Total Truth – Choice

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“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

God will not send anybody to hell. God loved us so much that He does not want anyone to go to hell, but you have a choice. God will not take away your freewill. God wants people to follow Him that loves Him and wants to keep all of His commandments. I became a disciple of Jesus Christ because God was pursuing me. God wanted me to choose Him as one of His children. He wanted to adopt me into His family. The problem was I was doing my own thing and I wanted to keep doing my own thing. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) God loved us before we were in our mother’s womb. He knew all about us before we were born. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) Jesus stands at the door and knocks. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) This is the key to being a disciple of Jesus Christ; we must open the door and let Him in. We have a choice, we can let Him in our life or we can continue to live our life as part of the world doing our own thing. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

Total Truth – The Rest of the Story – Part 4

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“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

The authority to enforce Christ’s victory over Satan was delegated to the Church. This gives us the authority to bind Satan in the name of Jesus Christ.

The enforcement of Calvary’s victory was placed in the hands of the Church, Christ’s corporate Body on earth. The Body with hands and feet is the vehicle which carries out the commands of the Head. If the Body fails to respond, the will of the Father becomes a dead letter.

The fact that Satan seems to be having his way is no reflection upon the genuineness of Christ’s victory over Satan on the Cross. It means that the enforcement agency has failed. If we understand and accept that this victory took place on Calvary, we have the power over Satan. This power only comes through submission to God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Our greatest weapon against Satan is prayer. The crucial factor in getting answer to prayer is not primarily spiritual superiority, but simply the boldness, courage and faith to pray regardless of our sense of unworthiness. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

Now that we know the rest of the story, we need to take our rightful place in the Kingdom of God.

Total Truth – The Rest of the Story – Part 3

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“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:14-18)

Satan is now destroyed – not annihilated, but destroyed.  All of the legal claims he had upon earth and man, through Adam’s Fall, are now completely cancelled; since the cross, he has absolutely no right at all upon anyone or anything. It means that all the power which he exercises now, he exercises solely by deception and bluff.

This is the basis for Jesus’ statement in Luke 10:18, “And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

If this is true, then why does it seem that Satan is still running things? Why does it look like everything is still in his control? Many of us have had our doubts as to whether Calvary was really a victory or a defeat.

The answer is this: Legally, Calvary was Satan’s complete defeat. All of his claims were cancelled when he sent Jesus to the cross and He died there. But like any other legal transaction, Calvary’s legal victory must be enforced. Read this over carefully. Calvary’s legal victory must be enforced.  This is the key to us leading a life of victory. Continued in next devotion.

Total Truth – The Rest of the Story – Part 2

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“As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12

If he was not perfectly human, he would not be qualified to enter into the legal battle. If he was not divine, he could not live a perfect life. Everything depended on these two factors. Being completely human and living a perfect life.  No one that is part of the human race can live a perfect life. “What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage?  Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.

When Jesus Christ came, a man among men is when the battle between Jesus and Satan began. Jesus was the only rightful Heir to the throne of dominion of earth. This warfare continued for thirty-three years. All Satan needed to find in Jesus was one flaw and he would win the battle. This battle lasted up to the Cross of Calvary. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Satan was still fighting Jesus so that He would disobey God and Satan would win. Jesus triumphed when He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)  Satan’s objective was to have Jesus rebel against the will of God and therefore, transfer His allegiance to Satan.

When at last Jesus bowed His head and died without once failing in His submission to God, Satan was defeated in the conflict. In his desperate effort to compel Jesus to rebel against His Father, Satan killed an innocent man. One in whom he had no claim. In so doing, he brought upon himself the penalty of death.  He destroyed himself. Continued in next devotion.


Total Truth – The Rest of the Story

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 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

To know the Total Truth we need to know the whole story. So many times we are not told the rest of the story. In order to understand what happened at Calvary, we must understand first what happened at the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

Man was originally made for authority. He was created and fashioned for dominion. When God made Adam, he was given rulership of the earth, kingship of life, and the control and mastery of its forces. The granting of authority and dominion over the earth was a bona fide grant. God gave the dominion of the entire earth to man. It was his to do with as he should decide to do. God did not give the earth to man with strings attached. What man did with that dominion and authority was his own responsibility. When man, at the time of the Fall, transferred his allegiance from God to Satan, he also transferred his dominion.

Since the rulership of this earth was a true gift from God to man, man had the legal right to do with that dominion what he chose. Because it was given to man, the rulership of this world was no longer under God’s direct control, for He gave it to man. And then it was not man’s, for he gave it to Satan. Satan became the legal and actual ruler of this world. This is why Satan is characterized in scripture as “the god of this world, and the power of the air. (“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12)

God could have taken the rulership back from Satan, but He would have been violating legal principles which were part of His Creation and a direct expression of His nature. If God had gone over man’s head and taken the dominion by force away from Satan, that would have been repossessing it without due process of law, a violation of divine justice. For God has bound Himself to observe principles of divine justice even where Satan, “father of lies,” is concerned. God cannot be unjust even with Satan

Because man transferred the title for the dominion of the earth to Satan, the only way God could legally recover it for man was through man, the original trustee of the earth. A man must be found upon whom Satan had no claim or control in order to head a movement for swinging the world back to its original allegiance. This man must be able to remove Satan’s legal claim to the earth before it could be restored to its original rulership. Continued in the next devotion.

Total Truth – Make Disciples

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“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

This was the last thing that Jesus told us as He departed to go to heaven. He told us that He had all the authority in heaven and on earth. The mandate that He left with us was to make disciples and train them in the things that He commanded. If we going to make disciples, we need to be a disciple ourselves walking with God, giving it all to Jesus Christ. Not only is our nation divided, but our churches are just as divided. I asked a friend last night, how can we find unity in our churches? We will never make disciples if we cannot find this unity. Just as the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, we have all of these man-made rules. We have let these rules become what we believe even if we cannot justify these rules in God’s Word. I believe without a doubt that the Bible is God’s Word and it is the only basis for our walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This division is nothing new. It has been going on ever since the book of Acts. My problem is as I get older and the more I study God’s Word, the more questions I have. Most of our churches today are struggling spiritually. People feel that planting new churches are the answer. We have enough churches in our community now. We need to allow God to give us the basis of Christianity. We need to spent time on our knees allowing God to show us where we need to go so that we can do as Jesus commanded, make disciples. We need to find as Francis Schaeffer said, what is the Total Truth?

Total Truth – Costly Grace

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“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Romans 6:14-15

Grace is wonderful. It is our gift from God. This gift could never have happened if God had not sent His Son to earth to pay the price. When we come to Jesus we are coved by the blood of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God in our lives. This scripture tells us that we are not under the dominion of sin. We are not under the law but under grace. I don’t understand God’s grace; I don’t understand why God loves us so much. I do know that if we have the grace of God in our lives we do not want to have sin in our lives. Yes, we sin, because we are not perfect. When I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I did not want to sin anymore. I wanted to change my life. I did not want to be around sin. I had to change the places I went and the people I was around. This is costly grace. Costly grace condemns sin, because it justifies the sinner. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in a field. That a man will sell all he owns so that he can buy the field. Costly grace is the call of Jesus Christ to come and follow Him. This grace is costly because it costs us our very lives. “When God called a man, He bids him come and die” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) God’s grace is costly because it was bought with a price. “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) Accepting this costly grace is the only way that we can become a Disciple of Jesus Christ. In our world today we don’t want costly grace; we want cheap grace, because it is easier. There is nothing easy about being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Total Truth – Cheap Grace

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“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13

Repentance is so important in our walk with Jesus Christ. Unless we repent of our sins and change the direction of our life we cannot enter the Kingdom of God. We cannot walk truly with Jesus Christ. True repentance is action not words. If we have truly repented, we can enter the kingdom of heaven. We can know from the Bible that true repentance is not based on what you say but based on what you do. The Gospel that is being preached today is a Gospel without repentance. This gospel is what Dietrich Bonbhoeffer calls cheap grace. “Cheap grace means a grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which God showers blessing with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost. The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, so they say, and so everything can remain as it was before.” (Dietrich Bonbhoeffer)  Cheap grace is the forgiveness without the required repentance. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, and grace without Jesus Christ. Grace is very costly. It cost Jesus Christ everything, so it must cost us everything. Next devotion, what is Costly Grace?

Total Truth – The Day of the Lord

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“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand:” Joel 2:1

The day of the Lord is coming. This day of the Lord is a day of judgement, a day that we all will have to answer for what we have done. It does not matter if you believe it is true or not, it is coming. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament tells us this day is coming. The wonderful part of the day of the Lord’s coming is that if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and repented of your sins you have nothing to fear. On judgement day all God will see is the blood of Jesus Christ. The key to this is repentance and changing our life. God is not coming to people who merely seek His benefits. He is coming to people who seek His face. No matter what we do, only repentance will get us anywhere with God. Repentance and brokenness is the New Testament equivalent of death. It is the only thing that brings the presence of God near. We want to avoid repentance because we don’t like death. We want our way and we want to do things our way, not God’s way so we avoid giving it all to God and letting God reign number one in our life. We need to understand repentance. The word repent, in all of its forms, appear 105 times in the Bible. This must be a very important word if God wanted it in His Word this many times. Jesus tells us, “unless you repent, you will all perish” (Luke 13:3).  These words are hard words but they came from the lips of One who loves us with a love that passes all knowledge. They were spoken by the one who left heaven to save us from our sin. What greater proof of love than a warning of danger. Repentance is one of the foundations of Christianity. Jesus tells us again in Mark, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) The next few devotions will be on repentance.

Total Truth

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“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:14

A few weeks ago I stopped writing my devotions. I felt that I needed a rest. My computer had crashed and I just needed a break, a time to feed my soul, a time to see where God wanted me to go next. Did He want me to continue these devotions or did He have another direction that I should go? I felt that I was struggling too much with my writing. I know that if my writing becomes a job, I am out of God’s will. After much prayer and alone time with God I found that my rest comes from writing these devotions. God feeds my soul as I write and pray about what I am writing. This scripture in Jeremiah is what I feel is wrong with the world we live in. We have left God and if we are to be the nation and a people that we once were we must return to God. We must bring God back into our life, into our schools and into our communities. People are telling me that there is more than one truth. That the Bible is out dated and we need to get away from the Bible. The Bible is our only hope. “Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital “T.” Truth about reality, not just religious things.

Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality – and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that truth.” (Francis Schaeffer)  There is only one place that this Truth can be found it is in the Bible. The living Word of God. We must return to this Truth.