Saturday, May 18, 2019

Prayer Request from the Grave!

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
I felt to include the entire account of the parable of the unnamed rich man and Lazarus. I have read some time ago that some commentators weren't sure this was truly a parable as Lazarus is named. However that may be, it is good preaching material, as is the whole Bible. The focus of this posting is as the title suggests, a prayer request from the grave! I looked up (again) the meaning of the word hell in Dr. Strong's Hebrew-Greek dictionary. It is as follows: 
"G86 ᾅδης hadēs (pronounced) hah'-dace From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell. Total KJV occurrences: 11" And based on the Strong's definition of G1492, it is a place of consciousness. 

Now for the parable. In Luke 16:19-31 The Lord Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

I remember working at the Kaiser Aluminum plant shortly after  I turned to God. In the plant at the time we worked around what were called pots that were very, very hot. Usually we had a quota of work to do, which when finished, allowed us to sit around in the break  room (short of emergencies) till it was time to punch out and go home. One night in winter we were awaiting midnight to punch out. It was cold outside. One of my fellow employees was standing next to a pot to warm himself. Another fellow raised the door to the pot as a joke and the fellow who was warming himself had to move away quickly and said, "If hell is that hot, I don't want to go there." I looked  up in Strong's and found that the second part of the Greek (G1492) means essentially a consciousness of where you are. I have to agree with the fellow, I don't want to go there either.


But my understanding is that people will go there. I wonder if they pray for their loved ones from hell. If so they wouldn't  want anybody to experience the torment of eternal fire. I might say as a preacher and from an academical position, that I don't want anyone to go to hell, but someone in hell would surely not want their loved ones (or anybody else) to experience the fires of hell. No one living today has ever come back from hell. Oh we read of so-called near death experiences, but let me say that they were near death experiences, not death experiences. The only one who ever came back from the dead and is alive today and forevermore is the Lord Jesus. He is the only one that can speak with any authority on the subject of hell.  


The Lord Jesus in the parable said  "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Jesus was of course speaking to the Jews and as a Gentile I don't have to listen to Moses! Maybe not, but He did rise from the dead and He is speaking to me now. Is He speaking to you also?

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Hope


The Bible says in Romans 8:22-25,  "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." It is interesting to me  that the Bible does not say we are saved by baptism. Does that mean that I don't think that baptism saves us. Not by a long shot! Our Lord Jesus said in Mark 16:16"He  that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." And I  strongly believe in the Acts 2:38 message along with Acts 4:12, both of which tell us how the early church was baptized and how we are to be baptized. However there is no scripture that says that we are saved by being baptized in Jesus name. The name of Jesus is indeed the only hope we have and we can and do derive baptism in Jesus name from the Bible.

I don't believe in baptismal regeneration. Apostle Peter said in 1st Peter 3:18-22, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." While Peter did say that the eight that were on that boat were saved by water, when he said "baptism doth also now save us," he wasn't talking about baptismal regeneration. He was talking about the Lord Jesus suffering for sins and how, after He was put to death in the flesh, and made alive by the Spirit, He preached to the spirits that were imprisoned.

Much gobbledygook has been made of these passages but it  is evident that baptism in Jesus name with faith in God through the resurrection of the Lord does indeed save us. Being baptized in Jesus name without faith in the Lord's resurrection cannot save anyone. One goes down a dry unchanged sinner and comes up  a wet one, still unchanged. By the same token faith in Christ's resurrection without baptism in Jesus name won't save us either. My friend maybe you have been told that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you are saved.  It takes both to be saved according to the Lord. Remember what the Lord Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." He ought to know as He is the one who will get us out of here. If you have repented of your sins but have never been baptized in Jesus name, find someone who will baptize you in the only name that can truly save you. (See Acts 4:12) Then live for the Lord Jesus, only then will you have the hope the Bible speaks about.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Are You Saved To The Uttermost?

m All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
The Bible says in Hebrews 7:24-25, "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." The "...This man..." in this passage is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. So the question in the title, are you saved to the uttermost? The Bible says in Romans 14:22b, "...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." But the Bible also says in 1st John 3:20, "...if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart..."  I know one must believe and be baptized to be saved. For Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." My reading of that scripture has always been that if you don't believe, it really doesn't make any difference whether you are baptized or not. This is what apostle Peter must have meant when he talked   about baptism saving us in 1st Peter 3-21. I'm glad I was baptized in Jesus name the week I turned to God.

 I love that chorus we used to sing in church "In the Name of Jesus." It goes like this;

     In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus. we have the victory,
     In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, demons will have to flee,
     Tell me who can stand against us when we call on His great name,
     Jesus Jesus, precious Jesus we have the victory.

I was never sure about the third line in the chorus. It was either, "tell me who can stand against us when we call on His great name," or "tell me who can stand before us when we come in His great name." I guess it doesn't make a lot of difference. The important thing is to be saved. So the question is are we saved to the uttermost? It takes the name of Jesus to save us. The Bible says in Acts 4:10-12 that God has given us a name by which we can be healed and by which we must be saved. So in putting Mark 16:16 and 1st Peter 3:21 together with Acts 4:10-12 it becomes evident that what apostle Peter said in Acts 2:38 is true. Any other way is simply the invention of carnal men.           


My friends, if you have thought in the past that just being baptized saves you, think again. The Bible tells about a man who the Bible says believed and was baptized. The man's name was Simon, commonly referred to as Simon the Sorcerer. In Acts 8:4-25 we are told of the great revival that was happening in Samaria. I won't print it all here. The Bible says that Simon believed also and was baptized. When he saw that when Peter and John laid hands on people they received the Holy Ghost, he offered them money that he also might have this power. I think he wanted to retain his power over the people. Apostle Peter said to Simon, "...Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Peter went on and told him his heart wasn't right with God and of his need to repent. Simon then asked Peter to pray for him that the things Peter had spoken would not come upon him. (Remember what Jesus said in Mark 16;16) There was a problem with Simon's belief system. He needed to repent. Asking some man  to pray for you won't cut it. You need to go to God in repentance. (see Acts 20:21 to find out what Paul preached everywhere)


I don't know whether Simon had received the gift of the Holy Ghost or not. But it would appear that he had not. I believe that God won't give the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the true born again experience, to someone who has not fully repented. If you have been baptized in Jesus name and still have questions about your salvation, maybe a true repentance is in order. If you have truly repented of your sins and been baptized in Jesus name you will be saved to the uttermost. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
That was about the only Christian song I knew when I turned to God in 1965. I also knew the song entitled, "The Old Rugged Cross." Often I would sing the song, "Just a closer Walk With Thee," in worship at home. The Lord Jesus was all I wanted to have in my life. What beautiful words for a new believer! I recently looked on the internet and found that the song is in the public domain so here are the words: 

     I am weak but thou art strong,
     Jesus keep me from all wrong, 
     I'll be satisfied as long,
     As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

          Refrain:
          Just a closer walk with Thee,
          Grant it Jesus is my plea,
          Daily walking close to thee,
          Let it be dear Lord, let it be.

     Through this world of toils and snares,
     If I falter Lord who cares
     Who with me my burden shares,
     None but thee dear Lord, none but thee.

     When my feeble life is o'er,
     Time for me will be no more,
     Guide me gently, safely o'er,
     To thy Kingdom shore, to thy shore.

I surely do like that song, it is the cry of my heart today. But songs can't save you and I, only Jesus can. You may be a Christian already, but if you haven't been baptized in Jesus name you should be. The name of Jesus is the only, "...name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (see Acts 4:12) When the Apostle Peter spoke to those Jewish listeners on the Day of Pentecost and told them that they were guilty of the death of their Messiah, they said in Acts 2:37b, "...Men and brethren, what shall we do?"  Then in verse 38, "...Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Peter went on and told them that this was the promise of God to them and their children and to all that were afar off.

You and I were afar off from the salvation of the Lord Jesus, So God's promise is to us also. Why not obey the Word of God today?


Saturday, March 30, 2019

NKJV vs OKJV

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Oh, you've never heard of the OKJV, it is simply the old King James Version of the Bible that we have loved all these years. I personally have never had any problem using the old King James Version. If there are inaccuracies in the OKJV I have never found them. Many years ago I read or heard that a college professor made the statement that a good knowledge of the KJV of the Bible was equivalent to a college education. I don't know if that is true or not but I sure do love God's Word. A reminder is due at this juncture, the King James Version of the Bible is a translation. It is not translated from the original manuscripts. They, as far as I know, do not exist but the manuscripts that the KJV was translated from were copies (probably of copies, of copies, ad infinitum). To me it is through the amazing providence of God that the KJV comes to us without discernable error.

I have looked at several different web sites and found that some folks don't like the New King James Version of the Bible for various reasons. One which gives some comparisons is: http://www.angelfire.com/la2/prophet1/NKJVOmissions.html another which gives more of an in-depth history is:  https://www.chick.com/battle-cry/article?id=whats-wrong-with-the-new-king-james
In my (non-exhaustive) research was one which gave a thumbs up,  https://ichthys.com/mail-kjv vs new kjv.htm. Many fundamentalist preachers are using the NKJV simply because it is more user friendly. But it does seem to change some of the meaning in some cases. I personally like the OKJV because I don't like change.

I suppose that getting someone to like or dislike the NKJV or the OKJV is much like trying to get someone to change their mind against their will. That old saying comes into play here, "a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." Or, as the case may be, "don't convince me with facts, my mind is already made up." I'm reminded of the time shortly after I gave my heart to the Lord, the pastor had an old friend who was a chart teacher come for a week of services. He taught on the correlation of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. The adult Bible teacher had also been teaching on those books. As I sat on the edge of my seat en-rapt with the teaching it occurred to me that there was some discrepancy between their teaching. I immediately asked the Lord which was right. The Lord responded, "I'm right." 

The Bible says in 
Psalm 33:4, "For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth." I like that chorus we use to sing in church called The Word of God is right. It goes like this:
   The word of God is right Hallelujah to the Lamb, 
   The word of God is right Hallelujah to the Lamb, 
   The word of God is right Hallelujah to the Lamb, 
   Hallelujah to the Lamb.
The Second verse goes;
   It makes me walk upright, Hallelujah to the Lamb,
   It makes me walk upright, Hallelujah to the Lamb,
   It makes me walk upright, Hallelujah to the Lamb,
   Hallelujah to the Lamb.
And Bible does say in 2nd Corinthians 3:3-6"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." And the Bible says in 2nd Timothy 2:19,  "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." If you are a true born again Christian you shouldn't be too concerned about the use of the NKJV based on the foregoing scriptures. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Jesus Christ, All Day, Every Day.

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

For the born again Christian the Lord Jesus is indeed 24/7. What I mean by that is He is the Lord and Master of your life all the time! What else could apostle Paul have meant when he said in Colossians 3:17, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." He (that is His will) should be present in our minds at all times. I don't mean (nor do I want) to sound super spiritual because I know I'm not, but I do believe that Paul was. I don't think he considered himself that way either. In any event the coming of the Lord Jesus will happen and I want to be ready.

I am now 77 years old and my time on earth is drawing to a close. I long for the day that I will see Jesus. I just want to see Him in peace. And I will too. The devil has been plaguing me in my mind almost without intermission the last few years. I think he wants me to give in and give up. Perhaps he knows my time is short (I personally won't give him that much credit, but I do know that his time is short and he knows it also, see 
Revelation 12:12). My faith and trust is in the Lord Jesus and has been for the last 53 + years. I feel like one of the church fathers, I believe it was Polycarp, who was reputed to have said when he was offered his life if he would only recant, "Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong." I too can truly say for the last 53+ years the Lord Jesus has done me no wrong either.

Please do not think that I have had any premonition of my impending demise, I have not, but as I said earlier I am 77 years old and in this life you don't live forever, thank you father Adam. Let me take this opportunity to give thanks and praise to the Lord Jesus who said in John 10:10b  "...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Are you an heir of the abundant life that the Lord Jesus mentioned? You can be! If you have never repented of your sin, or been baptized in Jesus name or received the Holy Ghost (or Spirit), turn to God today, and find someone to baptize you in the only name that can save you. God has promised you His Spirit. (Please see Acts 2:38 and Acts 4:12)

Monday, March 25, 2019

What Are Angels?

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
What are angels? The Bible gives a few scriptural references to angels. In Hebrews 1:13-14 the Bible says "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" So here is a biblical definition of what angels are. The term angel or angels come from the Greek word (According to Strong"s Greek -Hebrew dictionary), "aggelos" (pronounced) ang'-el-os). "From ἀγγέλλω aggellō (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: - angel, messenger."  So although the biblical definition found in Hebrews 1:13-14 says God has made His angels to be ministering spirits, the Greek definition says they are also, "...by implication a pastor."

Some time ago I wrote a post on the subject entitled, "The Hair Issue, Revisited," posted on 7-26-2013.  At the time I thought that it was probably the last posting I would do on the subject. However listening to a preacher on a webcast made me think that maybe a further exposition of the subject was appropriate. Let me say that I do agree with the concept that there is nothing magic about long hair on a woman. As I stated in my previous posting one has to take what the Apostle Paul taught in its context. 

In a book I read it was mentioned of a woman's child who was sick. The mother put her long uncut hair over her child and God healed the child. I have also read in the same book the concept of the long uncut hair of a Christian lady taking the place of the covering cherub spoken of in Ezekiel 28:13-19. I don't believe there is any connection with the Apostle Paul's teaching in 1st Corinthians 11:2-16. If God in His mercy heals a sick child when a woman puts her long hair over the child, He does so not because of her long uncut hair but because of her faith and because of His mercy. Nowhere in the Bible is there any connection of special power given to the Christian woman because of her long uncut hair.


There is however much in the Bible concerning faith. In fact that is what the apostle Paul taught everywhere as mentioned in Acts 20:21. He said, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."  Let me get back to the subject of this posting. I believe  what the writer of the Book of Hebrews was making reference to was angels that are spiritual beings. But the Greek meaning of the word, as stated before, can be pastors also. In the Book of Revelation in chapters 2 & 3 the Lord speaks to the angels ("aggelos" see above), by the Spirit, God's message to the churches, (see Adam Clarkes notes on Revelation some good and some not so good. I think it is commonly held that these were men who had rule over the churches. It becomes evident then that the word "angels" can mean more than spiritual beings. 


This then provides a little more understanding to 1st Corinthians 11:10 where the Bible says, "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels." The word here for angels is again, "aggelos." It would then make more sense if taken into the context of what Paul was saying, eg, the woman being subject to the authority of the man. (see 1st Corinthians 11:3) This is a subject that has been discussed ad infinitum. In essence then the word angels can mean spiritual beings or ministers of the gospel.