The Demons Knew Jesus Was The Christ

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When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. (Luke 4:40-41)

The Demons Knew He Was The Christ

There was nothing that limited the power of Jesus as the Holy Spirit healed every disease of man, gave life to dead bodies again, overcame the forces of nature and to show the full authority of the reach of Jesus, subdued beings in the spirit world called demons. Jesus had unlimited power. No one came to Jesus and left without healing if it was His will. Lepers were cured of certain death. The lame walked, the blind had their eyes opened and those near death were restored whole again. Lazarus was brought from the grave after four days and the son of a woman from Nain received the grace of God and was alive again. The power of Jesus over demons was a most remarkable example of the divine but it created a problem. These hosts of wickedness knew who Jesus the man really was and often blurted out that He was the Christ, the Son of God. Peter had confessed Jesus to be the Christ and later the disciples would tell Jesus they had come to believe that He was the Christ but demons knew beyond any shadow of a doubt the fleshly robe of Jesus they beheld had been God before He became a man. In the form of man, the demons worshiped Jesus as Christ, the Messiah, God, and the Divine. What became a problem was their declaration and Jesus rebuked them for saying such in front of men. He refused to allow them to testify on His behalf although they knew more than men that Jesus was Christ. The implications were enormous. There was nothing false about what they said but who they were condemned them. God allowed men to be possessed with evil spirits and demons during the sojourn of His Son and the early church because there was a higher power to cast them out. He would not allow them to become a testimony of His Son’s deity.

The demons knew Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, Son of God. They had known Him before the foundation of the world and knew His power and authority came from the Father. James would later write that demons believed and they trembled at the knowledge Jesus was the Christ. There was no doubt on the part of the minions of Satan to know the eternal power of Jesus Christ. When they were cast out of a man they would proclaim Jesus to be the Christ because they had to submit to Him. With only words to use against them, Jesus would speak and cast them out of their host and they would not and could not resist Him. Even the demon called Legion submitted to the word of Christ. Like his wicked underlings, Satan was submissive to the rule of Jesus. Recognizing Jesus as the Christ was not merely an exercise in words but an unwillingness to accept the rule of Christ with no choice but to obey. The demons knew Jesus was the Christ and submitted to His word but they refused to accept His rule. Understanding the nature of the demons and their belief in Jesus being the Christ, men realize there must be something more than simply believing Jesus is the Christ. Confessing Jesus is the Christ will not save any more than it did the demons in the days of Jesus. They proclaimed Him to be the Christ but were forbidden to do so because they were evil. Ironically, one of the greatest tools of Satan today is to convince men the only thing they have to do to be saved is to accept Christ as their personal Savior and confess His name. The demons accepted Christ as the Son of God because they knew without any shadow of a doubt that He truly was the Son of God. They confessed His name but were rebuked and chastised for saying so. Salvation did not come from belief only or confession only. The demons refused to do the will of the Father and were condemned for it even though they knew Jesus was the Christ and on occasion confessed the same.

Jesus rebuked and forbade the demons from declaring His name even though they knew who He was. Can a man be saved if he confesses Christ as the Son of God and does not obey the will of the Father? Is there salvation for one who believes that Jesus is the Christ and refuses to yield to the word of God? The demons show that while they had greater knowledge than any man Jesus was the Christ the Son of God and they were correct in their belief that salvation does not come by the singular act of belief. Often people talk about the moment they “got saved” referring to the moment they accepted Christ in their hearts believing He was the Christ. The father of lies continues to weave this web of deceit in the hearts of those who fail to follow the will of the Father in obedience. Demons believed Jesus was the Christ but that did not save them. Belief alone will never save. Jesus taught in the sermon on the mountain that salvation would only come by doing the will of the Father. In the final judgment, there will be many who profess His name and declare all the things they did in the name of Jesus but to no avail. The Lord will answer them that He never knew them. How can this be? Let the lesson sink deeply in honest hearts: the demons believed and they confessed Jesus as the Son of God but they were condemned. When a man believes salvation is nothing more than belief and confessing Jesus as Christ he is doing exactly what the demons had done and nothing more. The end will be the same. Not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will be saved but those who do the will of the Father.

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The End Of The Nation Of Israel

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But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. (Matthew 21:38-45)

The End Of The Nation Of Israel

There are many reasons given in scripture for the coming of the Son of Man and Jesus often alluded to His purpose as He spoke in parables to the Jewish leaders. Near the end of His life, the Lord spoke more clearly about what He came to do and the future of the nation of Israel and the fate of Jerusalem. After Jesus had received a glorious welcoming to the city of Jerusalem He challenged the hierarchy of the temple by overturning the tables of the money changes and the seats of those who sold doves in what is commonly referred to as Jesus cleansing the temple. His authority was challenged for doing such things and Jesus offers two parables. The first is about a father coming to his two sons asking them to do a certain task. The first son refuses to obey his father but later repents but the second son while telling his father he would do what was asked, refused to go. Jesus adds another and a more direct parable about a landowner who leased his vineyard out to vinedressers. When the time came for the bounty of the harvest to be received, the evil vinedressers beat the messengers and killed one and stoned another. The Lord sent his son and they killed him also. Asked what the landowner should do, the chief priest and elders answered Jesus the landowner should destroy the evil vinedressers and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who would render to him the fruits in their seasons. It was then Jesus revealed another purpose for His coming to earth. The nation of Israel had been shown to be the vineyard of God in the Old Testament and now Jesus is showing how the Father will reject the nation because they will kill the Son of God. When the chief priests and elders heard the parable they knew Jesus was talking about them. They wanted to kill Jesus but feared the multitude. Their day would come in less than a week when Jesus would be betrayed by Judas and crucified outside the city. In the very act of taking Jesus outside the city and killing Him, the Jewish leaders fulfilled the parable spoken by Jesus only a few days before.

Israel had been the apple of God’s eye, His chosen people, a royal nation of His own special people He had delivered from the bondage of Egypt, planted in Canaan through His powerful hand and established in the rule of David. The seed of Christ would come through the nation to save all men, Jew and Gentile alike. Sadly, the nation of Israel had rebelled against the Lord and final destruction would come nearly four decades after Jesus died. He had prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the demise of Israel but the Jewish leaders were not listening. The parable of the wicked vinedressers was the final message of Jesus warning them of the impending doom. In the year 70 A.D., the Romans sent their army against Jerusalem and obliterated the city and killed thousands enslaving many more. While resistance persisted for a few years, the end of the nation was final. The words of Jesus had come true and the account of the Jewish leaders fulfilled their own destiny. In the parable of the evil vinedressers, the vineyard was taken away and given to another. God took the nation of Israel away because they had rebelled against Him following the death of Solomon and finally they conspired to kill the Son of God. Israel fell never to rise again. The parable of the wicked vinedressers serves another purpose for modern man to understand the State of Israel formed in 1948 is not the Biblical nation of Israel. There will never be a revival of Israel to its former glory or its place in the will of God. Jesus will never come back and restore the kingdom because the parable spoken before His death outlines the final destruction of Israel with no hope of return. Those who teach a millennial kingdom in the future will have to deny the final parable of Jesus.

It was according to the will of God that Israel is destroyed. Salvation would no longer come through keeping the Law of Moses, Ten commandments, the Abrahamic covenant experienced by the Gentiles who were a law to themselves. The Jews proved they could not justify themselves by keeping the written law and the Gentiles showed they could not save themselves by keeping an unwritten law of conscious. Jesus told the parable of the wicked vinedressers to outline how the Father was going to draw all men (Jew and Gentile) to Jesus by the act of the evil vinedressers (Israel) casting out the son of the landowner (Jesus the Son; God the landowner) and killing Him (the crucifixion). Thereby the gospel was given to those who would render to God the fruits of righteousness (the early church). Jesus came to seek and save the lost and His death united all men again under the banner of God’s love without distinction of race, gender, or social status. All are one in Christ in the church serving the new covenant as a spiritual nation of God’s elect, a royal priesthood and those chosen by the grace of God’s eternal love. Israel remains a remnant of historical lessons showing the goodness and severity of God. While they are no more a nation, they remain an example and tutor to help us see more clearly the work of Christ.

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There Is No Other Gospel

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I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

There Is No Other Gospel

The apostle Paul was on a mission but unlike his missionary trips by land his most pressing work was to be done by the power of the pen. Earlier he had been instrumental in establishing churches throughout the region of Galatia and his love for these brethren was overshadowed by Jewish Christians coming in among the brethren teaching a false gospel and attacking the apostleship of Paul. He was not one of the original number commissioned by Christ but he had to prove his place in the work of the church as one called out of due season. Those who opposed him used his late call to the apostleship as a challenge to the authority of his letters, preaching and work among the brethren. Paul had to get personal to defend himself showing he had been chosen by God independent of the original calling of the twelve and that his work was confirmed by the Holy Spirit as the gospel of Christ. The greatest danger was not so much the attack made against him but Paul’s concern these false teachers were bringing another gospel to the church that would destroy many souls. In the early days of the church, the seeds of apostasy were being planted by those who accepted a gospel apart from the plain teachings of Paul and others who by divine revelation had received the authority of God to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It is remarkable that even as early as the first years of the church religious division had found its way into the crevices of the church of Christ bringing a spirit of party loyalty and a divisive spirit. The letter to the churches in Galatia began with a flurry of rebuke against those who would bring another gospel. Paul was aggressively countering the dangers of those who would accept another gospel than what had been delivered to the saints. He knew how this would destroy the church and for many of the people of God, it would prove fatal.

Paul felt a great loss in how easy it seemed for the hearts of the people to be turned aside to another gospel. The work of the early disciples to teach the Galatian churches the fundamentals of truth seemed weakened by those who came in teaching doctrines not found in the pages of the word of God. There is always a need for the people of God to investigate what is being said in companion with the word of God so that truth can be established by the authority of scripture. There was sufficient content for anyone to compare what was being taught by the Jewish Christians coming into the churches with the word of God as they had at that time. Through the teachings of the Law of Moses, Psalms and the Prophets the gospel of Christ could be confirmed along with the many letters and manuscripts of men like Paul. Allowing these false teachers to sway the minds of the brethren away from what had been established was an affront to the authority of God. Paul wanted to be very clear in the outset of his letter: if anyone comes in and teaches anything different than what had been established by the divine authority of God, they were to be accursed. This is very strong language but the apostle wanted to be very clear about the dangers. It did not matter if Michael the archangel himself came down and taught the brethren something that was not according to the word of God, they were to maintain the integrity of the word of God. Paul’s apostleship was under attack and he answered it by saying that even an angel had no authority to teach something that was not according to the grace of Christ. Anyone who dared do such a thing would be anathema. This was a pronouncement of extreme prejudice against those who refused to follow the will of God. Paul had preached the word to the brethren as the authority of Christ and no man and no angel should challenge that. There is one gospel and anyone who teaches differently than what had been delivered to the saints would be accursed.

The letter to the churches of Galatia could well be a letter written to the churches today. There are thousands of churches today with names that cannot be found in the Bible, teaching doctrines not found in the Bible, following practices that are not found in the Bible and offering avenues of salvation that are not found in the Bible. The health and wealth gospel of false religion today is strumming the heartbeats of the apostasy to a full orchestra of leading souls away from the true Christ destroying millions of souls. There are many religious people that do not believe false doctrines exist and that all believers of Christ are united under the flag of coexisting together in a covenant of grace. If Paul marveled two thousand years ago about how quickly the saints had turned away from the grace of Christ he would be in shock at how prolific the apostasy has spread today. There was one gospel of Christ in the first century and there is still one gospel in the millennia of today. Anyone who teaches a gospel other than what has been delivered through the word of God (the Bible) will be accursed. Even if an angel appears and gives a man a vision, that gospel is false. If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you can read in the Bible, let him be accursed.

 

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God’s Love Is Unconditional

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Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

God’s Love Is Unconditional

The parental love towards a child can never be fully understood until the experience is being lived with a child in the arms of a mother and father. Nothing prepares the mother for the joy of having the newborn child placed within her arms for the first time as the infant seeks nourishment from the suckling breasts as a bond is formed that will never go away. God created the woman to bear the child and because of sin, childbirth is a painful experience. However, the Lord also created an unfathomable love that while the pain of childbirth is great, a time will come when the mother desires to have another child and will endure the pain again for the love of the child. Motherhood is an incredible feeling of love that even fathers struggle to comprehend. The wisdom literature speaks of a son that may disappoint his father but he will bring shame to his mother. A father will get angry but a mother will be crushed when a child is rebellious. For nine months the mother holds her child within her womb. She is amazed as her body changes to fit the needs of the little child growing within her. In time the child will begin to move around and take on a personality. There is a wonder at what the child will look like and what will be their character. Before the advent of science that has taken away the marvel of the unknown, whether the child would be a boy or a girl brought great excitement. All of this lends itself to the love a nursing mother has for her child and this love is far removed from any love man can define with words. A mother’s love can never forget. To this imagery, God tries to tell His rebellious child, Israel, how much He loves her.

Israel was the apple of God’s eye. He formed her and created her to be the most beautiful nation on earth. Everything she needed was given to her and through the providential hand of a loving Father, the people of Abraham were blessed more than any other people. As a nation, she had struggled in her formation much like a child in the womb. During the days of conquest and the first kingdom under Saul, the nation struggled to find its footing. It grew to adolescence under the reign of David and became a full-grown woman in the days of Solomon. However, as the language of the prophets would tell, the bride of God would commit harlotry with the nations about her and turn her back on the Lord. Through men like Isaiah, the Lord would implore His people to turn their hearts back to Him and come back to the spiritual marriage bond of His covenant. The prophet Hosea would marry a woman of harlotry to show a parabolic semblance of God and Israel. Nothing the Lord could do would change the hearts of the people and a final punishment would be brought against His nation. God was not willing that any of His people perish but that they would come to repentance. It grieved the heart of the Lord God so greatly to destroy the nation He brought up out of Egypt and like a vineyard planted the choicest of vines. Zion cried out because the Lord had forsaken them and believed the Lord had forgotten them. What they did not understand is how much God loved them like a woman who would never forget her nursing child. This would not dissuade the Lord from carrying out His wrath upon a sinful and rebellious nation but His love was measured through His mercy and compassion.

Among the hearts of men, there is no greater love than a woman’s compassion on the son of her womb. It is possible for a woman to forget but the Lord God will never, can never and is unable to forget His love. No higher compassion can be felt than God for the sinner. His love is so great He gave His only begotten Son to die for the misery of man in his rebellion at the height of his hatred for God in a world so dark the sun would not shine. Humanity killed the divine on a cross through hatred, envy, and jealousy and the Creator who formed all men did nothing because He loved those who despised Him and begged the Father to forgive them. Can a woman forget her nursing child? Go to a place called Golgotha and see the blood-stained ground that held a measure of wood where the Son of God was ruthlessly nailed. Upon that cross hung the body of God’s love that had been spit upon, beaten, scourged, shamed, mocked and nailed to a tree and the voice of God cried out for the Father to forgive them. Love. Unmeasured love that was gauged by three nails and a willing heart to die for the sins of all men so that everyone could see how much God loved them. Inscribed upon the palms of God’s hands are the names of those who come to Him seeking this love and hearts that are willing to obey the grace of God in their obedience to His will. Like Israel of old, the faithful served the Lord and found peace in the remnant of God’s grace. Most of God’s creation will rebel against Him and deny Him but God’s love remains faithful. Like a nursing mother, He will never forget the children of His creation. The saddest message from a loving Father is the final recompense that must be given to those who reject Him. God is full of love but He will punish those who do not love Him.

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God’s View Of Marriage

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He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)

God’s View Of Marriage

Adam lived in a garden of unparalleled beauty, grandeur and the magnificent glory of the Creator’s hand but he could not be happy without Eve. God looked on man and saw that he was alone and declared it was not a good thing. He brought all the animals to Adam to see what he would name them but still, a companion was not found. It was then the Creator formed woman from the rib of man to join two flesh into one and two hearts in a union of love and devotion. Adam knew immediately what the woman meant to him. He did not demean her, ignore her or abuse her. His first reaction was awe at the beauty of the creature that stood before him. While literally there was no woman on earth like her, she was all he needed. Adam did not ask God for another creature or to form the woman into another type of person. What God had created Adam embraced and loved her for who she was. His love was unlike the love defined today by the carnal eye of pleasure, desire, and like-mindedness. His choice was not a begrudging acceptance of life’s reality there was no other woman in the world. He knew he had found a good thing and he further recognized what he was blessed with came from the hand of God and he would treat the woman as such. It was a remarkable time for the newly created husband and wife. Sin had not cast its veil of darkness over the earth and the man and woman walked in the cool of the day communing with God. Their lives were filled with joy, happiness, and acceptance for who the other would be for them. Jealousy did not divide them, anger was not found in their home and fidelity was complete as their relationship with God was one. Before Eve was deceived by the devil to disobey God, their marriage was a union of peace, harmony and eternal love. Then sin came into the home. That is when the problems began because Adam and Eve made a decision to dishonor their Creator and paid a heavy price for their rebellion. God’s grace overshadowed their sin and the Lord made provisions for the seed of man to bring final destruction over the forces of evil.

Adam and Eve lived in paradise because they were dedicated to one another and to God. Often the story is told in respect to the fall of man, how Satan tempted Eve and the terrible consequence of disobedience. What is missed is what the world was like when marriage was in complete favor with God. It does not take a lot of imagination to think about how beautiful the world was at that time. There was no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and nobody died. They walked with God and talked with Him. He communed with them on a personal level and there was great joy in the first home. Surrounded by the love of God, the garden was a place of worship where God was exalted in every part of life. Realize that any part of marriage that is a challenge comes from one source and this is not in harmony with God – it is sin. Discord in marriage is because someone is not following the will of the Creator. Marriage is designed for the ultimate in man’s happiness and when the home is not filled with the joy of God the reason can only be that God is not the joy of the home. If a man is not in love with his wife he has failed to appreciate what God has given him and expected of him to fulfill in the marriage bond. Jesus said the design of the home is one man with one woman for life and that is where happiness is found. Anything that deviates from that pattern is going to bring heartache and sorrow. A man who finds a wife finds a good thing as a gift from God like Eve being brought to Adam in the beginning.

Happiness in marriage can only come from the right viewpoint of why God brought the man and woman together. Eve was created to show the favor of God upon the man. Without the woman, the man was helpless and alone. Together Adam and Eve became the perfect union in the creation of the world blessed by the hand of the Creator Himself when He declared all things He created as very good. Because of sin, two people who marry are joined with someone who (like themselves) is a sinner. The only perfect marriage in the history of man was when God created Adam and Eve. Every marriage after that was bound with two people who were imperfect, disagreeable, and in need of grace. The presence of God is what makes the marriage perfect, agreeable and the glory of grace. Someone said that Christian is not perfect but they are forgiven. This is true in marriage. The husband is not perfect and the wife is not perfect but they can be forgiven by God and by each other. Adam and Eve were created to showcase the perfect union of happiness within the realm of human relations. There is no reason this cannot be replicated in the world when God is the center of the home, the word of God is the foundation of the marriage and the spirit of love exists because what God has joined together no man should desire to put asunder. The man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

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They Would Not Hear

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Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” Nevertheless, they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:13-14)

They Would Not Hear

Israel had once been the most powerful nation on earth. God gave them victories by His hand and blessed them far above all peoples. His promises guaranteed the providence of the Heavenly would fall upon them without end if they would follow His will and obey His commands. The reigns of David and Solomon gave the nation glory but when Solomon died the nation deteriorated into the abject rebellion of lawlessness, immorality, and idolatry. Within two hundred years of the division of the nation, the ten tribes of northern Israel were carried captive to Assyria never to be heard from again. The two centuries of the northern kingdom’s existence were characterized by the most wicked and vile sins known to man as the people followed every pagan ritual and idol like the nations around them. They rejected the statutes of the word of God, desecrated the worship of the Lord, worshiped all the hosts of heaven and served Baal. They burned their children in human sacrifice, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying and sold themselves to do every evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. They were not unaccountable for their evil deeds as the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by all of His prophets and seers. These men came among the people warning of the judgment of God, proclaiming the mercy of the Lord to those who would repent and proclaimed the way of righteousness but to no avail. Men like Ahijah the Shilonite, Jehu the son of Hanani, Elijah, Micaiah the son of Imlah, Elisha, Jonah the son of Amittai, Oded, Amos, and Hosea all tried to get the people to repent and their message fell on deaf ears. The chosen people of God mocked His messengers, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets. Finally, the longsuffering of the Lord ended and destruction came. But not without warning.

God never desired to punish His people in the manner that He did. The heart of the people had turned completely away from Him and He warned them time and time again to repent and they refused. He sent His prophets among the nation to warn them of the impending judgment against their rebellion because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. The voice of the prophets was heard throughout the land on a daily basis pleading with the chosen nation of the Lord God to return and the blessings of the Lord would return. In the face of all the prophets of God pleading with the nation, the people choose to remain in their sin and were destroyed. It is a tragic story of the grace of a loving father imploring his children to come home and serve him but the children refuse. Sin had so consumed their hearts the Israelite’s could only crave the immoral, depraved debauchery of idol worship as their god as Satan gave them the pleasures of the flesh. The words of the prophets fell on deaf ears. All the preaching that was done by the prophets was pointed to the sins of the people and the message of repentance that would save a few but the nation would be destroyed. If only they would keep the commandments of the Lord He would save them. When the hearts of the nation returned to the statutes of God they would find peace. Keeping the law of God gave the nation hope. The Lord sent His servants the prophets among them to turn their hearts back to Him. Nevertheless, they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. The sad tragedy of the demise of Israel was that it did not have to happen if they would have listened to the prophets.

The grace of God has always been given to men to know and understand His will. There has never been a time in the existence of the earth that man has not been accountable to the word of God. Like the final days of Israel, the Lord sent many men among the people to turn their hearts through the preaching of the gospel of salvation but the people would not listen. The prophets were only mouth-pieces of the Lord who proclaimed the message of salvation to a lost and dying world. Their words came from the will of the Lord and they spoke the words of the Lord as given to them by God. The problem was the heart of the people did not want to hear the gospel of salvation. Their lives were too consumed by the pleasures of the flesh, enjoyments of the world and pursuits of fame and fortune. Scoffing at the prophets, the nation continued to enjoy its pleasures of the world. They soon turned into the nations around them and went so far as to murder their children in human sacrifice – without guilt or remorse. When men stop listening to the word of God they will hear the voice of rebellion. The Lord sent His prophets but they would not hear. As they were being dragged away to Assyria in chains never to return, the hearts of the people finally realized all the words of the prophets were true. Now it was too late. Servants of the Lord preach the message of repentance, grace, love, judgment, and fidelity to Christ today; and like the nation of Israel can be ignored, rejected and laughed at while the hearts of the people frolic in the attractions of the world. The message remains unchanged. What happened to Israel will happen to those who turn away from the word of God. When a man preaches the word of God and the people refuse to listen they reject God, not the man. The Lord has sent messengers among the brethren to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and many refuse to listen, stiffening their necks and becoming more like the world around them. How sad about the tragic end of those who refuse to listen.

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By The Name Of The Lord Jesus Christ

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Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

By The Name Of The Lord Jesus Christ

The name of Christ is the affirmation that God has given His approval that all authority rests upon the Son of God as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Salvation will not be granted without the name of Jesus Christ. Names identify the character of a person, define the boundaries of their identity and establish a pattern of who and what they are before all men. Authority is determined by the legality of the name and what authority is attached to that name. An ambassador is not the authority but the representative of the one who has all power and rights to determine what is authorized. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He reminded the disciples the words He spoke were not His own but what the Father had given Him to speak. After the resurrection, all authority in heaven and earth was given to the Son from the Father. No man has taken (or can take) this authority from Jesus Christ. The early church taught that salvation could not come but through the name of Jesus. Men like Philip preached Jesus to those who were in need of salvation. Paul wrote often that his message was the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The name of Jesus permeated every part of the First Century church because this was the foundation of everything that was true. Sadly, the church at Corinth had become so carnally minded the saints had forgotten which name was authoritative. There were great men in the church like Peter, Apollos and the work of Paul helping to establish many churches throughout the Roman Empire. It would be clear these men would receive the honor for the diligent work they were doing but what had happened is the brethren began to follow these men instead of the authority of Christ. The church had divided over allegiance to the preachers rather than the name of Jesus Christ. Paul purposed to set things right in Corinth demanding the division and carnal fighting stop. God never intended for the church to be divided or believers in Jesus Christ to differ in word and doctrine.

Unity is found when men submit to one banner of truth. What happened in the church at Corinth would become the mantra of the religious world fifteen hundred years later. In response to the apostate church known as the Roman Catholic Church, men rose up to create their own bodies of faith. A protestant movement began to divide the religious world into factions of different names (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptists, Quakers, Episcopalian, etc.) and doctrines of the faith were established outside the scriptures. Paul had written to the Corinthians seeking for them to speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among the believers in Jesus, but that they are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. He was asking for unity in the name of Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ was not a divided Lord. What the brethren were doing in Corinth became a worldwide movement in the last five hundred years when thousands of churches have carved their niche in the name of Jesus Christ. What is lost on the minds of most religious people is the name of Jesus represents authority demanding the divine pattern be followed according to the word of God. Paul was pleading with the saints by the name of Jesus Christ because He was Lord and there can be no division if Jesus is Lord and men follow His word. No matter how hard religious leaders try to sell the idea that all faiths serve under the same banner of truth they do not speak the same thing, have the same mind and use the same judgment. For example, the dogmas of the Lutheran church will not make a person a Methodist. They are contradictory to one another. The Baptist church manual will not help a person become a Mormon and the book of Mormon will not make an Episcopalian. If all believers in Jesus are united then why do they follow different creeds, faiths, patterns of worship and teach a doctrine of salvation that differs from what the Bible says? Is God to blame for religious diversity? Has the Creator of the world written a book that cannot be read and understood so that all men can come to a unified conclusion of how to worship the one true God? If there is religious division – who is responsible? According to the apostle Paul, the religious division is carnal (sinful) and a work of the wisdom of man; not God.

Establishing authority by the name of Jesus Christ requires one thing: book, chapter, and verse in the only book that is the word of God. Unity can only come if you can find the name of the church you are a part of in the Bible. If you cannot find the name of the church in the Bible, it does not come from the authority of the name of Jesus. Look closely at the pattern of worship, organization, the teaching of salvation and make certain everything that is done has a scriptural basis of what the Bible says. If all men would accept the Bible as the only authority there would be no divisions. Speaking the same thing means that we are on the same page of the Bible. There will be no divisions if we are united under the same name and that name is Jesus Christ. Following the teaching of the Bible alone all minds will be bound by the same law. The same judgment is what is declared in the same book, by the same Judge, under the authority of the same name – Jesus Christ. It cannot be pleasing to the Father to look down upon His creation and see men divided under the name of His Son. He sent Jesus to die for all men so that all men could find the truth under one faith, one church, one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, one hope, and one God. Denominations are by definition divisive and condemned by God. Let all men stand on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and King and speak where the Bible speaks or speak not at all.

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