Sean Scott's Blog

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Desert Island Theology

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I think Christianity, to a great degree, could be revolutionized if believers had what I term “Desert Island Theology. What do I mean by “Desert Island Theology”? What I’m not talking about is a theology that is learned at a bible school, through Christian radio, through dead saints from past era’s, or even from modern preachers. This is what I mean by Desert Island Theology. Imagine if you were stranded on a desert island. You have no knowledge of anything Christian. You have no knowledge of what a church “service” should look like, you have no knowledge about how a Christian looks in behavior or what a Christian believes, etc. Your memory has essentially been erased of everything it knows to be Christian both in teaching and practice. You are stranded on this desert island and you have nothing but your food, water, and your bible – the Word of God. If you were to read your bible, having no prior perspective to taint your understanding, do you think you would see things differently? I’m almost certain that you would.

Could you read the bible and come up with the modern worship service and leadership structure, just by reading the scriptures? Could it be possible?

Could you say that gifts of the Spirit have passed away and are not longer in operation? Would that be possible by only looking at scriptures?

Could you say that women are to preach and teach men in the assembly and have authority over them? Remember, you have no denominational or current cultural influence. You only have God’s word.

Could you find tithing taught in the New Testament, after the crucifixion where the law was nailed to the cross?

I could go on and on……

I can only imagine how many wonderful truths and practices would be “re-discovered” if more people had some Desert Island Theology. The great thing is, you don’t have to go to a desert island to think this way. It should be, and can be, your common practice when reading the word of God. Simply throw out any preconceived ideas you have about a biblical subject, anything you’ve read about it, or what you’ve seen practiced, and start reading the word of God with a clean slate in your mind. You will be surprised at how many issues are cleared up when you can really look at the word of God alone and see what it says, without any other doctrinal influences.

This is one of the practices the Lord taught me when I came out of the institutional church that I was born again at. Of course, prior to coming out of the church the Lord had showed me many truths that put me at odds with that church. But after I came out, I had to essentially unlearn what I had learned and re-read the scriptures as if I had no knowledge on any biblical subject. What an eye-opening and blessed experience it was and continues to be.

So today I’m promoting Desert Island Theology. Not that it needs to be your only method of theology, but it certainly should be your primary one. As I said above, I’m sure there would be a revolution of sorts in Christianity if people approached God’s word this way and believed it for what it simply says.

If you have never approached God’s word this way, then I encourage you to do so staring today.  I know that you’ll be blessed by what you discover.

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Written by Sean Scott

August 23, 2012 at 4:46 am

God’s Promises & The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2Pe 1:3-4)

This passage, by far, is one of my favorite portions of scripture.  The wonderful truth in this passage is the foundation for how we receive salvation and how we grow IN Christ through our entire Christian life.  God has given us “exceedingly great and precious PROMISES, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature”.  God has given us promises.  God has not said that we must reach some set standard of Christian maturity first in order to partake of His divine nature.  No, God had given us promises; and there is nothing more sure, more true, than a promise from God.  Everything we receive in our Christian life is BY FAITH.  God says something, we believe what God has said, and through our faith in God’s word, we receive what God has promised.  Then as we believe and receive what God has promised, we are able to partake of God’s divine nature.  To clarify, by partaking of God’s divine nature, the scriptures are not teaching that we become God, or that we get infused in God and lose our identity, but that as we believe God’s Word and allow Christ to manifest His life through ours, we are conformed and changed into His very image (Romans 8:29, 1 Cor 3:18).  It is through faith in God’s promises that we are able to become like our Savior and receive all that God has given us IN Christ.

A FEW EXAMPLES – BELIEVING AND RECEIVING

1.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have  everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)

It would be appropriate to look at the very first promise that all believers have believed in ordered to receive eternal life and to become justified in God’s eyes.  Everyone person who has become a believer in Christ did so because they heard the truth about Jesus (the Son of God who died for our sins and rose again), heard/understood the promise of God to save those who repent and believe, and through faith were able to access the promise and have it become real in their life.  Being born again is the first step in experiencing God’s divine nature.

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

What a wonderful promise.  If we don’t lean/trust on our own understanding (our own reasoning), but instead seek God’s direction, actively live according to His revealed word, then we can be sure that God will “direct our paths”.  Belief in this promise cause one to submit all their ways to the Lord, knowing that God will most certainly direct their path.  When you are doing the will of God, being led by the Spirit of God, to a degree, you are living the same type of life that Christ lived.  He lived day by day doing the will of His Father.  As you are conformed into the image of the Son of God you are partaking of the divine nature.

3.  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.   (Isa 26:3)

Another wonderful promise from God.  When you trust in Him, and therefore keep you mind stayed on God, on Jesus Christ, God will keep you in “perfect peace”.  Isn’t the cause of our anxieties and troubled minds simply because we do not keep our minds on Jesus Christ, trusting in God?  But God’s word is true.  When you believe this promise, trusting in the Lord, and keep your mind on God, you will find that God will give you His peace, even in the midst of trials and tribulations.  By believing in God’s word, and experiencing the truth of the promise coming to pass in your life, you will be partaking of the “divine nature”….more and more of the diving life of God will be manifested in your own life.

HOW DO YOU RECEIVE GOD’S PROMISES?

1.  First, you need to know if a promise is indeed for you.  We cannot receive promises from God that were not given to us.

2.  Second, believe the promise; because we know that God is faithful and cannot lie.

3.  Thirdly, when you read a promise of God that is directed to you, and you believe it, you must see if there are any conditions associated with it that must be met.  If you believe the promise, and meet the conditions if there are any, then you can be assured that God will give you the promise.

How difficult is it to receive what God has promised?  So difficult that only those with child like faith can receive from God all that He has promised.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  (Mar 10:15) ESV

In all reality, it’s not that difficult at all.  You don’t have to be a theologian, or have a Masters of Divinity, or have been a Christian for 20 years before you can receive what God has promised for His children in His Word.  You must simply believe what God’s Word says and act on it accordingly.

THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM

The particularly promise of God that I  want to speak about in this post in the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  As most people know, there is a lot of controversy as to whether the Holy Spirit baptism is what believers receive when they initially put their faith in Christ, or whether its something all together separate.  What I want to show you through this post is:

1.  that the scriptures clearly teach that being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not the same as receiving the indwelling of the Spirit upon conversion.

2.  that the Holy Spirit baptism is the “promise of the Father” that is available to ALL who believe.  It is not some special experience for some supposed “super Christians”, but is a promise for all believers, through all ages.

3.  that it is a distinct aspect of the new covenant that the prophets foretold of, and that Jesus came to give.

THE PROMISE

There are two places that specifically speak of the Holy Spirit baptism prior to the death of Christ.  One is the book of Joel, and another is a statement made by John the Baptist.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. (Joe 2:28-29)

And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.  (Mar 1:7-8)

The prophet Joel prophesied about the Holy Spirit baptism, while John made it clear that it would be Jesus who would baptize believers with the Holy Spirit.

What I’m going to do now is examine the experiences of Jesus, the first disciples, and those who believed the gospel in Acts, and show that the Spirit baptism is a separate experience from conversion, and something that all believers can and should receive.  While Spirit baptism CAN happen at conversion, it is not the same thing as conversion.  When someone is converted, they receive the indwelling Spirit of God.  The indwelling Spirit of God is the deposit/guarantee from the Father which makes us His children and gives us the assurance that we are His.  The indwelling Spirit is also what enables us to manifest the fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22,23.  The baptism of the Spirit is never referenced as coming “inside” us but is rather described as coming “upon” us.  It is altogether different.  The Baptism of the Spirit is the “power” of God that works in all area’s of our Christian life and specifically equips us to be a witness for Christ and for the Lord’s service, in any area that He calls us to serve.

THE LORD JESUS

The Lord Jesus is our first and primary example.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and yet lived on earth as a man;  however, Christ had the Holy Spirit from birth.  Yet even though Christ had the Holy Spirit from birth, He still received the Holy Spirit “upon” Him when He was baptized in the Jordan river.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; (Mat 3:16)

It was after this event, and being led into the desert to be tempted,  that Jesus began His public ministry.  So we see Jesus filled with Holy Spirit from birth, and we see the Spirit of God coming “upon” Jesus before He started His ministry.   This is the pattern for believers in Christ.  While we don’t receive the Spirit from birth, we do receive the indwelling Spirit when we believe and are born again.  Then we receive the Holy Spirit coming upon us in the baptism of the Spirit.

THE DISCIPLES

With the disciples we see an example that we can more accurately relate to.  The disciples, like us, were not born with the Spirit.  They received the Holy Spirit indwelling them when Christ rose from the dead.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (Joh 20:19-22)

It’s very clear from this passage in John that this is when the disciples received the indwelling Spirit of God.  However, after the disciples receive the indwelling Spirit of God, they are told to “wait until they receive the Promise of the Father”.

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luk 24:49)

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”   (Act 1:4-8)

These passages reveal that the indwelling Spirit of God is NOT the promise from the Father spoken of by both Joel and John the Baptist.  If the disciples, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, had already received the promise, then why were they to wait in Jerusalem until they had receive it?  That would make no sense.  Clearly the baptism of the Spirit from the Father is separate and distinct from the indwelling Spirit that the disciples had already received.

THE DISCIPLES RECEIVE THE BAPTISM -WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Act 2:1-4)

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.  (Act 2:14-18)

The disciples were baptized in the Spirit as John had said, as Joel had prophesied, and as Jesus had promised.  Not only had they received the baptism of the Spirit, but it produced an outward sign that others could see.  There was positive proof that something supernatural had happened to these believers.  In this instance, people thought the disciple were drunk, and they spoke with other tongues.  There is always some immediate visible proof that one has receive the baptism of the Spirit.

But as we continue to read through the book of Acts, we find that this experience was not confined solely to the disciples who were in the upper room.  We find God giving his promise to others who believed in Jesus as well.  Here are three different accounts of believers who received the baptism of the Spirit.

SPIRIT BAPTISM IN ACTS

1.  Philip in Samaria:

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, (Act 8:14-18)

So Philip goes down to Samaria and preaches “Christ” to the people (Acts 8:5).  Many of the people believe the gospel message and they are baptized into the name of Jesus.  These believers were genuine converts who believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and were water baptized.  However, the scripture says that the Holy Spirit had not “fallen” on any of them yet.  So the apostles Peter and John were sent and they laid hands on these new believers and they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  So in this passage we see that people can believe on Jesus Christ, be water baptized into His name, and not have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Some might point out that in this passage, there was no accompanying sign to show that the new believers had received the Holy Spirit.  But if you read about Simon the sorcerer it is implied that there was a visible sign following when these believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit.  After the believers were Spirit baptized Simon said:

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Act 8:18-19)

If there was no accompanying sign, then how would Simon know that the believers had received the Holy Spirit?  Simon the sorcerer like being known as a man who had the “power of God”.  He wanted to have the power that the apostles demonstrated when they laid hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit.  If there was no visible sign it would not “impress” the people, and therefore Simon would not care to have this “power” that did nothing.  Again, though the passage doesn’t specifically say it, it’s clear that there was an outward sign to show that these believers had indeed received the Holy Spirit.

2.  Peter and Cornelius:

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. (Act 10:44-48)

In this account Cornelius has been told by God (through an angel) to have Peter come to his house.  Cornelius, though a Gentile, is a worshiper of the true God with the knowledge of God that he had.  Peter then comes to his house and preaches the gospel to both Cornelius, his relatives, and his friends.  While they are listening to the gospel they are all baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Cornelius, having been told by God to have Peter come and speak to him, was expectant and believed every word Peter said about Jesus.  As they believed the gospel, God gave them the promise of the Holy Spirit.  In this case there was no laying on of the apostles hands; God simply gave His promise to these Gentile believers.  How did Peter know they had received the Holy Spirit?  The scripture says:

For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, (Act 10:46)

These new believers spoke in tongues and extolled or magnified God.  There was an outward manifestation that they had received the promise.

3.  Paul at Ephesus:

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.  (Act 19:1-7)

Paul finds these disciples of Jesus in Ephesus; yet they were very limited in their knowledge.  These believers had only been baptized into the baptism of John and had not even heard about the Holy Spirit.  Paul proceeds to baptize them into the name of the Lord Jesus and then lay’s his hands on them and the “Holy Spirit came on them”.  How did Paul know the Holy Spirit came upon them?  They began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.  Again, there was a belief in Jesus and THEN the baptism of the Spirit.  The baptism of the Spirit came WITH signs following to show they had received the promise.

The experience of Jesus, the first disciples, and the three following accounts in the books of Acts show the the “Promise of the Father”, the Holy Spirit baptism, is a different experience and reality than that of receiving the Holy Spirit when one initially believes at conversion.  The Holy Spirit baptism CAN happen at conversion, but it can also happen after conversion.  And with the Holy Spirit baptism there was always an outward sign that followed as proof that one had indeed received the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the Promise of the Father.

Some people might think that the Holy Spirit baptism, that we read about in the bible, was a unique experience for the believers who lived in that time period only, a time when the church was first being formed.  However, that is easily proved to be false by looking at the words of John the Baptist, the words of Joel, and the words of Peter in Acts 2.

John said:

I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.  (Mar 1:8)

Notice that John the baptist did not preach this only to certain people, but he preached it to all who came to him.  The promise was to all.  Not only that, it is one of the primary works that Jesus would do!  He would not just baptize with water but would baptize with the Holy Spirit!  Christ would do for us something that no ordinary man could do!

In the prophecy of Joel it says:

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
(Act 2:17-18)

Are we not still living in the last days?  If the first disciples were living in the last days, are we not just as much, if not more so, living in the last days as the return of Christ draws ever nearer?  It is during this “last days” time that God will pour out His Spirit on all who believe!

And in Acts 2 Peter says:

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Act 2:38-39)

The promise is for every believer whom the Lord our God shall call.  That would include every believer through out all the ages.  There is nothing in that passage that limits the promise of God to a certain time period.

THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM

1.  That believers would receive POWER; the power of God (Luke 24;49).   This power of God helps in every area of our Christian walk.

2.  That believers would be able to be a witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8).

3.   It was necessary for men to have even when waiting on tables (Acts 6:5)

The Holy Spirit baptism empower us for every aspect of our Christian life; and specifically to be a witness and for service.

WE HAVE, AND CAN HAVE, WHAT THE PROPHETS WANTED, FORETOLD,  AND LOOKED FORWARD TO!

Ezekiel prophesied of the indwelling Spirit:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Eze 36:26-27)

I’ve already shown how Joel prophesied regarding the pouring out of God’s Spirit.  But look at the heart of Moses regarding God’s Spirit being put on all God’s people:

And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”  (Num 11:27-29)

We need to realize that we do, or can, walk in all that the prophets prophesied of and looked forward to regarding the new covenant!  This life of having the indwelling Spirit of God, and the baptism in the Spirit of God, IS God’s desire and will for every new covenant believer!

MY EXPERIENCE & HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

Some people receive the Holy Spirit baptism at conversion.  Others receive the Spirit baptism without asking; God just gives it.  That was my wife’s experience.  She was simply praying and praising God one day in her room and the Lord baptized her in the Spirit and she began to speak in tongues.  Still others, and I would say most people I know, receive the Spirit baptism sometime after conversion. I’m not sure why that is particularly.  It may have to do with people either believing or not believing in the baptism of the Spirit.  I know that in my own experience I had many people pray for me to receive the baptism of the Spirit before I actually received it.  My own story is that I had become convinced that the Spirit baptism was for “me”, and was for all believers (I was a new believer at the time, 20 yrs old, and had been a believer for maybe 6 months or so).  I had several people pray for me to receive it with no results.  So one day I just got desperate.  I decided that I was going to go into my prayer closet and not come out until I had received the baptism of the Spirit.  So I went into my prayer closet (which was really the bathroom with the door shut) and began praying to the Lord and waiting on Him.  After about 10 minutes I ran out things to pray and say.  So, a little frustrated, I decided that I would stop and leave.  But something in me made me stay.  I decided that I was going to stay until I had received it.  Right as I decided to stay the Lord poured out His Spirit upon me.  I began to speak in tongues and the most intense feeling of love overwhelmed me.  It was so strong it was hard to walk.  I left my prayer closet and went downstairs.  All my family was in the kitchen and living room.  I went down where they were but I was so filled with this overwhelming sense of God’s love I didn’t know what to say to anyone, I was practically speechless.  So I just went back upstairs and spent more time in prayer to God.  That’s how I was baptized in the Spirit.  I don’t know why I didn’t receive the baptism when people prayed for me.  It might have had something to do with my faith, I’m not totally sure.  But I do know that I received it after determining that I would not settle for not having it.

But how does one go about receiving the Holy Spirit, if they don’t receive it automatically from God?  What does the scripture teach?

The scriptures teach that we receive everything from God BY FAITH.  Remember what 2 Peter 2 says:

by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2Pe 1:4)

God has given us precious and very great promises in His Word.  When looking at the baptism of the Holy Spirit we see that:

1.  It is a promise for all believers, for all times:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. (Act 2:17-18)

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Act 2:38-39)

2.  It is for those who obey God to “repent and believe the gospel”:

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Act 5:32)

Since we see account of believers receiving the Holy Spirit at conversion, or right after conversion in the book of Acts, we know that the obedience spoken of in this verse speaks of obeying God by repenting and believing the gospel.

3.  Knowing that it is for you, and having believed the gospel, ask God for it:

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  (Luk 11:9-13)

4.  Have child like faith, knowing that you will receive what you ask for because God has given it as a promise to His children.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mar 10:15)

BE ENCOURAGE  – JESUS REJOICES IN FAITH

As you are convinced that the Spirit baptism is for you, be encouraged that Jesus will answer you according to your faith.  Jesus always rejoices when faith is exercised.  In fact, in the gospels there were only two things that Jesus “marveled” about.  One was great faith and the other was unbelief.

When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”  (Luk 7:9)

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching. (Mar 6:5-6)

Remember the lady with the issue of blood in Luke 8 and Mark 5.  She had spent all her money on doctors and had only gotten worse.  She must have heard about Jesus, what He had been saying and the miracles He had performed because she said:

She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (Mar 5:27-28)

She was convinced that if she simply touched Jesus clothing that she would be healed!  But how could she touch Jesus clothing with all the people around Him?  She must have had to push through the crowd and force her way forward so that she could touch him.  Her faith produced in her a determination to press through and “touch” Jesus and receive her healing.  In fact, when she touched Jesus, Jesus said:

And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” (Luk 8:45-46)

When this lady touched Jesus, it caused Jesus to say, “who touched me”.  Obviously, by reading the reply of the disciples we know that many people were touching Jesus.  But there was something different about the way this woman touched Jesus compared to the way everyone else was touching Jesus.  There were lot’s of people pressing into and touching Jesus, but only this lady was touching Jesus with faith.  She was absolutely sure that she would receive her healing if only she could touch Jesus (Heb11:1).  And that’s exactly what happened.  Because of her faith, power went out from Jesus, and she received what she knew would be hers.  Jesus looked at her and and told her that her faith had made her well, and to go in peace.  Jesus did was not stiff-arming her and holding back her healing.  He was glad and joyful to heal this woman who exhibited such faith.  In fact, it was as if He could not hold back her healing because of her absolute faith!

If Jesus was wiling to heal this woman of her issue of blood because of her faith, how much more do you think Jesus is willing to give you the baptism of the Holy Spirit, seeing it is the promise of the Father and one of the prophesied realities of new covenant?

You have believed Jesus for salvation, have you not?  Are you ready to believe Jesus regarding the baptism of the Spirit and receive the promise of the Father?

May the Lord stir you up to believe and receive His wonderful gift!

Written by Sean Scott

August 16, 2012 at 5:34 am

The God of Separation and Division

with 7 comments

The other day I looked out my window and saw a lady on the street corner holding a sign that said, “Pray the rosary for world peace”. As I looked at her, I immediately thought of several scriptures that related to her sign. I decided to go talk with her and share with her what God’s Word says regarding the subject of God brining peace to the world.

For those who are unfamiliar with God’s Word, it might seem reasonable to assume that God wants the world to be in a state of continual peace; and that it would be a noble thing to labor for this cause through prayer. However, a careful look at the words of Jesus, and God’s dealings with man throughout the entire word of God, clearly show that God is interested in, and always working towards, bringing division and separation. As foreign as this concept might seem to some, it is the absolute truth regarding God’s purpose in His dealings with mankind.

OUR FOUNDATION

Unfortunately, for a lot of people who claim the name of Jesus, this idea that God wants to divide people instead of unify them is a thought that they could never accept. It doesn’t fit with their understanding of the “Jesus” that they worship or claim to follow. And in all reality, they are right. This truth about God wanting to bring division and separation in the lives of people does not fit in with the Jesus they believe in. So this begs the question, If two people claim to follow Jesus, and the Jesus that they individually follow are fundamentally opposed to each other, which Jesus is the real Jesus? If one person portrays Jesus as the Son of God who came to bring unity and world peace, and another person portrays Jesus as the Son of God who came to bring division and separation, how do we know which person is portraying the real Jesus to us? There are all kinds of things said about Jesus today that are both true and untrue. How can one find their way through all this confusion so they might know the nature and character of the true Son of God? There is only one sure way for anyone to know who Jesus really is, what His nature and character are like, and that’s by knowing Him through what is written about Him in the Word of God. Anything we want to know about Jesus; His nature, His character, what He has said, what His purpose is, what He believes, etc, has all be recorded and preserved by God in His Word.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psa 19:7b)

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Joh 17:17

God has given us a foundation of solid rock, His Word, for us to build our understanding of Jesus upon. How easily people’s misunderstandings of Jesus would be cleared up if they simply took time to understand Jesus from the scriptures, and sought to know Him through them. Praise God we don’t have to be deceived by any man or even our own thoughts or ideas, we can know the absolute truth about Jesus from God’s Word!

DIVIDING FAMILIES

When speaking to the Catholic lady on the street, I asked her if she had ever heard that Jesus came to divide families. She looked at me with the most puzzling look on her face.  Obviously she had never heard such a thing. I proceeded to read her the Words of Jesus out of Luke chapter 12:

I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luk 12:49-53)

Jesus quite clearly says that He did not come to bring PEACE, but rather DIVISION. He says that He is going to take one of the most intimate and close knit institution, the family unit, and that HE is going to bring division to it. Obviously Jesus is not talking about a worldly division built upon anger and hatred. He is speaking about the effects that the GOSPEL will have in individuals lives and how it will affect their families. Why does this happen? Because when someone is born again, God does a supernatural work of division in the converted persons life.

DIVISION IN SALVATION

When someone is born again through faith in Jesus Christ they go:

1. from being spiritual dead to spiritually alive. (Romans 6:11, Eph 2:1)
2. from darkness to light (Acts 26:18)
3. from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God Son’s (Col 1:13)
4. from the power of Satan to the Power of God (Acts 26:18)
5. from loving unrighteousness to loving righteousness (Romans 6:18)
6. from loving wickedness to being ashamed of their wickedness (Romans 6:21)
7. from not loving the word of life to loving the words of life (John 6:68)
8. from living for the world and their carnal desires to living for Christ and His Kingdom (1 Cor 6:20, Col 3:2)

There is a radical transformation and new reality in those who are born again by God’s Spirit. It puts them at odds with everything that they loved, believed, and even the way they thought before they were converted. God separates and divides them from the life they used to live and love that was opposed to God and all His revealed truth. They begin to become like Jesus as they are transformed into His image. Jesus said about Himself:

So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. (Joh 7:3-7)

And in John Chapter 3 it says:

And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. ” (Joh 3:19-21) NLT

If you are a believer, you should be able to relate to these’s truths. When a person is born again, they are given a new nature that has new, godly and holy desires. They don’t love the sin that used to enslave them. Because of this, they no longer do the things they used to do, or participate in the actions and activities that they used to, as way of lifestyle. Nor do they speak with the same perverse and foul language that they used to. When a believe abstains from these things out of love for God and in accordance with their new nature, it testifies to their family (and others) that these things are wrong. When a believer abstains from these things, sinful actions and corrupt lifestyles, because of what God says, it testifies to others that God does not approve of their lifestyle, the very things they love to indulge in. It passes a judgment on their lifestyle and brings condemnation before God. This IS what brings the separation. It brings a separation between families, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. AND…this seperation IS the will and plan of God! God’s will is that the gospel would go forth, rescue people out of sin and darkness, brining them into the truth and light, and divide and separate them from all that is opposed to Him and destructive to our lives. God is not seeking to bring all of humanity into some kumbiya unity where we all believe what we want to believe, live how we want to live, and just get along. God’s unity and peace is ALWAYS founded on truth. God seek to, and does unify people based on truth, and that truth is IN Jesus Christ, and Him only. It is exclusive, it is narrow, and it IS the only way.

But this has been God’s way since the beginning of time. God’s purpose and working to divide and separate have been His mode of operation “from the beginning”. In fact even a quick overview of God’s workings from creation, to His dealings with man and His people, and even the coming judgment, show that from beginning to end God is always “dividing and separating”.

From Genesis to Revelation, from beginning to end, this IS the way that God works.

DIVISION IN THE BEGINNING – CREATION

When reading through the book of Genesis (which means “the beginning”) you cannot get through the first four verses without God dividing and separating and setting a pattern and standard for His most important work that He does with man.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (Gen 1:1-4)

The very first spoken words from God that we have recorded have to do with “light and darkness”. It not only has to do with light and darkness, but it specifically contains a declaration about the light. The declaration was that the light “was good”. What does God do in this very first act with the establishment and bringing forth of light? He then moves to divide the light from the darkness. The very first work of God contains a work of “division”. In it, God separated and divided the light from the darkness. While this obviously had to do with natural light and natural darkness, it also contains spiritual truth in the way God will be dealing with the human race as it relates to truth and the knowledge of God. Based on the actions of men, or the work and purpose of God; God will do a “separating and dividing” work in people and in the earth.

Let’s look at a few examples from the Old Testament.

DIVISION IN GOD’S DEALINGS WITH MEN

1. ADAM AND EVE SIN – EXPELLED FROM THE GARDEN

And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Gen 3:22-24)

We all know the story. Adam and Eve dwelt in a literal paradise created by God. They had fellowship with God and could enjoy communing with Him. However, they sinned against the command of God and sin entered the world. Not only did sin enter the world, but God Himself expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and thus separated them from access to the tree of life. Adam and Eve now lived in spiritual darkness and were separated from fellowship with God and from access to the tree of life. This is the very first work of division with God’s dealings with men. Darkness was separated from Light, sin was separated from holiness, man was separated from God.

2. ABRAHAM – CALLED OUT BY GOD

Abraham and his relatives live in the land of Ur of the Chaldees. The scriptures say of Abraham and his relatives, at the time they lived in Ur of the Chaldees, that they “served other God’s”.

And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. (Jos 24:2)

But God had a special purpose for Abraham and decided to reveal Himself to Abraham in a way He had not revealed Himself to anyone else. How did God begin His work? He called Abraham out and separated him from his family and his people.

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: (Gen 12:1)

God made a division. God took His chosen servant, separated Him from his pagan heritage and people, and began to reveal to him the truth about the one true God. God separated him from darkness and began to reveal to him the light.

3. ISRAEL’S  DELIVERANCE FROM EGYPT

For 430 years, Abrahams descendants had been slaves to the Egyptians. They lived in a country steeped in pagan idolatry and were subject to cruel taskmasters as they lived their slaves. Yet God heard their cry for deliverance, and according to His promise to Abraham, He sent a deliverer to bring His people out of bondage. God told Moses:

And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (Exo 3:7-8)

In this act of deliverance, God separated His people from the Egyptians by bringing them out of Egypt and making them His very own special people. Through the plagues brought on Egypt, God made a distinction and separation between His people and the Egyptians, and between the false powerless god’s that the Egyptians served from the One True God of heaven and earth. God essentially birthed His people as a nation by “separating”/”dividing” them from the Egyptian. It was another work of God separating and dividing the “light from the darkness”. God separated the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, the darkness of the pagan idolatry, and began brining them into a more perfect knowledge of the One True God; they were being brought “into the light”.

These are just a few OUT OF THE MANY examples of God’s dividing work found in the Old Testament. It clearly sets for a pattern of God’s dealing in the earth and with man.

SEPARATION AT THE END OF THE AGE

Just as God has done a dividing/separating work at creation, with the early account of history of man, and in salvation; we find God doing the same work of separating light and darkness at the end of the age. It’s easy to see the manner in which God’s work is consistent from beginning to end. Let’s look at a few parables that show the coming work of God in separating His people, the righteous from the unrighteous, the wicked from the just.

1. Wheat and the Tares

Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Mat 13:30)

2. Good Fish Bad Fish

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:47-50)

3. Sheep and the Goats

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Mat 25:31-32)

In each of these parables, at the end of the age, we find God separating His people from those who are not His people. He separates the wicked from the righteous, portrayed as the wheat and the tares, the good fish from the bad, and the sheep from the goats. In each of these descriptions God is dividing the people into two categories, those who walk in the light and those who walk in darkness, those who are righteous and those who are unrighteous, those are saved and those who are not saved. It seems that even the very last act of God in dealing with all of humanity is an act of division. Notice that God does not unify all of humanity under some universal common peace. Instead, those who have found peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ are set apart for everlasting joy and peace in the presence of God, while those who die in their sins are separated for misery and eternal destruction.

God’s work from beginning to end is a work of division and separation. From creation, to God’s early dealings with man, to God’s supernatural work in salvation, to God’s final dealings with man at the end of this age at the judgment. God is always separating the light from the darkness. It is not, and has never been, God will and plan to bring about world peace in this age we live in. God’s goal and plan is to bring individual’s to peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. God will then gather all these people who have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, separate them from the wicked, and give them an everlasting peace in the presence of God where there is TRUE unity founded in and on TRUTH; founded in GOD alone.

I was never able to convince the Catholic lady that it wasn’t God’s will to bring about world peace through praying the rosary. Even when I took the time to show her the scriptures, she outright rejected them. She was convinced that what she heard from her priest was true, even though it disagree with God’s word. If she really did love God, she would have loved God’s word. The two are inseparable. However, like many today, since she does not love God OR His word, she is left in a state of willful delusion having loved the opinions of men over the Word of the Living God. The word of God brought division that day. It separated me from her, and ultimately her from the God she says she follows. Once again, the words of Jesus came true, He did not come to bring peace, but came to divide with the truth.

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. (Joh 12:48)

because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Th 2:9b-12)

Written by Sean Scott

August 10, 2012 at 5:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Veggie Tales creator says he wasn’t teaching Christianity

with 7 comments

Read an interesting article where the creator of the cartoon Veggie Tales (Phil Vischer) admits to simply teaching kids morality through the program, instead of teaching them Christianity and Christ.  Here’s a short excerpt of it:

I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, “Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,” or “Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!” But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality. . . .

I think it’s a good topic that all parents need to be reminded of.  We are not simply to teach our kids to behave right, or exhibit certain Christian characteristics… we are to teach our children Christ and what it means to be a Christian.  So many kids that are raised in Christian homes get deceived into thinking they are Christians simply because they “behave” in a different way outwardly.  They can have all the “form” and speak the language, yet if they have not been born of God they are outside of Christ and still in their sins.  Every person who would come into the kingdom must do so through the New Birth, including our children.  That is a truth we need to teach our children, instead of just seeking to modify their behavior by teaching them morality and Christian virtues.

I think Christian parents also need to be careful about allowing their children to watch programs that turn very important accounts of biblical events (meant to teach us truths about God and His character and nature) into silly comical stories that really make light of very serious truths.  If you feed your children with programs that constantly portray biblical truths as jokes, silliness, and fun and games, how do you think it’s going to affect their view of God?  We are to bring up our children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”  (Eph 6:4).  Our children should see in us a seriousness and reverence for God and for anything that has to do with Him and His kingdom.  We are responsible for reflecting the character and nature of God to our children as Christ was for reflecting the nature and character of His Father to us.  I realize that we do this imperfectly, but nevertheless, it is our responsibility to allow Christ to live through us as we manifest His life to those around us- including to our children.  So, we need to be very careful about how we portray God, and things related to Him, to our children.   Having concern about how our children understand God is one of the reasons why we do not let our children watch “bible cartoons” that take direct biblical accounts and turn them into childish silliness (like veggie tales).

So in conclusion, going back to the quote, I’m glad the creator of Veggie Tales has admitted that his show was not teaching kids about Christ and His Kingdom, but was simply teaching kids morality, which in and of itself is not the Christian message.  I hope that parents will see that we are not simply called to teach our children morality, but we are to teach our children about the person and work of Jesus Christ and what that means for them, and ultimately for everybody.  May the glorious truths of the gospel ceased being reduced into a dumbed down Americanized form of entertainment that perverts the Christian message and distorts the nature and character of God.

(If you want to read more about Phil Vischer and his thoughts on Veggie Tales, just google “Phil Vischer repents).

Written by Sean Scott

July 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How Close Are We To A New Great Depression?

with 3 comments

I typically don’t post news articles, but I found this one interesting.  While I would say that most people are in denial, there seems to be quite a few people, who can see the writing on the wall.  It’s not so much a matter of “if” it will happen, but “when” it will happen.

In 2008 the Lord told us (Myself and Lisa) that there would be a small economic crash that would recover and that there would then come a crash that would be totally devastating.  This article in today’s news just confirms what the Lord showed us regarding a devastating financial collapse that is in the near future.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48193471

Written by Sean Scott

July 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Valley of Vision

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Written by Sean Scott

May 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Does your life condemn? It should…

with 2 comments

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
(Heb 11:7)

Did you know that your life should condemn?  Specifically, your life as a believer, should condemn the world around you.  I’m not talking about shouting condemning words at the lost.  I’m talking about living a life where your genuine faith in God produces in you such a “set apart” life, that your words and lifestyle condemn the world. Where it speaks to their ungodliness and testifies to the reality of the judgment to come.

That’s what Noah’s life did.  Here’s what God said in Genesis:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.   (Gen 6:5-14)

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.  (Gen 6:17)

God told Noah that because all men had become corrupt and wicked, that he was going to destroy all mankind from the face of the earth with a flood.  He then told Noah to build an ark “to the saving of his household”.  What was the result of Noah hearing this truth from God?  The whole course of his life was altered.  Noah had “walked with God” before this encounter with God.  However, Noah’s faith in God, and in his new revelation of God’s plan, altered the way Noah lived.  Because he believed what God said about the coming destruction, his whole life became consumed with obeying God’s instructions for the salvation of him and his household.  

We know that God supernaturally brought the animals to the ark, however, God did not supernaturally supply all the materials for the building of the ark.  Noah had to labor and spend countless hours cutting down tree’s, getting pitch, and manually building the ark.  I’m sure he had to hire some help, or at least have his family help.  You can bet too that he was the talk of the community he lived in.  It would go with out saying that people had to ask him why he was building such a large boat.  Surely he told them that God was going to destroy all mankind with a flood and that God told him to build this ark to save himself and his family.  Can you imagine all the people mocking this crazy man for believing such “non-sense”?  People were indulging in every type of sin and living life to satisfy their own fleshly desires.  Yet in the midst of their debauchery and selfish lifestyles, there is “one” crazy man who’s warning the people of God’s judgement and coming wrath for their sin and ungodliness.  Noah must have seemed like a senile fool to these people.  And of course he did appear this way to them because they “did not know God”.  Noah walked with God, while the rest of fallen humanity didn’t know God or His ways.  They lived simply for their own pleasures and desires, void of any real relationship with God, that they could not discern when truth was being spoken and lived out before them.  What was the result of Noah’s faith?  God says that Noah’s faith condemned the world.  Noah was warned by God of things “not yet seen”.  Noah believe God, trust His word, believing in the covenant God made with him – to preserve him and his family, and then lived in such a way as to show his genuine faith in God.  His life testified to the truth of God’s displeasure with sinful man and to the truth of the coming judgment.  Noah’s actions, as a result of his real faith, condemned the world around him.  As the scripture says, he became and heir of righteousness because of his faith.  

It’s amazing how this one little verse in Hebrews 11 tells us so much about how we should live our lives.  This one sentence, about one man, and how he lived, is used as example to inspire us regarding what it means to walk by faith and to be justified by faith.  But don’t we live in a very similar situation as Noah?  By the testimony of God’s written word, we too know of God’s displeasure towards wicked and corrupt men – which includes every unconverted person.  We too live in an age where everyone does what is right in their own eyes.  We know that God has determined to judge this world and pour out His wrath on it.  We also know that if we, or any man, are found outside of the “ark of Jesus Christ” that we/they will perish under God’s wrath without any hope of ever being saved.  God did not tell Noah the exact day that He was going to bring the destroying flood, and we do not know the exact day that God is going to pour out His wrath and then bring back His Son.

Being convinced of these truths, shouldn’t your life mirror the life that Noah lived?  If you truly have faith in Jesus Christ, your life should be radically altered by the reality of these truths.  First and foremost should be the concern and care for your own soul.  Noah didn’t care who believed him or not, or whether he was considered a mad man or not, he was going to continue walking with God, keep himself from the wickedness in the world, and stay focused on the reality of his salvation and the coming destruction.  Noah knew that if he didn’t not build this boat/ark, and get in it, then he and his family would also be destroyed.  In the same way, if you do not “get in” to Jesus Christ and abide in him, you will also be destroyed and not be saved.  Noah walked with God and “abode” in Him by continuing to walk by faith and doing God’s commandments.  His life became a testimony to the world of God’s truth.  By Noah’s actions, he condemned the world.  And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, believing theses sames truths, your life will condemn the world as well.  The very fact that you have an eternal focus will alter your actions and set you at odds with the world.  1 Peter 4 says:

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
(1Pe 4:3-5)

Knowing that you’ve been purchased with the blood of Christ and been redeemed to God, you no longer live as others in the world live. Nor do you live as you did before you had faith in Christ.  Your inability, or I should say unwillingness, to indulge in the selfish pleasures and pursuits of the wicked testifies to them that you are different.  Your actions testify that your life is  controlled/influenced by Another, and that you believe the truths that you preach.  Your unwillingness to participate in the pursuits and pleasures of the wicked, because of the words of Christ, condemns their very actions and lifestyles.  Your steadfastness in godly living, in watching after your own soul (and your families) testifies that you really do believe these truths that you say you believe.  Sure you will be mocked for your words and lifestyle, but so has every godly man throughout history.  I’m sure Noah was mocked for his beliefs and for his actions of building the ark.  When your life testifies to the truth of God and speaks against the lives and actions of the ungodly, and the ungodly don’t receive your testimony, their natural reaction is to mock you.  That is what happens when people do not receive the testimony of a godly life.

When you live a steadfast godly life, one that condemns the actions of the wicked; whether it leads to their repentance or not, you are justifying your faith in the same way Noah was justified by his faith.  Noah’s faith in God produced in him a steadfastness to “do the will of God” and not to get involved in “the affairs of this world”.  His faith produces works – works that he will one day be judged by, and rewarded for.  When you live a godly life like Noah, set on steadfastly doing God’s will, not participating in the pleasures and desires and meaningless pursuits of the unconverted (and your old lifestyle), you are justifying your faith as well.  Your faith in Christ is shown to be true, and you are an heir of righteousness by faith.

So let me ask you again… does your life condemn the world?  Does your life testify to the truth you say you believe?  Has your faith been justified by your pursuit of godliness and your steadfastness to do with will of God?

OR

Does your life make the ungodly feel at ease?  Do the ungodly feel comfortable around you because your life is not much different that theirs?  If so, then how is your faith justified?  If your faith isn’t justified, then you have no faith at all.

I pray your life condemns the world around you by your faithful testimony to preach and live the truth you say you believe.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(Joh 3:19-21)

Written by Sean Scott

May 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized