Issue 4 2010.

Keeping the Faith

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation. They are ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt afterward destroyed those who did not believe." Jude 3-5.

Commentary: Yes; certain well known leaders of large churches in the nations of the world have crept onto the scene, and many gullible Christians are paying bucket loads of money to support some of these leaders and do not realize that they are supporting wolves who are destroying the sheep including the wolves' followers. Certain high profile leaders and certain traitors within church fellowships are feeding congregations lies and poisonous spiritual food. They are also twisting the Scriptures and speaking perverse forms of teaching to Christians. And many followers of these wolves do not realize that Lord Jesus has clearly not sent these men and women to lead churches. They are prophets and prophetesses of the deceit of their own hearts.

"How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts." Jeremiah 23:26.

"The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully." Jeremiah 23:28.

Commentary: Contending earnestly for the faith is about faithfully speaking Lord Jesus' words, and this includes speaking out against all kinds of liars. Contending for the faith involves convincing people about the truth of Lord Jesus' words, and this involves being rejected and afflicted by those who contradict. However, Lord Jesus will show Himself strong on behalf of those who are loyal to Him, as taught in the Holy Bible.

Jude was a loyal follower of Lord Jesus, who cared about the well being of the saints of the day, and any true saint today should also warn and exhort other saints in this day so that the saints remain vigilant and on guard against Satan's grand schemes. Satan schemes by sending dishonest church leaders and dishonest churchgoers into church fellowships and brings disunity into the church and deceives Christians who become accustomed to hearing false doctrine and who do not know the Scriptures,  though they read the Scriptures. People need to understand the Scriptures, and Lord Jesus sends true church leaders and true shepherds to feed the church congregations with truthful and biblical knowledge and understanding. Ref: Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 11:12-15.

"Be sober and be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever: Amen." 1 Peter 5:8-11.

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says, 'Awake, you who sleep. Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:11-14.

 Commentary: Lord Jesus is the light of this world. He is from above and not from this earth. He created this earth, as it is taught in the Holy Bible. When the word of God exposes dark works, it becomes evident that the works are not of Lord Jesus and are not good. When people speak lies and say that it is the Holy Spirit who said it, this makes Lord Jesus very angry because people have perverted the ways of the Lord and have said, "God told me this." And they have caused people to believe that biblical truths are lies and that lies are truth. They are following another Jesus, and they  think that they are following Christ Jesus, creator of heaven and earth. The devil has much more knowledge than the Christians of this day, and he is deceiving multitudes day after day. The devil previously served Lord Jesus a long time ago, but he fell from Lord Jesus' grace because of his conceit and rebellion against the Lord. The same falling away from the faith is happening today to many Christians who were bought by the precious blood of Lord Jesus, but Lord Jesus will not accept into heaven those who do not believe His word and who do not do what He says. Ref: Jude 5, Hebrews 2:3, Hebrews 5:9.

Therefore, awaken to righteousness and make a commitment to learn Lord Jesus' true word. Contend earnestly for the true faith, the doctrine of Lord Jesus Christ and stop contending against the people whom He has sent to speak His words to you. Many Christians today have given up speaking against liars and do not believe that Lord Jesus is able to perfect them if they obey Him. They say, "Nobody is perfect." They lie to their neighbour and they fight against Lord Jesus' messengers who need to rebuke them for their conceit and disobedience against Lord Jesus. They need to stop kicking against His messengers and start listening to His messengers. And may Lord Jesus perfect His followers after we have suffered a while on this earth. Ref: 1 Peter 5:10. He perfects those who remain loyal to Him.

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

"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let Him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17.

Commentary: Take note that anyone who desires to hear Lord Jesus' word, the water of life is entitled to hear this word freely and not pay course fees to listen and learn. Lord Jesus said to make disciples of all the nations and to teach them to observe all of His commandments and to teach them freely. Making disciples of people in all nations is much different to making billions of dollars at the expense of Christians in the nations.

Today, many so called, Bible Colleges or Bible Schools and the professing Christian ministries controlling these institutions are outright denying Lord Jesus and denying their professed faith in Him because they are selling words which they claim to be taught by God. They are claiming to teach Lord Jesus' words, and they are doing it for a monetary price, when people are actually entitled to hear and learn His word freely.

"Come now, you rich; weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last says." James 5:1-3.

Commentary: Miseries are coming upon those who charge a monetary price for the word of God or charge a monetary price for teaching which they claim that 'God told them.' Their riches which are gained through fraudulent dishonesty will be a witness against these religious pirates. Times Square Church, New York City and Christian Outreach Centre and many other Christendom churches are among those who sell their ministerial products and do not teach biblical truths. They add and take away from Lord Jesus' words and then sell their mixed wine (deceitful teaching). Woe to them. They have run in the way of Balaam for profit. Ref: Jude 11. However, if they persist in their greediness, they will have no eternal profit in the end but only eternal damnation.

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely, you have received; freely give." Matthew 10:7, 8.

Commentary: Even in the twenty first century. Lord Jesus' messengers are able to receive His word freely, and they are required to freely give His message to others and not charge them a monetary price. Some ministers might ask, "How do I make a living then?" The answer is: 'A worker is worthy of his food.' Ref: Matthew 10:9, 10.

"Even so, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:14.

Yes; as it is written, Lord Jesus has commanded that people who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. He has also taught that a worker is worthy of his food and has commanded that His word is to be given to people freely, which means not for money. Lord Jesus provides for His ministers through generous ministry supporters, and they keep the ministry operating though their  gifts and through the voluntary labour of Lord Jesus' messengers.

A worker is worthy of His food. This is true, but it is equally important to understand that there are some loyal messengers of Lord Jesus in this world, who are church leaders but who are not making money from leading churches or from teaching the word of God. Lord Jesus is able to miraculously provide for them, as He provided the prophet Elijah with meat delivered by birds, and He presented food before His eyes in the wilderness. Ref: 1 Kings 17:1-16, 1 Kings 19:5-9.

The early apostles including Paul, Peter, John and the others were the educators of the early church and the education which they gave to the early saints is also for the saints of this day. Their writings are still in the Holy Bible today. These early educators of the church were volunteers and they were certainly not making monetary fortunes from preaching and teaching the gospel but they were making a living because of Lord Jesus providing them with breath in their lungs and necessities for their bodies.

Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you;: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Acts 3:6.

Commentary: The apostle Peter acknowledged that he had the privilege of being able to walk. And in Lord Jesus' name, he kindly healed a lame man, who was begging for money. Peter accepted the reality that he had no money, but he knew that he had faith in Lord Jesus and eternal life, which is priceless.

"So now brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one's silver, gold or apparel. Yes; you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way by labouring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:32-35.

Commentary: The Apostle Paul laboured night and day. He taught the word of God continuously, and he made tents at times. Paul the apostle worked, made a living and provided even for the people who were with him and doing the work of the ministry. Paul the apostle was not charging people money for his gospel teaching. On the contrary, he went without important necessities at times, and he had enough at other times. He was a selfless man who put others before himself. His priority was to finish the work that Lord Jesus called him to do and he endured long term hardship for the sake of the elected saints. He cared very much about the wellbeing of the entire church.

Today, there are numerous billionaire church leaders on the earth, and their fortunes are gained through their ministries. This is a great contrast to the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists of earlier times who were poor in earthly material wealth and whose ministry works were labours of love and not labours of capitalism. Ref: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, Matthew 3:4, Matthew 8:20.

Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Keith Moore,  Carter Conlon and many other deceitful professing Christian men and women have made their fortunes through dishonest teaching and covetousness. They are not poor in material wealth, but they are poor in Lord Jesus' eyes, and their souls will be judged in due time. Their treasures are on earth and not in heaven. Lord Jesus taught us that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"Therefore,  be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord - that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful." James 5:7-11.

 Concluding commentary: From now until our final days on this earth, we need to be very patient. Take the example written by the teacher James as concise words which all saints need to now follow, as we are in some very evil days on the earth. Just like how the prophets and apostles of earlier times had to endure through hardship, saints in this day must also endure hardship. Even so, continue listening to Lord Jesus' word and let your heart be established and let your mind be transformed through applying the word of God to your daily life. Lord Jesus will judge our hearts on the coming judgment day, which draws nearer every day. Establish your hearts and prepare to be judged by the Lord. Stop grumbling and stop complaining in an unrighteous manner against the church leaders or the messenger of Lord Jesus who is teaching you and do not be jealous of your brethren. If you are guilty of complaining in an unrighteous manner or showing contempt toward the person teaching the truth to you or if you have bitter envy and self seeking in your hearts, confess this sin to Lord Jesus, repent and stop doing that sin. You will receive a great eternal reward if you are loyal to Lord Jesus and you endure through the remaining days ahead, as one of His followers. Amen.

Br: Thomas Loftus,
Jesus the Christ Ministries Mission,
18 September, 2010.

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Ref: Matthew 13:52.