Tag Archives: God

Unity or Purity?


June 6, 2015    Dose of Reality    by Joseph Harris       Number 318       

                                                            

Comments on Current Events in Government, Religion, Culture, and the Family, from a Conservative Biblical Perspective


  


Unity or Purity?

The leavening of America, God’s churches, the family and society has been underway for decades. In a sense, the leavening process has always been around as Satan has constantly tried to dilute and weaken the people of God and their influence in the world. Paul said in I Corinthians “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” The nature of leaven (yeast) is to permeate and spread throughout the entire lump of dough, causing it to rise. It only takes a small amount to change the entire lump.

What disturbs me does not always disturb others. In this fast paced age of change, I am disturbed by the shift in attitude and philosophy of the average person. I am increasingly finding myself in the minority on issues of Bible doctrine, politics, and ethics. Yet, I haven’t changed. I stand today where I stood 33 years ago when surrendering to God’s call to preach and teach his Word. I see the danger in a little leaven. The depraved nature of humanity leans toward sin and the path of least resistance and will exploit every inch given, hence the saying, “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile” is an absolute. Maintaining purity requires effort.

In the religious, political and cultural battles of today, purity has taken a beating. However, purity is essential. Consider the following: when given a choice, would you rather drink pure water or filthy water? Would you prefer a virgin for a spouse or a promiscuous person? Would you choose dirty clothes over clean clothes for your body? Would you rather have a clean politician (an oxymoron, but bear with me) or a person of character as your representative? Any sane person would choose purity in these situations. But when the choice of purity may result in conflict, stress, and division, people will choose unity over purity 95% of the time.

Look first at purity in the local church. Concerning immorality in a church, it will usually be tolerated, especially when the other option is conflict through confrontation. It is not easy to confront sin and require purity from ungodly church members who may also be family members, or influential in the community or big givers in the offering plate. Yet, the small amount of leaven will spread throughout the lump, affecting the whole. When we are more concerned with the smile of man, then we will have the frown of God, and when purity goes out the window for the sake of unity, then God’s churches lose the power and blessing of God.

Consider purity in church doctrine. Baptism and the Lord’s table have taken a beating with pastors and churches caving in to the plea for unity rather than purity in the practicing of these ordinances. Only a scriptural New Testament church of the Lord Jesus has the authority to baptize new believers and administer the Lord’s Table to those who have prepared themselves through scriptural baptism and church membership. Paul said to refrain from eating with those who had not examined themselves, especially concerning immorality, I Cor. 5:11. These ordinances belong to the Lord, not the church, but He has given their care and stewardship to each local church for proper administration for His glorification. Rather than stand for purity and cause contention, many are satisfied to sacrifice purity for unity, forgetting that unity with God through purity is primary. When a church adopts a human driven philosophy, their main priority will be to please men and not God. Here is a novel idea: How about a God driven, Spirit sensitive church. It just might work.

Look also at purity in ecclesiastical associations. Ecumenism has taken hold and many are willing to turn loose of Bible doctrines that “divide” in order to fellowship with those who disagree in doctrine. After all, we are all children of God, and why can’t we just get along and love one another? True love often requires hard choices. Amos the prophet asked “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” They can walk, just not together, because those not of like faith will have different beliefs, different standards, different philosophies of ministry, different goals and different ways to achieve those goals. When pastors and churches refuse to cooperate with others who are not of like faith, they are accused of being hateful and having no love for the brethren. Loving the brethren is not the issue; purity is the issue. Besides, we are commanded to love God before we are commanded to love others and maintaining purity is loving God. We are never commanded to fellowship with those who show a contempt for God by disobeying his Word. As Dr. Curtis Hutson used to say, “There are some things that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of love.”

Purity of the Word of God is important. Concerning the Word of God, I believe in the purity of His Word. I believe the scriptures were divinely inspired and providentially preserved. God divinely inspired the writers in the original manuscripts and then over time, providentially preserved these writings in the original language texts of the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Textus Receptus. I use the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James version, not because of “Thee’s” and “Thou’s”, but because I believe it to be a faithful translation from these texts. The issue is about using the right the right English translation based upon the right original language texts. The purity of His Word is essential since doctrine and practice are based upon the authority of scripture. “The words of the Lord are pure words”. Psalm 12:6

Purity in the home. Purity must first be established in the heart, otherwise, the outward appearance is a sham. However, after inward purity is a reality, further instruction is still needed concerning outward conduct and appearance. Concerning standards of dress, entertainment choices and others issues in contemporary culture, most churches and parents opt for unity and peace in the congregation and the home rather than the unsettling, stressful conflict which comes from requiring standards of purity. Modern apparel is more important than modest apparel. A sloppy, unkempt appearance has replaced a dignified, neat and tidy appearance, yet what is on the outside, usually reflects the attitude of the inside. Degrading movies and videos de-sensitize values concerning right and wrong over issues of sexuality, ethics and the role of men and women in the home. Ultimately, standards or lack of standards, go back to the home and the example set by the parents. Godly parents face intense pressure in the world and often from their church, over disagreement of standards, and parents too often give in to the pressure of their children, their church and other family members, who accuse them of being too hard.

Consider purity in society. Homosexuality and immorality have become more and more accepted through gradual exposure. To address someone’s immoral sexual lifestyle is considered an attack on the individual. Homosexuality and immorality are both destructive to all who participate, ruining self esteem and respect, destroying families, and can end in death from disease. To warn of self destruction and promote sexual purity honors God and helps people experience full and more satisfying lives. Sexual immorality affects everyone in society as a whole through broken homes, wounded children and adults and increased financial costs, resulting from choices that damage health.

May God give us the resolve to stand and be more concerned about maintaining unity with God, as we preach and practice purity in a culture that has an ever growing contempt for truth.


To receive Dose of Reality, send an email to houdini59@att.net with ADD in the subject line. To discontinue receiving Dose of Reality, please respond with REMOVE in the subject line.

 www.josephharrismagic.com/rnd

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE


HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE

Brother Dillard, This was posted by Religious News Service. Your Comments please: (Bro. C. M.)
Hi, Brother C.M.! Well, well, what a subtle twisting of truth! Lucifer is up to his old tricks. It is reminiscent of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. There is considerable truth in it, but twisted to make a horrible lie. That is what the serpent did in Eden, and what he continues to do today. I shall comment in paragraphs of rebuttal so labeled. I assume the entire article is an exact copy of what appeared in media. The article and my rebuttal appear next.

For those who look to the Bible to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the primordial source is Genesis 2, the second account of the creation of humanity, in which God forms a man out of the dust and a woman out of the man’s rib. The chapter seems to set up what they now call “biblical marriage,” declaring (in the King James Version), “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

[Rebuttal] The author is knowingly wrong here. The primordial source is Genesis 1. Genesis 2 is indeed an expanded account but one that reveals God (Elohim) in the creation of a different office work (Jehovah-elohim) to deal with fallen mankind. It does indeed set up biblical marriage as it was then and has continued to be for the past 6,000 years or more. Note the affirmation of Jesus about this in Matthew 19:4-6

So how can this account be considered supportive of same-sex marriage?”

[Rebuttal] The answer to this question is simple. It cannot!

For starters, the Hebrew word “adam” that is translated as “man” means “humanity” or “human being” — in the genderless sense that was once common English usage (as in, “man is the measure of all things”). Thus, in Genesis I.26, God says, “Let us make adam (humanity) in our image.” Unlike English, Hebrew differentiates adam from the gendered word for man, ish.”

[Rebuttal] As far as I can presently determine, this paragraph is true, except the author intentionally omits that in Genesis One that it goes on to say that the “adam” (mankind) under consideration is specifically named: “Male and female created He them.” Eve is as much “adam” (Mankind) as Adam was. There was no cause to refer to Adam as “ish” because there was no other male human on earth.

“In Genesis 2, the person we know as Adam is repeatedly identified simply as ha-adam – the human. Thus, Genesis 2.18 has God saying, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make a fitting helper for him.” (“Him” because adam is a masculine noun in Hebrew in the same way that nauta — sailor — is a feminine noun in Latin.) Note that God does not say anything about procreation as the reason for instituting this human relationship. Procreation is the order of the day in Genesis 1 (“be fruitful and multiply”), but that injunction has nothing to do with marriage.”

[Rebuttal] The author’s comparison of “adam” and “nauta” is contradictory. The gender of words in ancient languages does not necessarily denote sex. But, “Him” is gender specific. “Sailor” is not. Again, the Genesis Two account is an expanded, more detailed account of Genesis One. It is not contradictory to Genesis One. The “Ish” (Adam) is called “Adam” (mankind) because there was no other human form in existence. Ish (a man) comes into play much later, when there were humans (plural) on the earth. The helper which God would make for Adam is indeed fitting inasmuch as the Hebrew word literally carries the idea of “according to his front.” The purpose is aptly illustrated in electrical connections. It takes a male plug and a female receptacle to transmit electricity. Similarly, in procreation that type of connection is necessary to transmit the species. This terminology can portray nothing less than conjugal relationships of procreation. It is an expanded presentation of what is meant in Genesis One “Be fruitful and multiply.” To say that this has nothing to do with marriage is outright silly. God consistently in every age condemns fornication and adultery.

But what about Genesis 2.24: “Therefore a man shall leave…”? Isn’t that a mandate for “biblical marriage”?

[Rebuttal] Yes it is! A marriage as a civil contract is of recent origin. Biblical marriage consists of mutual agreements and pledges plus a consummation. Such union of a couple is not consummated as a marriage except in the act of sexual intercourse. So it has always been, and so it is presently.

No. Although traditional English translations employ the prescriptive future tense, the Hebrew is simply the descriptive present, now using the gendered ish: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother, and cleaves to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” Genesis 2 is a just-so story, explaining why, at the time it was written, a guy would leave his parents and establish a new marital relationship.

[Rebuttal] The author is wrong again about biblical Hebrew. Yes, English uses tense of verb, but Hebrew does not use tense at all. All action is presented as complete or incomplete. The incomplete verb, as here, is understood as a continuing process. “Therefore shall a man (any man in any age) proceed to leave his father and his mother and (continue) to cleave to his wife.” It is a never-ending process as long as humans remain on the earth in the flesh.

In a word, Genesis 2 is all about the human need for permanent companionship — companionship of an intimate fleshly kind. Whoever wrote it would, I believe, understand exactly what the desire for same-sex marriage is all about — and why it is good.

[Rebuttal] Agreed to the last five words. Moses wrote it under inspiration of God. I am certain he understood quite well the horrendous sin of homosexual co-habitation – but why it is evil. After all, sin is the misuse of anything from its intended purpose.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary

WILL A MAN ROB GOD?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
WILL A MAN ROB GOD?
I know, I know! Everybody’s mind is made up from the title of this article what it is going to be all about. When pastors choose this title and use Malachi 3:8, it is almost always a message of giving of money to the cause of the church. So how could this be any different. Well, think with me and see!
Certainly, a lot of churchgoers do rob God in the matters of tithes and offerings as the context of this Old Testament passage of scripture indicates, but that is not the primary burden of this article. Robbery of God takes on a much grander scale of which robbery in tithes and offerings is but a symptom. Consider that when one repents from sin and receives Christ Jesus into his heart, he is born from above and his spirit sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. That person has been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus. He is no longer his own, but a subject of Jesus. As such he is to render praise and honor to his Savior (how logical). So what do many do? They find any excuse, and the slightest one at that, to miss church worship services or the giving of themselves in any noticeable way to honor the God of their salvation. Many, yes, many, would be embarrassed beyond words if they were called upon to lead in prayer, because prayer is a stranger to them. Will a man then rob God of the just honor due Him? Will a man rob God of the glory He is to receive from him in His church? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his heart? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his home? Will a man rob God of the power of personal testimony that he is failing to share with others? How many ways modern Christians do rob God!
The problem is a heart problem! Moreover, that speaks to the attitude toward tithes and offerings. Jesus pungently said it when He taught that where a man’s heart is, there will his treasure also be. So, look around. Where does your money go? Where is your leisure time spent? Where do you find your joy? There is where your treasure is. Certainly, it is a precious few who find their heart and their treasure in the things of God. Among far too many the decision is repeatedly made to rob God! It is robbery, sheer robbery! It is the kind of robbery that a sermon, or brow-beating, or grudging change will NOT fix. It is the kind that underscores heart trouble.
Knowing that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of deeds whether they are good or evil, wisdom cries out for a return of the heart to the God who bought it with His precious blood. When that cry is heeded, all the other things will be fixed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 04:42 PM PDT

Trail of Blood

He bore the Saviors Marks in his body

Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland.  He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him.  Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?”  Of course it was designed to allow his family to escape, which they did.  During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment.  He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers.  I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.”  Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution.  Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag.  A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”  As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon condensed from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.

The post 87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

Leave a comment

Filed under History

FIND US FAITHFUL


FIND US FAITHFUL

We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road.

And those who’ve gone before us line the way –

Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.

Let us run the race not only for the price,

But as those who’ve gone before us, let us

Leave to those behind us, the heritage of

Faithfulness passed on thru godly lives.

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone,

And our children sift thru all we’ve left behind,

May the clues that they uncover, and the mem’ries

They uncover, become the light that leads them,

To the road we each must find.

O, may all who come behind us find us faithful,

May the fire of our devotion light their way.

May the footprints that we leave lead them to

Believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey,

O, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Joe Duvall

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

MY LORD AND SAVIOR


He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.

He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can’t understand him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The leaders can’t ignore Him.
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and
The people couldn’t hold Him!

Herod couldn’t kill Him
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse him
And the people couldn’t’ hold him.

Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him,
The New Age can’t replace Him
And Oprah can’t explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.

His ways are right,
His word is eternal
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me.

He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and
He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light
And His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders
And the overseer of the overcomes

The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.

And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.

His goal is a relationship with ME!

He will never leave me
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me
Never forget me.
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and everyway.

He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.

So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this…

He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well With my soul.

Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

I love the Lord and thank Him for all that he does in my life,
He is my source of existence and my Savior.

Without Him, I will be nothing.
Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things.
Philippians 4:13

1 Comment

Filed under Inspirational

HOW TO KNOW THERE IS A GOD


Pope’s Points

Julian Pope

HOW TO KNOW THERE IS A GOD

Would you like to know that there is a God, that Jesus Christ is His Son and Savior, and what true teaching is? Will, Jesus Himself suggested an experiment: Joh_7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. The responsibility is on the seeker. He must be willing to do God’s will when it is revealed to him. God promises no light to one who closes his eyes against it, nor any spiritual food to one who will not eat.

If you are an honest doubter, will you pray this prayer? “God, if you exist, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me. I am willing to do Your will if You reveal it to me, and will accept Jesus as my Savior if You reveal Him to me as Your Son.” Then read the entire Gospel of John, first noting its purpose in chapter 20, verse 31.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

Living a full Life


Signs this week:

Past-leave it to God,

  • There comes a time of ending.

  • A time of mourning the past is ended. – II Sam 11:27

  • Mercy given in the past – Rom 11:30

  • Forgiveness of sins given in the past. – Romans 3:25

  • There comes a time when our days are past. – Job 17:11

  • Eph 2:2, 3, 11

  • How often do we look back to refresh old hurts, defeats and disasters?

Present-Live it for God, – John 6:32-33

  • The work is given for today and not a future day. – John 4:35-38

  • Luke 11:3 – Our life is lived day by day.

  • Remember Zacchaeus? Luke 19:5 – Today, not tomorrow.

  • Luke 19:9 – Today is salvation

  • Luke 23:43 – Today some one is dying. Today some are going to heaven and others to hell.

  • What we do today can make an eternal difference in some one’s life.

  • John 9:4

Future-Entrust it to God – Matt 6:25; Matt 6:33,34

Also God is waiting for you.

  • What will it take for us to truly commit ourselves to the work of the Lord.

  • Yes the physical things need to be done.

  • Spiritual things of greater importance.

God bless you throughout the Year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

A MENTAL CHALLENGE FROM GOD


William Andrew Dillard

PARSON TO PERSON

A MENTAL CHALLENGE FROM GOD

All who take the name of Christ Jesus in salvation and discipleship are issued a distinct mental challenge from God. To ignore it is folly, incurring great loss. To take it up is to benefit in both in time and in eternal reward. What is this mental challenge? It is to have the same mindset as Jesus did in His earthly ministry. Now wait! Don’t you dare to shut your mind down to this challenge under the puny excuse that you can’t do that because you still live in the sinful flesh. Don’t you think God knows that? Do you think He is playing mind games with His people? No? Then think with me!
There is always an excuse for failure. He addressed that in Phil. 2: 3-4, but the biblical admonition is to overcome the excuses by dedication to the practices set forth in the grace and word of God. The apostle Paul appealed to the church at Philippi, and by application to the Lord’s true churches throughout the age, to press forward in Christian maturity to fulfill both his joy, as well as the joy of the Master. He was specific in the challenge.
Said he, if there be any consolation, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, any compassion and mercies, they would fulfill his joy by being of one mind in these Christian qualities. The bottom line is concisely stated in Phil. 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Consider then the exaltation/abasement of the God-man Jesus. He was in the form of God. He did not consider it robbery to be counted equal with God, but did not seek a reputation for Himself. He took upon Himself the form of a slave and humbled Himself in obedience even to the death of the cross.
Folks can twist the scriptures of Philippians 2:1-5, as many do, and surely will, but they remain in their purity the inspired Word of God, a challenge to every Christian to, as Peter puts it, “that ye should follow in his steps.” Still, many prefer to whine: “I can’t do that! It cramps my style, and I simply am not able.” What can one say? Poor ole God! In His infinite wisdom He asks us to do what we cannot do even with His divine help. Doubtless, all of His people would do well to remember more of the inspired Word, such as “Ye are bought with a price; therefore, Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Here then is the meaning and challenge of true Christianity. It is sad that in too many churches the main motivation is social instead of spiritual, and the whine may be oft heard: “There is nothing to do at our church!” If that indeed be so, may I introduce you to biblical Christianity? God has a mental, and spiritual, challenge especially for you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

Just Look – We Won’t Say A Word


Pope’s Points

Julian Pope

Just Look – We Won’t Say A Word

I saw a sermon in an ad one day. Over the picture of a new model automobile were these words: “Just look – we won’t say a word!” Thinking of my efforts to get people to believe in God, I was reminded that my only task is to get people to look at Him. Although science proves God on every hand, you nowhere trying to prove God to one who will not look at Him, just as the beauty of a rose is lost to one who has his head to the ground, and as food is of no avail to one who will not eat. My task as a soul-winner is not to argue religion or try to prove God by logic but to introduce the sinner to God. I will let God speak for Himself! Read His Word, His precious promises.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational