What are the Essentials of the Christian Faith?

The essentials of the Christian faith basically refers to the core foundational beliefs of Christianity. Even when intending to join a church it is important for every Christian to know the essential beliefs of that particular church and compare if those beliefs are similar to orthodox Christianity.
The essentials of the Christian faith are key Biblical doctrines which are important for every Christian believer to understand and believe. By understanding the essentials of the Christian faith, the genuine Christian is able to guard himself from various heretical doctrines and deceptive religious groups.

The essentials of the Christian faith refer to the following:
1. The deity of Christ
2. Man is sinful and in need of salvation
3. Salvation is by God’s grace through faith and not by works
4. Salvation is through Jesus Christ alone
5. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
6. God is one and exists in 3 Persons; The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit
7. The Authority of the Scriptures as the word of God

 

1. The Deity of Jesus Christ
It is essential for Christians to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible there are many verses about Jesus that refer to Him as being God and having God’s full attributes. Here are some of the Bible verses that prove the deity of Christ:

Jesus & The Father are ONE
John 10:30-33 (NKJV)“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
We can learn from John 10:30-33 that Jesus indeed claimed to be God. When Jesus said that He and the Father are one, He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and have the same attributes. The Jews clearly understood what He meant when Jesus said that He is one with the Father. This is why they responded in an attempt to stone Him and accusing Him of blasphemy they said “… You, being a Man, make Yourself God”. The Jews knew that Jesus was saying that He is God.

Jesus is I AM
John 8:58 (NKJV) – Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
When Jesus said these statements in John 8:58, the Jews responded again by attempting to stone Him. Again, the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying; Jesus was saying that He was God. Jesus was equating His declaration of being I AM with what God told Moses in Exodus 3:14 and the Jews understood His statement but they refused to accept it. Therefore Jesus was not only saying that He existed before Abraham but He was saying that He has always and eternally existed just as God is self-existing and eternal.

Jesus is God Who Became Flesh
John 1:1-2, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-2 & 14 also explains the deity of Jesus. It proves that Jesus Christ is the Word who was not only with God but that He was God who became flesh and dwelt among us.
1 Timothy 3:16 also says the following: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 proves again by saying that “God was manifested in the flesh” meaning that Jesus Christ is God who came in human form.

Jesus is Worshipped as God
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus did not refuse worship and He did not rebuke anyone for worshipping Him. Jesus accepted worship while at the same time teaching people to only worship God. Here are some Bible verses where Jesus was worshiped:
Matthew 14:33; Luke 24:52; John 9:35-38; Matthew 28:9,17; Matthew 2:11

 

2. The Gospel – Man is Sinful and in Need of Salvation
All of mankind is sinful and has sinned against God. We are not inherently good. Instead since the sin of Adam all men are born with sin (Romans 3:10, 23).
It’s essential that every Christian believer understand that God is just and holy. He does not tolerate sin and that the punishment for sin is hell. God cannot allow sin to go unpunished (Romans 6:23).
However, God through His love, mercy and grace has made a provision for mankind to be saved from eternal punishment through His son Jesus Christ who became our substitute by paying for our sins on the Cross (John 3:16). Essentially, Jesus was punished for our sins on the Cross (1 Peter 2:12).
Therefore the genuine Christian must believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).

 

3. Salvation is by the Grace of God Through Faith and Not by Works
Every genuine Christian must believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).
Every genuine Christian must understand that our works or personal effort cannot save us. Only our saving faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour can save us (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-11).

 

4. Salvation is Through Jesus Christ Alone
The genuine Christian must believe that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Christ (John 14:6).
There is no other religion, god or person by which anyone can be saved except through believing in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Jesus is the only path to salvation. Without Christ there is no salvation. This doctrine is essential to everyone who hears the gospel and seeks a genuine relationship with God.

 

5. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Romans 10:9That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
From Romans 10:9 we can observe that believing that God raised Jesus from the dead is essential for the genuine Christian.
In addition to Christ’s crucifixion on the Cross, the resurrection of Christ is significant because it proves that all that Jesus spoke and all that Jesus did was true. It proves Christ’s authority over death and since the Christian believer is in Christ, then the believer will also be resurrected into eternal life.
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
2 Corinthians 4:14knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you
The leaders or founders of every other religion do not have the same testimony of Christianity. All other religions have their leaders who are dead, buried and unable to save their followers.
However, Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the world and resurrected on the third day. He was also physically seen by many credible witnesses after His crucifixion as evidence that He resurrected.

 

6. God is One and exists in 3 Persons; The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit
Christians are monotheistic. This means that the genuine Christian believes in one God.
The Bible reveals that there is one God who is revealed in 3 Persons. This speaks of the Godhead or the Trinity. Although the word “Trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible, there are various scriptures that refer to The Father as being God, The Son as being God and the Holy Spirit as being God. However, this does not mean that there are 3 Gods.
When we speak of the Trinity, we should not think of it as 1+1+1=3. But the correct way to view the Trinity is as 1x1x1=1. This means one God existing in 3 Persons.
In Matthew 3:16-17, the moment when Jesus was baptized is the distinct time when we see the appearance or manifestation of the Trinity together at the same time.
Matthew 3:16-17When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
So we see from Matthew 3:16-17 that Jesus the Son was there, the Holy Spirit appeared and the voice of The Father was heard.
Therefore all 3 Persons in the Trinity are distinct but equal. All 3 Person in the Trinity share similar attributes but yet they are one God.
It’s important to note that with our finite minds and limited understanding, it can be difficult to fully comprehend or even illustrate the Trinity or the nature of God.
However, we must believe what the Bible says and what the Bible teaches in relation to the Godhead.
Genesis 1:26 (ESV)Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” [emphasis added]
The Hebrew word for “God” such as the one used in Genesis 1:26 is [Elohim]. Elohim is a noun which refers to God in the plural. The word Elohim appears in the Bible more than 2000 times. Therefore Elohim allows for the Trinity.
In Genesis 1:26 God is speaking of Himself in the plural form denoting that God is consists of more than one Person.
Genesis 1:1 (ESV)In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:4 (ESV)Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
Again Genesis 1:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4 refers to God as Elohim. Therefore the scripture is denoting God as consisting of more than one Person. Deuteronomy 6:4 refers to God as Elohim and that Elohim is united or is one.
There are many scriptures that reflect the triune nature of God. For example, Jesus was in the beginning with God according to John 1:1 and not only was Jesus with God but He was God. All creation was made through Jesus (Colossians 1:16-17). The Holy Spirit is also listed with the Father and Son as “the name” believers are to be baptized into according to Matthew 28:19-20 and Peter referred to the Holy Spirit as God in Acts 5:3-4. The teaching of a Triune God is unique to Christianity and affirms the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God in three Persons.

 

7. The Authority of the Scriptures as the Word of God
The genuine Christian must believe in the Bible as being the God inspired written Scriptures. Christians believe in the Bible pertaining to the total 66 books with 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
The Bible is where Christianity’s beliefs are found.
The Bible’s instructions and teachings are still relevant in our individual life and also on issues concerning the world today.
The only way that we can understand God’s mind on many issues in life, is through His word. Therefore every Christian must believe in the inerrant and infallible authority of God’s word.

This article has been excerpted from The Genuine Christian which is available on Amazon and through this website.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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What Does The Bible Say About Revenge?

How should we react or retaliate in the face of persecution, harassment, betrayal or any kind of wrong-doing? What should we do when someone offends us, mocks us or even deceives us?
Should our response be to seek revenge or is there a different solution that we should apply to such problems or issues?

According to dictionary.com to revenge means to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit
Other definitions are as follows: to take action in return for an injury or offence; It is a retaliation for a perceived wrong; The desire to repay an injury or wrong

The Bible consistently tells us that revenge or vengeance is a response or action that is specifically reserved for God alone.
Romans 12:19 says: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Therefore it is not our role to avenge or to seek vengeance against those who offend us or cause us pain. Instead vengeance belongs to God because it is God alone who is the perfect avenger.
God is a just God and He is a perfect and incorruptible Judge who will judge and punish the wicked in His perfect time.

Why does God prohibit man from pursuing vengeance? It is because mankind is flawed and sinful? Revenge or vengeance is capable of corrupting us and breeding feelings of hatred and unforgiveness. The human desire for revenge also creates bitterness and anger. In many cases, vengeance is never done from a pure motive when it is executed by man. A spirit of vindictiveness is dangerous and destructive to the human soul. However, only God does all things from a pure and righteous motive, and this is why He says “vengeance is Mine”.

In Psalms 94:1-11, the psalmist understands that vengeance or revenge belongs to the Lord alone. The psalmist does not seek to execute vengeance himself against the wicked, but instead he prays and trusts that God alone will judge and avenge the wicked.

In 1 Samuel 24:1-22, David also understands that vengeance is the role of God alone. Though David was innocent against Saul, the man who was trying to kill him, David spared Saul’s life even when he had the opportunity to revenge against Saul in the cave. Instead David chose to obey God and not seek vengeance (1 Samuel 24:5-7).
David reserved all judgment and vengeance into God’s hands as he says to Saul “May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.”

In Romans 12:21 it says: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Hard as it may be, the only way to overcome persecution or an offence of any kind is by doing good. We should not retaliate with an eye for an eye or evil for evil (Romans 12:17). Instead we should respond in love and with good virtues (Romans 12:20).

In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

During Christ’s earthly ministry, Jesus faced persecution, ridicule and many offences from those who opposed Him. Yet even though Christ was innocent and blameless, He did not return evil for evil against those who opposed Him. Instead He continued to focus on the work of His Father in the midst of opposition, persecution and ridicule.
When Jesus Christ was being crucified on the cross, He mostly remained silent even though He had the power to destroy those who mocked Him (Matthew 26:53). Instead Christ prayed to the Father to forgive His persecutors as He was pinned to the cross (Luke 23:34).

Therefore in the face of persecution, wrong-doing or mocking, God commands us to not retaliate with evil or deception or mocking – but instead we should turn the other cheek. We must follow the example of Jesus Christ. Our response must be of love and prayer towards those who are at enmity towards us (Matthew 5:43-45).

Therefore we must know and trust that God will avenge according to His perfect will and that all His judgments are perfect.
As Christians we are to retaliate in prayer and with love and leave the vengeance to God alone.

 

How Do I Get Right With God?

There are times in our life when we realize that our life is just a mess. There are times when we feel the weight of guilt and condemnation because of sin in our lives. Then there are times in life when we know that our guilt, our sin and all that we do in life has separated us from a just and holy God. In our hearts, we know that the issues in our life are just too big and too much to solve on our own, and so the only way to get peace is to come to the Lord Himself and to get right with Him.
The Bible says that we are all sinners and that none is righteous before God (Romans 3:10).
Romans 3:23 says: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Therefore, the real truth is that every human being needs to get right with God. Every human being needs to be reconciled with God because the sin of mankind separates us spiritually from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2).

 

GOD WANTS YOU TO GET RIGHT WITH HIM
So, how do we get right with God? First we must understand the character and nature of God. The Lord is patient and forgiving. He always desires to reconcile with us especially when the presence of sin in our lives has separated us from Him. Therefore God passionately desires for you to get right with Him. He is always ready to help us, guide us and save us from the power of sin, guilt and condemnation. Just like the story of the prodigal son, God is our Father who is waiting for those who are spiritually lost, confused and guilty to be reconciled back to Him (Luke 15:11-32). All we need to do is to boldly come to God’s throne of grace so that we may receive His mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16).
1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Therefore no matter how big or how many times we have sinned, God is ready to forgive us of all our sins so that He may be reconciled to us.

 

RECONCILIATION & FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE
Secondly, for us to get right with God, we must understand that forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God was made possible through Jesus Christ alone.
In John 14:6, Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
1 Timothy 2:5-6 says: There is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus became our Substitute on the cross and paid for our sins on our behalf. On our own, we cannot pay God for our sins because we are incapable of doing so – even by our good works or our own righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 reminds us that our personal works of righteousness are like filthy rags to God.
Therefore our forgiveness and reconciliation with God are not based on our personal good works, but they are based on the works that Jesus Christ did through His life, death and resurrection.
The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross was the eternal payment for our sins and made it possible for us to be forgiven and reconciled with God.

Romans 5:8-11 says: But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

GET RIGHT WITH GOD BY BECOMING A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN
Finally, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Becoming a born again Christian means that Christ lives in you and Jesus Christ becomes your spiritual covering. Christ gives you a new nature – His nature – and your old self is removed.
Through Christ and because of Christ, God sees in you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Therefore our reconciliation to God as born again Christians is because of Jesus Christ alone through His finished work on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 says: All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Becoming a born again Christian means that Christ has saved you from the power of sin and you now have redemption and forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 says: He (Christ) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 1:7 says: In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,

Becoming a born again Christian also means that we officially become children of God and therefore become part of the spiritual family of God. John 1:12-13 says: But to all who did receive Him (Christ), who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

We become born again Christians by simply placing our faith or total trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour because of the sacrifice that He made on the cross for our sins.
We must realize and believe that Jesus Christ is essential for us to get right with God. Christ alone can save us from our sins, from condemnation and from the flames of hell (Romans 8:1).
Our salvation is by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ and not of our own personal works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Do You Wish To Get Right With God & Be Reconciled With Him?
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

6 Ways to Avoid Spiritual Deception

We live in a world where spiritual deception is on the increase. 2 Timothy 3:13 says that evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Therefore with many deceptive teachings that have gradually crept into the church such as the prosperity gospel, spiritual covering theology, seed-faith teachings, word of faith theology, and many others, it is imperative that people understand both the nature of deception and how to avoid spiritual deception. It is not only false teachings and philosophies that are being used to deceive people, but false prophets are also performing false miracles, magic illusions and using satanic power to deceive the masses. 
The Bible warns us that spiritual deception will not only increase but it warns us of a great deception or a “strong delusion” which will occur before the antichrist appears (and during his brief reign), and before Jesus Christ returns (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 says: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

When we read 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 we learn that there is a type of spiritual deception that has the following characteristics:

  1. This deception is performed through the activity or strategies of Satan
  2. This deception involves satanic power and false signs and wonders
  3. This deception affects those who refuse to love the truth
  4. This deception also affects those who have pleasure in sin or unrighteousness

In Matthew 24:24, Jesus says: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
Here Jesus is warning of the fact that there will be false believers / teachers who will perform miraculous signs in order to deceive or lead people astray including genuine Christian believers if possible.

The Bible also warns us many times to avoid being deceived by strange teachings, philosophies and doctrines.
For example, Paul says in Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11:4 it says: For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

It is therefore important to understand the meaning of deception; how people are deceived and how a Christian can avoid being led astray by the many false prophets and false teachings that plague our world today.

 

WHAT IS DECEPTION?
Deception can be defined as the manipulation of appearances such that they convey a false reality or a false belief system.
When studying deception, you will discover that with deception, there is always the deceiver and then there is the deceived / victim.
Deception generally depends for its success on keeping intended victims unaware that deception is actually taking place in their life or situation.

Deception may involve a lifestyle, a teaching, philosophy or doctrine sounding good and sounding as if it is logical and practical – but it does not always mean that the teaching is Biblical or that it is true according to God’s word. Spurgeon once said “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right”

• Therefore deception includes concealing and disguising one’s true nature and motives from the intended victim. This is why it’s important for false teachers to “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” just as the devil conceals his true identity by disguising himself as an angel of light according to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.
• Deception includes hypocrisy or pretentious behavior. For example, in Matthew 23:1-39, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy and deception of the Pharisees.
• Deception involves information control. This includes both dissimulation (hiding or withholding information) and simulation (putting out wrong or misleading information). Deception also involves true information being mixed with false information. Therefore truth can be mixed with a lie so that the deception is difficult to immediately discern. In Galatians 5:9 Paul says “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
• Deception may involve the deceiver imitating or appearing as a type of saviour / hero / spiritual covering to the intended victim or victims. This is why the Bible warns of false christs (Matthew 24:24).
• Deception also includes the deceiver imitating the nature and characteristics of the intended victims so that the victim is unaware of how dangerous the deceiver is or of what kind of danger lies ahead for the intended victim. When the deceiver imitates the victims, the victims assume that they are in good company. An example is when Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

 

HOW TO DISCERN & AVOID SPIRITUAL DECEPTION
The only way we can discern and avoid spiritual deception is in the following ways:

  1. We Must Be Genuinely Born Again & Have A Relationship With Jesus Christ
    Jesus said that He knows those who belong to Him and that His sheep hear His voice and that no one can steal His sheep (John 10:27-28).
    It is therefore imperative for a person to be born again and have a genuine relationship with God in order to avoid deception.
    Those who hear and obey the voice of Christ spoken in the Bible are able to discern between the voice of the enemy and the voice of God. However, such discernment is only possible through having a relationship with God.

  2. We Must Love The Truth Found in the Word of God
    2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 mentions the fact that victims of deception can be those people who do not love the truth but instead they love falsehoods. They do not love the word of God nor do they rightly interpret or divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
    2 Timothy 4:3-4 says that there is a time when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.
    This scripture gives us some insight that there are situations in life where deception is not always involuntary or due to ignorance. Instead deception is sometimes a matter of choice. In other words, people choose to be deceived. People choose to follow darkness instead of light.
    Therefore people love falsehoods because it suits their inner sinful passions and they hate the truth because the truth may speak against their sins or sinful desires.

  3. We Must Love Righteousness & Hate Evil
    Romans 12:9 says that we must “… hate what is evil; cling to what is good”.
    In John 3:19, Jesus spoke of people who loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
    Avoiding deception in our life, means that we must love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates. We love light and not darkness. We must therefore pursue righteousness and seek to bear good fruit in our daily life. We must no longer cling to our old sin nature but we must walk in the fear of the Lord.
    Colossians 3:5-10 says: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.

  4. We Must Hate The World & The Philosophies of this World
    James 4:4 tells us that friendship with the world means enmity with God. Therefore we must not love the world and its ideologies.
    Romans 12:2 says that we should not be conformed to the standards of this world? But why!?
    It is because the world’s systems, values, principles and practices are against God and His written word.
    The world’s philosophies and ideologies can easily lead people into deception. Therefore hating the world’s philosophies enables us to avoid spiritual deception and being deceived by those who follow the world.
    1 John 2:15-17 says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

  5. We Must Walk in the Spirit
    In John 16:13, Jesus says that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit in our life is to guide us into all truth. Therefore the Holy Spirit is essential towards helping us avoid living in deception or being led astray.
    The Holy Spirit will help us discern between the truth and falsehoods through the standard of the Scriptures and not the traditions or philosophies of men.
    Walking in the Spirit of God enables us walk in God’s truth but living according to the flesh or sin nature leads us into spiritual deception. How do we walk in the Spirit? By obeying God’s word and trusting in His word.
    Galatians 5:16-17 says: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

  6. Imitate the Bereans
    If we are to discern and avoid spiritual deception, then we must imitate the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11.
    The Berean Christians were said to be noble and they did not accept a culture of being spiritually spoon-fed. Instead the Bereans would study the scriptures for themselves and crosscheck anyone who preached to them. They examined Paul’s message in Acts 17:11 because they wanted to make sure that what he preached was the truth and not a lie.
    1 John 4:1 says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    Therefore to avoid being deceived by false prophets and false teachings, it is essential that we learn to test and verify all things through the word of God and discern which spirit is really behind the teachings.
    Paul warns us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that the Holy Spirit warns us of deceiving spirits that will teach people doctrines of demons and will cause people to depart from the true faith by causing them to follow demonic teachings.
    1 Timothy 4:1-2 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,

 

GOD’S WORD IS OUR STANDARD
The Bible is the ultimate standard for our Christian walk. It is therefore important that all teachings be measured against the word of God. Jesus Christ Himself used the Scriptures to avoid being deceived by the devils temptations and suggestions (Matthew 4:1-11).

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A GENUINE FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
    This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
    You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
  2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
    Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
    Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
    follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
  3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
    God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
  4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
    You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
    “He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
    By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

 

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Alice Bailey 10 Point Plan to Destroy Christianity

Alice Bailey is known as one of the founders of the New Age Movement. She was a writer who lived between 1880 and 1949 and she is the person who is known for creating the term “New Age” in her books which mostly focus on the subject of theosophy.
Britannica describes theosophy as an occult movement originating in the 19th century with roots that can be traced to ancient Gnosticism. The term theosophy is derived from the Greek theos (“god”) and sophia (“wisdom”), is generally understood to mean “divine wisdom.”… The international New Age movement … originated among independent theosophical groups

Alice Bailey is known as one of the prophetesses of the New Age Movement. Her teachings and writings are viewed as foundational and authoritative within the New Age Movement. She described the majority of her work as having been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom, or spirit entity identified as Djwal Khul.

Alice Bailey’s writings are so revered and authoritative to such an extent that her New Age views and philosophies have a social, spiritual and political impact on politicians, various nations and also the United Nations. Alice Bailey also founded The Lucis Trust which was formerly known as Lucifer Publishing Company in 1922 and her organization has influence within the United Nations.

One of the main agendas of the New Age Movement is to become the dominant religion or lifestyle within the entire world. Therefore in order for New Age philosophies to become dominant, then all other religions especially Christianity must either be destroyed or become less of a spiritual influence within society and in the individual lives of people. It is from this desire to see the dominance of the New Age movement that Alice Bailey wrote a 10 Point Plan / Charter to destroy Christianity so that New Age philosophies may become the one world religion for the world

The main purpose of the 10 Point Charter / Strategy is to either destroy Christianity or to convert the nations to New Age philosophies.
The 10 Point Charter by Alice Bailey is as follows:

  1. TAKE GOD AND PRAYER OUT OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
  2. REDUCE PARENTAL AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN
  3. DESTROY THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN FAMILY STRUCTURE OR THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN FAMILY STRUCTURE
  4. IF SEX IS FREE, THEN MAKE ABORTION LEGAL AND MAKE IT EASY
  5. MAKE DIVORCE EASY AND LEGAL, FREE PEOPLE FROM THE CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE FOR LIFE
  6. MAKE HOMOSEXUALITY AN ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE
  7. DEBASE ART, MAKE IT RUN MAD
  8. USE MEDIA TO PROMOTE AND CHANGE MINDSETS
  9. CREATE AN INTERFAITH MOVEMENT
  10. GET GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE ALL THESE LAW AND GET THE CHURCH TO ENDORSE THESE CHANGES.

Let us bear in mind that the above 10 Point Plan was formulated in the early 20th Century –- many decades before such a strategy was even conceivable within culture and society at the time.
If one makes an objective observation it would be easy to conclude that this 10 Point Plan is definitely being implemented at the highest cultural, spiritual and political levels within the world.
Why? Probably because Alice Bailey is regarded by New Agers and occultists as one of the “prophetesses” of the New Age Movement.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons

 

1 Timothy 4:1 reveals that mankind is able to receive teachings from demons or deceitful spirits. Since Alice Bailey claimed to receive inspiration for her New Age / theosophy writings from a spirit being by the name of Djwal Khul it is evident there is a demonic inspiration to the New Age philosophies and practices.
Ephesians 6:12 says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE 10 POINT PLAN?

  1. TAKE GOD AND PRAYER OUT OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
    The Bible is clear that prayer is essential in the life of every human being. We have access to God 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The Bible says that we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
    The attempt to remove God and prayer out of the education system is a spiritual attack on the young generation. It is the devil’s attempt to change the minds of the young and lead them away from God and from prayer.
    Instead we notice that teachings such as the theory of evolution are taught to children in order to remove the concept of God from children’s minds.

  2. REDUCE PARENTAL AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN
    Reducing parental authority over children is an attack on the family. Proverbs 13:24 says “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him
    When parental authority is undermined and reduced, this will gradually create an undisciplined young generation that does not respect authority. Respect for authority by children begins at parental level.
    It is therefore the responsibility of parents to exercise godly or Biblical authority over their children and to also train the children in the values and principles of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6).

  3. DESTROY THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN FAMILY STRUCTURE OR THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN FAMILY STRUCTURE
    There have been many blatant and subtle attempts to destroy the traditional Christian family. Examples are: the promotion of sexual immorality which leads to a growth in teenage pregnancies, adultery, fornication and the like. Sexual immorality destroys marriages, creates a growth in single mothers, increases divorce rates.
    Other examples include the promotion of same-sex marriages which are clear attempts to destroy the traditional Christian family.
    The Bible teaches us that since the creation of the first man and first woman, marriage is between a male and a female (Genesis 2:18-25).
    Within the traditional Christian family, the husband has a role; the wife has a role and so do the children (Ephesians 5:22-33).

  4. IF SEX IS FREE, THEN MAKE ABORTION LEGAL AND MAKE IT EASY
    According to statistics, more than 40 million unborn babies are aborted every year around the world. This is clear evidence just by the statistics alone that abortion in this world has become easier and “convenient” due to its legality in many countries.
    But is abortion Biblical? No! God does not support abortion. The Bible says that God knows us whilst we are in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). An unborn child is a unique person even though he/she temporarily resides in the mother’s womb.
    The promotion of sex through the media and the like has contributed to sexual immorality in the world. It has removed the principle that sex is only to be conducted within the confines of marriage. Sex outside of marriage which ironically is supported by Alice Bailey’s 10 Point Strategy is likely to create more “unwanted” pregnancies which result in increased abortions which the 10 Point Strategy also supports.
    An unborn baby is still a human life that God has created and which He values very much (Psalms 139:13-18). However, every year, more human lives (though unborn) die because of abortion alone, than any disease in the world.

  5. MAKE DIVORCE EASY AND LEGAL, FREE PEOPLE FROM THE CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE FOR LIFE
    Divorce rates worldwide continue to rise. Indeed as we look at our world today, the institution of marriage is no longer sacred or respected. Many couples continue to lose their sense of commitment to each other.
    Yet the Bible says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Marriage parallels Christ’s relationship with the Church. Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride (Ephesians 5:25-30). Therefore an attack on marriage is an attack on God who created the institution of marriage.
    In the beginning, God created marriage when He created Adam and decided that it was not good for the man to be alone but that man should have a helper comparable to him. This is why God created Eve and created marriage so that the man and woman would become one flesh (Genesis 2:18-25).

  6. MAKE HOMOSEXUALITY AN ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE
    Even though Alice Bailey wrote her 10 Point Charter many decades before homosexuality became accepted by the world, it is clear that the push to make homosexuality an alternative lifestyle has gained momentum. The gay rights movement is a very powerful movement in the world today.
    Even churches are ordaining homosexuals as priests or pastors thereby accepting homosexuality within the church itself.
    However, the Bible does not change; God’s word still remains the same in relation to sexual immorality and homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

  7. DEBASE ART, MAKE IT RUN MAD
    How does one debase art and make it run mad? Today we live in a world were pornography and nudity is viewed as an “art” or form of artistic expression. We live in a world where promiscuity and immorality of all kinds is promoted and celebrated in music and film.
    What is Alice Bailey’s goal with debasing art? The purpose of art should be to glorify God and edify others. However, debasing art will lead to corrupt minds and a corrupt form of expression. Instead of people being edified by art, they are instead defiled by it.
    The plan of “debasing art” and making it run mad is an expression of the defilement that is already in the soul of man. The Bible says that the heart of man is desperately wicked and who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9).
    In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus says the following… “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
    It is therefore the case that the kind of art that we see in the world today is an expression of what is in the heart of men. It is therefore evident that the form of artistic expression we see in music and film is just as the vices and sins that Christ mentions in Mark 7:20-23.

  8. USE MEDIA TO PROMOTE AND CHANGE MINDSETS
    The media is one of the fastest ways to change people’s mindsets on a massive scale. The media has enormous power to persuade and change perceptions and even cultures.
    In the world the media is mostly controlled by people who are not born again Christians. Even before the television had become a device that was owned in every household and well before the Internet and social media platforms existed, Alice Bailey understood the power of the media in the future and how it could be promoted to change mindsets.
    The media can be used as an instrument for both good and bad. However, because most of the media is controlled by unbelievers or people who support Alice Bailey’s New Age beliefs, the media is being used to support the New Age agenda.
    Romans 12:2 says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
    Therefore we are not to conform to the mindset of the world, but instead we should allow God’s word and teachings to transform our thinking so that we know the will of God.

  9. CREATE AN INTERFAITH MOVEMENT
    Alice Bailey’s advice to create an interfaith movement is one of the main agendas of the New Age, which may eventually lead to the creation of a one world religion. An interfaith movement promotes the notion that all faiths or religions must become one and look for “common ground” and discard their differences. It is the ecumenical view that all religions in the world can unite and become one.
    It is certain in this day and age that there is a subtle but emerging movement that exists within different faiths from Christianity to Buddhism to Hinduism, which seeks to promote ecumenism at the expense of the truth.
    Therefore in the name of unity, Christians are advised to compromise God’s truth for the purpose of being united.
    False doctrines will always divide people between those who believe the truth and those who believe what is false. Furthermore the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ will also divide people. 
    1 Corinthians 1:18 says: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    Jesus Himself knew that His message and His arrival on earth would divide many people because the truth will always divide people between those who follow the truth and those who follow a lie (Matthew 10:34-39).

  10. GET GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE ALL THESE LAW AND GET THE CHURCH TO ENDORSE THESE CHANGES.
    Today governments all over the world are legalizing such things as abortion, homosexuality, beastiality, same sex marriage and even addictive drugs such as marijuana. Even though the Bible disagrees with such lifestyles, there is a growing trend where governments are legalizing lifestyles that directly oppose the scriptures. This is because the influence of the New Age movement is growing as it seeks to achieve Alice Bailey’s 10 Point Plan agenda. Psalms 119:11 says: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

 

God Still Remains In Control
It is important to realize that despite all that is happening in the world, God still remains in control and He is not surprised by what is happening in the world. God will ultimately bring an end to all forms of evil at His appointed time. The devil has tried many times to destroy Christianity but ultimately he will fail.
Our role is to ensure that we are focused on Jesus Christ and that the word of God is deeply indwelt in us. Without the word of God and the Holy Spirit to guide us, we will surely be deceived by the great deception that is growing in the world.

 

Why Are We Born Sinners?

The Bible tells us that every person is born a sinner. Even if you are not a Christian it is easy to realize that mankind has a sinful nature at his core. Even a child does not need to be taught how to lie or steal or express a selfish attitude. Instead we are naturally born with sinful characteristics.
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Romans 3:10 also says “None is righteous, no, not one”.

We are all imperfect and are capable of bad or wicked behavior.
For example, as mankind we are capable of stealing, hatred, sexual immorality, idolatry, anger, impure thoughts and so much more.
Some of the acts of our sinful nature are outlined in Galatians 5:19-21 where it says: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So the question is: Why are we imperfect? Why do we struggle with sin? Why are we born sinners?

Our Sin Nature Is Inherited From Adam
The reason why we are born sinners is because of the sin of the first man – Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-24).
All of mankind are sinners because our sin nature is inherited from Adam who together with Eve, disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Romans 5:12 says: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Psalms 51:5 says: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

So it is clear from the above scriptures that as mankind we are born sinners because we inherited our sin nature directly from Adam.
Our sin nature spiritually separates us from a holy and just God. Therefore our sin nature prevents us from reconciling with God because God cannot tolerate sin.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says the following: Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

The imperfections we have in our individual life and in the entire world are a result of humans being born sinners. The imperfect state our world began with the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

What Is The Remedy For Our Sin Nature?
To understand the remedy for our sin nature we must also understand the consequences of sin.
The existence of sin brought both physical death and spiritual death into the world.
So the reason we die physically is because of the existence of sin in the world. There is also spiritual death where one is spiritually separated and unreconciled with God.
Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore according to Romans 6:23, sin brought death, but the remedy for sin is Jesus Christ.

It is important to note that ONLY Jesus Christ was conceived without sin. Only Jesus Christ being both God and Man was qualified to pay for our sins and redeem us from eternal punishment in Hell.
Therefore only Jesus Christ can reconcile us to God (John 14:6) and He alone is the remedy for our sins.

Through Jesus Christ we have redemption and eternal forgiveness of our sins.
The reason why hell exists is because sin exists. Hell is an expression of God’s eternal anger towards sin and those who choose to reject God and the work of Christ on the cross.
The work of Christ by dying for the sins of mankind on the cross was an expression of God’s love for man and God’s desire to forgive and redeem mankind from their sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
God therefore offers forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ who paid for our sins on the cross.
Colossians 1:14 says that in Christ Jesus “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Ephesians 1:7 says that in Jesus Christ “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,”

Through Jesus Christ our sins are removed and we are reconciled to God
Colossians 1:19-20 says: For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.
When we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour, though we once did evil deeds, through Christ we are seen as blameless and we are reconciled to God because of the work of Christ by dying for our sins on the cross.
Colossians 1:21-22 says: And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him,

Through Jesus Christ we no longer have a sin nature but we are sealed with the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:13-14 says: In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit guarantees that we are indeed saved and that we belong to Christ. When we were physically born we were conceived with sin / born sinners. This is why we need to be “born again” of the Spirit (John 3:3, John 3:5-8).
We cannot be reconciled with God unless we are born again which is to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (John 1:12, John 3:16).

ARE YOU RECONCILED TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST?

The Bible tells us that just a the sin of one man (Adam) brought death and the inheritance of sin in all of mankind, then it is also through the righteousness of one Man (Jesus Christ) that all of mankind can be saved from their sins and receive eternal life.
Romans 5:17 says: If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one Man Jesus Christ.

Therefore it is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved and be eternally reconciled to God. Forgiveness of all our sins is found in Jesus Christ who lived a perfect and righteous life. It is because of His righteousness and His death on the cross for our sins that we can overcome our sin nature and become a new creation.

Romans 5:18-19 says: Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one Man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Therefore when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we are declared righteous because of the work and righteousness of Christ and not because of our own effort or works.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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What is the Fear of the Lord?

What does it mean to have the fear of the Lord? The word fear has several meanings.
One of the definitions of the word fear by Oxford Living Dictionaries is that fear is “A mixed feeling of dread and reverence.”

Biblically the fear of the Lord is like two sides of a coin. There is the side of fear that includes dread or terror of God. Then there is the side of fear that includes reverence, respect and honor for God.

A scripture that best describes the fear of the Lord in relation to dread or terror is Matthew 10:28 where Jesus says “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

An example of the fear of the Lord which describes reverence and respect of God is Psalms 112:1 which says “Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.”

 

Therefore when we fear the Lord we are aware that:
1. There are benefits to respecting, loving and obeying God.
2. At the same time the fear of the Lord reminds us that there are consequences to disobeying or disrespecting Him.

 

The Fear of the Lord Leads to Hatred of Evil & Wickedness
When we have the fear of God in us, we are restrained from living a wicked or unrighteous life because we are constantly focused on God’s reaction to whatever choices we make in life.
The fear of the Lord also reminds us that there are consequences to bad or wicked choices in life. Proverbs 10:27 says: The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
The fear of the Lord also teaches us to hate evil and to love godliness. Proverbs 8:13 says: The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
So when we understand that God must be revered and honored, we are also reminded that we must always have a humble and obedient attitude in our daily living. We do not serve ourselves, but we serve a mighty and powerful God who is worthy of all honor and praise.

 

The Fear of the Lord Leads to Knowledge & Wisdom
The fear of the Lord is therefore a lifestyle where we are constantly reminded that God is everywhere and He watches all that we do – including what we do in secret.
The fear of the Lord reminds us that we must constantly be conscious of God’s presence and that we must live according to God’s values and principles.
Therefore when we have the fear of the Lord, we endeavor to view every choice we make in life through the eyes of God. Psalm 25:12 says: Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
The fear of the Lord encourages us to seek the wisdom of God rather than to live by our own understanding. The fear of the Lord motivates us to intimately know what please God rather than to seek the pleasures of the flesh.
Proverbs 9:10 says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Proverbs 1:7 says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

The Fear of the Lord Attracts God’s Favour & Protection
The fear of the Lord leads to God’s favour, help, and salvation in our life.
Psalm 115:11 says: You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 147:11 says: The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
Proverbs 19:23 says: The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

 

The Fear of the Lord Leads to Salvation & Righteous Living
Proverbs 15:16 says: Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
Malachi 4:2 says “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
Psalm 85:9 says: Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

Ultimately those who fear the Lord will seek Him and seek a genuine relationship with God. The true Christian life cannot be lived without the fear of the Lord and the understanding that God must be revered, respected and honored.

 

What is to Pray Without Ceasing?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul says “Pray without ceasing”. However, what does he mean?
Does he mean that we should literally pray without stopping?
To pray without ceasing means that as Christians we should always be conscious of the fact that God is always with us in whatever we do and wherever we go. Therefore because God is omnipresent, then we should always have a culture of speaking to Him in whatever situation we are in or at any moment in our life.

Praying without ceasing reflects that as Christians, we have a one-on-one relationship with the living God. Praying is not a duty or an assignment. Instead prayer is spiritual communication with God with whom we have a relationship and God is available to us 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.

To pray without ceasing means that God is always approachable and He is always ready to listen to us. God does not give us a timetable as to when or what time we should approach Him.
Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Therefore praying without ceasing reminds us that we can boldly approach God’s throne at any time during our day because His love and grace allows it.

Whenever we are anxious or in need; whenever we are confused or require wisdom – we can pray to God during our moment of need and trust that He will answer us and give us peace.
In Jeremiah 33:3, God says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So no matter what situation or condition we are in, we can pray to God immediately and consistently concerning our problem or circumstance.
James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Therefore in all circumstances in our life we must approach God and have a culture of sharing or communicating our thoughts and experiences to Him.

Praying without ceasing reminds us that God is always ready to forgive us whenever we sin during the day. Whenever we sin or hurt others, God is ready to forgive us when we confess our sins.
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Therefore whenever we do something wrong, we must get into the habit of immediately confessing to God so that our conscience is always aware that God is watching and that He knows all that we do in our life. God is all-knowing and He knows every detail of our life.
Praying without ceasing is a reminder that we pray to a God who knows us so well that He knows how many hairs we have on our head. Therefore we cannot hide from Him. However we can approach Him at anytime with our faults and He is just and faithful to forgive us.

Praying without ceasing also reminds us that we should never give up praying and we should trust that God will answer us and lead us in the right direction.
Luke 18:1 says “And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Therefore we must have a culture of always acknowledging God in whatever we do so that He is able to lead and direct us in life.

It is therefore necessary for us to develop a culture of praying without ceasing because God is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

Is The Selling of Anointing Oil & Holy Water Biblical?

In many churches or religious groups there has been a trend where various items such as anointing oil, holy water, handkerchiefs, and many other “anointed” products are sold to church members with the belief that the purchase and use of such objects or products will attract God’s blessings, favour and protection.
Therefore church leaders will encourage their followers to purchase their products with the promise that if the followers purchase and use their “anointed” products, then God will answer their prayers.

However, what does the Bible say about the sales of anointing oil and holy water? Should Christians use various “anointed” objects or church products in order to attract God’s favour and protection in their lives?

In the Bible, there is no record of Jesus Christ nor His disciples ever selling anointing oil, holy water or any product with the belief and promise that these products will attract God’s blessing or protection.

Jesus said the following in Matthew 10:7-9: “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts,”

There is no record in the scriptures where Jesus or His disciples healed anyone for a price.
God does not sell miracles. The gifts of God are for free and God’s gifts and blessings cannot be bought or sold by anyone.

 

Selling of “Anointed” Objects Is a Form of Witchcraft and Idolatry
In Acts 8:9-24 there is the story of Simon the Sorcerer who was strongly rebuked by Peter for thinking that the gifts of the Holy Spirit could be purchased.

Acts 8:18-22
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

The selling or purchasing of “anointed” items or products such as anointing oil or holy water in exchange for blessings and miracles is equivalent to practicing witchcraft.
God’s word does not teach that people must purchase “anointed” or “holy” objects in exchange for God’s miracles because the power to heal or bless does not come from objects but the power comes directly from God.

It is a form of practicing witchcraft when people purchase objects and trust in those “anointed” objects in exchange for blessings and miracles. It is the same practice when a person visits a sorcerer or witchdoctor. Such practices are therefore cult-like and demonic in nature. Any power or results that are experienced because of trusting in various objects for miracles is likely sourced from satan and not from God.

Having faith in an object for miracles and blessings is also similar to practicing idolatry. Our trust and faith must be directed towards God alone (Mark 11:22) and not towards objects.
Our function as Christians is simply to pray to God whenever we have a problem or petition (Philippians 4:6-7).
We do not need to pray PLUS purchase an “anointed” object for God to answer our prayers.
God is sovereign. Therefore God cannot be manipulated or coerced by the purchase and usage of “anointed” or “holy” objects or products which are sold by various church leaders.
God will answer our prayers without the need for us to pay anybody any money.

 

False Teachers Are Profiteering From Sales of “Anointed” Objects
The crux of the matter is that the selling of such products as anointing oil or holy water is done for the purposes of making money and exploiting gullible followers.
The Bible warns that there will be many false teachers who will exploit people for the purposes of making money and enriching themselves.

For example, 2 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV) speaks about false teachers and says “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”
1 Timothy 6:3-5 says that we must beware of anyone who teaches false doctrines and of false teachers who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain”
Romans 16:18 says “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Therefore, one of the primary objectives of many false teachers is to make a lot of money by exploiting the gullibility of their followers. They deceive their followers by suggesting that their products have the power to miraculously change the lives of their followers if their followers purchase and use their “anointed” products.
These false teachers exploit people who are in genuine need of help and who are desperate by selling them “anointed” oil and water. Yet this was never what Jesus did nor what Jesus taught.

It is therefore necessary to avoid any religious group or persons who exploits followers through selling “anointed” objects and products. Such people are false teachers who seek monetary gain and they are used as instruments of the devil to lead people into both witchcraft and idolatry.

 

What is Sleep Paralysis? Is It A Result of Demonic Attack?

Sleep paralysis can be defined as the temporary inability to move or speak whilst one is either waking up or falling asleep. For many people who have experienced sleep paralysis it can be a frightening and nightmarish experience as the body suddenly feels numb or paralyzed whilst feeling as if a dark or invisible presence has entered your room.
During a state of sleep paralysis, a person may feel the presence of something or someone pressing on top of his/her body. Others have reported hearing noises, humming sounds or even voices whilst in a state of paralysis. Others have felt strange tingling sensations or vibrations on parts of their body whilst some have felt difficulty breathing and out-of-body experiences.

However, is sleep paralysis a psychological condition or is it a result of demonic attack? Are the signs and symptoms of sleep paralysis a result of hallucinations during sleep or is it the work of demons?

 

The Natural / Scientific Explanation of Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis happens when parts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occur while you’re awake.
REM is a stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams often occur. The body is unable to move, apart from the eyes and muscles used in breathing, possibly to stop you acting out your dreams and hurting yourself.
Therefore when a person suddenly becomes aware during REM sleep that he/she is paralyzed, this may result in a variety of sleep paralysis symptoms as the person attempts to escape the paralysis.
This temporary failure to escape the sleep paralysis can lead to panic, fear and sometimes sleep hallucinations as one attempts to physically wake up and move his/her body.
Therefore it is during the REM stage of sleep when the brain is extremely active and where sleep paralysis may occur in order to prevent one from physically acting out his/her dreams whilst sleeping.
Sleep paralysis has also been linked to stress, sleep deprivation and irregular sleeping patterns. Therefore reducing one’s stress levels and getting enough sleep is important in reducing sleep paralysis. It is also recommended that you do not sleep on your back as you are most likely to experience paralysis whilst lying on your back.

 

Spiritual Explanation of Sleep Paralysis
The Bible says that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
There are different cultures that identify sleep paralysis as having a spiritual or demonic cause.
For example, In Cambodian it’s called “khmaoch sângkât” or “the ghost that pushes you down.”
In Thailand, a ghost called “phi am” haunts people when they are half asleep and unable to move.
And in some traditional Chinese cultures it’s called “meng yan” or “ghost oppression”

The devil is able to spiritually attack people whilst they sleep just as much as when they are awake.
However, Ephesians 6:10-11 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

 

If you experience sleep paralysis and you believe the experience to be caused by demons, you can try some of the following things:

1) It is important pray and trust in the Lord to protect you whilst you are sleeping. Therefore meditate on God’s word and pray for God’s protection before you go to bed. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

2) Call on the name of Jesus Christ during your sleep paralysis. Remember that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
Jesus Christ has the name above all names and demons are known to tremble at the name of Jesus Christ. In fact, in the scriptures, demons are cast out at the name of Jesus.

3) Do not go to bed with anger or unforgiveness in your heart as the devil can take advantage of your mental stress whilst you sleep. Ephesians 4:26-27 says “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.”

4) Do not go to bed with any anxieties in your heart. Instead seek God’s peace by giving all your anxieties and worries to God before you go to sleep. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

5) Put on the whole armor of God in your life. Ephesians 6:13-18 says: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

 

Therefore whilst it is possible that sleep paralysis can be the result of natural or biological causes, it is also possible that the devil may spiritually attack or oppress people under the guise of sleep paralysis.
So where sleep paralysis is believed to be linked specifically to a demonic attack, it is necessary to rely totally on God during any spiritual attack of any kind. God is the One who fights our battles.

 

Sources
https://www.livescience.com/56422-sleep-paralysis-different-cultures.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sleep-paralysis/