Friday, July 23, 2010

IDOLATRY IN THE HOUSE OF GOD


1 Corinthians 10:11
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Now, when it concerns sins the sky is the limit. But we need to learn how to focus. And so, let us look what took place in these ten verses. Which sins is God actually talking about?

We read in 1 Corinthians 10:1-10.

1 Corinthians 10:1
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

1 Corinthians 10:2
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

1 Corinthians 10:3
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

1 Corinthians 10:4
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:5
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:6
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:7
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

1 Corinthians 10:8
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

1 Corinthians 10:9
Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

1 Corinthians 10:10
Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Idolatry in the Old Testament Church (1 Corinthians 10:1-11, Act 7:38)

The first example was given in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 where Moses struck the Rock at Horeb and then again at Meribah.

Why did Moses strike the Rock?

He was getting impatient because the entire congregation rebelled against Moses and Aaron for the lack of water and food. They loved their water and food more than the God who saved them out of the house of bondage.

What is this?

This is idolatry. Their food and water were their idols which they loved more than God. They knew full well that the God who performed such marvelous miracles in Egypt would not let them die of thirst. But this was not idolatry by a few individuals. This was collective idolatry in almost the entire congregation. That is why I called it “Idolatry in the Old Testament Church”.

The Bible calls it the church in the wilderness in Acts 7:38. Let us now look at the second example, in 1 Corinthians 10:5, where we see the children of Israel South of the land of Canaan, refusing to enter the land of Canaan because of the bad report that ten of the spies brought to them. They believed the ten spies more than they believed God, like Adam and Eve believed the serpent more than they believed God. That is idolatry. And again we see that it is collective idolatry in almost the entire congregation.

Let us look at the third example, in 1 Corinthians 10:7, where the whole congregation asked Aaron to make them gods which would take them back to Egypt. And there Aaron made the golden calf and they worshipped it. It was a clear case of rebellion against God. Here again we see collective idolatry by almost the entire congregation.

Let us now go to the fourth example in 1 Corinthians 10:8, where the majority of the congregation committed whoredom with the daughters of Moab and Midian, and Israel was joined to Baal-peor, a god of the Moabites. Again we see collective idolatry by a majority of the congregation. At that time Phinehas rescued the congregation from total destruction by killing the chief instigators of this rebellion against God.

The fifth example was shown in 1 Corinthians 10:9, where the majority of the congregation complained against God and against Moses that there was no water and they were despising the manna which God so generously provided for them six days per week. Then God sent fiery serpents among them and a great many of them died. This was again a case of collective idolatry where they loved their food in Egypt more than the God who has delivered them out of Egypt.

The sixth example was shown in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where Korah’s rebellion was supported by the majority of the congregation, for the next day almost the entire congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron. This was again a case of collective idolatry, where they preferred a rebel like Korah to be their leader rather than Moses and Aaron whom God has appointed.

The seventh example was shown in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where God put an end to the murmurings of those who are His elect among the children of Israel. The majority of the congregation was still murmuring and still looking for a replacement of Aaron as their high priest. But God put an end to this by making Aaron’s Rod to bud, and to blossom, and to bear real almonds. This was again a case of collective idolatry, where they preferred anyone else than Moses and Aaron to be their leader to take them back to Egypt.

Therefore, if these are the ensamples that are written for our admonition in the New Testament church, God is focusing on the sins of idolatry, and particularly the sins of collective idolatry by a majority of the church. And then when we read the words of 1 Corinthians 10:11, “upon whom the ends of the world are come”, we realize that God is now focusing on the New Testament church near the end of time. God is focusing on collective idolatry in the New Testament church which will occur all over the world during the Final Tribulation Period.

Idolatry in the New Testament Church (1 Corinthians 10:11-14)

This was not something that I pulled out of my own imagination. The Bible prophesied that this would occur, and this is found many times in the Bible. The fact that you did not hear other pastors preach about this does not take away that God spoke about it many times. But the church has failed to warn the congregations about this future event. Let us continue to read 1 Corinthians 10:12-14. And there we read,

1 Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:14
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Can you see from verse 14 that God is not just talking about any sin, but God is focusing on idolatry?

And the context speaks of collective idolatry. God is warning us for idolatry in the church especially near the end of time. And so, not every church will fall for the idolatry so prevalent in the end of time, for God is faithful to some churches whom He favors, and He will give us a way to escape the apostacy that is presently running over almost all churches in the world.

But why have the churches not warned their congregations for these troublous times; for the present is indeed a troublous time for the saints, since most churches have given themselves over to another gospel, and have bowed down to worship another god than the God of the Bible.

God warned us for this. God told us very plainly that the saints shall be overcome by Satan and his human helper Antichrist, in the persons of the Beast and the False Prophet. And so, the Final Tribulation Period is not a tribulation for the unsaved world, but it is a tribulation for the saints. Let us remember that God said in 1 Corinthians 10:11, “These words were written for our admonition.”

Written for our Admonition (Daniel 7:23-26, Amos 8:11-12, Isaiah 4:1, Matthew 24:21-24, Luke 21:20-22, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Revelation 13:7-9, Revelation 13:13-17, Revelation 17:1-18)

What was written for our admonition?

For example, in the Prophecy of Daniel, especially in chapters 7 and 8, God speaks about a Little Horn, representing Antichrist. He is called the Little Horn, because Christ is the Big Horn. This description in Daniel 7 corresponds with the Beast in Revelation 13, whereas the description of the Little Horn in Daniel 8 corresponds with the False Prophet in Revelation 13.

We read in Daniel 7:23-26,

Daniel 7:23
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

Daniel 7:24
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Daniel 7:25
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Daniel 7:26
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

And so, eventually he will be defeated, because Christ is stronger than Satan. But in the meantime, during the Final Tribulation Period, Satan “shall wear out the saints of the most High”, and “they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” We need to recognize this and be prepared to put up a fight. The promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 is that God will protect us to the end.

We read in Daniel 8:23-25,

Daniel 8:23
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

Daniel 8:24
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

Daniel 8:25
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

And so, here again we see that eventually Satan shall be broken without human hand. But in the meantime, during the Final Tribulation Period, Satan “shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.”

How will he go about doing this?

We read in verse 25 that he “by peace shall destroy many.” And thus, he will not overcome the saints by force, but by words of peace that deceive the congregations. Now, there are many, many passages in the Bible that deal with this same subject matter, if we only want to listen.

For example, Amos 8:11-12, Isaiah 4:1, Matthew 24:21-24, Luke 21:20-22, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Revelation 13:7-9, Revelation 13:13-17, Revelation 17:1-18, and many more.

You need to look at these passages and see if you can recognize Antichrist in these verses. All these things deal with idolatry in the New Testament church. This is how Satan operates. He will not directly attack God, but he will try to make us believe concepts of God that are not in the Bible. Then, when we worship those false concepts of God, Satan will rejoice. Let us now look at our own bosom and see if we are cherishing one of these snakes in our own worship services. Let us continue in 1Corinthians 10:15

Idolatry in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 10:15-18, John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:53)

1 Corinthians 10:15
I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

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

1 Corinthians 10:17
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 10:18
Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

What is God saying here in this brief passage?

Certainly it is in the context of idolatry, because verse 14 is concerned with idolatry and verses 19-22 are also dealing with idolatry. Wedged in between these two passages about idolatry is a passage about the Lord's Supper. It is as if the Lord is saying: "Watch out, because this wonderful ceremony can also drift into idolatry".

That is why He starts this section with the words: "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say".

God gives us advance warning that we must listen carefully to His words that follow.

Does this cup with grape juice contain a special blessing for us from the Lord?

No, because it is "The cup of blessing which WE bless".

WE are praising the Lord for this wonderful cup, which is symbolizing the blessings that we have received through the Cross of Christ. We raise the cup in praise and thanksgiving for God's wonderful work of salvation through Christ. There are two things we have to distinguish in all this: It is the Shadow and the Substance. The cup with grape juice that we drink is the Shadow of a much greater cup that the Lord Jesus had to drink. He had to drink the Cup of the Wrath of God; that was the Substance. Christ had to drink the cup of God’s fury. To misunderstand this is idolatry. And then Christ imputed the results of His atonement to our soul. Whatever we do on the outside of our body is only a shadow of what God does on the inside of our soul, and those two actions are most often not synchronized. The next sentence we read in 1 Corinthians 10:16 is:

1 Corinthians 10:16
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

The bread and the cup with grape juice that we pass around are just as much a shadow of the Cross as the bread and the cup that were passed around by Jesus at the Last Supper.

Why did Christ give us this ceremony, if it is only a shadow of His Atonement?

Answer: Christ gave us this ceremony to let us know, here in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, how intimately we are united with His Body and Blood. He said in verse 17, "For WE the many are one bread, one body: for we are all partakers of that one Bread".

That last "one Bread" refers to Christ, who is the Bread of Life. We are all partakers of Him.

How do we become partakers of Christ?

We read in John chapter 6:

John 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:

The Lord Jesus said:
NO ONE CAN come to Me, or no one can become saved, except the Father, which hath sent me, has decided to draw him.

And in Ephesians chapter 1 we read that the Father has chosen us already before the foundation of the world.

Therefore, what can we do to become partakers of Christ?

Nothing!

It is a decision that rests entirely in the Godhead. God does the saving and we do not give God a helping hand, for that is an insult to God. But then we read in John 6:53, “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.”

Now it seems that we have to do something to be saved.

Is Jesus speaking here in Verse 53 about the Lord's Supper?

Is the Lord Jesus perhaps saying?

"Well there is one thing you can do for your salvation, you must partake of the Lord's Supper. O yes and you must be baptized in water, and you must believe on Me.”

You can see how ridiculous all this is.

Are there any preconditions to our salvation?

NO!

There are NONE.

Our salvation is FREE.

How free is FREE?

God does the saving 100% and our contribution to our salvation is zero.

In John 6:53 the Lord Jesus could not be referring to the Lord's Supper, because that would make the Lord's Supper a condition for salvation. And when we believe that John 6:53 speaks of the Lord’s Supper we have generated the same error that the church of Rome made, that Christ would be present physically with His body and blood in the bread and in the grape juice. This is an abominable idolatry.

Now, what does John 6:53 mean?

John 6:53 says that Christ gave His flesh, which means His body and His blood, which means His life, body and soul, for those He came to save. John 6:53 is not speaking about the Lord's Supper, but it is speaking about the cross. We become partakers of His flesh and blood by being there when He was crucified. And that is indeed what the Bible says. Since we were in Christ from before the foundation of the world we were crucified with Christ, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, we were raised with Christ, we ascended with Christ into heaven, and we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Christ did not come to save every one in the whole world, but only those whom the Father had given Him, as He says in John 6:37 and 44. This is the preaching of the cross that is an offence to the world, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. All those who believe that Christ paid for the sins of the whole world are not reading John 6, or John 10, or John 17. They have developed a different concept of Christ; they worship an idol. They engage in idolatry for they have violated Revelation 22:19.

Where Must Our Focus Be? (John 6:37)

The Lord Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: We must worship God in Spirit and in Truth. We do not worship God by going to a particular place. We do not worship God in the things that we do or in the ceremonies that we do. We worship God in our heart. We praise Him in our heart. God looks upon the heart. We do not worship God because we are sincere. We can be sincerely wrong. For example, we cannot have a picture of Jesus on the wall. Jesus is God, and God has forbidden to make images of God. If we have Jesus in a picture on the wall, then we tend to worship God in that picture on the wall. Then that picture has become a high place. But high places are taking away from the glory of God. High places give glory to another god, or they give glory to man. We must refuse to give glory to man. We must apply to ourselves the words of John the Baptizer, who said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Where must our focus be? We must go to the Bible and seek for God on the pages of the Word of God. There is where we find our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is where we find what God has done to save us. We did not do anything. He did everything. The reason why we worship Him is because He drew us to Himself. The Lord Jesus said it so plainly and so clearly in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

In a nutshell the Lord Jesus told us here the whole Gospel: "All those whom the Father has chosen to become saved, the Father has given to me, so that I may atone for their sins on the cross and save them from Hell. And at sometime in their life God the Holy Spirit shall give them a new soul. They shall hear the preaching of the Gospel and shall be drawn to me. Therefore, him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

This is what God has done to save us. He did everything.

Do we find within ourselves that we are drawn to the preaching of this Gospel straight from the Bible?

Then in time we will understand that it was God who made us spiritually alive and made us able to hear this Gospel and believe the Bible.

Then you will jump for joy!

Do you realize that there are very few people who actually want to read and know what the Bible says?

Most people just pick and choose from the Bible. Most people take for granted what their church teaches them. For many their church teaches them that they must accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. They do not realize that they are following a man made gospel.

Idolatry in Our High Places? (Leviticus 26:30, John 6:63, Exodus 34:14, Romans 10:17)

Let us now ask ourselves if we perhaps have developed high places that seem as holy as the Bible is.

What are our holy places?

Do we have any things that take away from the true worship of Christ?

Do we have writings of wise and holy men that we consider so valuable that we cannot live without them, even though they contain errors?

We struggled with this question many years ago when we saw the errors in our Confession of Faith, also known as the Belgic Confession.

Keeping the Confession of Faith would elevate this document to one of our high places. Our response was that we should do away with this Confession of Faith, because it is more a hindrance to our faith than an asset.

That was a right decision we made, because the works of men may never be so holy that we do not dare to toss it out.

But why did we not continue to clean house?

The Heidelberg Catechism is another possible source of promoting error. Perhaps you have noticed that I do not quote the Catechism in my sermons. I do not like to put myself in a straitjacket. The Catechism should not dictate what I must be preaching, because the Catechism does not have the authority that the Bible has. But when we hear someone on the Radio state that sacraments increase our faith, and when we discover that the Heidelberg Catechism may have something to do with that idea, then we should take a closer look at the Catechism.

Is it possibly promoting error?

Let us make sure that it does not become one of our high places.

Is there someone here who believes that the sacraments, like the Lord's Supper, increases our faith?

You must throw that idea out as quick as it comes. The sacraments should not become a high place. We should heed the warning that Old Testament Israel was snared by the Ceremonial Law.

Do not let our ceremonies ensnare us. If we assign spiritual value to any ritual that we do, then we are on dangerous ground, because that is something that is done outside the body.

Why do we celebrate the Lord's Supper?

Because the Lord Jesus said: "This do in remembrance of me".

We remember His suffering and death, but the bread and the grape juice do not suddenly become magic potions which increase our faith. The Bible does not teach that at all.

Think of it: If we indeed have become saved, do we lack anything before we partake of the Lord's Supper?

NO!

Have we become more holy after partaking of the Lord's Supper?

NO!

There is no special grace in the Lord's Supper. Our children may think so, because you can hear a pin drop during the Lord's Supper. Our children may think that the Lord's Supper is more holy than the preaching of the Word of God. But the truth is that it is just the other way around. When God's Word is opened and preached, that is when you should be able to hear a pin drop, because the spoken words from the Bible are literally words from God. God is speaking.

Now, can we set our priorities straight?

No one should be running to the bathroom when the Word of God is preached, because that indeed is a holy hour.

Another high place, of course, is the Westminster Confession where divorce and remarriage are condoned, and where our faith is described as an instrument of our justification before God. This is where the idea of "saving faith" comes from. But check your computer program. "Saving faith" does not appear anywhere in the Bible, because it is not our faith, but it is Christ who saved us.

Whenever we discover errors in our ancient documents, we should be willing to throw them out, or else they will become high places, and these high places are taking the place of the Word of God. When we have high places, we are worshipping other gods in those high places. That is why we want to spend time learning about those high places and we want to teach our children right.

Now let us talk about: Our Holy Rituals.

Do we have any rituals that we think are so holy that we believe they are from God?

We do have rituals. Every Church has them. But rituals can be very dangerous when we value them for the wrong reason. For example, when I give the parting blessing at the end of the service, I say very clearly: "Receive the Lord's parting blessing" and then I read a doxology from the Bible. I do not make something up, but I read aloud God's words, because it is God who is giving these blessed words. I am not blessing you, but God is speaking the blessing, and God is speaking to whosoever He intends the blessing should go to. But this does not mean that we become more filled with the Holy Spirit after the blessing. Rituals do not fill us with more of the Holy Spirit.

How can we be more filled with the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit already dwells in us?

Did we leak, and now we need to be filled up again?

You can see that this is getting ridiculous. One of our rituals is that we sing from this blue hymnal. But did you know that singing these hymns is like singing praises and prayers to God.

Do we really mean what we sing?

"Take my silver and my gold, not a mite will I withhold".

Do we check the words against what we believe the Bible teaches?

If we just sing to get into a spiritual high, then we do not understand what we are doing. It is vital that we get understanding of the things that we do. When a Church does not teach these fundamentals, then the rituals become high places, just like they are in the Roman Church where rituals have completely taken over everything.

From earliest times people have chosen high places on top of hills or mountains.

Why did people choose these high places?

Because they felt there to be a little closer to God. They thought of their Deity as someone dwelling in the heights. These days we are a little more sophisticated. We don't go to a mountain, but we build these high places in our mind. We are imagining that a special grace is attached to our ceremonies. And we do that because we want so much to reach out and touch Him. That is what people do with Baptism and with the Lord's Supper. We do it more subtle than the Jews did with their ceremonial laws, but it is just as bad. High places are places where we serve other gods. High places are most often created sincerely, but then we are sincerely wrong. High places are made from spiritual items. We like to exalt these things. However, we must not lift up anything but God. Our God is a jealous God. God says in Exodus 34:14 that His name is "Jealous".

We have more Biblical information than any of the generations that were before us, and so we will be held more accountable.

God warned us way back in Leviticus 26:30, “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

Paraphrased God says, "If you do not put down these high places, then I will."

For some people a big high place is their stubborn determination to view the Bible simply as a history book. They will avoid spiritual interpretation at any cost. They think that believing the stories in the Bible is sufficient unto salvation. But the Lord Jesus said in John 6:63, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life". In fact, the whole Bible contains the words of Jesus. Therefore Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing". In other words, "The historical account does not give life". It is the Spirit that gives life.

Let me tell you from my own personal experience. I grew up under the teachers from the Jesuits in Indonesia, and I heard all the Bible stories from a historical perspective. I never saw a Bible until I was 40 years old. I never saw a need for it, because I believed all those stories as they were told me. But I was not saved. Only after I received a Bible did God the Holy Spirit begin to work a miracle of salvation in my soul. Just hearing and believing the stories from the Bible did not do one bit of good to my soul. Only then did I begin to understand what God says in Romans 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Therefore we must remember:

The Things Which Are Not Seen (Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:2, 2 Corinthians 5:6)

The things which are not seen are more important than the things which are seen. God did not write the Bible to satisfy our curiosity about the history of the nation of Israel, or about the number of miracles Jesus did, or about the fearful and wonderful travels of the Apostle Paul. God wrote the Bible for us, so that we could be saved from our slippery slide into Hell.

God says in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

And God says in 1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” In other words, there is a spiritual dimension in all these things that have been written. They were written to teach us some aspect of the Gospel of salvation.

That is why we now read in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Do you know what myopia is?

Myopia is another word for nearsightedness. You can only see things that are close by; you cannot see things that are far away. When we develop spiritual myopia we tend to develop high places, because we do not see the important things that are far away. We humans are inclined to focus on the things that are seen, and not on the things that are not seen. For example, we grieve about the 6000 or more people who were killed in the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York and in Washington D.C. but we do not grieve that every day about 150,000 people die all over the world and most of those will stand for judgment on the Last Day, then we have developed spiritual myopia.

We do not see God's salvation plan clearly. When we believe that the Bible was written mainly to teach people how to better get along with each other, then we have developed very bad spiritual myopia. This is a high place for many people. They do not see God's salvation plan clearly, and they worship a god, which is not the God of the Bible. Our God teaches us in the Bible that the life hereafter is far more important than our life in this vale of tears. That is the future we live for. That is our Hope. God says in 2 Corinthians 5:1-2,

2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:2
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

Now, drop down to verse 6. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:6, “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:”

If we are feeling at home in this earthly body, we have developed myopia, and we tend to look at the Bible as a good book teaching us good morals through the examples given by the moralizing stories in the Bible, and before you know it we will be developing a list of Do's and Don'ts, which is another high place for many people. This is another example that the flesh profiteth nothing. "The historical gospel does not give life". It is the Spirit that gives life.

But where should our focus be?

Our focus must be altogether on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the One whom we worship in Spirit and in truth. And He gave us the task to be His witness in the world, so that we are testifying to the world what He has done for us. We are eyewitnesses of His sufferings, and with our words we are His ambassadors, and with our actions we are the tools that He uses to draw many people to Himself.

Are we willing to be used by Him?

Do we have compassion on lost souls?

Souls are dying out there. Remember 150,000 die every day, and most of them are not saved. They are facing a horrible Christless eternity. But we are ineffective witnesses if we still adhere to our high places. We must lean on God alone, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and we can use the Bible alone, for it alone has the words of life, and we must believe the grace of God alone, for we are saved by grace alone, God’s unmerited favor.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff

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