New Testament Giving

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In the area of giving some people have twisted the scriptures in order to make merchandise of others. We are warned of this in the Bible. “But there also arose false prophets among the people, as among you also there will be false teachers, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. In covetousness they will exploit you [KJV- make merchandise of you] with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old doesn’t linger, and their destruction will not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ… Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 1:4, 11

“And [Jesus] said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” John 2:16,

Many false prophets twist the scriptures in order to get money from others in order to enrich themselves. Just look for yourself and see who is really getting rich from their doctrine………THEM NOT YOU!

The bible specifically says that “the seed” is the word of God, not money. However, money for the kingdom of God may be included, but is not necessarily, the focus of our giving.

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. “ 1 Peter 1:23

We are called to sow to the Spirit not the flesh, that is the carnal and material world. Those giving money in order to get money are in deception, and may not be true Christians but rather cultists following a false gospel and a false Jesus. If your Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible, then your Jesus is a false Jesus. For it is not the name “Jesus” that saves, but the person with the name that saves. The person behind the name is the real authority.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. “Galatians 6:7–8

What does the bible actually say about giving? It says to give to those who ask of you or begs from you, if it is your power to do so. It also says to help the weak by giving them assistance. This may include money but not necessarily so, depends on the situation.

Scriptures also tell us to give. Those who give to others may get help when they need it from someone. Jesus made it clear that those who were more concerned with spiritual things than the carnal things of life were mature Christians. Those who are always wanting and asking for their own person are babes. In other words, if this life is your focus you are not a spiritual person but rather one who is living for the flesh, and immature.

Another point about giving is that God does not want you to give if you feel compelled to (necessary) nor does he want you to give if your heart is not in it. It is always best to give where you feel joy in giving.

For example, as an evangelist and teacher I don’t like giving to church building. In fact it ticks me off to go to a church that is always building bigger and better facilities. Now that is not to say that God does not call some to give in that area but for me I would be giving begrudgingly. Now, as for giving to minister the gospel- different story. If an organization does not present the gospel with its help to the poor then I will not give. So, as you can see many times our giving is dependent on our calling. It is important to give where you feel the greatest joy, for that is acceptable to the Lord.

“Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you.”Matthew 5: 42
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” Proverbs 3:27

“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10

“In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive. “ Acts 20: 35

“Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you. “Luke 6: 38

Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. Matthew 19: 21

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

What do scriptures actually tell us about getting from the lord? The Bible says that God will supply all our needs not our greed’s. What we may think is best for us may not be God’s will. For example, I have had to rely on the Lord all my walk with him for 30 years for my sustenance, while others had more than me and a steady pay check. However, I was trained by the Holy Spirit how to live by faith in God, so if I have to be in this earth in hard times I am trained how to stretch a dollar and make soup from practically nothing.

Also, I value spiritual things more than material things because the Lord has led me to seek them rather than this worlds goods and while others have prospered financially I prospered in spiritual things. As scriptures tell us where your treasure is there will your heart be also. So now the lord has shown me that I am in a position to give to others spiritual things because my bank account has been filled in the things of God.

“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 19

“He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? “Romans 8: 32

“Happy and fortunate are you who cast your seed upon all waters [when the river overflows its banks; for the seed will sink into the mud and when the waters subside, the plant will spring up; you will find it after many days and reap an abundant harvest], you who safely send forth the ox and the donkey [to range freely]. “ Isaiah 32: 20

“He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes [from their want] will have many a curse.” Proverbs 28: 27

“Consider the ravens: they don’t sow, they don’t reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? If then you aren’t able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:24-34

“Therefore (because of this) I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Matthew 6:25

Those in the ministry need to take their example for living from the scriptures. Paul worked for a living, he was not envious of other’s financial prosperity, he gave rather than accumulating, and he endured persecution and hardship. Paul did not take advantage of others or do anything to bring a reproach on the gospel. He also did not charge for preaching the word of God but rather lived humbly, not is a big mansion driving a big car and wearing fancy suits. He was a witness of God’s provision.

“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:33-35

“To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.” 1 Corinthians 4:11-13,

“If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9:12,

“What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:18,

“Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?” 2 Corinthians 11:7

“For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 10,

“For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17,

“nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.” 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12

My last point may be challenging to some but it is new testament living. Many especially in the west are so ingrained in the humanist philosophy of individualism, (Tomas Paine, David Humes) that they reject what the Bible teaches.

Scriptures tell us that we are to share with others what we have, to have things in common, to be of one mind, to work together in preaching the gospel. What is mind boggling to me is that churches in the west cry for revival but they won’t pay the price for it.

What price? Prayer, evangelism in communities, selling possessions to win people to Christ. These are prerequisites and if you are not willing to do these things as scriptures reveal which brought a harvest of souls in the book of Acts I suggest you stop preaching on revival because you are wasting your time. The reason that souls are being saved in Africa, Pakistan, China, India, is because they have nothing and desire God more than mammon!

“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. Fear came on every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together, and had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

“The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common.” Acts 4:32

New Testament giving is not dependant on a systematic structure as in the Old Testament but rather based on the attitude of the heart. Each as he has purposes in his heart! If the focus in ones heart is the kingdom of God and not selfish motivation than the giving will be a blessing whether in this life or the next!

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VICTORIOUS IN JESUS

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When we have received Jesus Christ as Saviour we will then recieve him as Lord. If Jesus is not Lord of our lives and we are not becoming slaves to his righteousness as the bible teaches, then our salvation is not really a true salvation but rather, a counterfeit. While we are saved by grace through faith without works we must bare fruit of the righteousness of Christ in order to really be his. That is why we are to test the fruit in a person’s life. Unless one is born of the Holy Spirit, who is the hope of glory that dwells in us as new creatures in Christ, one is not saved. Having an intellectual belief in the gospel is not saving faith.

If we continue to live in sin, live like the world, and act like the devil we have never been saved. The Bible teaches salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ apart from the deeds of the law but also THAT WE ARE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS TO PERFORM WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (LIVING ACCORDING TO BIBLICAL STANDARDS ) which are an outward sign of having received biblical salvation through Jesus Christ.

Jesus came to empower us by his Spirit to overcome sin. Through the power of God’s Grace, we are given both the desire and the ability to defeat sin and overcome every temptation. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” the scriptures tell us. We can be victorious in Jesus Christ over sin but we can never be righteous on our own for we all have sinned and we all need a Savior. Thankfully God sent one to us – JESUS the righteous.

God’s grace gives us the ability to be holy and “GO AND SIN NO MORE.” His grace will provide all the help that we need, through his Holy Spirit to overcome any sin of the flesh.Jesus has defeated the works of the devil through the power of God and has destroyed the power of sin to reign over us and as we stay close to him he will defeat every stronghold of sin of our flesh !

We can overcome sin, by standing in the power of God’s grace and being led by His Spirit, in our lives. If we sow to the Spirit we reap eternal life and are saved from our sins. If we sow to the flesh instead, we reap destruction and condemnation. The book of Romans says that “those who are lead by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” If we are being lead by the Spirit of God then we are IN CHRIST and will not because we cannot practice sin habitually because the Holy Spirit that dwells in us will keep us, uphold us and give us victory over the flesh,the world and the devil.

We are saved by grace …..what does being saved actually mean?

SAVED in the Greek is …sōzō to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health,to save from the evil. Jesus came to give us power through his Holy Spirit and his word over Satan and sin and to give us the ability to bring our thought life under the subjection of Jesus Christ so that we will think like Jesus Christ and act like him too.

‘”For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ .”2 Corinthians 10;4,5

A redeemed sinful person will be a repentant person and walk in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh as the scriptures exhort. A redeemed person will not continue in sin thinking grace is abounding to him because he who is dead to sin according to scripture is free from sin and made alive by the Holy Spirit unto God. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”

In other words, the repentant person will stop practicing sin because God lives in him and therefore the desire to sin will not be there.

When the Holy Spirit convicts of sin it is to make change in our lives. This is called sanctification. We are sanctified and made holy and are continuing to be made holy from one degree of God’s glory into another. Line upon line and precept upon precept.

Jesus said “who the son sets free is free indeed’, and when the light is on the sin we need to get praying……..”Lord deliver me, take the cross to the sin, change my heart, conform my mind !”
He will do it ! God has promised and he is faithful to perform what he has promised.

“But now being MADE FREE FROM SIN, and become servants to God, ye have your FRUIT unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6: 22,23.

WORKS ARE A GIFT OF GRACE

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The Gospel of Grace Ministries

The gift of salvation and the gifts of the Spirit are all gifts in the same sense that they are gifts of grace, they are gifts from God that are not deserved, but which are Sovereignly given to men as the Lord wills.

None of us deserve God’s free gift of grace and that is why we can never be prideful of our achievements. Nothing we do is without the Lord’s grace and endowment.

When Peter rebuked Simon for wanting to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit it was because he thought that he could earn God’s gifts of grace with a payment. Many today still do this by offering a work, or ability, in exchange for God’s unmerited gifts.

Acts 8:14-24
“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, BECAUSE THOU HAST THOUGHT THAT THE GIFT OF GOD MAY BE PURCHASED with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” Acts 8:9-24

Jesus Christ is our righteousness according to scriptures: “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. ” 1Corinthians 1:30

We do not and cannot attain a right relationship with God in our own righteousness because our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. We are ALL guilty sinners in the need of God’s perfect righteousness according to the Bible.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jer.17:9

And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”Mark 7:20-23

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. ” Romans 5:5-21

So tell me…..does grace stop after you become a Christian or does it continue throughout your life? According to the Bible we cannot earn salvation and nor we can we keep it by works. We did not deserve it before we were saved and we do not deserve it after we are saved. So those who preach one can loose their salvation are in fact preaching that we must earn our salvation by working to keep it.

If as scriptures tell us , we are all filthy and unclean without Jesus Christ, and become clean only in his righteousness, how can we again turn to beggarly elements for our righteousness? If we are truly saved we will bring forth fruits of righteousness because a good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit, as the Bible tells us because one abiding in Christ has the life of Christ flowing through them and will by God’s power in them grow up in him to the fullness of his stature.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

Jesus Christ’s salvation gift is described in the Bible as being eternal and not based on conditions. We become a new creature when we have received Christ and if any have not the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him and produces evil fruit, even if they claim to be a Christian, they do not belong to Jesus as scriptures attest.

However, while sanctification is instantaneous it is also a process. When we have been steeped in sin God cleans us continually from sin, line upon line and precept upon precept.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us
.”1 John 1: 5-10

As for rewards based on works, this is not interpreted as our own works out side of Jesus Christ but HIS works in us.

What does the bible actually say about the Christian’s works? It says that God has predetermined before the world began which works he desired for each of us to perform in his power, not our own.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained ( predetermined) that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2:10

The works of the Christian are also a gift of grace because they are ordained for us to walk in according to scripture. Every one has their own gifts and callings which they are called by the Lord to do. So how can one work be deemed more deserving than another even in works if the Bible says that we each have our gift according to grace?

The evangelist will receive a soul’s winners crown and the martyr a martyr’s crown because of the gift of grace and not one’s own ability. These gifts are predetermined!

The Bible specifically says that we have been created unto good works, which means that God has prepared these works long before we would come into existence. Therefore God prepared the good works ahead of time, so that we would walk in them automatically.

Do we get credit for doing those good works? No!

The Lord has prepared our good works as gift of his grace. Let us take a look at what the Lord says about rewards in scripture shall we?

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? “Matthew 19:27

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ” Matthew 19:28

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Matthew 19:29

So according to scripture Jesus called the 12 (BEFORE THEY EVER DID ANY WORKS IN THE KINGDOM) and ordained them to eternally rule with him. He also said that he would give the same reward for those who worked all day as those who worked one hour.

This shows us that rewards are not earned but are gifts of God’s sovereign unmerited grace. The rewards of our work for the Lord will be according to God’s will whether we have worked a long time or whether we have worked a short time for the Lord.

That is why in the Gospel of Matthew the Lord Jesus said in the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, where some have worked long and others have worked short, that all receive the same wage for their work. Jesus Christ’s free gift of grace is not our own ability but his endowment. All good works are not worthy compared to the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore, we shall all receive the same inheritance according to the Lord’s sovereign grace.

Who will render to every man according to his deed.” Romans 2:6

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,”Romans 2:7-8

“Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:”Romans 2:9-10

For there is no respect of persons with God.”Romans 2:11

Those in Christ are working by the Holy Spirit’s grace in the kingdom of God but those outside of salvation are and will be judged under the law.

The only good work is the work done by the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ was the only one who was as righteous as God Himself, because He was God. His work is the only one merited as reward.

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”Colossians 3:24

Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked out), but that we receive a full reward.The reward that we receive is a reward entirely of grace.” 2 John 8

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”John 15:4

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans
4:4,5

Christians who are truly born of God will continue in the faith. They will not turn back. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” Titus 2:11-13

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1: 24

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”Revelation 4:10,11

So be of good cheer for He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day we see him face to face! Sola scriptura! https://thegospelofgraceministries.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/salvation-is-eternally-secure/

Discerning of spirits

warGod will fight your battles

Did you know that the gift of the discerning of spirits is not only the supernatural ability to distinguish the demonic realm activity from the heavenly spiritual activity BUT also to be able to distinguish between the darkness in an individual and the light of God in an individual?

This gift also enables the possessor to discern the doctrine and speech of an individual whether it is of God or not, meaning whether one is speaking under Holy Spirit inspiration, demonic or of the carnal nature.

According to the dictionary, discernment is “the activity of determining the value and quality of a certain subject or event, particularly the activity of going past the mere perception of something and making detailed judgments about that thing.”

To perceive: (a synonym of discern)
To become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand. interpret or look on (someone or something) in a particular way; regard as.

All Christians are required to discern. “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”

Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” 1 John 4:1

However, not all have the particular gift of the discerning of spirits just like all can prophecy but not all are prophets. (Another subject)

The discerning of spirits is one of the revelation gifts, that is it is revealed supernaturally by the Holy Spirit, and can operates in many different ways according as the Lord has dispersed an operation (s). Scriptures tell us that there is diversity of operations of the gifts but all come from the Holy Spirit.

This gift of the discerning of spirits may operate by visions, dreams, or inspiration and each of these have certain ways in which they operate. (Another topic)

Let me give you an example of the gift of the discerning of spirits in operation. I was at a business meeting one day and I met a lady who by the Spirit of God it was revealed to me that she was a Christian. I saw in the spirit realm the light of God in her. I knew intuitively that she was a Christian. After some conversation this lady told me that she was a Christian as I was. This confirmed what I had been shown.

Later on that week I met a woman who I vaguely knew but was one who attended church and was known to be a Christian. However, it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit that she was not a Christian as she had not been born again and was only a religious person. I saw in the spirit realm darkness on her and no light and this told me that she needed salvation.

The gift of the discerning of spirits by revelation from God can tell you if someone is saved or not, what their real motivations are, and the attitude in which they are dominated by. Now I realize that many attribute dark behavior as demonic but this is not so. Much of the sinful behavior of people is of the flesh and cannot be blamed on the devil because the sinful nature is also a part of the dark realm.

Since all without Christ belong to the darkness and are children of the devil by nature, then in this regard they are under demonic influence. However, it is my opinion that too much is attributed to devils when it is the carnal nature in operation. So many go to get deliverance when what they need is to die to their flesh. (Another topic)

Here are scriptural references to my topic, Maranatha brethren!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.” 2 Kings 4:9

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; Proverbs:1:2

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” Luke 8:46

For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Acts 8:23

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.” Acts 17:22

And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and [Jesus] named them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder” Mark 3:17

Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’” Luke 9:54 (James and John)

Jesus . . . knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man” John 2:24-25

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds”. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:8-16

In conclusion, the gift of the discerning of spirits is the ability to distinguish what type of spiritual force is in operation, whether a demonic force and what kind, the ability to distinguish what type of anointing or move of the Holy Spirit is in operation, as well as the ability to distinguish the type of heart(spirit)is operating in man, as in the human nature.

Women Teachers

kimtitle902102941

The Gospel of Grace Ministries

What does the Bible say about women teachers?

1 Timothy 2:11-15 scripture is used by some Christians to forbid women to have teaching positions in the church.

On closer examination we see another position entirely.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

This verse seems to be saying that allowing women to teach men would be giving them “authority over a man” but on closer examination we can see something else entirely.

The Greek word authenteo for authority occurs in this verse but no nowhere else in the New Testament. While the word authenteo has been translated by the word “authority” in nearly all English versions of the Bible, it is not the same word as exousia, the word used for “authority” in many other passages in scripture. Let us look at the difference in these words.

authenteo

one who with his own hands kills another or himself one who acts on his own authority, autocratic an absolute master, to govern, exercise dominion over one

exousia

power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases leave or permission,physical and mental power the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) universally authority over mankind, specifically the power of judicial decisions of authority to manage domestic affairs,metonymically a thing subject to authority or rule, jurisdiction one who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate,the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates.a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself,the sign of regal authority, a crown

Now why do you think the word authenteo is used instead of the more common usages of exousia ? According to Gnostic teaching Eve was not deceived because she was the illuminator and all-wise mother goddess and was before man. Timothy corrects this false teaching by saying that only One is all-wise, and that is God Himself. So what Timothy was saying is this “I am not allowing(present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authenteo). Adam was formed first, then Eve.

This mother-goddess heresy and emerging Gnosticism in First and Second Timothy and Titus, makes it clear that Paul was bringing correction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. He was correcting women who were teaching this heresy

If this scripture was meant universally rather than to a specific situation it would have been stated more in the rest of scriptures, and it was not. In actuality women did teach men and held significant places as leaders in the church (Acts 18:26;21:9; Rom. 16:1,3,7).

In the Old Testament, we find women teaching men. 2 kings 22:14; Proverbs 1:8;31:26; and Micah 6:4.

So we can see that women can teach men the scriptures but they are not to be over men in a superior position as the gnostic doctrine elevates women.

Kim Balogh

For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link.

http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/1-timothy-212-in-co…