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DEFINING SIN: The Growing Movement to Ban the New Testament as Anti-Semitic Hate Speech (3)

YOU NEVER HEAR THIS STUFF ON CHRISTIAN TELEVISION:

         Did you know that the Biblical New Testament—that which contains the entire teaching curriculum of the Lord Jesus, His record of miraculous works, the history of His salvation-producing death, and the truth of His glorious resurrection—has been vociferously attacked by very powerful Americans who want to destroy it and have plans to do that very thing?

         Did you know that millions of Christians support these very people and are so clueless they don’t even know their own enemies?

         Did you know a very high ranking individual of another faith wrote a book twelve years ago essentially demanding a total ban on the New Testament and that he did this because he claimed the New Covenant writings are anti-Semitic?

         Did you know there are many large organizations of Christians partnering with anti-Christians in which the Christians refuse to witness to the unbelievers as if the Gospel did not apply to them?

         If you didn’t know any of this you had better start waking up because the time will come in America when the New Testament will not only be slammed as hate speech, laws will be passed against it, and a total ban will be proposed. Mark my words. The time is approaching faster than you may think. And the worst part? Many so-called Christians and influential Christian leaders will actually support it.

         Sin is growing out of fashion as a concept. It is trending out of acceptance as a principle. It is no longer perceived among mainstream Christians in America as a tenet of acceptable belief.

         None of this is new in world history. Most of the world has traditionally resided in spiritual darkness from time immemorial. There is no question about that. Spiritual darkness even invaded the so-called Holy Land well over two thousand years ago and remains there still. When the Lord Jesus appeared on the scene His arrival was characterized as LIGHT shining on the darkness. What darkness? The majority of the Hebrew people dwelling there at that time did not think their nation was in darkness. And yet the honored and incredibly accurate Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote this:

         “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” [Matthew 4:15-16] [1]

         Many of you know these verses well. But how well have you noticed the clear reference to darkness? This wasn’t just any darkness. Remember, this was Galilee, the former land of the northern tribes of Israel. But even at the time of the prophecy he called it the land of Gentiles. I would argue, though, and argue very correctly that even before the time of the Assyrian Captivity when the northern tribes were marched off and removed from the land, the land was in darkness. In fact, the land was so dark during the time of the Israelite kings it actually grew less dark after the Hebrews left. If this seems like a strange notion, I suggest you study the idolatrous history of the Northern Kingdom and its wicked kings.

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND

         The Assyrian Captivity began right around the time Isaiah began his ministry in about 740 B.C. The final deportations took place after the fall of Samaria and final defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Imagine then that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah 700 years before the Light appeared. And he prophesied of a time when the land would not only be dark but would be referred to as “the land of the shadow of death.” That’s pretty serious. That was a very dark land.

         Could America be characterized this way? Well, one must consider that in the 43 and a half years since a reprobate Supreme Court legalized wholesale in-womb baby killing in what used to be the land of the free, upwards of 60 MILLION babies have been murdered. And this great infanticide has never been stopped no matter what solution has been proposed and attempted. Billions of dollars and millions of man hours have gone into the fight to stop it and nothing has worked yet. The Supreme Court could have overturned the outrageous decision at any time. It could overturn it now. But it won’t. Could it be dwelling in a place of darkness? Is not America of the last 43 plus years the land of the shadow of death? And do we therefore need a bright new LIGHT to shine forth and expose this terrible darkness and end all this wanton murder and destruction?

         I vote in the affirmative. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the mega dollar preachers with mega church followers and giant worldwide television and social media presences to do anything about it. Don’t wait for the billion-plus member Roman Catholic Church to do anything about it. There is a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court and they refuse to do anything about it! And don’t wait for your mainline gigantic Protestant/Evangelical church bodies to do anything either because they won’t. They have billions of dollars to work with but they waste most of it every day on not only doing nothing to alleviate the darkness and death, but actually promote it and spread it around. How?—At the voting booth. Why do Christians keep voting these people into office?

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Old Testament Scriptures are listed in All Caps in the NASV95. Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

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DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

        Many Christians erroneously believe the Old Testament has been eliminated by the New Testament but the Lord Jesus NEVER said this. In fact, He said the following:

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19] [1]

         In this passage, the Lord Jesus grants full approval of the entire Torah, accepts it in every respect without question, and allows for no elimination of any single law. He is saying that the Law of Moses is perfect and complete, just as the apostle Paul later taught in his writings, and He endorses the Law wholeheartedly. The Lord Jesus put His entire ministry and mission on the line by doing this, tying Himself entirely and absolutely to the Torah and its existence at least until heaven and earth passes away.

         Therefore, the notion that the Old Testament or the Law of Moses is no longer viable or in play could not be more wrong: Every definition of sin regarding personal human behavior is still 100% in effect. So if people say, “Well, since Jesus never said anything about this sin or that sin, it must be okay to practice such,” the correct response is that He actually did since He endorsed the Law and the Prophets. If the Law of Moses said something was a sin, it is still a sin to this day and the Lord Jesus agrees.

         Also, if the Torah said a particular action or behavior was a gross sin, or a complete violation of God’s intent, or an abomination, then it was and remains an abomination. You can tell which sins were the worst by the penalties attached to them. The worst sins had the sentence of death as the penalty, signifying the outright heinousness of the behavior and ultimately the total contempt for the Lord and His Law.

         Therefore, even though the Gospels do not address every single specific sin or the worst sins that required the death penalty, the Lord endorsed the written Torah, which does.

THE ORAL LAW

         Of course, the original written Torah was added to in a sense and amended with the addition of the unwritten oral law, which began about the time of the Babylonian Captivity and grew in content until the first century A.D. This oral law did not change the written Law (the Torah—the Law of Moses) which remained intact, but it had changed and corrupted the original intent of the written Law. The Lord Jesus addressed this corrupting influence on many occasions, rebuking those Torah-teachers who advocated for its use in altering the original.

         (Many Christians are guilty of the same practice, having altered the original teachings of the Lord Jesus to suit their own taste and limited understanding, and in some cases changing His intent and meaning entirely.)

         Since the New Testament thus defines sin by the Lord’s support of the Law and the Prophets, there is actually no distinction between the two in defining sin. Sin is still what it has always been and it still incurs a penalty. Many people do not understand they are paying a penalty for sin in some form or another at present based on some past or present sin, which they do not recognize as sin. They do not consciously make the cause and effect connection between the two.

         But God is not mocked. What we plant is what we will harvest. The ultimate penalty for unconfessed sin comes after physical death. It is not the Lord’s fault if people choose to die in their sins having rejected the only cure and the only cleansing agent—the Blood of Jesus.

         The worst sins require the death penalty. The Lord Jesus paid that death penalty in full on our behalf. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law regarding sin and whoever applies the penalty He paid toward their own sins will have their long list of violations against God and man expunged, and their official record of sin will be erased as if it never existed.

         This is the Lord’s grace. This is His mercy. This is His love.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

What is a Real Christian?

         Once again we have another controversy in the news about what it means to be a Christian. Who is a real Christian? What does a real Christian believe? What does a real Christian do? Are you a real Christian?

         Franklin Graham, Al Sharpton, and a few left-leaning television talking heads seem to have different ideas about the subject. What do I think?

         I think who cares what they think? It doesn’t matter what they think. It doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what the Bible says. What matters is how closely one lines himself or herself up with the teachings of Jesus. The only thing that really matters is what He thinks.

         Now, of course, since we have roughly a billion different Christian denominations, sects, offshoots, strange individuals who believe things no one else does, and the vast majority who think they are Christians no matter what it is they believe, there must be a final appeal to authority. There must be someone who straightens out the whole mess and sets us all straight.

         That Someone is the Man who created Christianity.

         He didn’t call it that. He had no church boards or elder boards or denominational leaders trying to outdo each other in a funny hat contest. The apostles wore no backwards collars. They didn’t affect some high-minded holier-than-all-you-unwashed-bozos arrogant religious attitude. The Lord was not judgmental, condemning, or prejudiced during His sojourn on earth 2000 years ago. He went out of His way to help people. Simple people. Ordinary people. Everyday people. He never acted toward religious bigwigs with one attitude and toward the lower classes with another attitude. What you saw was what you got. If you didn’t like it, it was your problem. And if you have a problem with Jesus, YOU HAVE A VERY BIG PROBLEM.

         So what was the big controversy regarding Franklin Graham’s recent interview? The big thing, the main thing, was that the hosts could hardly believe Mr. Graham was questioning the president’s Christianity. “You don’t believe our president is a Christian?” they seemed to all think in unison.

         But Franklin Graham was not swayed. It’s difficult for Christians to be nice to everyone and also tell the truth. Well, here’s a news flash: The Lord did not instruct His people to be nice to everyone. He taught them to go forth and tell the truth. He commanded them to go out and tell everyone the Good News. If someone does not like the Good News, tell it anyway. If someone makes fun of you for telling the Good News, tell it anyway. If someone wants to destroy your life, your reputation, or kill you, tell the Good News anyway.

         Why else did all the original apostles except John die a violent martyr’s death? Why was the Lord Himself killed by a bunch of sorry religious idiots? Because He was nice guy?

         The truth is not easy. It never has been.

         Do I think the president is a real Christian? My opinion does not matter. Only God knows our hearts. Only God will ultimately judge us. But I can say that the Bible teaches that murder is a sin. And I can say that anyone who advocates for abortion is advocating for murdering tiny defenseless babies. And I can say anyone who argues that abortion is an option in the realm of “women’s health” is dead wrong from a Biblical point of view.

         Unrepentant baby killers will not inherit the kingdom of God. There is absolutely no Scriptural backing anywhere in the teachings of Jesus that says murder is okay. In the Old Testament, murder was a stoning offense. For decades, the argument was repeatedly made that a “fetus” is not a life. It is a mere gob of tissue. We know now for a fact with no doubt whatsoever that the so-called “fetus” is definitely a life, and that life begins at conception. This has been scientifically proven. Ultrasound videos prove the little dudes and dudettes are alive and growing.

         Leave that baby alone and that baby will come to full term and be born in almost every case.

         The other big question posed to Franklin Graham was, “Are Mormon’s Christians?”

         How do I answer that? Well, again, since we have roughly a billion different Christian denominations, sects, offshoots, strange individuals who believe things no one else does, and the vast majority who think they are Christians no matter what it is they believe, one might ask the Lord if Mormons are real Christians. In lieu of that, one may simply study the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

         Shallow-minded believers must do some actual work for a change. Research the New Testament. May we all quit leaning on our stupid religious opinions and do what the Word of God says.

         Celebrities, media people, and others in the spot light have gained an inordinate amount of influence regarding their personal beliefs. But who cares what anyone believes if it violates Scripture? The only thing that matters is obeying the Lord. The only thing that matters is submitting oneself to Him as a real disciple, otherwise known as a real Christian.

         Real Christians practice Real Christianity to the best of their ability. There is a learning curve. Real Christians are not perfect. No one is except the Lord Himself. He is the only human being who has ever traversed His way through this earth without ever committing a single sin.

         Whoever does not believe that is going to hell, simply because they do not believe in the only Way of salvation.

         But what about all those people who are good people (etc etc etc etc etc) that never practiced Biblical Christianity? Uh, what about ‘em? Should we try to convince the Lord to let unrepentant sinners into heaven? Will one demand that God quit being such a jerk and let blatant sinners screw up heaven the same way they screwed up the earth?

         Right. Yeah, let’s do that. Sure.

         Rather than go around asking dumb questions with an attitude that all Christians are real Christians, wouldn’t it be better to become a real Christian and remove all doubt?

         But what IS a real Christian?

         “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

         “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

         “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

         “This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

         “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’” [John 15:1-25] [1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.