can only give honour to Him.” Karl Barth
9 What then ? Are we better than they? Not at all ; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin ; 10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE ; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD ; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS ; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." 13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS "; 14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS "; 15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, There is a progression here, from the inside to the outside- from the heart, to the actions. Our ‘problem’ is internal, who we are. It can not be fixed by any outward changes - who we are needs to change = born again. 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." 18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God ; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight ; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. The Hebrews had the Law and they couldn’t keep it, so no society or people ever could.
The word LAW is mind-boggling. When used with a capital ‘L’ it is the revelation of God to Moses, the ten commandments. It is perfect and as such when it meets with our flesh it brings death. John Piper gave this example of the effect the law has on our flesh - causing us to know sin, (verse 20.) Your son brings in the mail, no sin in that, looks through the mail, still no sin, but then he comes to a letter, with a return address of the school board, addressed to “The parents of….” Now the Law has entered into the situation, and his flesh which had no desire to open the mail up until now is rising up and screaming open it. The Law has brought about the knowledge of sin that is inherent in all of us.

Next time together we revel in the goodness of God, revealed in the gospel.

"To work and run the law commands,
and gives me neither feet nor hands,
but better news the gospel brings,
it bids me fly and gives me wings."
Norman Grubb