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Where Christians go after death

9 December 2018

Where Christians go after death

ESCHATOLOGY

Brothers in the Lord, I want you to know that when a Christian dies, he dies in the flesh, but his soul departs from his body and goes to heaven to be with the Lord. There are several verses of the Scripture which teach that that when one dies in the Lord, he departs from the body and enters the heavenly kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Here are these verses.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 – NKJV).

Therefore we believers have an eternal house in the heavens, not built by human hands but by God. All those who die in faith go there on the same day they die, or rather they enter this eternal house a few moments after their death, for the entrance into the heavens takes place a very short time after death. The apostles had a desire to depart from the body and be with the Lord, for Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – NKJV. The IBRV reads ‘partire dal corpo’ that is, “to depart from the body” instead of “to be absent from the body”), and to the Philippians: “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23NIV). We also have the same desire as Paul and his fellow workers had, for we know that to be with the Lord in heaven is far better than to live on earth. Of course, it is a wonderful thing to live with the Lord on earth (for the Lord is always with us), however, it is far better to live with the Lord in His heavenly kingdom.

The apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:13-15 – NIV).

The apostle knew that within a short time he would die and go to be with the Lord in heaven, and compared his death to a departure for he said that he would shortly put off his tent. Now, it is clear that since death is called departure that means that there is something inside the body which departs from the body at death, otherwise what Peter said would not make sense. And we know that this ‘something’ is the soul which is in man. Furthermore, if the soul of man departs from his body there must be a place where the soul goes after death, otherwise it would make no sense to call death ‘departure’, and we know that this place is Paradise, that is, the third heaven, the same place into which Paul was caught up (however he did not know whether he was caught up to heaven in the body or out of the body) and where he “heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:4 – NKJV).

John, in the vision he had while he was on the island called Patmos, saw among other things the souls of those believers who had been slain for the Word of God. He said: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:9-11).

According to the above mentioned words of John, therefore, it is clear that those who die in Christ go to heaven, and they are fully conscious in heaven. In addition to this, what John saw in vision confirms the following words of Jesus: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28NKJV), for the souls which John saw were the souls of those who had been killed for the name of Christ. Therefore, not even death can separate the disciples of Christ from their Lord and Saviour.

In the vision John had while he was on the island called Patmos, he heard a voice from heaven saying to him: “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13 – NIV).

Why are the dead who die in Christ blessed then? Because they rest from their labor. And where do they rest? In heaven, for a short time before John said that he saw in heaven under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, who cried out with a loud voice asking God to avenge their blood, and “it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Revelation 6:11 – NKJV). Note that according to what was said to those souls, they were already resting, however it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer till a certain time. Therefore we proclaim that he who enters heaven “rests from his own work, just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10NIV). Glory be to God for ever. Amen.

However, I want to say something also about those who do not die in Christ. They are not blessed for they do not rest at all since they are in the fire of Hades where there is no rest for them. Could there be any rest in a place of torment, a horrible place, where billions of souls weep and gnash their teeth because of the terrible pains they suffer there? Therefore those who die in their sins are wretched because they go to Hades to be tormented by fire. Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus for saving us from the horrible and dreadful destiny awaiting the lost. Amen.

Paul says to Timothy: “If we die with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11Translated from the IBRV).

What does he mean by that? He means that if we die in faith (or in Christ) we will go to heaven to live with Christ. Then at the resurrection (which will take place at the coming of the Lord from heaven), our body will be transformed and made incorruptible. Our soul will enter our new body (that is, the resurrected body) and with that new body we will continue to live with the Lord.

Paul, a short time before his death, said to Timothy: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18NIV).

This is the confidence Paul had, that at his death the Lord would bring him to His heavenly kingdom. Many centuries before Asaph had said: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (Psalm 73:24 – NIV). As you can see, the words of Paul agree with the words of Asaph.

Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26 – NKJV). Read more…

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The ministry gifts

7 December 2018

The ministry gifts

THECHURCH

Introduction

It is written: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Brothers in the Lord, when you believed in the name of the Son of God you united yourselves with the Lord and you became one spirit with Him, thus you became members of the body of Christ.

We, as believers in the Lord, are one body, we have one hope, that is, the hope of glory to which God called us through Christ Jesus; we have one faith; we have one Spirit, that is, the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’; we have received one baptism, that is, the water baptism ministered to us by immersion in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; we have one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead; and we have one Father, that is, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have nothing to boast about before God, because we have been saved by the grace of God, and not by good works which we have done, “but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7 – NKJV), which means that each one of us has his own gift from God and thus, since we have different gifts, we do not all have the same function in the house of God.

It is written: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-15).

The first thing I want to say about the ministry gifts is that “there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:5 – NKJV), therefore the ministries which God has appointed in His Church are different from one another. However, though their function is different from one another, they are given by the same Lord to those who have been called by God to the ministry. The ministers of God know that they have received from the Lord different gifts and that to each one of them grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. As you can see, the Scripture calls it ‘the measure of Christ’s gift’, this because each ministry gift is given by Christ Jesus, as it is written: “When He ascended on high …. He gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:8 – NKJV. Psalm 68:18). The ministry gifts too are from above, as it is written: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above ….” (James 1:17NKJV). No Bible School can give you a ministry because it is God the one who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure, and because it is God Himself, and not men, who appoints a believer as an apostle, or a prophet, or an evangelist, or a pastor, or a teacher. Listen, brother in the Lord: ‘If you have received from the Lord one of the ministry gifts, the other brothers will surely know that you have received a ministry gift from the Lord, and they will know that God has worked in you for that particular ministry; they may encourage you to go on, and they may give you good advices, which you will do well to follow if they are according to the will of God for you; you may even be taught by another minister of God, but the fact still remains that it is God who works in a man to make him complete so that he may fulfil a certain ministry. The training of a Bible School is not indispensable and I exhort you not to consider it indispensable; those who think that in order to receive a ministry gift from God and to fulfil it they must attend a Bible School are not sound in the faith because they show that for them a ministry gift is not a supernatural gift, nor an ability that Christ gives to his servant but an ability which can be obtained by attending a school as any other human ability, and this is a mistake. So what induces many people to attend a Bible School? It is evident that many of those who attend a Bible School were not called by God to fulfil a particular ministry, however the fact is that they attend it in order to take the diploma of that school. Why do these people consider this piece of paper, which is called diploma, so important and long for it? Because in every self-respecting religious organization, the titles and the acknowledgements given by men to other men (even if those titles and acknowledgments are not according to the truth of the gospel) are important. Therefore, it is evident that if the leaders of a denomination affirm: ‘If you want to become a pastor, you must have the diploma of the Bible School of our denomination’, many will be led (not by the Lord but by their envy and vainglory) to attend that school. Today, in many cases if one has a diploma and a certain number of followers he is considered a pastor. No matter if he is a hireling, who does not care about the sheep, surely he is a pastor because the leaders of the religious organization ordained him a pastor! Some people want to become pastors because to be a pastor means to have a ‘prestigious’ position in the midst of the organization they belong to and of which they are so proud. There is no doubt that many unscrupulous men, who are corrupt of minds, through the Bible School have received the title of pastor (the title, not the ministry because they have never received this ministry) by all unrighteous deception, and they have infiltrated the Church. They have their diploma, they have studied, they have passed their examinations, they have done their training, and thus they are in order, they are behind the pulpit, in that place so much envied for many years; now they are free to show their covetousness because they know that they are unlikely to be expelled from their organization.

Paul said of himself and of his fellow workers, who were ministers of the Gospel: “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” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). As you can see, Paul and his fellow workers had been made able ministers of the New Covenant by God and not by other men, therefore it is wrong to think that a Bible School can enable you to preach or teach the Word of the Lord. We have come to the conclusion, also from experience, that if God does not give the ability to preach and teach to one of His sons, even if he attends a Bible School he will continue to be devoid of that ability.

Now let us examine the way God worked in Paul, so that we may understand that it is God who works in those whom He has chosen to fulfil a ministry or more than one ministry (as in the case of Paul).

Paul of Tarsus, according to the flesh, had lived a Pharisee and had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of his fathers’ law. Now one day it came to pass that while he was going to Damascus to persecute the disciples of the Lord, he had a vision in which Jesus appeared to him and, among other things, He said to him: “I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you” (Acts 26:16 – NKJV). Before Jesus appeared to Paul on that road, Paul persecuted the Church, but through that vision he turned to the Lord. In that vision which Paul had, Jesus said to him: “I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister ….” (Acts 26:26), this means that Paul was made a minister of the Gospel by the Lord and not by men. Several years later Paul confirmed that he had received the ministry from the Lord when he said to the elders of the Church of Ephesus: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 – NKJV). After the Lord appeared and spoke to Paul, the men who journeyed with him led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus where, after three days – during which he was without sight and did not eat or drink – God sent to him a certain disciple named Ananias so that Paul might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. “Then Saul [Paul] spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:19-20 – NKJV). At that time Saul had not yet known the apostles of the Lord, yet he preached with boldness in the synagogues at Damascus; God had begun His work in Paul. At this point I need to say two things. The first thing is this: when God revealed His Son in Paul, Paul did not consult any man and did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before him, for he wrote to the Galatians: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus” (Galatians 1:15-17). The second thing is this: Paul was not taught the Gospel which he preached, for he said to the Galatians: “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12 – NKJV). All this may seem strange and incomprehensible, yet it is true, and it shows that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Pay attention to this, the fact that Paul did not receive the Gospel from any man does not mean that teachers are useless in the Church or that all those who have been called by God to preach the Gospel have received the Gospel by revelation from Jesus Christ; I tell you this so that no one may deceive you.

Paul went up to Jerusalem only after three years to see Peter and remained with him fifteen days, but He saw “none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19 – NKJV). Also at Jerusalem Paul “spoke boldly in the name of the Lord” (Acts 9:29 – NKJV), and since the Hellenists attempted to kill him, “when the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus(Acts 9:30NKJV). Read more…

Now we are a royal priesthood

5 December 2018

Now we are a royal priesthood

THENEWLIFEINCHRIST

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His mercy through Christ made us priests. Yes, now we are priests by the grace of God, as it is written: “But ye are …. a royal priesthood ….” (1 Peter 2:9) and again: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

The spiritual sacrifices that we who are priests of God must offer to God were foreshadowed under the Old Testament by the sacrifices that the Levitical priests had to offer according to the law of Moses. For, according to the law, the levitical priests were appointed by God to burn sweet incense on the altar of incense which was in the tabernacle, and to offer sacrifices of peace offerings and burnt offerings upon the altar of burnt offering which was before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. As for the burnt offerings, the priests had to offer with the burnt offerings a grain offering which was made of fine flour mixed with oil, and also a drink offering which was made of a certain quantity of wine (Numbers 15:1-16).

Now, let me explain to you what the spiritual sacrifices we have to offer up are.

Let us offer our life to God

Paul wrote to the saints in Philippi: “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Philippians 2:17 – NKJV). Paul was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians and told the saints that if he had to die for the Gospel’s sake he would be glad. He preached the Gospel to the Gentiles and he endured many sufferings and many hardships for the sake of the elect from among the Gentiles, for he said to the Colossians: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you ….” (Colossians 1:24 – NKJV), and to the Ephesians: “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you ….” (Ephesians 3:13), and he was ready to die for the name of Jesus. He had put himself upon the altar to offer himself for the elect, and he compared his death to the pouring out of the drink offering on a sacrifice. Paul was ready and willing to offer himself as a drink offering on the sacrifice of the faith of the Philippians; notice these words written by Paul to the Philippians “on the sacrifice … of your faith”. He called the faith of the saints at Philippisacrifice’ for their faith worked through love and faith working through love is a sacrifice acceptable to God, who takes pleasure in those who offer it.

Let us consider Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the sacrifice He offered to God for all of us. Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus that Christ has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2 – NKJV). Jesus gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. He humbled Himself so that we might be exalted, He set an example for us showing us what it means to offer one’s body as a sacrifice acceptable to God. God was well pleased with His Son, for after Jesus was baptized He spoke from heaven saying: “You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22 – NKJV) and Jesus Himself explained the reason why the Father loved Him: “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again” (John 10:17 – NKJV). Jesus was loved by the Father because He laid down His life for all of us, and God smelt a sweet-smelling aroma when His Son offered Himself for us; likewise, God will smell a sweet-smelling aroma if we give our life for the brethren because we will offer our body as a sacrifice to God, just as Jesus offered His body for us. Is it not written: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16)? Therefore let us lay down our life for the brethren, let us do what Epaphroditus and Priscilla and Aquila, who were fellow workers of Paul, did. Listen to what Paul said about Epaphroditus to the Philippians. “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me” (Philippians 2:30), and now listen to what he said about Aquila and Priscilla to the Romans: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:3-4).

As you know, it is much easier for men to sacrifice themselves for their own interests than to sacrifice themselves for the sake of other people, but you know also that we, as followers of Christ, must not live for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose again for us, so that His name may be glorified through the sacrifice of our life offered to God for the elect.

Good works are sacrifices well pleasing to God

It is written: “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16NKJV). Those who do good to their neighbour and share their material things with him offer a sacrifice with which God is well pleased and this is confirmed by the following words that Paul wrote to the Philippians, who had sent him an offering: “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18 – NKJV).

With regard to this I want to tell you that every offering (or donation) – whether it is a money offering or not – we make to the saints, in order to be well pleasing to God, must not be stained with fraud for the law says: “Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, …… into the house of the LORD thy God ….” (Deuteronomy 23:18), which means that the wages of a prostitute offered into the temple was an abomination to God, as Solomon said: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 15:8). Just as under the Old Testament, the sacrifices that had to be offered on the altar to God had to be without defects in order to be well pleasing to God, as the law says: “But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein” (Leviticus 22:20-21), so a donation must be the fruit of an honest job in order to be a sacrifice well pleasing to God.

A broken spirit is a sacrifice well pleasing to God

David, after he committed adultery with Bath-Sheba and had Uriah the Hittite (who was the husband of Bath-Sheba) killed, confessed his sins to God saying: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Psalm 51:4) and again: “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2). Read more…

Justification

3 December 2018

Justification

REDEMPTION

It is obtained by faith alone

We were once enemies of God in our mind by wicked works, because we all walked according to the lusts of the flesh; but when God manifested His love toward us, He justified us, that is to say, He made us righteous in His sight, by blotting out all our sins. And through justification we were reconciled to God and became His friends, as it is written: “His friendship is for the upright” (Proverbs 3:32Translated from the IBRV. The NIV reads: “He takes the upright into his confidence”). We have received this justification by faith, and therefore by grace and not by works. The following Scriptures confirm this very clearly.

Paul says to the Romans: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1), and: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24), and again: “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” (Romans 5:8-9). The words ‘justified by his blood” mean that we are justified through faith in the blood of Christ, as it is written: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25NIV). Again to the Romans, Paul says: “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” (Romans 5:17). Please note the words “the gift of righteousness” because they show that the righteousness of God (that is, justification), being a gift of God, is obtained freely from God. It can be received only by faith in the Son of God; every personal merit, therefore, is excluded. Another passage of the epistle to the Romans which confirms that a man must believe in Christ in order to be justified is the following one which says: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4).

Paul says to the Galatians: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of [in] Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of [in] Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16), and: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24), and again: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8 – and this is exactly what happened, because we were blessed by God through our faith in Christ, who is the Seed of Abraham). And again to the Galatians Paul says: “For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:21-22 – NIV). And what was promised? The righteousness of God (that is, justification). To whom is the righteousness of God given? To those who do good works or to those who believe? To those who believe because the righteousness of God was promised to those who would believe in Jesus.

● “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk. 2:4 – NKJV); through these words, which were spoken by God to the prophet Habakkuk, God foretold that He will justify men by faith, as Paul says that God “will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Romans 3:30 – NKJV).

It cannot be obtained by good works

These other passages of the Scriptures, instead, state that those who rely on the works of the law cannot be justified and will not be justified in the sight of God.

● “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16)

● “A man is not justified by the works of the law (Galatians 2:16)

● “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:10-11).

● “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).

To show you that a man is not justified by works but by faith alone, I remind you of the example of Abraham, our father. Now, according to the Scripture, Abraham was justified by God through his faith in the promise God made to him (Genesis 15:6), and he was justified after he had come out of Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 12:4) and after he had given a tithe of everything to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God (Genesis 14:20). Therefore we say the following things:

Abraham was not justified by God because or when he obeyed God’s order: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Of course, in the epistle to the Hebrews it is written that “by faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8); however, the truth is that this act of obedience was not accounted to him for righteousness.

Abraham was not justified because or when he gave a tithe of everything to Melchizedek. Of course, he did a good thing that was appreciated by God (that tithe was received in heaven by He of whom it is witnessed that He lives), yet Abraham was not justified by God through that good work.

Abraham was justified by God because or when he believed the promise of God (according to which Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the heaven), as it is written: “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6); that’s why Abraham also did not have anything to boast about before God. Read more…

We are being transformed into His likeness

2 December 2018

We are being transformed into His likeness

THENEWLIFEINCHRIST

We were predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son of God

The Lord is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17NKJV) and He has begun a work in us and He will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ (this work of God consists in transforming us into Christ’s image). Why did He begin this work in us? Because God predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son, and thus God through His Spirit is transforming us and renewing us so that we may become like Jesus Christ. Listen to what Paul says to the Corinthians: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 – NKJV). Beloved, the Spirit we have received is a spirit of power, who works powerfully in us according to the will of God, and that Spirit transforms us daily so that we may be conformed to the image of Christ ….. of course, His spiritual image. Paul says also that Christ is not weak toward us, but mighty in us (2 Corinthians 13:3), for the Lord, who is the Spirit, is mighty in us and His purpose is to produce in us a Christ-like character.

The outward and the inward man

Now, we have an outward man and an inward man; the outward man is made of flesh and bones and is perishing, while the inward man is spiritual and “is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 – NKJV), as the apostle Paul says. Our inward man has been made new, while the outward man has remained the same, for when we were born again our bodily image did not change in that our stature, our weight and our somatic types remained unchanged; but what changed radically was our spiritual character, for after we were born again our old friends (those who knew us very well) told us that we had become unrecognizable. They said to us: ‘You are no longer the same!’, ‘I no longer recognize you!’, ‘You are another person!’. As far as our body is concerned, they did not notice any change, but in regard to our speech and our conduct, they saw such a renewal in us that they were amazed. Listen to what the Scripture says of Saul of Tarsus (after He turned to the Lord): “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?” (Acts 9:20-21). The Jews who were in Damascus knew that Saul of Tarsus had come to Damascus in order to bring the disciples of the Lord Jesus bound to Jerusalem, that’s why they were amazed at hearing him preach that Jesus was the Son of God. The outward appearance of Saul had not changed, but his conduct had changed radically; he had come to Damascus to destroy the Church which was in Damascus, but after his conversion he began to edify it; before his conversion He blasphemed the good name that the saints called on, but after his conversion he began to preach it in the synagogues of the Jews; he had departed from Jerusalem to bring the saints who were in Damascus bound to Jerusalem, but after his conversion he stayed with them for several days, as it is written: “Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus” (Acts 9:19 – NKJV). Afterwards, Saul went to Jerusalem and “tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple” (Acts 9:26NKJV). Saul had become a disciple of the Lord, yet the disciples who dwelt in Jerusalem, when they saw that he was trying to join them, at first they did not believe that he had become a disciple. But Saul had been really renewed and did not try to join with them by intrigue, and after a short time the disciples recognized that Paul had become a disciple of the Lord. That happened when Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles declaring to them how Saul had seen the Lord and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus (Acts 9:27).

Concerning the renewal

Concerning the renewal worked in us by the Spirit of the Lord, we can compare it to the renewal that the owner of a house does in his own house, making it new inside and taking away the old furnishings and putting in it new furnishings, leaving unchanged the outside of the house. Therefore, just as some people buy a house and although they leave unchanged the outside of it they renew the interior of it as they like because they want to go to live in it, so the Lord bought us at a price, left unchanged our outward man but He renewed us inwardly in order to dwell in us. Christ purged our hearts from an evil conscience and has come to us and made His home with us through the Spirit. Jesus said that “new wine must be put into new wineskins” (Luke 5:38NKJV) and God, before Jesus came, had made the following promise through the prophet Ezekiel: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:25-26), and that’s exactly what God has done, for He has given us a new heart and has put a new spirit within it, that is, the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’. So now we are the house of God, and let it be known to you that the Owner of the house is not inactive for He is still working in us through the Spirit He sent forth into our hearts. Therefore, let me tell you what the Spirit wants to do within us.

The Spirit wants to bring us “to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13NKJV). That is to say, He wants us to grow up in all things and thus to become mature spiritually; and in order to accomplish His will in us He uses the ministries appointed by God in His Church. For you must keep in mind that when a man experiences the new birth, he is a new born baby; he is of course a child of God, but he possesses little spiritual intelligence and little knowledge about many things concerning the kingdom of God, so God uses His ministers to make him grow, as it is written: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

The birth and growth of a child

When a woman gives birth to a child, there is much joy within the family; every member of the family is happy, both the father and the mother are happy, as well as their children, yet the new born baby is not left alone because his parents begin to take care of him, feeding him and doing many other things which are necessary. So the new born baby begins to grow. Both his stature and his weight increase, and with the passing of time he looks more and more like his father who begot him; of course, when the child is born he looks like his father because he has some somatic types he inherited from his father (It is written that “Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image” Genesis 5:3, so this is confirmed by the Scripture), they can be seen, however they are accentuated with the passing of time. For instance, when I was born I looked like my father, but the likeness between me and my father was accentuated with the passing of time. As I said before, he who is begotten inherits the somatic types from the father who begot him, for this is what happens in the natural realm. However, this is what happens also in the spiritual realm, for those who were begotten of God inherited the ‘spiritual hereditary types’ from God. For instance, when we were born again (that is to say, when we were regenerated through the Gospel), those who at the time were already members of the household of God noticed at once a resemblance between us and the Son of God (the firstborn among many brethren), but this resemblance was accentuated with the passing of time and it is still being accentuated because the Lord, who is the Spirit, works in us transforming us into His likeness.

Babes and adults

God wants those who are new born babes in Christ to become in understanding adults, as it is written: “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (1 Corinthians 14:20). However, this process takes some time because the growth of a child takes place gradually and even though the child does not understand certain things he still is a member of the family and the father is patient and merciful toward him. Now, as you know, in the natural realm there is a great difference between a child and a man, for Paul says: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Likewise, in the spiritual realm there is a great difference between a child in Christ and a man in Christ. Of course, both of them are sons of God, but the former is a child, who is not mature in understanding and consequently he thinks and behaves as a child, while the latter is mature in understanding and thus his way of thinking and behaving is different. A man in Christ has ceased to think and to behave like a child in Christ. For instance, after I was born again I was zealous for the things of God but sometimes my zeal was without knowledge and so I made some mistakes, even though I wanted to grow spiritually. But with the passing of time my knowledge increased and so one day, thanks be to God, I ceased to say certain things, to think certain things, and to do certain things. I realized I had done those mistakes because of my lack of knowledge, because I was a babe in Christ.

But how does God help babes in Christ to grow? As I said before, He helps them to grow through the ministries He has appointed in the Church, as it is written: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16). Therefore, from Christ, who is the Head of the Church, through the ministers of God, those who are children take their nourishment to grow and to become perfect men. Read more…

Salvation from sin

1 December 2018

Salvation from sin

REDEMPTION

It is obtained by faith

The Holy Scripture states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), thus all are slaves of the sins they commit, as it is written: “Whosoever committeh sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). However, the Scripture affirms also that a sinner can be set free from the bondage of sin. How? Through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why is it necessary for him, after he has repented of his sins, to believe in Jesus Christ? Because Jesus Christ is the One who was sent by God to save men from their sins. For the angel who appeared to Joseph, before Mary gave birth to Jesus, said to him: “He shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and Jesus Himself said that He came to save the world: “For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).

But what did Jesus do in order to save the world? He offered His flesh and His blood. Let me explain to you this fundamental concept. Sin entered the world through one man, called Adam, and it passed upon all men, thus all have sinned (Romans 5:12). But what gives strength to sin? The law, because, as Paul says, “the strength of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56). Paul explains this concept when he says: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me” (Romans 7:11 – NKJV). In other words, sin brings death into man by the law. Of course, the law is good and holy, yet sin uses the law to work death in man. As a killer uses a piece of wood (which was created by God) in order to kill another man, but it is not the piece of wood (which was created by God and which is good in itself) that kills that man, but the killer uses that piece of wood to accomplish his evil plan, so sin uses the law, given by God to Israel and thus is a good law, in order to kill people spiritually. Therefore it was necessary that sin should be destroyed, that is to say, that sin should be deprived of its power over man. And this is what Jesus did by His sacrifice, He put away sin (Hebrews 9:26): He was able to do this for He bore our sins, dying on the cross for us (Isaiah 53:6,11,12). That’s why whoever believes in Him is set free from sin, for Jesus Christ on the cross crucified the old man of those who believe (Romans 6:6-7). Therefore, every believer died with Christ unto sin, and thus the law no longer has dominion over him, for the law has dominion over a man only as long as he lives; after his death the law cannot have any dominion over him. And every believer has become dead to the law through the body of Christ, he has become dead to what he was held by, that he might belong to Him who was raised from the dead (Romans 7:1-6).

As I have already said, the deliverance from the bondage of sin is received through faith in Christ, therefore not by good works, whether they are done before or after a man’s conversion, nor by water baptism which follows faith, but only through faith. That’s why salvation is by grace, because in order to obtain it a man needs only to believe in the One who sets man free from sin, that is, Jesus. And since salvation is received by the grace of God and not by our merits, anyone who has received it has nothing to boast about before God. He can glory in the Lord, that is, he can take pride in having received this great salvation from the hand of God solely by His great mercy. However, many people have set aside the grace of God by saying that salvation depends on the merits of man, on his sufferings and many other things (among these people are the Roman Catholics, the so called Jehovah Witnesses, and the Mormons). Therefore, in this Bible study, I want to reaffirm with all boldness and strength that salvation can be obtained by a man only through faith. Here are some passages of the Scriptures which attest in an unequivocal way that we are saved only through faith.

When the keeper of the prison in Philippi asked Paul and Silas: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30), they answered him: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Notice how the apostles answered that frightened prison keeper: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” immediately and with one accord, because this shows that the message of salvation they preached to men was based on the faith in Christ and not on men’s merits. The apostles could answer that question at once and correctly (for they told him that he had to believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved) because they had shod their feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). That was the Good News that men heard from the mouth of the apostles and that is the Good News that men ought to hear today from us.

Paul said to the Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

This passage means that it is the message of the Good News that delivers all those who believe in it from sins. And we are witness of the salvation worked by the Gospel in those who were once slaves of all kinds of sins: men who were formerly fornicators, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, covetous men, sorcerers, liars, have been set free from the sin which they served through faith in the Gospel.

Paul says to the Ephesians: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We who have believed in the Gospel of our salvation have been set free from our sins through faith in the Gospel. We can’t say that we have been saved from our sins because we gave alms, we visited the sick, the widows and the orphans, or because we gave food, drink and some clothes to those who needed these things, because we all have obtained this great salvation not through good works, but through faith alone; I say it again, ‘through faith alone’; faith in what? Faith in the Gospel of the grace of God. If a man could be saved through his good works, Christ would have died in vain, and therefore it would be useless to preach the Gospel to all those who think that they can be saved by doing good to themselves and to their neighbour. But besides this, it must be said that if a man could be saved through some good works he would have something to boast about before God because he could say that he deserved to be saved. In other words, he could say that salvation was the fruit of his labors and he would never say that salvation is the fruit of the labor of Jesus Christ’s soul. He could say that he suffered many things in order to be saved, and he wouldn’t say that it was Jesus Christ, the Righteous, who suffered for us who were unjust in order to set us free from the bondage of sin. However, as Paul said to the Romans “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27), because we know that a man is saved through his faith in Jesus Christ. This is the reason why we have nothing to boast about, because we have been saved by the law of faith and thus by grace. Yes, by the grace of God, because it is through faith alone that we have been saved.

Paul says to the Thessalonians: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

The apostles gave thanks to God because God was pleased to save the believers of Thessalonica according to His eternal purpose. But how did God save them? Did He save them through good works? No, but He saved them through the sanctification of the Spirit and faith in the truth. Once again the Scripture confirms that salvation is obtained through faith in the truth and not by good works. Where are the merits of man then? They are excluded by the law of faith.

Paul says to the Corinthians: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved ….” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 – NKJV), then he tells them the Gospel which he preached to them, and afterward he says to them: “So we preach, and so you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:11 – NKJV).

From these words of Paul we learn that the Corinthians were saved through their faith in the Gospel and not by good works they had done. Some of them had been adulterers, fornicators, idolaters, effeminate men, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, extortioners, drunkards and revilers (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), but they were saved from their sins through their faith in the Gospel, apart from the deeds of the law. This is the reason why the message of Christ is called the Gospel of peace, because in order to have peace with God, that is to say, in order to be reconciled to God, sinners don’t have to do meritorious deeds, but they must believe on the name of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, how could the message of Christ be called Good News if the Bible stated that in order to be saved a man has to do good works? Wouldn’t such a statement contradict the essence of the Gospel? Of course, it would contradict it; for it would mean that Jesus came to save us freely, demanding only repentance and faith in Him from us, but we must work with Him (that is to say, we must do good deeds) in order to be saved from our sins! What a contradiction!!

Paul says in the epistle to Titus: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:3-5).

From these words of Paul we learn two things: the first is that we have been saved and therefore we can say that we are saved, without running the risk of being presumptuous; the second thing is that we have obtained this salvation not by good works we have done but by the mercy of God, who has begotten us again to a new life through the Word of God planted in us (the washing of regeneration) and through the renewing which the Holy Spirit has worked in us.

Paul says to Timothy that God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

Once again Paul says that God has saved us by grace and not because we have done some good works; but He says also that God gave us His grace before the world began, that is, before the foundation of the world. If this passage is not sufficient to make you understand that our salvation did not depend on some good works we have done, but on the mercy of God who was pleased to save us who did not deserve to receive anything from Him, I quote the following words which Paul wrote about Esau and Jacob to the Romans: “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her [Rebecca], The elder shall serve the younger” (Romans 9:11-12) and also these other words of Paul: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16). These words destroy all those arguments which induce people to rely on good works in order to be saved.

The apostle Peter said in the presence of the other apostles and the elders in Jerusalem: “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they [the Gentiles] are” (Acts 15:11 – NIV).

Now, Peter said that they who were Jews by birth were saved by grace just as the Gentiles were, even though the Jews were circumcised in the flesh and they had the law of Moses containing the commandments of God. But why didn’t Peter say that they who were Jews had been saved by the deeds of the law, while the Gentiles, who had not the law, had been saved by grace? Because they (who were Jews by birth) also had to believe in order to be saved (therefore they had not obtained God’s salvation through the law). The words of Peter make it clear that in order to be saved a man must believe, because God’s salvation is given both to the Jews and the Gentiles freely. We conclude, therefore, that God will save the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Other passages of the Scriptures which confirm that we are saved by faith alone and not by good deeds

Paul says to the Romans: “But what saith it [the righteousness which is of faith]? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:8-13)

As you can see, in order to be saved a man doesn’t have to do good works but he has to confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead. Isn’t simple and clear the way of salvation which is written in the Scripture? Of course, it is.

Brothers, I exhort you to hold on to the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not to forsake it, otherwise you will set aside the sacrifice of Christ, you will declare that Christ died in vain and so you will fall from grace. Talk with one another about it so that you might be strengthened, and proclaim it to the sinners so that they also might repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, that’s why in order to believe in Christ for their salvation sinners need to hear of Christ, of his atoning sacrifice. Let the cross, the cross of Christ, be preached with all boldness because the message of the cross is able to save man from sin. There is no other message that can save man, and you know it very well because it was through the message of the cross that you were saved by the grace of God.

Now we are slaves of righteousness

As we have just seen, the Scripture clearly states that we have not been saved by works of righteousness which we have done, but we have been saved through faith in Christ and thus by the grace of God. However, the Scripture states also that, having been set free from sin, we became slaves of righteousness and therefore we must do good works. This part of the counsel of God was proclaimed by Jesus Christ, who said to His disciples that He had chosen them so that they should do good works. Here are His words: “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” (John 15:16). Afterwards, Paul confirmed it by saying to the Ephesians that we “are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10), and to Titus that Jesus Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

But why should we be zealous for good works? Because Jesus said: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8), and: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16); these words of Jesus mean that by doing good works we cause the name of God to be glorified. So let us do good works, so that the name of our God may be glorified. Furthermore, you must bear in mind that by doing good works we lay up treasure for ourselves in heaven, which is the reward that on that day the Lord will give to us (and this is a stimulus to do good works). For when Jesus told the young ruler to sell what he had and give to the poor He said to him: “And you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21 – NKJV), and Paul told Timothy to command those who are rich in this present age “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Timothy 6:18-19 – NIV).

I conclude by saying this: we believers know that by our faith we have been saved from sin and from this evil age, however we know also that now we are slaves of righteousness, thus we must offer the parts of our body in slavery to righteousness by doing all kinds of good works. But whereas when we were slaves of sin we did not reap any benefit from our evil works which we are now ashamed of, now that we are slaves of righteousness the good works we do for the sake of the Lord and the elect make our call and election sure and they enable us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, a good treasure for the time to come, and we will never regret doing them and we will never be ashamed of them. Therefore, the works of righteousness are useful, very useful; let no one despise them. Let those who despise the good works know that the Scripture states that “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26); such a faith is of no value before God, as it is written: “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” (James 2:20NIV). Therefore, I say to these people: ‘Do not deceive yourselves!; know that those branches which don’t abide in Christ are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6)!’. Read more…

Conclusion of section “demonology”

30 November 2018

Conclusion of section “demonology”

demonology

We are not afraid of Satan and the demons because we believe in Him who is greater than Satan and all his evil spirits (1 John 4:4); we believe in Him who has disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15); we believe in Him who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10), we believe in Him who rose from the dead and went into heaven at the right hand of God, and to whom angels and authorities and powers have been made subject (1 Peter 3:22). His name is JESUS CHRIST, glory to His name now and forevermore. Amen.

We are not afraid of Satan and the demons because we have overcome the devil (1 John 2:14) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). God always leads us in triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14). He has given us authority to overcome all the power of the devil and nothing will by any means hurt us (Luke 10:19). He has provided us with the spiritual weapons by which we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-20). He has made a hedge around us as He made around Job (Job 1:10). He preserves us from all evil (Psalm 121:7), and He delivers us from the evil one. Glory to God forever and ever. Amen.

Bear in mind, however, that the fact that we have overcome the devil does not entitle us to make fun of him or to call him names, for he is a prince and we must treat him with respect. Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ did not ridicule Satan, nor did He call him names, and that Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ (Jude 9). According to Peter and Jude, false teachers speak evil of Satan and his ministers (2 Peter 2:10; Jude 8), so beware of them lest you be led away with their error. Read more…

No Temas Sino Habla

Entonces él Señor dijo de noche en visión á Pablo: No temas, sino habla, y no calles: Porque yo estoy contigo, y ninguno te podrá hacer mal (Hechos 18:9-10)

Blog di Aldo Prendi

Per la diffusione e la difesa delle dottrine bibliche

Acordai-vos

Tocai a trombeta em Sião, e dai o alarma no meu santo monte.

Egli è altresì scritto...

Blog di Nicola Iannazzo

Destatevi

"Suonate la tromba in Sion e date l'allarme sul mio santo monte" (Gioele 2:1)

Il Buon Deposito

Dottrine della Bibbia

La Massoneria Smascherata

"non v'è niente di nascosto che non abbia ad essere scoperto" (Matteo 10:26)

Listen to the sound of the sword

«Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it» (Jeremiah 6:16)

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