Hello friends and family, I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and that we don't forget Jesus who came to earth from His throne to save us and that we don't lose the giving spirit and good will toward men and women. Praise God.
Here we are already to enter into a brand new year. As I have mentioned the past couple years, many church leaders brag about what God has said to them about the coming new year. Though I am not going to say that what they claim is untrue, I have found that the cute rhymes they use from year to year are just the opposite of what happens. As we looked at last week and the weeks prior, beware of false teachings. Beware of these wolves in sheep's clothing trying to trap you into their synagogs and convince you into pouring hundreds of dollars out that lines their pockets.
Friends, I am struggling starting this message in this way. Many are going to take this as I am saying that we don't need to tithe. That we are not to be a giving people. That is the last thing I am trying to teach, as the Bible does tell us that we do need to give and for those who say that it was a thing for those living in Old Testament times, how wrong you are and there is scripture proving it in the New Testament. Glory to God. That is for another teaching.
Friends, please turn to Colossians 2:15 and mark your place there. Then please turn to 2 Thessalonians 2
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 KJV (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, (17) Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.
Friends, spiritual warfare is so very real. I think many hear about spiritual warfare and they shrug it off, because they know little about it. Brothers and sisters, we need to know about it and how to allow Jesus to help us. We can find these ways, by learning about putting on the armor of God and again we will study that soon.
The blessed hope of Christ’s coming is what you and I put our faith in. He is coming and I believe very soon. This truth, which we put our faith in should deeply affect us and we should not be moved with false doctrine and satanic heresies of the last days, when there will be general religious apostasy and denial of the program of God’s Word. Let us not be deceived by the doctrine of any man or by the trend of events, to let loose of the hope of His imminent return. Church, our faith in Jesus is what matters and His Word. Don't get caught up in religious traditions and smooth talking church leaders. If they are not teaching from the Word of God, run. That pastor that tells you that it is alright to do the things that the Bible says to refrain from, is not going to save you. I don't want to down ALL the mega churches, as I pray that there are some that are truly teaching the truth, but I have heard some of the messages from some and I shake my head with disgust from some of what I see and hear.
Colossians 2:15 KJV And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Some think, and I believe at that very moment that Jesus hung on the cross and died, those who watched thought the same thing. "Oh no, our teacher died. He that we put so much trust in, is gone, what are we going to do now?" Catch what this verse says in the Good News Bible.
Colossians 2:15 GNB And on that cross Christ freed himself from the power of the spiritual rulers and authorities; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession.
Yes friends, Christ did die. The Savior of the world. Yes He was whipped and the Bible says that He looked not like a man and yes He was nailed to a tree where He died. Horrible, horrible, but this had to happen. I am so glad that what was said in Isaiah 53 came to pass. I Would have really been disappointed to see him called a false prophet.
I wonder often if King David might have got a glimpse of what Jesus would go through reading from Psalm 22. In your own time, read this chapter. The psalm gives a graphic picture of the death of the Lord Jesus and is called “the psalm of the cross.” We see both the sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow. Oh for grace to draw near and see this great sight.
In the crucifixion of Christ, we see the victory over the enemy. The devil and his fallen Angels have been disarmed. That is, the destruction of their power has been publicly displayed in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. This is how the dark forces were defeated, because of the triumph of the cross. Now you and I, God's people receive forgiveness of sins. Praise Jesus.
Let's look at this next verse and this should open the eyes to some who might be reading and have been blinded to the truth.
Colossians 2:16 KJV Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.
Friends, we are going to spend some time in this verse, because we need to get an understanding of what Paul is saying and a deeper understanding of what Christ did for you and me. Because you and I have been set free in Christ, no one has the right to judge us in regard to keeping the Old Testament law. Bare with me as I read passages from the OT. They are a bit long, but you and I need to see what Apostle Paul was referring to.
Leviticus 11:1-47 KJV And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. (3) Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. (4) Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. (5) And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. (6) And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. (7) And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. (8) Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. (9) These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. (10) And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: (11) They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. (12) Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. (13) And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, (14) And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; (15) Every raven after his kind; (16) And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (17) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, (18) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (19) And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (20) All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. (21) Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; (22) Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. (23) But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. (24) And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. (25) And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. (26) The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. (27) And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. (28) And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. (29) These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, (30) And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. (31) These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. (32) And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. (33) And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. (34) Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. (35) And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. (36) Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean. (37) And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. (38) But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you. (39) And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even. (40) And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. (41) And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. (42) Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. (43) Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. (44) For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (45) For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. (46) This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: (47) To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
Deuteronomy 14:1-29 KJV (1) Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. (2) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (3) Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. (4) These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, (5) The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. (6) And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. (7) Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. (8) And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. (9) These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: (10) And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. (11) Of all clean birds ye shall eat. (12) But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, (13) And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, (14) And every raven after his kind, (15) And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (16) The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, (17) And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, (18) And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (19) And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. (20) But of all clean fowls ye may eat. (21) Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. (22) Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. (23) And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. (24) And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: (25) Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: (26) And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, (27) And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. (28) At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: (29) And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
To me, These scriptures that we just read concerning food belonged only to the Jews. I believe that God intended to keep them from mingling with and conforming themselves to idolatrous neighbors. God created you and me. He created all living things. He has a perfect plan for you and me. The clean animals, fish and birds when eaten, digest better. God knows this. For me, when I eat pork, or fish without scales, I know that after eating, I am going to need a bathroom very soon. Now, it may have nothing to do with eating things that were noted in the Old Testament as clean or unclean, but this started happening when I learned these verses some 10 years ago.
We see Paul is expressing points on 3 points. Dietary customs, festivals and we can see that they were yearly events. New moons, monthly events and the Sabbath, which is a weekly event.
1 Chronicles 23:31 KJV And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:
Acts 20:7, "And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight."
1 Cor. 16:1-2, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come."
I know this was a lot to take in for an hour, but a message I think we all had to hear. Again, those who are on the Cross Roads Fellowship 3.0 site, I pray that you will join us with reading the Bible. Cover to Cover in 2015. I feel there is going to be an awakening of the church this coming year. For those who may be reading or hearing this message and you are not part of Cross Roads, you can join by clicking on this link. Cross Roads Fellowship
Hope to see you there.
Good morning friends and family. Here we are just days away from the day that we celebrate the birth of the One who saved us from our destruction. Glory be to God! I have thought throughout this week whether or not to switch gears and share a Christmas message or to continue our study in Colossians. From the title of today's message, I think you can guess where I felt led to go.
Last week we looked at many different beliefs that were sneaking into the church of Colosse and compared it to some of the things that are still entering in, even in our day. Through discussions with brothers and sisters in Christ this week, it seems that there is a hunger for more of God. I rejoice in that, but I also am concerned that some look in the wrong places.
I have shared before that many ask, or state that they don't know the will God has for their lives. Anyone want to share where we find God's will for each of our lives? That's right. In His Word, and we have looked at many verses before showing this. My question is...once they hear this and have been shown in scriptures, do they seek?
I am so blessed to know that there is a Bible reading group now on Cross Roads Fellowship for all members to use. Also on Mylook Online. Glory to God. There are Bible Apps that can be used to read the Bible, using many translations and also an audio Bible. I would urge all members and those who are not members to take advantage of this structured Bible reading. Contact me if you are up for this challenge.
Please turn, if you will to Colossians 2: 11 and mark your place there. Then I would ask you to turn to 2 Peter.
"Why are you so into us reading the Bible, brother Jim? I really don't have time to read with work and children. It makes me tired to read. Can't I just listen in church to the sermons each Sunday?" Well, you can. It's your choice. I guess it depends on how hungry for more of God you are. It depends on whether or not you want to have a discerning spirit as to whether you are hearing a Godly message or not.
You see my friends, there are many out there teaching the truth. It may sound close, but it has a twist to it. There are teachers who, I believe, were called to preach the Gospel and because of pride or whatever, everything changes. We can look at proof of this in many ministries today.
Smooth tongued false teachers seldom deny Jesus Christ who taught, but they do deny Jesus who brought. The devil hates the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and there you get all the conflicting theories as to His death. Think I am joking? Start paying attention to these wolves in sheep's clothing, but beware.
2 Peter 2:1-10 KJV But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (4) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Church, where God sends His true messengers with His Word, the devil always sends those to seduce and deceive, and especially to deny Christ’s redemptive work. Such men bring swift destruction upon themselves, even though they prosper for a while. We can fool man, but God is not fooled.
This is the importance of trusting in God. This is why the importance in building our faith by being in Jesus (HIS WORD). Praise God.
Now let's turn back to Colossians 2 and verse 11.
Colossians 2:11 KJV In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
This verse and topic has come up a lot in the past week. Why? Maybe because I needed to hear to better share with you today.Paul speaks of a spiritual circumcision, a circumcision done by Christ, not by people.
So here we are in part of a sex education class. Not really, but in a way. Circumcision represented the Law in the Old Testament. It was a covenant sign. We know that covenant is very, very important to God and we can see throughout His Word all kinds of covenants. Keep your place here and please turn to Genesis 17:10.
Genesis 17:10-12 KJV This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. (11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. (12) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
Now, someone hearing this, or reading this who has not been circumcised might be panicking. Please don't fret. I know a man who went through this operation while he was in his 70's. We as followers of Christ, are not under the law any longer. Church, we as Christians have died to the law. Praise the finished work of our Redeemer and Savior.
Romans 7:6 KJV But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 2:27-29 KJV And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? (28) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: (29) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
It involved the shedding of blood and was representative of the true covenant of Christ's blood that was then future. The removal of the body of flesh speaks of our sinful nature.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 KJV (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Colossians 2:12 KJV Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Now some will say, "Brother Jim, you say that we should read our Bibles daily?" Yes. "Well, if we are not under the law, why continue to read the OT?" To me, I want to know where these covenants started, for one thing. I also think it is important to see examples of doing the will of God demonstrated by others and learn from those who turned away from God.
Paul talks about Old Testament circumcision with New Testament baptism. Notice the phrase "raised up." This is a strong allusion to the act of being dunked in water and thereby participating in the spiritual resurrection of Christ. This baptism symbolizes our death to the law as well as the death of our carnal natures. The putting off of the carnal flesh even as circumcision was also the putting off of flesh.
Our resurrection in baptism is through faith. The resurrection of Christ by the Father is a demonstration that the sacrifice of Christ was acceptable to God the father. Amen? Church, do we get this?
Colossians 2:13 KJV And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
Praise Jesus! Turn if you will to Ephesians 2.
Ephesians 2:1-2 KJV And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Romans 6:23 KJV For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I want you to think about this for a moment. There are those who teach that all men (and women) will enter into heaven. I hope you don't fall into that belief. We can look at many verses that prove that is not so. For those of you familiar with Matthew 7, we know Jesus said that belief is false.
If all men were saved, it could never be made to appear that we did really deserve to die. In spite of the cross, we, angels, and the universe would doubt it. The loss of some men through rejection of Christ sets that doubt at rest and proves to all eternity that those who are saved were by nature the children of wrath. Does that speak to you?
To me it says if all go to Heaven, why did Jesus leave His throne and come to this sinful place and die to save us? Why all this talk of faith in the Bible? Why would we have to be forgiving? Why love our neighbor? If this wasn't true, we could be murderous, thieving, backstabbing adulterous, lying scum of the earth and not worry about anything. Much like this world is living today.
Friends, God is real. Heaven is real. Hell is very real and many will go there. Mary did conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and that child was and is Jesus. He lived a sinless life, died on a cross was resurrected on the 3rd day and now sits with God the Father. The Bible is true, every Word of it and inspired from God. Jesus is alive today and has forgiven the sins of those who have come to Him. If you doubt any part of this, I suggest you be in prayer and repent and ask the Lord to direct you in His truth. Praise the One true living God who was and is and is to come. Halleluiah! ! Praise the King of kings, church. Praise His Holy name.
Colossians 2:14 KJV Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
What a powerful promise this verse is to us. Glory to God!! Friends, our debt to God has been canceled. The debt is death. This death is separation from God.
1 Corinthians 15:55-58 KJV (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Friends, I am about to close for today, but I want to make sure you get this. If Jesus is laying somewhere that no one has found yet, there would be no hope for you and me. The Gospel, (good news) would be meaningless. Yet my Bible tells me all who are in Christ will be made alive. Praise Jesus! Who will be made alive? Those in Christ. Those who have in faith called out to Jesus and repented of their sin asked Him into their lives to be Lord and Savior.
Friends, I pray that you have done that. If not, I would like to pray with you.
Paul said "Nailed to the cross." The crucifixion of Christ.
1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Praise Jesus!!
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 KJV (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This Jesus loves you. He who was and still is rejected throughout the world. He is willing and able to save the worst of all men and women, but you have to ask. Maybe someone today listening or reading this message feels a tug at your heart. Have you asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior? Have you confessed your sins to Him? If this message is speaking to you and you know it is, please get in touch with me and I will pray with you and help you to get to know Jesus. Don't put it off, because tomorrow may be too late. We were never promised tomorrow. We cannot be certain what the next day may bring. With all the craziness going on in the world, we may never see tomorrow. Without the faith in Jesus and making that commitment to Him, we are doomed to hell and it is not for just a little bit. Eternity is forever. Jesus came to save us, so that we might have life and have it abundantly. We have that choice.
Leanna and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Who Are We In Christ? From the Book Of Colossians part 7
What a glorious time to be alive and see prophecy come to life. Good morning church and welcome to part 7 of the study of the book of Colossians called "Who Are We In Christ ?" Last week's message seemed to speak to a few people. Praise the Lord! There have been those who have written to me on-line and through phone calls that to me confirmed I was on the right track. As we get further into this, the more things I feel will be brought to light that many, including myself, had not seen or thought of. Thank You Jesus.
Turn if you will to Colossians chapter 2 and mark your place, and then please turn to 1 John chapter 1. Just like the book of Hebrews, we can't be positively certain who penned this book. Most Bible scholars say it's from Apostle John and was most likely to the churches near Emphases. I want us to look at the strong and powerful message he was sharing in just this passage.
1 John 1:5-10 KJV This then is the message which we have heard of Him, (Jesus) and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Fellowship with the Father, which has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word, can be maintained only by walking in the light, which signifies the recognizing of our sins with frank confession of them and forsaking of them as they're revealed to us, and belief in Christ crucified as the remedy for sin.
Church, do we get this? It isn't just knowing that we have sinned, but dealing with that sin. I like what the late brother David Wilkerson said. It is being in anguish over that sin. It is truly giving that sin to Christ.
Our sins were judicially dealt with at the cross which results in eternal life, but unconfessed and unforsaken sin in the believer brings the loss of fellowship with God and chastisement. 1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Confession of sin would not bring fellowship with God, unless the sinner had accepted the finished work of Christ on the cross. 1 Corinthians 11:31-33 KJV (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (33) Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
I believe this message is going to be powerful, leading some, if not all to a repented heart. Praise God! My friends, we need to be rooted in Christ. Not for just a while, but all our days. Amen?
Let's go to Colossians, and we'll pick up in chapter 2, verse 8. Glory to God!
Colossians 2:8 KJV Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Church, our faith and understanding needs to be in Christ and His Word. Do we get this? I've shown you this verse often and we need to get this deep in our heart. It's from the great faith chapter in Hebrews. Hebrews 11:6 KJV But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Christ is the wisdom of God, and is of God made wisdom to the humble. The treasures of wisdom are not hidden from us in Christ, but for us. Supposed supplies of spiritual wisdom from any other source are a delusion. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, not figuratively, but literally, for He is both God and man, the manifestation of the Father to us.
Friends, what Paul was addressing to the Colosse church, like we looked at last week was false teachings and we need to look at these things in our day too. They're here and not only are they in our days, but running a muck here in America and the world. You have false teachers leading congregations astray with philosophy, like in Paul's day. Empty deception, the traditions of men, and the elementary principles of the world.
The Greeks were known for their love of wisdom. Philosophy means “love of wisdom.” But if you love a wisdom or teaching that is not of Christ, then you love an empty idol. Can anyone think of a religious group that loves their statues? Even their magnificent churches?
This will bring me hate mail, but Catholics are a good example of this with its empty philosophies of men that advocate unbiblical doctrines such as purgatory, penance, the mass, veneration of Mary, etc. These things are not based on Christ, or on the Word of God.
For those who saw the movie God's Not Dead, we see how one young man boldly proved many theories about creation very wrong. I know I've mentioned this before, but please, please if you get a chance to see this movie, do.
"Brother Jim, what other types of philosophies do I have to watch out for?" Glad you asked. Evolution. It's okay if you murder an unborn baby, because it really isn't living. It's okay to live a homosexuality lifestyle. There are those who claim that it's normal to live that way. God made that person that way. Wrong, wrong and very wrong. We trust in the Bible. Yes? God's Word says this is an abomination. Does that sound like God is okay with it? Absolutely not. But the devil has it in our faces and now our government okays it, so people think it is okay. Wow, that just struck a nerve with me.
Here is one. Take care of yourself first. Really? Have faith in family, your doctor. Put your faith in the government. Oh yea. That sounds like a place to put your faith. No, friend. Jesus said in Mark 11:22 KJV And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. Again in John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
Let's look at some old testament verses about having faith in God and see if it's important.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
God doesn't just deliver us that trust in Him in times of trouble, but will give you grace to rejoice during your trials. I am finally starting to recognize that. Praise You Jesus!
Colossians 2:9 KJV For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Friends, this verse right here most just speed right past. You might think, "I know God is part of the Godhead. In fact, brother Jim, I know that the trinity is Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and they are all one." Praise the Lord, you are right, but back then and even now, there are cults that deny Jesus as God.
Again, I ask you, do you believe the Bible is true? Was every word inspired by God? God doesn't lie? So by your own admission the Bible is true, these words weren't made up in the past 100 years to fill a gap, or to appease some church somewhere. Jesus is God and part of the Godhead. We also believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever? Praise God. And that He is not a respecter of persons? He didn't have this verse just for the church of Colosse?
Jesus left His throne, church, as God. We all know John 1 1-4.
John 1:1-4 KJV In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. (2) The same (The Word, Jesus) was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. Praise Jesus.
'Wow, brother Jim, why dwell on this verse? Let's get to the next verse.' Not so fast, my friend.
The title of this message is "Who Are We In Christ?" Here you go. Jesus, is so unique, and I think many take that for granted. Then you have part of the very heresy that Paul was warning the Colossians against. The Gnostics were teaching that Jesus was not God in flesh. They taught that He was merely an angel who appeared to us and one cult of today's age is doing the same, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Only in Jesus can you have the fullness of life. Only when we surrender our lives to Him. Glory to God.
I love this next verse, and it could be a whole study in itself till we get it in our minds and in our hearts. Everything that we have and need is in Christ. In Him we are complete. Praise Jesus.
Colossians 2:10 KJV And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
Do we get this, friends? You and I have everything we need in Jesus. Everything. Not just bits and pieces. In fact, I would ask all of you today to do some research on your own this week. How are you complete in Jesus? Next week, I will ask if anyone wants to share their findings. Praise Jesus.
What else do we see in this verse? He, (Jesus) is the head of all principality and power. Glory be to God. Paul is sharing with the Colossians and you and me, my friends, that Jesus is in charge of all things. I've said many times that it seems like this word is about to explode. When you or I feel like the walls are crashing in all around us, Jesus is still in control. So why don't we just surrender to Him?
Friends, since we are complete in Christ and He is the head over all rule and authority, we need to look to Him alone for all of our spiritual needs.
We will close now, but I want you to really get a revelation of what has been taught here today, as it's that important. Christ is the wisdom of God, and is of God made wisdom to the humble. The treasures of wisdom are not hidden from us in Christ, but for us. Church, supplies of spiritual wisdom from any other source are a delusion. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, not figuratively, but literally, for He is both God and man, the manifestation of the Father to us. Praise God.
Good morning friends and family and welcome to part 6 of our study, "Who Are We In Christ," from the book of Colossians. My prayer is that those who have joined our Sunday services and the ones that have been reading these notes on Christian and secular sites have been blessed. Not just blessed, but have actually heard the message, and then live their lives according to what the scriptures have said. I believe that there's a reason that I've been teaching from this book, as it is not how I usually teach.
Here we are in chapter 2. In weeks prior, we found that Apostle Paul did write this epistle. Timothy was in prison with him. We found that Epaphras, a member of the Colosse church had come to visit Paul and to share things that were happening in the church. We found that Tychicus and Oneimus brought this epistle to the Colossian church and also one to the churches of Ephusus and Philemon. We also see that Paul was in prayer for this church, as I have seen in all his epistles for each church that he wrote to. So let's continue reading the second chapter of Colossians and find out what was happening in this church and compare to the happenings of what is going on today in the churches right here in the US and abroad.
Colossians 2:1-23 KJV For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (5) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. (6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (19) And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. (20) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (21) (Touch not; taste not; handle not; (22) Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
We see that Paul touched on many things that was entering into the church. Because Colosse was part of a trade port, there were people from all over that visited, and because there were so many different beliefs from other parts of the world, things were entering into the church. You had a mixture of Greeks, Jewish and Oriental religions all trying to be part of God's church. It isn't that God didn't love the Orientals or the Greeks, or any other nationality of people, but the Bible needs to be followed. Amen? The same goes for us today. There are so many old beliefs and new ones that are and have been trying to get into the church. It's why I ask you to be in prayer and ask you to read your Bible on a daily basis. Let's look at this verse by verse.
Colossians 2:1 KJV For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
As we saw in Chapter 1, Paul was very much in touch with what was going on in this church. I also don't think that Paul had ever been there, but was hoping to go one day. Also through studying for this, I find that there was a letter that was sent to Laodicea. As a true disciple, he loved them and wanted them to be united in love.
Church, through this study, I hope that we understand that this unity and love is based on a true knowledge of Jesus.
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Here, Paul is saying, "In that knowledge of Him, there is safety." You know Him and you know that He is the Creator. You know that he is the sustainer not only of all creation, but of you as well." Amen? Let me ask you this. As a church, are you knit together in love or are there divisions among you? This is a question we should ask often, because of so many people of different backgrounds who have been taught, or belonged to many denominations from all over the world. That, and because we all have our own fleshly desires. We're all human, but to we learn God's ways by researching the Bible.
Let me give you an example. There are so many sayings that have floated around since I was a child, and I took them as the gospel truth.
God will not give you more than you can handle. You can search your Bible, but you will not find it anywhere. Now, let's look at 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1Co 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.
This verse refers to dealing with temptation, not burdens.
1 Corinthians 10:13 GNB (13) Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
This is just one example. One more that bugs me when I hear it. Please turn to James 4: 2 and 3. I hear often someone say, "You have not because you ask not." I am going to show you that the Bible does not say that. We will look at 2 translations.
James 4:2-3 KJV Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Do you see what James was saying here? Let's look at one more and I think it will be perfectly clear. Praise the Lord!
James 4:2-4 GW You want what you don't have, so you commit murder. You're determined to have things, but you can't get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don't have the things you want, because you don't pray for them. (3) When you pray for things, you don't get them because you want them for the wrong reason-for your own pleasure. (4) You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
These scriptures are not saying because you don't ask God in prayer, but that your heart is not right when and why you ask for these things. Church, do we get this? Again, be in the Bible and in prayer, daily.
Colossians 2:3 KJV In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Christ is the wisdom of God, and is of God, made wisdom to the humble. The treasures of wisdom are not hidden from us in Christ, but for us. Supposed supplies of spiritual wisdom from any other source are a delusion. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, not figuratively, but literally, for He is both God and man, the manifestation of the Father to us. Praise Jesus!!
Now come some of the heresies that Paul would warn against.
Colossians 2:4-7 GW I say this so that no one will mislead you with arguments that merely sound good. (5) Although I'm absent from you physically, I'm with you in spirit. I'm happy to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. (6) You received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live as Christ's people. (7) Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.
All true Christians have a salvation complete in Jesus and need not pin their faith on the opinions of philosophers nor bear the yoke of ceremonial law. Christ alone is the hope of glory, and in Him we are complete. Amen?
I just mentioned the phrase about God not giving us more than we can handle and a friend just stopped in and used the phrase in the same manner as many do, but wouldn't stay long enough to hear the truth.
I think what Paul is saying is he wants the Colossians or us to be deceived by clever sounding arguments. Of course, the only way to avoid this is to know your Scriptures and know the person of Christ in truth.
Let's look at some persuasive arguments that the church today might be dealing with. Churches marrying homosexuals. Allowing homosexuals to be pastors, that homosexuals can be ordained, or that Christ has already returned, or that we are supposed to be healthy and wealthy as Christians, or that life in a mother's womb isn't until the fetus is fully formed. I pray that each of you know that these things are very wrong in God's view and that we stay away from such evil. We need to be very careful when hearing fine sounding arguments because we do not want our fellowship with Christ to be hindered. Church, do we get this? The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, and if he can get his foot in the door in the church, you have already got a split in that church.
Believe it or not, some new age groups use verse 5 to support astral projection by citing the term "absent in body." Of course, Paul isn't speaking about astral projection. He's speaking about how he desires to be with them, that his heart is with them.
Paul also says that he desires that they be anchored in Christ and be stable in the teachings of Jesus as well as the doctrines concerning who He is.
Verses 6 and 7. Paul tells us that we should walk in Jesus because we have received Jesus. In other words, we behave according to how we believe. If we have received Christ, we have done so because we have believed and trusted in his atoning work and that he has delivered us from sin. Therefore, we should walk accordingly. We are a new creation. We, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in our faith, just as we were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Friends, we are able to walk with Christ because we are firmly rooted in Him and are being built up in Him reading our Bibles, in prayer, listening to sound doctrine. Gaining faith in Jesus by studying His Word We are learning and growing in a relationship with Him. Does everyone understand this? Praise God!!
1 Cor. 1:9 is where God calls us into fellowship with Jesus. It is in the heart of our relationship with Christ that we should manifest an overflowing gratitude and dedication to Him. Actually, everyone turn there and we'll close with this passage.
1 Corinthians 1:6-10 KJV (6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I would ask each of you to meditate on these verses this week. The plain preaching of a crucified Jesus is more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of an unbelieving world. All the boasted science of the world cannot do for souls what “Christ crucified” does. All one needs, or can desire, they may have in Him (Jesus). He is made wisdom to the foolish, righteousness to the guilty, sanctification to the corrupt, and redemption to those who are in bonds. Praise the name of Jesus.
Church, praise His name and thank Him for what He's done in your life. Praise Him for delivering you from the bondage that you may have been in for years. Praise His Holy name for loving you and saving you and never leaving you nor forsaking you. Praise King Jesus.