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Holy Men of God Spake As They Were Moved by the Holy Ghost

By Sammy Tabuena (2016)

 

2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

 

The Holy Spirit of God moved the holy men of God to write the Holy Word of God. 

 

In some of the modern versions, the word “moved” was removed and changed to “carried along”:

 

2 Peter 1:21 (NIV 2011) For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 

2 Peter 1:21 (ESV 2001) For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 

To “carry along” could mean “to persuade or affect”, “to transport something while moving along”, or “to keep handy at all times”.  But this is kind of synonymous to being “drifted” aimlessly, like a log being transported along by a flood to wherever or to nowhere.

 

In 2 Peter 1:21, the King James Bible does not even say that God’s holy men were “moved along” by the Holy Ghost.  It says that they were “moved by the Holy Ghost”, implying a purposeful, intentional, influencing and directing to write the Holy Scripture.

 

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV) Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

The “diminishing” of the Biblical statement “moved by the Holy Ghost” into merely “carried along by the Holy Spirit” not only lessens the meaning of inspiration but blurs the “divers manners” (Heb. 1:1) that God revealed His Word and how it was “given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16).  When God “moved” His holy men to write the Scriptures, he not only purposefully influenced and directed them to write them, but he actually carried and transported them to another place and time. 

 

Comparing Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13), let us see how “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.

 

Example #1. Prophet Ezekiel

 

Ezekiel 1:1 (KJV) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Ezekiel 1:3 (KJV) The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

Ezekiel 1:28 (KJV) As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

 

“The hand of the LORD was there upon him”, and Ezekiel saw the “visions of God” and heard “a voice of one that spake”.  That is how the Lord “moved” Ezekiel.

 

Ezekiel 2:1 (KJV) And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

 

Now, that is being “moved by the Holy Ghost”. The Holy Spirit entered into Ezekiel and made him stand on his feet (moved from the ground and up on his feet) and spoke to him. Notice that the Holy Ghost spoke to the prophet while He is inside of him!

 

Ezekiel 3:12 (KJV) Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

 

Again, this is how Ezekiel was “moved by the Holy Ghost” (“spirit”, Ezek. 3:12, 14).  The “hand of the LORD was strong” enough to take him up, lift him up, and took him away to Telabib, by the river of Chebar, so the prophet “sat where they sat”. The “hand of the LORD” (Ezekiel 1:3; 3:14) then is not just figurative at all; it is literal as well.

 

Ezekiel 8:3 (KJV) And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

 

The Holy Ghost must have “moved” Ezekiel by “influencing” him to speak and write prophecy, but, yes, the Holy Ghost did also “move” the holy man, using “the form of an hand” and took him up by the hair of his head.  How did the Spirit move the prophet? “The spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven”, Ezekiel says. 

 

Ezekiel 8:6 (KJV) He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

Well it’s clear that the Lord “moved” (2 Pet. 1:21) and “brought” (Ezek. 8:7) him to the door of the court, so that he wrote about what he had seen there.

 

Ezekiel 11:1 (KJV) Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.

 

The holy man of God was moved, or “lifted” up and “brought”, by the Spirit to the east gate of the LORD’s house.

 

 

Example #2. Prophet John

 

Revelation 1:10 (KJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,  

 

In the context of prophecy, being “in the Spirit” is to be “carried away” from one place to another place and from one time to another time.

 

John was “moved by the Holy Ghost” just Ezekiel was. That means he was carried away “in the spirit” (Rev. 17:3; 21:10), just as Ezekiel was “carried out” in the spirit (Eze. 37:1). 

 

I.                    John was “moved” in the Spirit from one place to another place.

 

1.       He was moved up from Patmos to Paradise.

 

Revelation 1:9 (KJV) I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

 

Revelation 4:1 (KJV) After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

2.        He was moved down from heaven to earth.

 

Revelation 17:3 (KJV) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

 

3.       He was moved away from the wilderness to a great and high mountain.

 

Revelation 21:10 (KJV) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

 

II.                 John was moved “in the Spirit” from one time to another time.

 

Revelation 1:10 (KJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

 

The Bible does not call Sunday “the Lord’s day”.  God “numbers” days, and even months and years (Job 14:5; 15:20; 38:21).  If Revelation 1:10 is a reference to the first day of the week, then God would have said it like he did in:

 

Matthew 28:1 (KJV) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Mark 16:2 (KJV) And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mark 16:9 (KJV) Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Luke 24:1 (KJV) Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
John 20:1 (KJV) The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
John 20:19 (KJV) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Acts 20:7 (KJV) And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:2 (KJV) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

 

So according to John, he was “on the Lord’s day”, not on the “first day of the week”, when he wrote the Book of Revelation. 

 

What is the Lord’s day?

 

Isaiah 2:12 (KJV) For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Isaiah 13:6 (KJV) Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. (cf. “the great day of God Almighty”, Rev. 16:14)

Isaiah 13:9 (KJV) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isaiah 34:8 (KJV) For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Jeremiah 46:10 (KJV) For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.

Lamentations 2:22 (KJV) Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD'S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.

Ezekiel 13:5 (KJV) Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

Ezekiel 30:3 (KJV) For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

Joel 1:15 (KJV) Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joel 2:1 (KJV) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

Joel 2:11 (KJV) And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Joel 2:31 (KJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Joel 3:14 (KJV) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Amos 5:18 (KJV) Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

Amos 5:20 (KJV) Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

Obadiah 15 (KJV) For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Zephaniah 1:7 (KJV) Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

Zephaniah 1:8 (KJV) And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

Zephaniah 1:14 (KJV) The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

Zephaniah 1:18 (KJV) Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Zephaniah 2:2 (KJV) Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you.

Zephaniah 2:3 (KJV) Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.

Zechariah 14:1 (KJV) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Malachi 4:5 (KJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Acts 2:20 (KJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

1 Thessalonians 5:2 (KJV) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

2 Peter 3:10 (KJV) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (“Day of God”, 2 Pet. 3:12)

 

What did John write about?  The Book of Revelation describes the seven churches of Asia (ministered to by angels), Heaven, Tribulation period, the Antichrist, the Mystery Babylon, the Second Coming, Armageddon, the Millennial Kingdom, God and Magog, the passing away of the first heaven and the first earth, the Great White Throne, Lake of Fire, New Heaven and New Earth and Eternity.  John was there!

 

He was there in heaven while the Tribulation saints were being martyred on earth.

Revelation 4:2 (KJV) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Revelation 6:1 (KJV) 9 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:

He was there when Israel was persecuted and Mystery Babylon city was judged at the end.

Revelation 17:3 (KJV) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

He was there in the New Heaven and the New Earth, and he saw the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:10 (KJV) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

And John said, he was “on the Lord’s day” when he wrote all these.

That is how God “moved” his prophets to write this book of prophecy.  He moved them to that place and time to see and hear, and he moved them to write what they saw and heard.

Revelation 21:5 (KJV) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Revelation 22:18 (KJV) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

2 Peter 1:20 (KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

All right, they could have been “carried along” or “carried away” with what they had seen and heard, but yes, they were also actually “moved” to there. 

 

Now, who can’t be “moved” to write about that?

 

 

 

The Complete and Fruitful Christian

 
By Sammy G. Tabuena (2013)
 
 
 

Introduction:

 

The word “Christian” was a name of contempt.
No one was called a Christian before Acts 11:26.
Christians never called themselves “Christians”:
* It was Agrippa who mentioned the word “Christian”.
 
* It was other people who called the disciples, “Christians”.
 
* Peter even implied that to be called a “Christian” is to be reproached (as a murderer, as a thief, as an evildoer, or as a busybody).
 
He did not even say, “I speak to you, Christians.” Rather, he said, “If ye suffer AS a Christian.”
 
* Jesus Christ did not call His followers, “Christians”.
 
* The apostle Paul never mentioned the word “Christian” in his epistles.
 
He called believers “brethren”, “followers”, “saints”, “beloved”, etc.
 
It is not wrong to be called a “Christian”.
We are not ashamed to be a “Christian”.
We don’t have to be called a “Christian”, especially when either Christians have a very bad testimony in the area, or when reaching closed countries with the gospel.
A person can be saved without being called a “Christian”.
A person can claim to be “Christian” but yet not be saved.
The Bible defines what a Christian is.
o Context determines meaning.
 
o The Bible defines itself.
 
 
 
Using the Bible to define the Bible, let us compare Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13) and see what a “Christian” is.
 
 

 

I. BELIEVER OF CHRIST – Possessing Christians

 
 
 
Acts 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
 
 
 
The word “Christian” is mentioned in this passage in the context of “believest” and “persuadest”. By Bible definition, a Christian is a believer of Christ, one who is persuaded of Christ.
 
The believers of Buddha are called Buddhists. The believers of Allah are called Muslims. The fans of Justin Bieber called themselves “believers”. The believers of Christ have been called Christians.
 
Some believers do not identify themselves to be one of the Christians because they are ashamed. These believers are saved. They are “possessing” Christians; they have Christ indwelling in their hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). These believers can be called Christians because they believe in Christ. A Christian is one who believes in Christ.
 
There are others who intentionally do not use the word “Christian” for two reasons: Christians may have a very bad reputation or testimony in the area where they live, or they may be trying to bring the gospel in closed countries that are hostile to the Bible and Christ. Are they saved? Yes. Are they Christians? If you mean they are Christians because they have believed and trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior, the answer is, “Yes.”
 
Some Christians are “professing” Christians but are not “possessing” Christians. They say they are Christians, but they do not have Christ in their hearts.
 
A person who is called a “Christian”, or is baptized as a “Christian”, or professes to be a “Christian” does not necessarily mean that he is saved.  Salvation is by BELIEVING:
 
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 
 
A person may not be called a “Christian”, but if he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and trusts in Him alone as His Savior, he is saved.  None of the twelve disciples were called by Jesus “Christian” before the cross.  None of Peter’s converts were called “Christians” in Acts 2.  Paul was not called a “Christian” when he got saved.  The disciples were FIRST called Christians in Antioch in Acts 11:26.  Salvation is not by being a “Christian”; it is by believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that He rose again according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
 
To be a Christian is more than just believing ; to be saved — only believe!
 
Critics may complain that the Bible (King James Bible) is archaic because of the verb ending “-est”, as well as the pronoun, “thou”, as in Acts 26:27,28. Few do realize that this makes the Bible even clearer. Here are a few hints:
 
Thou, Thee, Ye, You
 
“Thou” – second person, singular, subjective case
 
Example: “Believest thou…”, “Thou persuadest…”
 
Hiligaynon: “Nagatoo ikaw”
 
“Thee” – second person, singular, objective case
 
Example: “I believe thee…”, not “I believe thou”
 
Hiligaynon: “Nagatoo ako sa imo”, indi nga, “Nagatoo ako sa ikaw”
 
“Ye” – second person, plural, subjective case
 
Example: “Ye persuadest me”, not, “You persuadest me”
 
Hiligaynon: “Kamo, indi nga “Inyo”
 
“You” – second person, plural, objective case
 
Example: “We have persuaded you,” not “We have persuaded ye”
 
-Est, -Eth
 
Second person: Thou believest, thou persuadest
 
Third person: He believeth, he persuadeth
 
 
 

II. FOLLOWER OF CHRIST – Professing Christians

 
 
 
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
 
 
 
The followers of the Mohammed are called Mohameddans. The followers of Arminius are called Arminians. The followers of Christ are called Christians.
 
A Christian is a disciple, a follower of Christ. A disciple is someone who is “taught”. Here is once again the Bible’s built-in dictionary in action: “taught”….”disciples”, “disciples”…”Christians”.
 
A Christian is not only a believer of Christ; he is also a follower of Christ. When Jesus called the twelve disciples, he called them to be His followers:
 
 
 
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
 
 
 
Paul also called believers to become followers of him only as he follows Christ.
 
 
 
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
 1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
 Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
 1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
 1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
 
 
 
Christians are not only to be “possessing” Christ but also must be “professing” Christ. A professing Christian is one who shares Christ to others through word and deed.
 
There are some professing Christians, however, who are not possessing Christians. They may claim to be following Christ outwardly, but they may have never be believing Christ inwardly.
 
If we are going to choose between a possessing Christian and a professing Christian, which one is the better choice? It is better to be a possessing Christian than to be just a professing Christian. A Christian who professes but does not possess Christ will go to Hell, while a Christian who may not have the courage to profess Christ but who has Christ in his heart is sure to go to Heaven. Profession without possession is useless and ineffective.
 
If given another choice, the best choice is to be both a possessing Christian and a professing Christian.
 
 

 

III. PARTAKERS OF THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST – Powerful Christians

 
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
 
To be “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” does not refer to the Roman Catholic doctrine of stigmata (marks or pain in areas corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Christ) or doing penance.  The Bible defines the phrase in verse 14. To be partakers of Christ’s sufferings is to be “reporached in the name of Christ”.  To be “reproached for the name of Christ” is also defined as “he is evil spoekn of”.  To “suffer as a Christian” (v.16) means to “suffer as a murderer, or as a theif, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters” (v.15).
 
Many Christians have the form of Godliness, but they deny the power thereof (2 Tim. 3). Instead, God wants us to display this power of Godliness in our lives.
 
 Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 
 Romans 1:16 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.
 2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
 
Those who followed the Lord had “received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost” (1 Thess. 1:6); let us not be surprised if we suffer “like things”.
 
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 
 
 
 
 

 

IV. MULTIPLIERS OF THE WORD AND THE LIFE OF CHRIST – Producing Christians

 
Acts 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
 2 Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?
 2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
 
 
 
It is but normal for life to produce life.
 
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 
 
Christ is life. The Word of God is the Word of life. The Word of God and the life of Christ are in the lives of every Christians. Every Christian, therefore, has the potential to multiply “after their kind” (Gen. 1:11,12).
 
Sometimes we pride ourselves when we have won a soul to the Lord. Little do we realize that we have just done that “which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). A normal Christian is a producing Christian. It is not normal, or “abnormal”, if a Christian does not reproduce.
 
Many times, we think of our Christian ministry as sowing and reaping. We may have grown into a fruitbearing tree; but what happens to the fruits? We let them fall to the ground and die. Our purpose is not just to bring forth fruit, but to multiply fruitbearing trees.
 
The word of God and the life of Christ is multiplied is when Christians multiply themselves by producing believers, followers, and partakers, and by reproducing multipliers.
 
 
 
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
 5 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.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
 
 
John 15:16 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.
 
 
 
Have you ever seen stones reproduce their kind? Have you ever seen a building growing and reproducing itself on its own? Have you ever lacked money and wished your money would bear children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren on its own? No dead thing can produce a living thing. Only life reproduce itself.
It is but normal for a young banana tree to first grow into a mature banana tree and bear fruit. The fruits are either harvested or they fall to the ground.
The fruits are then gone. As long as that banana tree is alive it will continue to produce fruits. When the tree dies, no more fruit could be produced.
A normal banana tree though does not just bear fruit; it reproduces itself. As it bears fruit, it can be observed that young banana trees grow beside itself. Before a banana tree dies, the next generations are already in place. This is normal – life reproduces life!
 

CONCLUSION

 
A normal Christian life is like a banana tree; it grows to maturity, produces fruits, and reproduces itself. A Christian who does not bear fruit and does not multiply itself is not normal; or as others put it, “abnormal”. The Christian’s “seed” is in itself and it will surely reproduce “after its kind”. A normal Christian life is a complete and fruitful Christian life – to believe, to follow, to partake, and to multiply.
 

BE NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN

From the New Testament Baptist Pulpit (Nov. 1, 2012)

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

1. Be not entangled again with THE CURSE OF THE LAW.

Galatians 3:10 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.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Those who force the “works of the law” in this present Age of Grace is under the “curse of the law”. Be not entangled again with the curse of the law by trying to be justified by the works of the law.

2. Be not entangled again with THE ELEMENTS OF THE WORLD.

Galatians 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

We used to observe pagan feasts and worldly holidays, but now that we (1) have “known God” and (2) are “known of God”, we are not to be entangled again with these “weak and beggarly” elements of the world.

3. Be not entangled again with THE WORKS OF THE FLESH.

Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ungodliness and worldly lusts are being promoted and supported in the internet, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the rest of the mass media and technology. The only way not to be entangled again with the works of the flesh is to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. Let us start living and walking in the Spirit.

THE WORD OF GOD: God speaks to us through the Bible
A. Revelation – the Lord reveals Himself through His Word.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

1 Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

1 Samuel 3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

B. Inspiration – the Lord had his Word spoken and written by his holy men (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
1. All Scripture is given by “inspiration of God”

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2. All Scripture is given by the “breath of God”.

Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

Ezekiel 37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Ezekiel 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

3. All Scripture is given by the “Spirit of God” (John 3:8; 2 Pet. 1:21)

John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

4. All Scripture is given by the “mouth of God” (Mat. 4:4; 2 Pet. 1:21)

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

C. Preservation – the Lord keeps and transmits His word pure from generation to generation, from place to place, from language to language (Psa. 12:6,7; Prov. 30:5,6)

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

1. Old Testament was written in Hebrew (called the “Masoretic Text”)
2. The New Testament was written in Greek (“Received Text”)
a. The Bible was reproduced in copies.
b. The Bible was translated in different “versions” (Syrian, Latin, Coptic, etc.)
c. The Bible was quoted in the writings of the early church leaders or preachers.
d. The Bible was put in lectionaries for Scripture reading in churches.
3. The Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament were put together in one book in English. The Authorized (King James) Version 1611 is the seventh purification (Psa. 12:6,7) of the English Bibles based on the pure Received Text before it:
a. Tyndale Bible (1525)
b. Coverdale Bible (1535)
c. Matthew’s Bible (1537)
d. Great Bible (1539)
e. Geneva Bible (1560)
f. Bishop’s Bible (1568)

*Only the King James Bible truly follows the pure text. The modern versions follow a few corrupt manuscripts (2 Cor. 2:17)

D. Illumination – the Lord enlightens the mind of the believer by His Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1. Salvation – a person can understand the Scriptures if he is saved

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

2. Spirituality – a spiritual believer understands the Scripture more than a carnal Christian

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

3. Service – a faithful servant of the Lord understands the Scripture more than the disobedient backslider.

Ephesians 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

DECISIONS
(Proverbs 3:5,6)
By Sammy Tabuena

Proverbs 3:5,6 (KJV 1611)
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

God's Word says that when a person who trusts in the Lord and acknowledges Him in all his ways, God will DIRECT HIS PATHS.
The Lord did NOT promise to make the paths "smooth" or "straight", but that he will direct our paths.

***
Observe how other bible versions have changed God's pure Word.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New American Standard Bible)
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Amplified Bible)
5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version – UK)
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Today's New International Version)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Reader's Version)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways remember him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
5Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New Century Version)
5 Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding.
6 Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Contemporary English Version)
5With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
6Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.

The Lord does not have to "clear the road" for Moses, Joshua, Daniel, or Paul. He just have to direct the paths of each one of them.
***

I. DECISIONS

Don’t trust your own mind

Proverbs 3:5
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Don’t trust your own heart

Proverbs 28:26
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Proverbs 14:14
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
Psalms 37:4
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

II. DECISIONS

Trust in the LORD.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trust in the WORD of the LORD.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

***
The antecedent of "he" is "every word of God". The Word of God is alive and often referred to with a personal pronoun.

Who is "quick" and "powerful"? Who is "sharper" and is "piercing"? Who is a "discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart"? In whose sight is any creature not manifest? With whom are all things are "naked and opened" in his eyes?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Who or what is the "one" that will judge that rejects Christ and His words?

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The Word of God, in written form, is called "Scripture".

Who spoke to Abraham? Who has foresight?

Galatians 3:8 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.
Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
3 … and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Who spoke to Pharaoh? Who raised him up?

Romans 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Exodus 9:13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

***

III. DECISIONS

Don’t make decisions that dishonor God.
Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 19:20
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

Don’t make decisions that disobey God’s Word.
Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Be careful about listening to people who dishonor and disobey God.
To honor God and obey God is SAFE.

IV. DECISIONS

Make decisions according to God’s PERFECT WORD.

Psalms 19:7
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psalms 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Make decisions according to God’s PERFECT WILL.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

From the New Testament Baptist Pulpit
www.newtestamentbaptistministries.com/pastorsblog
(Sep. 12, 2010)

A LEAP OF FAITH

 

INTRODUCTION

 

What is faith?

            I almost drowned one time in a waterfall. I was swimming hard but I kept drowning.  A swimming teacher said that the only way to be able to float is to learn to “trust” water.  I did just that, and water became like a bed where I can rest and relaxed.  Faith is just like that – “trusting the waters”.

I remember in a Christian youth camp, we swam in a waterfall.  My friends were diving and I wanted to try but was afraid to do so.  Somebody then told me, “The longer you stare at the water, the more you will be afraid.  If you want to jump, do it right away.”  I did as I was told and took a “leap of faith”. 

 

  1. I.            CALLING

 

          By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place…”

            Taking a “leap of faith” is not blind diving. In a recess during a youth retreat, one young man dived and had his head bumped in one of the rocks beneath the water. 

            In learning “new” doctrine, I would advise that when the waters are not clear, don’t jump.  In making decisions, when the waters are not clear, don’t dive!

            A “leap of faith” requires a clear, definite call.  Abraham was called to out “into a place”.  Abraham what the place was, but he had a specific call from God.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

            There are two clear-cut “calls” here:

 

  1. THE CALL TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD

 

Romans 5:10 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.

 

                        1.  We need to be “reconciled” to God because we were “enemies”

Romans 5:12 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:

                                    We were enemies because “all have sinned”.

 

                        2.  Reconciliation is only by the death of God’s Son.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

                                    As “sinners”, we were God’s enemies; but “Christ died for us”.

 

3.  To be reconciled is to be “saved”.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

Although we were God’s enemies as sinners, we are “jusitified by His blood”, “reconciled by the death of His Son”, and “saved from wrath though Him”.

 

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 

O, be reconciled to God, right now!

 

  1. THE CALL TO BE REPRESENTATIVES FOR CHRIST

 

  1. Everyone reconciled to God is a representative for Christ. 

 

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,…”

This is automatic.  The only option of a saved, reconciled believer of God is either to be:

            a. A Good Representative, or

            b. A Bad Representative.

There is no other option.  Every Christian is an ambassador for Christ – right now!

 

  1. To be a representative of Christ means:

 

  1. To be an ambassador for Christ

 

                        This tells us that “this world is not our home”. 

1) We are sent with a mission.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

            2)  We are sent with a message.

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

            3)  We are sent to a mission field.

2 Corinthians 5:19 …reconciling the world

 

  1. To beseech people “as though God did beseech you by us”.

 

My former pastor, Patricio Felasol, used to remind us : “God has no hands but our hands. He has no feet but our feet. He has no eyes, but our eyes.”  God does His work through us.

 

 

1) God is in Christ reconciling the world.

2) Christ is in us and God is beseeching people “by us”.

We are to plead to the world that they be reconciled to God as though it’s God doing it.

 

  1. To be “in Christ’s stead”.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

                                                1) Christ died in our stead.

                                                2) We are to live in His stead.

 

The call to be reconciled to God and to be representatives for Christ is definite.  This is the “place” that God has called us to go to.  Once these have been made clear, one can now start a “leap of faith”.

 

  1. II.          COMPENSATION

 

          “…which he should after receive for an inheritance…”

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 

Abraham did not know the place where God wants him to go; but the call was definite, and the compensation was well-defined.

 

  1. A certain place. “Unto a land that I will shew thee”

 

Dr. Dave Reese (founder of Open Bible College International) once said that in this Age of Grace, God’s call is not “geographical”. That is, it is not dependent or limited to a place.  One ought to serve God starting from right where he is.

In the Old Testament, the blessings of God seem to be “geographical” – that is they have to stay in the Promised Land.  Today, however, it’s in a “land” that God will show us.  We may not know it right away, but He will show us that sooner or later. Some people are afraid to follow God’s call in their lives:

            a. God may call them to be a missionary in another place.

            b. They may be “out-of-place” with their peers.

When God calls, He has a certain place for you.  Do what you are supposed to do right where you are and God will reveal the place for you where you will never be “out of place”.

 

  1. A certain position. “I will make of thee a great nation”

 

I remember Dr. Paul Chappell of Lancaster Baptist Church once said that when he started to pastor, he sought not for a position but he sought to serve.  From the “backside of the desert”, his ministry grew dramatically over the years and he is in a “position” where we got to know him in this other side of the world.

People look down on God’s servants, but God’s call is a “certain position” earned by a sincere, humble service.

 

  1. A certain prize. “I will bless thee”

 

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

 

  1. A certain prestige. “I will make they name great”

 

George Beverly Shea was offered a big renumeration to sing over secular radio but refused it. He said, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold.” How many modern “Christian” singers have departed from the “name of Christ” for selfish prestige.

 

  1. A certain purpose. “Thou shalt be a blessing”

 

Following God’s call is not only rewarding to self, but to many others as well.

 

  1. A certain protection. “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.”

 

Blessings without protection is like putting money in a bank without walls.

 

  1. A certain possession. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

 

In effect, being a blessing to others, Abraham did not just have the promised land but all the families of the earth as well.  True “possessions” are not just those blessings that you receive but those blessings that you give.

The call of God is fixed, and the compensation is sure.

 

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

           

 

 

  1. III.        COMPLIANCE

 

          “…obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”

 

            There is no doubt about God’s call and His compensation.  The question is our compliance.

            Before diving, one is to make sure he does not leap so close to the bank nor to shallow water.  Sometimes it takes a big leap and further to the deeper area to have a good, safe dive.  Then, one will be challenged to dive from a higher place to a deeper body of water.

            So with our leap of faith: God may lead us in to a place where we have never been, and all that God expects us to do is to take a big leap further to the center of His will.  As one must trust the waters in order to float, so we are to rest in God knowing His clear and definite call and His sure and certain reward.

            Abraham didn’t know where the place was but He was sure that there is such a place, and that place is prepared by God.

            You may ask where would God lead us this year?  What would God tell us to do? Well, as Pastor Chappell puts it, “It’s the same old thing, just a little bit more.”

 

CONCLUSION:

 

God’s call is definite.          

God’s compensation is certain. 

Our compliancethat is the question.  Will we obey?

BY FAITH ENOCH

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

            Skeptics would always like to question the Bible.  Casting doubt is the Devil’s favorite hobby.  While it is certainly foolish to answer fools according to their folly, sometimes it is wise to demonstrate their foolishness by answering them according to their folly.

 

Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

 

 

            One of the first things the “children of the wicked one” (Matt. 13:38) may do to dilute the minds of God’s children with infidelism is to question certain statements found in God’s Word and to try to find contradictions which do not exist at all. For example:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

Their question would be: “Is Enoch really the seventh from Adam?” Then they would try to shake the faith of a “babe in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1) or of a “novice” (1 Tim. 3:6) by showing several “supposedly” and “seemingly contradictory” passages:

 

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

 

These “Athenians” (Acts 17:21), thinking that they have something new against the believers of that ‘Ole Black Book, would try a futile reasoning like:

 

If Enoch was the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), he is only the third from Adam; how come the Bible says he is the “seventh” from Adam (Jude 1:14)?

If Enoch was the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), how can he also be the son of Jared (Luke 3:37)?

 

The “Gnostics” (Gr. “knower”) would add to the confusion by claiming to have found the Book of Enoch, which is an extra-Biblical, uninspired writing.

 

The apostate Fundamentalists, sidetracked by the opinion that a mere English “translation” of God’s Word (such as the King James Bible) could not qualify to be “given by inspiration of God”, seem to have us rather believe the so-called “Book of Enoch” than believing we have a “perfect” Word of God in our hands.

 

It does take a “leap of faith” to believe that we have the inspired and perfect Word of God in our hands.  The Bible itself will prove to unbelieving minds that Enoch had a testimony that will answer their questions, and he was translated to a better state because he had one thing that they don’t have – faith!

 

 

  1. TESTIMONY

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

 

            A “testimony” [Lat. testimonium]  (Microsoft Encarta 2006) is an “evidence that a witness gives to a court of law”. It is a proof to support a fact or claim.  The word is also used in the Old Testament (OT) to refer to the Law given by God through Moses. It is also used by believers torefer to the public declaration of faith in Christ and victorious Christian experiences.

 

            Concerning the question whether Enoch was really the seventh from Adam or not, or did Enoch really exist or not, Enoch himself left a testimony.    

 

            The supposed contradiction between Genesis 4:17, Luke 3:37, and Jude 1:14 is solved by two things:

 

(1)   Reading the Bible

 

The problem with most people who find problems in the Bible is that they have a reading problem.  They don’t read enough and they don’t read it well. Reading and believing the Bible (and “rightly dividing the word of truth”, 2 Timothy 2:15) will show that there is more than one “Enoch” in the Bible.

 

(2)  Common sense

 

As someone has said, common sense is not so “common” these days.  Common sense will show that some people have the same name, and one person may have various (“different”) and varied (“altered”) names .

           

 

 

            A. SAME NAME

 

            In Genesis 4:17, there are two “Enoch’s”.

 

  1. Enoch, the son of Cain, is the third from Adam.

 

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: …

 

  1. The second Enoch in the verse is not a son, but a “city”.

 

Genesis 4:17 … and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

 

            The “Enoch” we are looking for is not the Enoch who was the son of Cain and the third from Adam.  We are not looking for the Enoch City.  We are looking for the Enoch who was the “seventh” from Adam:

 

  1. Enoch, son of Jared, is the seventh from Adam.

 

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

 

            In Genesis 4:17, it was Enoch of Cain.  The one we are looking for is found in the next chapter (Gen. 5) – Enoch of Seth.

 

Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:

13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

Enoch of Cain was the third from Adam.           Enoch of Seth was the seventh from Adam. Enoch of Seth is the one we are looking for.

 

B. ANOTHER NAME

 

Another thing that Bible reading and common sense show us is that Enoch is also known as “Henoch”.

 

1 Chronicles 1:1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,

2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,

3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,

 

How do we know for sure that Henoch and Enoch are name variations of the same man?

 

Jude 1:14 already tells us that Enoch is the seventh from Adam. In 1 Chronicles 1:1-3, we can see that Henoch is the seventh from Adam: Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch. Luke 3:37, 38 also helps confirm that Enosh is Enoch, the seventh from Adam. 

 

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

 

            The Bible reader will also notice that Sheth and Seth are the same person, and so are Enosh and Enos, Kenan and Cainan, Mahalaleel and Maleleel, Jered and Jared, Methuselah and Mathusala.

 

            Which Enoch? Enoch of Seth, the seventh from Adam, left a testimony about his own name and existence in history, even though he has not written a book.

 

  1. NO WRITTEN BOOK

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

            Enoch left a testimony without a book.  His name is written in five of the books in the Bible, yet he himself has written no book. 

 

            Some people will say, “Well, Enoch is said to have prophesied. Let’s find that book that he has written. Let’s look for ‘The Book of Enoch’.”

 

            Again, Bible reading and common sense will show that “to prophesy” does not necessarily mean “to write”. In fact, Jude clearly indicates that Enoch “prophesied” of the Second Coming “saying”.  In other words, he didn’t write it; he spoke it.

 

            Why do we have it then in written form? Well, it was written later. Enoch’s prophecy was “translated” (moved from one place to another) from his spoken words to these written words.

 

            Enoch said, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” Prophets and apostles since then have a knowledge of this prophecy.

 

            Moses wrote:

 

Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

 

            Zechariah wrote:

 

Zechariah 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

           

            Paul wrote:

 

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

            Jude confirmed Enoch’s spoken prophecy by putting it into writing:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

  1. WALK WITH GOD

 

Enoch had this testimony:

 

Genesis 5:19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

                        Enoch walked with God? What does “walked with God” mean?

 

The Bible has its own “built-in” dictionary. It is its own commentary.  The Holy Spirit, the Author of the Book, is its own interpreter. We are told how to understand it:

 

1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

(1)   We understand Scripture, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth.

(2)  We understand Scripture by which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

(3)  We understand Scripture by comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

Words in Scripture are spiritual and living words:

 

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

To compare spiritual things with spiritual is to compare Scripture with Scripture.  This helps us understand the meaning of God’s Word, such as the following:

 

(1)   “Walked with God”

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

Letting the Bible interpret the Bible, to “walk with God” is to “please God”.

 

(2)  “He was not”

 

What does the Bible mean when it said that Enoch “was not”?  The verse itself gives an answer:

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

      That Enoch “was not” means that “God took him”.  Comparing it again with the other verse of the same context, “he was not” means “he was not found, because God had translated him”.

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

                       

 

II. TRANSLATION

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

            One of the dictionary definitions of the word “translated” or “translation” is to be moved or carried from one place to another (Microsoft Encarta 2006).    A look at several Bible commentaries would give you some etymological meaning that would “suggest” the same idea.  The Bible itself, however, is clear concerning the meaning of the word:

 

1)      To be “translated” is to “not see death”

2)     To be “translated” is to be “not found”

3)     To be “translated” is to be taken by God

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

The words, “translate”, “translated”, or “translation”, occur only five times in three passages of Scripture:

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF ENOCH FROM EARTH TO PARADISE

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

          Enoch had this testimony: “he walked with God” (Gen. 5:24).  He so pleased God that God had to move him from this sinful, wicked world into the presence of God.

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF THE KINGDOM FROM SAUL TO DAVID

 

2 Samuel 3:10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.

 

King Saul, the people’s king, disobeyed God’s Word many times during his reign.  God chose a man after his own heart – David.  God had promised that the kingdom of Israel will be translated from the house of Saul and David’s throne will be set up.

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF BELIEVERS FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD’S DEAR SON

 

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

 

Every saved believer in this Age of Grace has been removed from the power of darkness and placed into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.  While physically we are still living on this earth, we are spiritually seated with Christ in heavenly places in Christ.  We are waiting for the great “translation day”, called the Rapture, when will physically be ever with the Lord in our “translated bodies”.

 

            In all three passages, the “translated” state is always better than the “original” condition.  As we have mentioned at the beginning of this message, there is an attempt to sow doubt on God’s Word in the minds of the believer.  The notion is that a “mere translation” of God’s Word should not be considered equal in authority to the original writings.  This is, however, contradictory to Bible doctrine and practice.

 

            The Bible doctrine of the inspiration and preservation of God’s Word magnifies the power of God. God could not be limited to a piece of paper.  God could have His words “translated” without error ; He can perfectly move His pure words with no problems at all from one place to another, from one piece of paper to another, from one language to another, from one generation to another, and from time to eternity.  The translation of the Bible in the universal language of man has always been for the better.

 

            The Bible practice is that a “translation” in the Bible is always better than the “original”.  David’s kingdom was a translation of Saul’s kingdom; the translated kingdom was better than the original kingdom.  Church Age believers were translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s dear Son; again, the translation is better than the original.  Enoch was translated to God’s presence from this sinful world; Enoch’s translated state was certainly better than his original condition.  The Bible practice is that a translation is better than the original.

 

            In Enoch’s life, there are several things that we can notice being translated.

 

1)      The most obvious, of course, is the fact that he was translated by God, he was not found, he did not see death, for God took him.

2)     We have also seen how his spoken prophecy, concerning the coming of the Lord with ten thousands of his saints, has been “translated” into the writings by Moses, Zechariah, and Paul; and the very prophecy was quoted verbatim by Jude in his epistle. And, finally, the words of the man who was not found are surprisingly in our hands; it’s translation from the spoken language of Enoch’s day can be read in written form in a language the present world understands. Praise the Lord for that man who walked with God all his life and never saw death!

3)     What remains to be done is for Enoch’s testimony to be translated into our testimony – that is the best translation the world needs to see at this present day before Jesus comes.

 

CONCLUSION

 

            Enoch wrote no book. There is no Book of Enoch, but he left a testimony.

He, however, left a testimony by His word and by His deed.  He spoke a prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ and he walked with God all his life. He so pleased God that God took him alive into his presence. Enoch never died and never will die anymore.  What a testimony he left – a testimony of the fact of the grand “translation” of the true believers of God!

Every person needs to translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son right now.

Every believer must translate the testimony of walking with God by pleasing God in word and in deed.

Every believer, dead or alive, is waiting for that grand “translation” day when we all see and meet Jesus in the air to be with Him forever!

While waiting for that day, let us…

 

Leave a testimony of the translation,

and keep that testimony translated!

 

How do we do it?

 

BY FAITH, …

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