Being in the church body doesn’t mean ministry must be confined to 4 walls

feeding the poorGod does some of his best work outside the four walls of the church building. There are many who are caught up in the thinking that if God has called them to do something, they have to fulfill it within the confines of a particular congregation or denomination. That may be true in some cases, but in many situations it isn’t.

However, one of the main hurdles that any believer may face is lack of recognition. They may have doubts about what God can accomplish through them, so they lack recognition of their own calling. Or others in places of power in the church may fail to recognize their calling. Paul warned us against both mentalities in 1 Corinthians 12–

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

If you are in Christ’s body, you are called to serve some function. All too often believers sit back and do nothing because of the first scenario in this scripture. Those who acknowledge that their calling is genuinely from God, and that they aren’t doing it to exalt themselves to get vain praise from men, are sometimes told by their congregation/denomination that “we have no need of thee” to carry out what God places on their heart, such as under the second scenario Paul talks about. Some who are told this sit back and do nothing as a result, while others fulfill the calling outside the church building. They tend to be labeled “parachurch” organizations.

Personally, I hate that label since the church is any body of believers and Jesus said “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20. He didn’t specify that they had to be gathered in a particular place for him to be in the midst. “Parachurch” organizations, if they are truly gathered to glorify the Lord, are actually churches and I thank God for them. They minister to college students, reach out to victims of domestic abuse, minister to those who have been trafficked, help the homeless, fatherless, and widows, etc. simply because some organized church somewhere was too fearful or unloving to fulfill what concerned the Lord.

And it’s okay to stand by yourself to fulfill God’s call if necessary. Paul started his ministry alone (Galatians 1:15-20) and that’s how God wanted it. I myself faced similar situations under the second scenario Paul mentions. Churches I attended were afraid to touch some of the tough subjects I discuss here on my blog, but I knew God wanted me to lovingly tackle them so others would be helped. That’s one reason I started this blog and I thank God for making it possible via the technology we have in our time. Neither Jesus Christ nor his ministry were confined to four walls. The way I see it, we shouldn’t be either.

Harry A. Gaylord

Scientists: Earth’s water older than Sun. Big Bang theory bites the dust

Over 2 years ago, I did this post on several things the Big Bang theory contradicts the Bible on. And the very first point I made was that the Big Bang claims the Sun came before the Earth while the Bible says the Sun wasn’t created until the fourth day. Now a team of scientists have discovered the Bible’s account is true. The Earth’s water is older than the Sun, according to their report in the September 26th issue of Science. 

Here’s an excerpt from an article on the report:

Water is found throughout our Solar System. Not just on Earth, but on icy comets and moons, and in the shadowed basins of Mercury. Water has been found included in mineral samples from meteorites, the Moon, and Mars.

‘Our findings show that a significant fraction of our Solar System’s water, the most-fundamental ingredient to fostering life, is older than the Sun, which indicates that abundant, organic-rich interstellar ices should probably be found in all young planetary systems.’

The fact that “[w]ater is found throughout our Solar System” is stated several times in the Bible starting in Genesis 1. The conclusion of their study that the Earth’s water is older than the Sun may be the only correct conclusion they came to. They hypothesize Earth’s water came from interstellar ices. The Bible says the “heaven and the earth” were formed simultaneously on the first day and soon afterwards on the same day God divided the waters under the firmament (Earth’s atmosphere) from the waters above the firmament. The waters above the firmament (in outer space) account for their interstellar ices and were made by God simultaneously with Earth’s water. But that is something they may discover later as they stumble about trying to avoid the Bible’s truths.

For another error-filled aspect of Big Bang theorists read Brian Thomas’s article “Big Bang Fizzles under Lithium Test” published at the Institute for Creation Research website.

Source:

Earth’s water is older than the sun: Likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space, ScienceDaily.com, September 25, 2014.

Harry A. Gaylord

The defiled and dishonorable will be dismissed from God’s presence

Heaven is a gated community, in case you didn’t know. There are 12 gates for entering but only those who have come by the way, the truth, and the life will be admitted. It doesn’t mean those who are admitted are inherently superior to others, it just means they at one point recognized their iniquity (sin) and turned in repentance to the Lord Jesus, realizing he was the only one who could help them. Regarding heaven, it’s not only about what you know, but who you know. Yes, it helps to have a friend in high places, especially when that place is heaven and that friend is Jesus.

water wallGod established his kingdom as a place of glory and honor (Ps. 15:1, Rev. 21:26-27). To preserve that environment, anything that offends can’t be let in (Matthew 14:41-43). Those with iniquity cannot gain entry. Since God is just, he has warned us about offenses that will keep people out unless they repent.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7

To get a clear understanding of adulteries (sex with someone other than one’s spouse in marriage) and fornications (sex outside of marriage), one must know what marriage is. Jesus said from the beginning God made male and female for holy matrimony to be “no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” Matthew 19:1-6. That includes any attempts by man to re-define marriage. Thefts can be anything from a simple act of stealing to blackmail and extortion. Lasciviousness is synonymous with hedonism.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6

The effeminate are male prostitutes and men who act like women in sexual intercourse. Abusers of themselves with mankind are men (feminine or not) who have sex with other men. A reviler is a person who speaks maliciously or unjustly about others, including slander, cursing, and defamation. But notice these become past tense when they submit to Jesus and receive the Spirit of God.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5

Variance is the act of sowing discord among brethren. Emulations are acts done to zealously, jealously stir up contentious rivalries. Sedition is the unjustifiable opposition or undermining of just authority. Revellings are synonymous with revelry–raucous, wild, overindulgent partying.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ephesians 5

A whoremonger is a man who plays the whore, i.e. sleeps around with men, but can also include sleeping around with women.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Lie not one to another… Colossians 3

Inordinate affection is perverted passions or the fomenting of feelings for ungodly practices (e.g. vampirism). Evil concupiscence is the evil desire for forbidden lusts (concupiscence=con (with) + Cupid’s + sense) and can cover anything from bestiality to pedophilia, dealing with hedonistic, willy-nilly, unbridled lust.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Revelation 21:27, 22:15

If Christ’s blood can clean up all this junk, it has to be some really powerful stuff. Just think how peaceful heaven is without all of this.

Harry A. Gaylord

 

 

 

Illegal aliens in NC commit sexual assaults, other crimes at alarming rates

An InfoWars report has uncovered a serious problem going on in the state of North Carolina that isn’t being reported in the Obama-friendly national nightly news outlets. A large number of illegal aliens who are flocking to that state for “refuge” are criminals whose whereabouts aren’t being tracked. One concerned citizen who happened to be away from work and in physical therapy due to an injury started documenting what he was seeing and hearing in his community and was astounded at what he discovered.

The NSA may be bending over backwards to keep law-abiding Americans under surveillance, but a concerted effort is being made to avoid tracking dangerous illegal immigrants who don’t garner attention until they sexually assault women and children or carry out other serious crimes. If this is going on in NC, where else in America is this happening? The video below explains and if you have any sense of justice, it will make you angry.

Harry A. Gaylord

Called to be nonconformists for God

“That’s how I was raised.” “The streets is all I know.” “I was abused as a child.” “My father wasn’t in the home.” “My parents did drugs.” “Gangs run my neighborhood.”

shadrach meshach abednegoHow many times have we heard these and similar statements as excuses for bad behavior? Are these excuses acceptable? Are we all just doomed to be products of our bad environment here on this evil earth? Is it unrealistic for us to resist the peer pressure and groupthink around us? Many in society would have us think so, but God in his word tells us differently.

Granted, there are times when God expects his people to reach out to others and be a positive, godly influence in the lives of those who are lost. However, he also informs us that ultimately everyone is responsible for their own personal decisions no matter what environment they come from even if they have the worst parents in the world, grew up in the worst neighborhood in the world, or somehow find themselves in the worst church in the world.

The road to hell is not only paved with good intentions, it’s also paved with bad peer pressure and groupthink. God pointed out personal responsibility in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed God and Eve, then Eve blamed the serpent. The Lord stated to each one their own sin, then punished each of them accordingly.

When God established Mosaic law, he included this personal responsibility clause: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” Deuteronomy 24:16.

But as the years progressed, Israel started it’s own tradition of blaming and punishing family members for the sin or crime of another family member. God used Ezekiel to call them on the carpet for it–

What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18

If you read this whole chapter, the Lord goes into detail about if a child has a father who is the worst scoundrel ever, but the child is repulsed by the father’s actions and decides to be righteous, then he will live. And if a righteous father has a rebellious son full of all kinds of evil, the son will be the only one punished for his own evils. Therefore, a child can be raised in the midst of evil parents and still become righteous and good parents can raise children in good homes who still turn out to be evil children.

When the New Testament was established, the personal responsibility clause was folded into the law of Christ. We see this in the letters to the seven churches. Thyatira, for instance, was full of fornicators, a prominent false teacher, and adulterers, but there were some who rejected such false doctrines and didn’t participate in the “depths of Satan” (Rev. 2:24). Then there was Sardis, which was spiritually dead, but had the reputation of being alive. A few people in that congregation did not “defile their garments” like most of the others did (Rev. 3:4). God commended the nonconformists.

These examples reveal that God is always looking for a few good nonconformists who realize we don’t have to be the product of our bad environments, but can rise above any dark environment–even if it has an evil majority–to be the lights of the world he calls us to be.

Ancient Assyrian Empire documents back up the Bible

AssurbanipalThe British Museum holds a treasure trove of ancient documents that back up what the Bible says. Although Christians don’t necessarily need these documents as confirmation for the accuracy and truth we find in the Bible, they do provide a good defense when uninformed or deceptive secularists take swipes at the Bible, such as the ever popular “The-Bible-is-full-of-myths-and-fairy-tales” argument.

Another thing these ancient documents do for us is provide us with a basis to conclude that worship of Jehovah pre-dates pagan religions since these secular documents confirm the existence of the actual people in the Bible and the circumstances surrounding their existence as recorded in the Bible. This tells us that if the Bible is so accurate on historical accounts it can be trusted regarding its spiritual aspects.

Stela & Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

These monuments discovered in northern Iraq that are housed in the British Museum record the acts of Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (ruling 859-824 BC). The Assyrian king confirms the existence of King Benhadad of Syria and King Ahab of Israel, both mentioned in the Bible in the 1 Kings. This stela confirms that Benhadad (Hadadezer) and Ahab warred with each other as the Bible says, but when Shalmaneser III started a military campaign against the king of Hamath (a city also mentioned in the Bible), Benhadad and Ahab brokered a temporary peace treaty with each other (confirmation of 1 Kings 22:1) to shore up the king of Hamath’s defenses against Shalmaneser III. Interestingly enough, Ahab was also mentioned in the Moabite Stone which was discovered hundreds of miles away near the Dead Sea.

Another king mentioned in Shalmaneser’s documents is Jehu, king of Israel, who regularly brought tribute to Assyria and bowed to the Assyrian king. This confirms that Jehu, who served as one of Ahab’s military captains, killed all of Ahab’s descendants after Ahab was killed in battle to become king after being anointed by God (2 Kings 9).

Library of Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal (Asnapper) was also an Assyrian king and was mentioned in the Bible by Ezra (Ezra 4:10) as the one who brought people in from the Assyrian Empire to inhabit Samaria after Assyria took the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity. They became the Samaritans of Jesus’ day. The British Museum houses his vast library of detailed record-keeping. Among his ancient documents is the mention of King Manasseh of Judah as one of his conquered subjects, which confirms 2 Chronicles 33:11.

Sources:

Peter Masters, Monuments from Ancient Assyria confirm biblical history, Creation Ministries International, Creation.com, September 15, 2014.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Ashurbanipal, Bible History Online, http://www.bible-history.com.

Ashurbanipal, Black Obelisk of Shalmeneser III, Wikipedia.

Harry A. Gaylord

Do we need to plead Christ’s blood by which we’re freed?

Blood of JesusWhen Jesus’ physical blood was physically shed for us 2,000 years ago, it had powerful spiritual results for believers. As believers, it is easy to get caught up in religious traditions and catch-phrases, especially when prominent Christian leaders use them. One such popular phrase is “plead[ing] the blood of Jesus.” It is often used like a magic phrase to call on God to rebuke ungodly actions or spiritual forces.

Is it Biblical? To determine that, we must consider what scripture says about Jesus’ blood–

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26


53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. John 6


28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20


24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God… Romans 3


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


16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10


19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Colossians 1


14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament… Hebrews 9


19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh… Hebrews 10


Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot… 1 Peter 1


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. 1 John 1


Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood… Revelation 1


And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation… Revelation 5


10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12

The Bible says God knows those who are his. So he is already aware who is washed in the blood of Jesus. Pleading is an action that is done when someone lacks what they’re pleading for. If we already have the boldness to enter heaven’s holy of holies by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10 above), then why would we have to plead his blood which never leaves us? And since Jesus taught against using vain repetitions (Matt. 6:7), wouldn’t it be more accurate to just pray for the salvation of unbelievers and to dedicate inanimate objects for God’s glory without this catch-phrase?