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.