Simply Taking Jesus At His Word

Sometimes Jesus’ commands may make no sense.

Sometimes we may feel like we know more about the subject.

Sometimes we think we know what’s going to happen before it ever gets done.

Sometimes…well, most of the time…um, okay let’s face it – experience shows that we’re wrong every time we fail to take Jesus at his word!

Jesus isn’t looking for scholars, life-experts, financial gurus, or backseat drivers – Jesus is looking for people who will simply take him at his word.

And when we learn to do this we will receive blessings that we would have never gotten if we had listened to ourself.

When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” (Luke 5:4-6)

Blaring Bible Ignorance

Ever noticed anything unusual about the typical image of the Devil drawn by artists during the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Let me give you a small clue – the snake has no legs!

Why’s that an issue? Because his legs were “kicked out from under him” in God’s judgment after the sin had taken place, not before.

Now if the average person misses something so obvious right from the beginning, what else do you think escapes our attention?

That’s why proper Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15) helps to keep the apples with the apples and the oranges with the oranges when it comes to biblical knowledge.

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”” (Genesis 3:14-15)

 

Premillennialism’s Presumptuous Faux-Pa Points

The Bible is meant to be interpreted by allowing the clearer verses help us understand the more difficult ones. This concept is as easy as understanding the importance of simple arithmetic before attempting to grasp the concept of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc.. Learning what addition is all about is a step that we must take before A (squared) plus B (squared) equals C (squared) makes any sense.

Mathematically speaking everyone agrees that this makes sense, but unfortunately there are many people in the religious world who do not follow along with the same concept when it comes to certain doctrines thatFile:Millennial views.svg originate with the thinking of men and women instead allowing the truth to be seen through more plainly spoken verses. Such is particularly the case when it comes to the various teachings of premillennialism and the unfortunate presumptuous faux-pa points that it stands on despite the clear teachings of the Bible.

Points such as:

  • multiple resurrections and judgment days when the Bible clearly teaches there will be only one simultaneous resurrection and final judgment by Jesus (John 5:28-29)
  • a literal reign of Jesus as king from physical Jerusalem when the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus has already turned that down (John 6:15)
  • the return of animal sacrifices “during the millennia” when the Bible clearly teaches that they have been permanently removed by Jesus (Hebrews 10:9-18)
  • the “back-up plan” role of the church when the Bible clearly teaches that the church, through Jesus, was included in God’s plan of salvation for all of mankind from the beginning (Ephesians 3:1-11)
  • the delay of the presence of God’s kingdom upon the earth when the Bible clearly teaches that, according to Jesus, the kingdom of God was going to appear before the death of Jesus’ contemporaries (Mark 9:1)

The truth is, almost the entire foundation of premillennialism comes from the book of Revelation (particularly chapter 20), which is a highly symbolic chapter from a book of prophecy that uses heavy symbolism in ways which must be understood in light of the clearer meanings (plain speaking exhortations, reproofs and examples) found in the rest of the Bible’s letters. When one seeks to and follows through with rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15) it becomes much easier to rightly divide any time-line that God has revealed and thus avoid exegetical studies that become embarrassing eisegesical mistakes.

When this is kept in mind it becomes much easier to see how the major points of premillennialism are very presumptuous in nature but still easy mistakes to correct. EA

Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

Don’t Forget the One Who Allows us to Make the Memories

As family centered individuals we strive to avoid forgetting to make important memories by taking family vacations, by having over friends for a meal, or by watching our children grow older and going to their school and extra-curricular activities and seeing them graduate and succeed on various levels in life. But while we strive to avoid forgetting to make these memories, are we forgetting the one who allows us to make them?

When it comes to making the most important memories of life, David once penned the importance of remembering God by saying:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” (Psalm 102:1-2)

As our culture rushes on, as our lives continually become fleeting and the memories that we have made increasingly become a thing of the past, we would all do well to presently remember the Lord God who calls us to love him with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

At the end of the day no picture of our youth, our wedding, our children, our first home, our vacations, our vehicles or any “good time” can replace the memory of not forgetting the one who allows those memories to be made. EA 

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19)

What words will describe you?

What will our eulogy sound like?

Will it only be filled with words like:

  • kind
  • loving
  • smart
  • rich
  • patient
  • diligent
  • industrious
  • honorable
  • sweet
  • giving

Or will it include words like:

  • good
  • faithful
  • servant

While a lot of descriptions may go a long way with people at the end of our life, only a few words will take us into eternity with the Lord.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23

You Don’t Need the Book of Mormon to Know the Truth of God

If asked why it took approximately 1,800 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the book of Mormon to be revealed the Mormons will respond by saying that the world was not ready for the truth. But is that true? Was the world living without the truth, the whole truth of God’s revealed word until the “hidden” books that make up the book of Mormon were revealed in 1827? Contrary to what the Mormon Church teaches, the answer is a resounding no!

The Bible itself testifies that the entirety of God’s truth for all of mankind was going to be revealed, and that in fact it had been entirely revealed, proclaimed and received before the end of the first century A.D.

And how can we be sure that this happened? Because Jesus told his apostles that “…when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth….” (John 16:13) and this is why:

  • Jude, in the first century, told his readers to contend earnestly for the faith which had been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)
  • Peter, in the first century, told his readers that God had provided all things that were necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
  • James, in the first century, told his readers that they had been born again by the word of truth (James 1:18)
  • John, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth, were filled with truth and were walking in the truth (2 John 1-4)
  • Paul, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth of God’s grace and word through the gospel which had been preached to all under heaven (Colossians 1:5-6, 23-28)

Jesus kept his promise, and the Holy Spirit fulfilled his mission by the end of the first century as the testimony of God’s true apostles and prophets testify within the Bible’s pages which were recorded and preserved by the providence of God many centuries before some supposed “angel surrounded by light” ever uttered a word (see Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
The book of Mormon is not needed to know the truth of God because the truth of God is not found in the book of Mormon, for the truth of God’s true kingdom is only found in one testament – and that’s the books which make up the New Testament of Jesus Christ in the Bible, a testament that has no need for any “other” testament, hat’s down!

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

Jesus Saved Before Church Built?

“Dear brother Clem: Since you claim that one must be in the church to be saved, and that the church was established in Acts 2, then Jesus Christ could not have been saved, for he died before the church was established. How do you get around this fact? – V.W., KY”

“This fact” – as it is called, is not a fact at all. First of all, Jesus never sinned, and therefore was never lost, so He did not need to be saved. Second, He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), and He purchased that church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). So the church could not have been “purchased” before the death of Jesus. Jesus is the head of that church, which is His body (Ephesians 5:23), and He is the Savior of that body. Not only that, but He is the Savior of all who are saved (2 Timothy 1:10). When one is saved, the Lord adds Him to His church (Acts 2:47). Christ is the head of that church, so He never needed to be added to it.

The time of the establishment of the church has nothing to do with the salvation of Jesus. He could not have been saved before or after Pentecost, in or out of the church. ThatChurchPurchasedWithBlood which is not lost cannot be saved. Jesus had no sin, else He could not have redeemed us: “Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And again, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:21-22). Had Jesus been guilty of sins, He could not have cleansed us from our sins. Had He stood in need of salvation, he could not have become our Savior. Jesus was not saved before, nor after Pentecost, for He had no sin and thus had no need for salvation. – Clem Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 63, Number 22 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Co-Editor, David Thurman, Co-Editor.