Things every Christian should know - from our book, Cults and Isms: True or False?
28/12/2016

Some Things Every Christian Should Know  The BibleThe religions examined in this book all have foundational books of their own.  We believe the Bible is special, and we will attempt to tell you why this is.

The Holy Bible is a library of 66 books written by 40 authors over about 1500 years. It is true history. It tells us both the past and the future. It begins with the creation of the universe and tells us what lies ahead.

It is a true account of God’s dealings with man from the creation of the world. It tells the story of how God selected one man, Abraham, to be the father of a chosen people, a unique nation of people we now call the Jews.

It reveals that from that nation came the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, the Savior, the Redeemer of mankind – the God-man Jesus Christ, who died as the one and only sacrifice for the sins of all who put their faith in Him. It clearly teaches that He is to return at a certain time in history and it distinctly tells us to be ready when He comes again and gives us many signs of when that will occur.

Those signs are all around us now. The Bible is full of true accounts of kings, priests, prophets, military men, and hundreds of ordinary people.  It gives great detail about the fate of specific cities, kingdoms, armies, and the rise and fall of nations. It is factually accurate and has been verified in many ways, including by archaeology.

The Bible tells us that the men who wrote the scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that even if the heavens and the earth pass away, not one word will be lost. The Bible is the most important thing in this world. It not only tells us the past and the future, but it clearly tells us how we can attain eternal life – through faith in Jesus Christ. In addition to all this, it is the greatest masterpiece of literature in all of history.

It truly is “the most valuable thing this world affords.”* If you will read the Bible regularly, although each of the writers has a different style, you should actually come to know how God thinks and feels.  Just read it for yourself – without any of the “study aids” supplied by different cults.  The Bible is the real thing, and once you get to know the real thing better, you will be able to recognize counterfeits a mile off. 

We know a mail carrier (a postman in Britain) who has read through the Bible 72 times.  He is more knowledgeable in the Scriptures than most priests, bishops, archbishops – certainly more knowledgeable than the Pope!  He is the fruit of what John Wycliffe began when he first translated the Scriptures into English in the 1380s. 

Wycliffe’s famous quote to an angry cleric was:  “I will make the boy that drives the plough to know more of Scripture than thou.”  Now anyone can read the scriptures in English, a freedom that was purchased by the blood of many martyrs.

*… “the most valuable thing this world affords.”  This is the phrase used by Surrey County Council's Education Committee on the flyleaf of a Bible given out to teenagers in state schools in England in 1960.

 Jesus is God  

When you encounter someone who denies the deity of Christ, possibly on your own doorstep, be ready to contend for the faith.  Write some scripture references down at the front of your Bible so you can quickly turn to them.  Here are a few scriptures:

 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”  John 1:1,2“All things were made by Him (the Lord Jesus); and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”  John 1:3 “In Him was life…”  John 1:4“My Lord and my God.” 

Thomas worships the risen Lord Jesus and Jesus accepts his worship.  John 20:28 The First Commandment – “I am the Lord thy God…thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:2,3; Deut 5:6,7  Since the Lord Jesus was and is and will be worshipped on earth and in heaven, He is God. 

There are to be no other gods, none. In the Old Testament:“…a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).”  Isaiah 7:14“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 In the epistles:“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” Titus 2:13“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11  

It gives the Father glory when we worship His Son!“…he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Heb. 1:6  “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written (in Isaiah 45:23), as I live saith the LORD, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10-12“….that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Colossians 1:18, 19 In the Book of Revelation:“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13 

The Father and the Son are worshipped together in heaven. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew that He was claiming to be God, and they totally rejected Him.  People today in the cults are doing the same thing. Time to be baptized! 

The last words of the Lord Jesus recorded in Matthew’s gospel are these:  “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 

If you have come to faith in the Lord Jesus, you need to be baptized, immersed in water, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  It is an act of obedience to the Lord and by it you identify yourself with the Lord Jesus in His death.  As He died for you and was buried, you are briefly buried in the waters of baptism.   

We marvel that a believer would hesitate to obey the Lord in this, yet we have met people who have been going to good churches for years and still are not baptized.   As the years go by, they become embarrassed to admit that in fact they have never gone through the waters of baptism.  This is just foolish pride. 

People in your church will rejoice with you when you are publicly baptized, and what a witness it will be to others who may also be hanging back.  This will take guts, but if you are a believer, you can do it! Then there are the women who do not want to have their hair-do wrecked by going underwater; they are afraid to be seen not looking their best. 

This is just one of the wiles of Satan, one way he keeps women from obeying the Lord’s clear will – for all believers to be baptized in water.  Ladies – no one minds about your hair!  It is only your pride that stands in the way.  The other ladies of the church will have a hair dryer handy in a back room and they will get such joy from helping you to look your best in moments. 

Will you not put the Lord’s will first in your life? And then there are the people who can’t swim, and are afraid that they will drown.  We guarantee – you will not drown!  No one has ever drowned while being baptized and you will not be the first.  And even if you did drown, wow, what a way to go – while submitting to a command of the Lord Jesus!  But, you won’t drown.   

And then there are the elderly people who think they are too old – or their churches think they are too old.  Praise the Lord for Rose Machin, a lady at our church.  She was saved at the age of 85 and wanted to be baptized at her granddaughter’s church in Australia.  She made the arduous trip, a 23 hour flight, only to find that the large charismatic church in Sydney thought she was too old to be baptized! 

Back she came to England.  We knew the Lord wanted this indomitable lady to go through those waters and publicly identify with the Lord Jesus in His death, so at the age of 87, Rose was baptized at Tongham Christian Fellowship.  No, she did not drown or have a heart attack.  Yes, her hair-do was utterly wrecked, but we had a hair dryer handy – no problem!  And there was a lot of rejoicing. 

Rose was so glad to follow the Lord’s will in this that she arranged a buffet lunch to be served to the whole church following the baptism.  One of the ladies filmed the baptism, and emailed it to Australia, so the rejoicing went round the world!  God is not finished with Israel There is a pervasive and pernicious teaching in many, even most, churches today –  it is called Replacement Theology, the idea that God is finished with Israel and that the church has replaced Israel. 

It is just plain wrong, and it opens the door to anti-semitism. A Jewish friend in Israel said wryly:  “They take the ‘good’ scriptures, the promises to bless Israel, and substitute the church for Israel, but as for the ‘bad’ scriptures that call down judgement on Israel, those they leave for us, the Jews; they don’t apply those to the church.”  In Romans 11 Paul says:  “Hath God cast away His people (Israel)?  God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God hath not cast away His people…” 

He tells us that there is a remnant of Jews saved and that the separation between us and the Jews has a purpose – to make them jealous!  And Paul reveals that “blindness in part” has happened to Israel “until the fullness of the gentiles be come in.”  When the last gentile to be saved has been converted, wow, hang on to your hats, because:  “And so all Israel shall be saved.” Romans 11:26. 

Israel is only in the background for awhile, although of course many individual Jews are being saved.   But the day is coming when the entire nation of Israel will turn to Christ, and that is when He will return, fulfilling His prophecy:  “Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” Matthew 23:39. 

That is the time of Zechariah 12:10 when:  “…they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son…” The world will be a very different place once the Jews have accepted their Messiah, for, as Paul says:  “If the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the gentiles, how much more their fullness?” Romans 11:12 

“If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”  Romans 11:15   There are surprising numbers of Jews coming to faith in Christ in our generation.  Friends reckon there are about 8-10,000 Christian Jews in Israel now. 

There are also many Arabs coming to faith, including many in Israel.  This is a wonderful thing to behold, as Arab Christians do not hate Jews, but want to bless them and bless Israel.  So, far from God being finished with Israel, He is just about to concentrate on them!  They are the focus of the final seven years of this present set-up.  After the church is taken up, Daniel’s seventieth week, the last seven years, begins (Daniel 9:24-27). 

This is that awful period, known in the Bible sometimes as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, sometimes as “the Day of the Lord”, sometimes as the Great Tribulation.  Antichrist will attempt to wipe out the Jewish people once again, as Satan has tried to do throughout history.  But at the end of those terrible seven years, worse even than the Holocaust, the entire nation of Israel, every Jewish person left alive, will turn in faith to the Messiah they rejected, and that is all He is waiting for! 

The Lord Jesus, Lion of the tribe of Judah, will return in power and glory and majesty to rescue His beloved people Israel. So please, never say “God is finished with the Jews.”  The best is yet to come – they will be helping the Lord Jesus to run the world in the 1000 year Millennium!  All the promises God made to the Jews from the time of Abraham will be fulfilled.  God is not a liar!  He keeps His promises. 

He does not promise someone something and then give it away to somebody else. We, the gentiles, are grafted in to the olive tree (a metaphor for Israel), but Paul says not to be proud about this, but fear, and “God is able to graft them (the Jews) in again.” (Romans 11:23)  The Jewish people, the descendents of Abraham, will have their land, undisputed, and it will be a lot bigger territory than at present. 

Their numbers will be as the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky.  Israel will be the head, not the tail; their light will come; the glory of the Lord will rise upon them; “gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”  Everlasting joy will be upon their heads and everyone on earth will acknowledge that “they are the seed which the Lord has blessed.” 

And for Jerusalem’s sake, the Lord will not rest and Israel will be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord and the holy people there shall be called the redeemed of the Lord.  (See these promises in Genesis chapters 17 and 22 and Isaiah chapters 61 and 62.)   God finished with the Jews?  He’s just about to start the final act.  The curtain is going up. 

If you have never blessed the Jews, consider carefully now, for that is one way you can get in on all this glory to come.  One promise to Abraham lets us get in on the act:  “I will bless them that bless thee…”  There may not be much time left in which to benefit from this investment opportunity… 

Real estate – the land of Israel Here is what God has to say about the land. Gen 12:7 to Abraham: “…unto thy seed will I give this land.”Gen 13:15: “For all the land which thou seesst, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.”Gen 13:17 “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”Gen 15:7 “And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.”Gen 15:18  “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: Unto they seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”Gen 17:19

 “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”Gen 21:12   “…for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”Gen 26:3,4 to Isaac:   “…for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries…”Gen 28:13 to Jacob:  “…the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed…”Gen 35:12  “And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” 

Those who part the land (divide it, give bits of it away) Leviticus 25:23  “The land shall not be sold…for the land is mine…”Joel 3:2  “I will also gather all nations (for judgement, for they have)…parted my land.”Daniel 11:39  “He (Antichrist) …shall divide the land for gain.” Mary We love Mary.   We expect to see her one day in heaven.  But she is NOT co-redemptrix! 

There is ONE redeemer and it is not Mary! When Mary was trying to get through the crowd to see the Lord Jesus, his disciples told Him His mother was outside with His half-brothers.  Here is what the Lord Jesus said:  “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  Matthew 12:48-50. 

If you are doing the Father’s will, you are as close to the Lord Jesus as if you were His mother, His brother or His sister.  He said so Himself.  We are not to put anyone on a pedestal, not Mary, not Peter, not anyone.   Judging[1] “Don’t judge, or you’ll be judged!”  This is often used to gag Christians, and it is taken out of context.  Never let anyone stop you using your brain - your God given critical abilities to judge the truth of a matter. 

The New Testament was written in Greek and there are five Greek words for judging. Three types of judging we are commanded to do.  Krino (pronounced cree-no) is the root word in most cases for judging. Krites (pronounced cry-teez) is Greek for a judge or magistrate.   

Three kinds of judging we are commanded to do. These are:

Ana-krino - to discern

Dia-krino - to decide on a matter

Kritikos - to critically examine and analyse

 

Two types of judging we are forbidden to do.  These are:

Hypo-crites – judging hypocritically

Krisis – deciding who goes to heaven and who goes to hell

 We would urge readers to jot these five words down at the front of their Bibles, so that the next time someone tries to gag you and stop you questioning a wrong teaching or practice, you can show them that we are supposed to be judging things. Ana-krino – to discern.  “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Cor 2:15,16  We must ana-krino -  use our discernment, judge what we hear and what goes on. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.”  1 Cor 14:29.  The men of the church are to judge anyone who claims to give prophecies from God. 

Christian men today should publicly judge the “prophets” who started the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bahai etc.  Christian men are commanded to ana-krino – judge what is said, judge what is taught.  If you refuse to use this God-given authority now, why should the Lord give you a position of authority in His 1000 year reign? 

There are many standing up today claiming to be prophets, and Christian men must judge what they say.  Deuteronomy 18:20-22 teaches us the test of a true prophet, that what he prophesies must come true; otherwise he is a false prophet.  Dia-krino – to decide. You should decide disputes within the Body of Christ, the assembly. 

You should not sue each other in civil court cases. “I speak to your shame.  Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you?  No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” 1 Cor 6:5 This means not to sue in civil court.  It does NOT mean to cover up crimes that should be heard in criminal court.  Great wisdom and discernment is needed here. 

Some churches have covered up crimes which should have been reported to the police.  Paedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church is the glaring example.   Hiding the crimes and protecting the priests and the reputation of the Roman church was put above the clear duty of protecting children from molestation.  These ongoing crimes clearly needed to be reported and dealt with.   

Kritikos –to critically examine, analyze, think for yourself, weigh things up.  We must examine and critically analyze what is said and taught and done in our churches.  Of course, this does not mean to criticize people for every little thing, but when it is something important, we have to analyze. Hypo-krites – hypocritical judging; judging other people for something we are also guilty of.  This we are forbidden to do. 

Before you open your mouth to judge someone else, stop and ask yourself if you are doing the same thing yourself.  If you judge someone hypocritically, for a sin that you are also committing, you will be judged, publicly exposed as a hypocrite.  This is the word the Lord Jesus used in Matthew 7:1 when He said: “Judge not (hypocritically), that ye be not judged.” 

Be very careful what you judge people for! Krisis, krina –  eternal judgement, heaven or hell, on the basis of belief in the Lord Jesus or rejection of Him.  This judgement is not for us, but for Christ alone. Not even the Father judges anyone, for He has given all judgement to the Son. John 5:22. There are two judgement seats in the Bible:  The Greek words are thronos and bema.

  1. Thronos.  For the unsaved.  Unsaved people will be judged at the Great White Throne of Revelation 20:11-14, where the degrees of punishment are determined, and, since all these people (most of whom thought of themselves as being good) have rejected the Lord Jesus, they are cast into the lake of fire.
  2. Bema Seat. (pronounced bee-ma) For Christians.  This is the judgement seat of Christ, 1 Cor 3:12-15, where rewards for service will be given.  The bema was where rulers in ancient Greece handed out rewards to Olympic winners; this is a type of the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, where mercy covered the Ark of the Covenant, with the Law – the 10 Commandments – inside it. 

The Lord’s great mercy covers all the sins of all those who put their trust in Him.  We should be serving the Lord now in whatever way He gives us, so that we lay up some treasure in heaven and so that we can get some reward at His judgement seat.  The private things which no one but God sees will no doubt get great rewards.  These rewards are not for our achievements, but for our faithfulness in whatever the Lord has given us to do, whether it be raising children, cleaning the church, preaching etc. 

 

Here are some relevant scriptures.

·         “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”  John 7:24.  

·        For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.  1Cor 5:3

·        “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”  1 Cor 10:15

·        ‘Let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgement (diakrino).’ 1 Cor 14:29

 

Other relevant words:

Gnome (pronounced no-may) – to give an opinion.  “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord:  yet I give my judgment …” 1 Cor 7:25.  Paul was careful to draw a distinction between his own opinion and doctrinal commands of God. Di-kaioma (pronounced die-kay-oh́-ma) – to give a judgement opinion, pontificate, to give a judicial opinion. 

Christians should certainly be judging by giving their judicial opinions on many matters in the world today. Wolves on the prowl – a warning to the sisters! Ladies beware.  Sorry to have to put this in the book, but there is a type of man on the prowl in evangelical circles who is looking for women with money or property.  

This is a word of warning, because this is happening, and if you are on your own, you are vulnerable and you should be forearmed.  Do not be taken in by someone who comes into your life and seems very spiritual, and very caring, but can leave you sadder, wiser, and a lot poorer.    Some signs to watch for: 

  • You’ve only just met a man, maybe at a church function, and suddenly it’s your responsibility to fund him.
  • He’s so spiritual that he doesn’t work.
  • He has “heard from God” that you are to give him quite a lot of money or sign something over to him.  Don’t.
  • He may be temporarily homeless and just needs to move in for a while (like the rest of his life).
  • If you will only provide the cash, he can buy a place to ride out the End Times.
  • He just needs the deposit on a property where people will all be safe.
  • Then he needs the rest of the money to complete the purchase.
  • If you don’t come up with the cash, he quotes scripture (out of context) all day long trying to make you feel guilty.
  • He wants you to keep all your conversations confidential and not tell anyone else, and he has excuses for this secrecy (the real reason is that an outsider will see right through him!).

 Needless to say, you should have nothing to do with such a person, no matter how spiritual he claims to be!  If you are a single woman and this type of pseudo spiritual man tries to latch on to you:  

  • Don’t see him on your own; always have a Christian friend with you, someone with their brain switched on.
  • If he asks you for a large sum of money, get your pastor or a leader at church involved, because wisdom comes with many counsellors.  You need some back-up.
  • A man on his own should go and live somewhere else, not with you.
  • It is not your responsibility to fund him or house him.  At best, he is misguided, but most probably he is just a leech and a scoundrel.

 There’s another type of wolf around, under the cloak of a “financial advisor”.  They are not all like this, but some are.  Your husband has died, leaving you money and property, and now you have “financial advisors” calling you or writing or otherwise trying to get themselves into your life and your bank balance.  

Be aware that they will charge a large percentage for anything they do.  They will manage your money all right – manage to make it disappear in some cases.So what do you do?  Trust your own accountant and mature Christian brothers to advise you and to check out anybody who wants to manage your money.   



[1] We learned this teaching on judging from Jewish Bible teacher Jacob Prasch, of Moriel Ministries, and you can find it on the web at www.moriel.org

 
 
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'Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.'
1 Corinthians 15:58

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