Are you in search of the perfect church to attend? There are many opportunities to be disappointed in the congregation each one of us attends. Maybe you don’t like one of the people who visits the services. Maybe your friend does not like some of the doctrines that are being taught. Maybe I don’t like some of the practices at my church.

What is the point of going to church? To worship God with others of like precious faith, to encourage the brethren in their Christian walk, and to be reminded of the Truths from God’s Holy Word. Perfection in congregational methods is not the point. Meeting with perfect people is not the point. Finding people who perfectly agree with your opinions is not the point.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:

We want to go to a nearby tolerable church, and pray that our ministry there might be a blessing to someone. If we are looking for fellowship that is not tainted by sinful humans, that is something we can only expect to find in Heaven.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is;] but exhorting [one another:] and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

There are people who attend church that can be bothersome. It is not prudent to assume they are evil. Some are hurting and weakened. They will be overly sensitive, mistaking even a proposed friendly alternative as an attack, and getting defensive. Others are immature, and their naivety can lead them into grossly divergent paths that are quite counter productive. Of course, there are those who simply have poor communication skills, which can cause misunderstandings and incite strife.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

They all need our love, patience, kindness, and encouragement. If we assume the worst about them, we are no friend. I must measure their behaviour with grace, the way I would want to be measured. Sincerely worship God with them, side by side. This will draw them into a closer relationship with Him. That is what will help them most. That is a blessing we all could use.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Is it reasonable to expect people to be fully capable and mature … every moment? Can we really require a brother or sister to have already learned everything that we have learned? Maybe they have been mislead by someone they trusted. A person cannot learn everything at once. It takes time.

1 Peter 2:20 For what glory [is it,] if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it,] ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Even if they mistreat you, God has allowed this. Trust God that He had a very good reason for this trial of faith in your life.

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, …

Psalm 119:71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Romans 12:10 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

God did not promise to preserve the history of the early church, except that which is captured in scripture. The Bible is unique, among records of that age, in that it has been accurately delivered to our generation. So, we won’t be able to find authoritative records of the faith and practice of the early church outside God’s Word. It is suspicious when any teachers claim some special understanding of scripture because of early church history that they have read. That seems like a convenient way to promote heresy, since just about any false doctrine, one might like, can be found in such historical records.

Now that we are in the New Testament, all authoritative revelation from God the Father is only available from God the Son (Hebrews 1:2). And it is only confirmed as God’s Word by God the Holy Spirit, through the Apostles that Jesus chose Himself (Mark 16:20, John 14:26, Hebrews 2:3-4). Those Apostles have completed their mission. Yes, the early church needed to consider, and come to a conclusion, what writings were to be included in scripture. However, the question was not, “Which ones should we choose?” The question they needed to answer, rather, was, “Which ones did the Apostles ordain?” This was settled admirably, and correctly, by the early church. The True Church is in complete agreement with the results, though some other groups have added apocryphal writings several centuries later.

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Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

I cannot take a photograph of the kingdom of God and show it to you. The only way you can see what it is like to be in the kingdom of God, is for you to be here yourself.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

You cannot enter the kingdom of God, except through spiritual rebirth.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ teachings did not persuade everyone who heard Him? Why did He deliberately veil His glory? On that day when the full glory of Jesus is revealed, every person will know the truth of His majesty, thus they will give Him the honour that is rightfully due to Him.

Philippians 2:9-11
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Before that day, we must have faith. By “faith” we do not mean “blindly gullible.” God has precisely calibrated this world so that each man and woman has a choice. When you stand at the judgment seat, you will have no excuse that you did not know any better.

When we see the full glory of God, it will be too late to make the choice. Faith will no longer be an option, since the choices will be erased by the glaring, undeniable light. The Holy Father wants His children to choose to love Him. Without that choice, there is no true love.

This world gives us the knowledge of good and evil. We can see the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. And we can see that paradise has been ruined by sin. Our loving Provider has made a new paradise where sin will not enter. We can choose life or death, blessing or cursing. Choose life.

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There are some who omit the second commandment from the ten commandments. To help this omission be less noticeable, they split the tenth commandment into two commandments, so there are still ten in total. If you read a copy of the deviant list, you will not find, “Thou shalt not bow down or pray to an image.” But, they pad the list with two commandments for, “Thou shalt not covet.”

Why would anyone make such a change? The answer is so obvious that it seems silly to ask. Those who claim to be Christians, yet pray to images and honour them, would find it quite uncomfortable to find their sin listed among The Ten.

For clarification, God commanded the Israelites to make several images: a serpent, twelve bulls, pomegranates, almond flowers, angels, etc. So, this confirms that the image itself is not the problem, but the way we treat the image. Some rationalize their prayer to statues by saying that it helps them to worship God. However, God told you this is an abomination to Him, so it is not worship at all. When you reject God’s commands, you are rejecting His authority. When you forsake His authority, you are denying His omniscience and benevolence. That is the opposite of worship.

Leviticus 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I [am] the LORD your God.

Isaiah 42:8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Image of a child asking Santy, “Where are you in the Bible?”

Santa Claus is another way of saying Saint Nicolaus. This refers to a man who lived many centuries ago. He died on the 6th of December, which is now known as Saint Nicolaus Day. Since he died in the fourth century AD, of course he could not be in the Bible, but that is not the complete answer.

Why did they commemorate the day of his death? It is because that is the day many people found out about his secret. He was a wealthy man and had been secretly giving to the poor. He gave wooden toys so the poor children could have some enjoyment. He gave bakery items, with spices that the poor would not normally be able to afford. He also anonymously gave money and clothing to those in need.

Few men could have withstood, as Nic did, the great burden of wealth. He inherited a good deal of money. For most people, the temptation is too much, and they become self-centred or wasteful.

So, the qualities that Nic exemplified are in the Bible. The crowning example of giving, is when God gave His Son. Santa Claus is a good role model of the kind of giving we can do to follow God’s example.

Whether Santa Claus is in the Bible, thus, completely depends on you. Do you play along with the fairy tales? Or do you take this opportunity as a reminder to follow the biblical model of giving?

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Who is Lord? Think about that question. Who is Master and King? Who is on the throne? You know the answer. You have read it in the Bible. The preachers have told you. You could refer to several verses of Scripture that say “Jesus Christ is Lord,” “He is King of Kings.” Academically … intellectually … you know the answer.

Of course, there are people who deny it. They deny the Truth. It is written on their hearts. The preachers and the scriptures have told them. You have told them, and they still deny the Truth. They are on the broad way to destruction.

Romans 10:8-13
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

9 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

What if I believe in the resurrection and say the phrase, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then does that mean I am on the narrow way to Life? What if He is not on the throne of my life? What if He is not the master who makes all of the decisions about how I will live my life? What if I do not bow to His will in my life? Isn’t that what the word “Lord” means? He is my King, and I would not dare to live my life outside His Law.

9 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus …

When I “confess” something, it does not mean that I am just repeating a phrase I learned from a book. It must be true in my life, to be a confession. I can’t just say an incantation to get into heaven. I must forsake my lordship and turn to His lordship. I must turn away from the path to destruction, and turn to the path of Life.

Who is Lord? Think about that question. Who is Master and King? Who is on the throne?

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Who is Jesus? If I believe in the resurrection and confess “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then does that mean I am on the narrow way to Life? We can easily make a list of false religions that claim that Jesus is part of their way of enlightenment. Does it matter which Jesus I believe in? It is easy to see the answer to that question when looking at an extreme case. What if there is a man down the street who claims to be Jesus? Obviously, if that is the Jesus to whom I refer when I confess “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then I don’t have the right Lord. If someone has the same name as you, does that mean they are the same person as you? Of course not. In the same way, when people fabricate their own version of Jesus to serve, they are still lost. Anyone who invents their own god to worship, is serving a false god.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

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Believe in Christ. But what must I believe about Christ?

Follow The Way. But how do I find The Way, so I can follow?

Come, drink of the water of life freely. But where do I go to get this water of life?

Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. What?!

When Jesus compared Himself with the serpent of brass, He used a familiar historical event to help Nicodemus understand. Here is the history, so we can also see the context.

Numbers 21:4-9
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

And here is the comparison Jesus made:

John 3:14-19
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

There are a couple of elements to this comparison. Our sin is like the venom of the serpent. We have been mortally poisoned. We are doomed to die because of our rebellion against God. What is the antidote to this poison? Look to Christ crucified. Jesus took our sin upon Himself, then paid the penalty. It is only what Christ has done for us, that can save us. There is nothing we can do but look to Him. This is strictly faith, not works. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

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We worship The Word of God, “His name is called The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us …” (John 1:1,14). The Word of God is not paper and ink, but Jesus Christ. The Word of God is not a mere book, but the content of the Bible, holy, living, enduring, true.

How much does God care about His Word? “Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.” (Psalm 138:2)

The True God wants us to find Him; to know Him. He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His creation, so we will seek Him, then through His Word, so we will know Him. What good would it do if God revealed to us His Word, but then it later became impossible for anyone to find?

The true Word of God has always been there for the finding. If you seek, you will find. Jesus confirmed that the scriptures had been preserved by the Jews. This is the same Old Testament that we use today.

When Erasmus looked for the New Testament, he found it. He also found that those who were blessed to have scriptures through the centuries, almost exclusively, had the true version. The false versions had been largely rejected and discarded.

There were some places and people, who cared little for the integrity of the scriptures, that had the rare, unique, corrupted variants. Not only are those texts distinct from the consensus of the majority texts, they also disagree with each other. Oddly, there are some (non-believers) who collected the minority texts and asserted that they were better than the vast majority that agreed with each other. The one reason they give to defend such a position is that those manuscripts are older. There are two problems with that explanation. One, they are not older. Two, Satan was providing corrupt copies of the scriptures even while the apostles were still here to correct them. That is why the Bible itself contains corrections to false teachings that were being spread. So, even if they were older, that would not mean they are better.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

In order for us to live by every word, then those words would need to be preserved. In the above verse of scripture, the Greek word here translated “it is written” is used scores of times in this same form in the New Testament in reference to the Old Testament. The form, or tense, that is used could never be used in reference to something that a person wrote down for their own reference, then forgot where they left the parchment. The writing that is referenced here was written in the past but has carried forward to the present moment when it is referenced – it has been preserved.

Matthew 5:17-18
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

In the above passage, the mention of the law and the prophets is another way of saying “the Old Testament.” Jesus is the Word of God, so the Scripture is His Words. So, the following verse is saying that the Bible will be preserved. This includes both the Old Testament, and also the New Testament that He was in the process of establishing.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 16:15, 19-20
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with [them,] and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Hebrews 2:1-4
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him;]
4 God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

1 Peter 1:23-25
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Psalm 12:6-7
6 The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

For more information regarding the reliability of the biblical texts, our favourite book on the subject is “Which Version is the Bible” by Floyd Nolen Jones.

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The word “human” is not in the Bible. Yet, in the sense that we use the word today, we know that the Bible teaches the humanity of Jesus, as well as His divinity. Why is this important?

Hebrews 4:15-16
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

2 John 1:7-9
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

At times, the New Testament uses the word “flesh,” or the phrase “flesh and blood,” in context, for human. For example:

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places.]

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Jesus was flesh.

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

John 1:1,14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word was made 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.

Jesus was a descendant of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:14-15
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3 is traced back to Adam, as proof of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, as well as a descendant of David.

Romans 1:3-4
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Galatians 3:16,19
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The Old Testament always means human when it uses the phrase “son of man,” for example:

Psalm 8:3-5
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Pronouns aside, “Son of man” is the most common way Jesus used to refer to Himself in scripture, likely a direct allusion to Daniel chapter one. “Son of man” always refers to Jesus in the New Testament, and the second chapter of Hebrews beautifully ties together the Old and New Testament uses of this phrase:

Hebrews 2:6-18
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

All humans are of one blood.

Acts 17:24,26
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, …
26 … hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, …

When the Almighty God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, came, He came in the flesh. When He came, every physical attribute of Him; His bones, His blood, His brain … His body … was human.

In His sovereignty, God could have remained distinctly distant and exalted high above us lowly humans, but He did better than that. His nobility is so sure, His virtue is so holy, His eminence is so firm, that He was able to humble Himself as a baby in the womb, and even to a humiliating execution as a criminal.

Someone stated that they did not know that I found polygamy to be unbiblical. Although this statement seems astounding to me, I have chosen to take my part of the responsibility for any confusion, and provide clarification. Since the statement was made publicly on the Internet, it seems proper and prudent to also state the clarification publicly on the Internet. I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea about what we believe, especially on such an important topic.

When we said “God designed marriage for one man and one woman,” this is an explicit statement against polygamy, as well as each of the following:

  • When I was discussing qualifications for elders in the church, one example I used for someone who was a novice in the scriptures, thus disqualified, is if they disagree that God’s design for marriage is between one man and one woman.
  • When I was explaining that a certain person’s doctrine had points that were seriously wrong, I offered polygamy as an example, since it was so obviously wrong.
  • I said Jesus expected that anyone should be able to see, from Genesis, that God designed marriage for one man and one woman. When Jesus pointed this out, He was exhorting us to a standard that was established from the beginning of creation. Those who lived in accord with this design received a blessing, and those who did not, suffered the consequences.

If I have said anything that could be misinterpreted to be positive, or even neutral, towards polygamy, please accept my apologies. I thought it was plain and clear.

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