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Latest revision as of 01:16, 14 February 2020

Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 5

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11—NIV)

Ours is an age of communication. We are transformed by what we see and hear. The Bible enables us to throw off the death that prevails in our culture and to hold fast to our faith in Jesus Christ.

When I first became a Christian I was influenced by the Navigators. They impressed on me that it was essential to read the Bible continually and adhere strictly to it.

The verse they gave me was:

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8—NIV)

I was handed a Scofield Bible (not by the Navigators) and taught about the state of grace that supposedly shields us Gentiles from God's scrutiny; about the pre-tribulation rapture; about the coming of the Lord Jesus to catch away His waiting Bride to Heaven.

In obedience to the Lord, who called me to minister while stationed in Sasebo, Japan, I went to Bible School. After receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the Lord began to teach me the Scriptures. It was a definite spiritual experience, and I questioned the source of it for a period of time. I was not certain of the validity of what I was understanding until years later when experienced, responsible Christians received what I was declaring.

I have come to the conclusion that much Christian teaching is not scriptural. We are repeating venerable traditions Sunday after Sunday, believing them to be in the Scriptures. Some are but some are not. For example:

There is no Bible basis for the prevailing Christian belief that to be saved is to make our eternal home in Heaven. The Bible says that the goal of salvation is to be conformed to the image of Christ and to become one with other believers in Christ in God. Our objective is not a change of place but a total change in what we are so we can live and serve in the Kingdom of God wherever we are, especially on the earth after the resurrection from the dead.

Our tradition speaks much of going to Heaven. The Bible does not. Rather it emphasizes the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

There is no Bible basis, as far as I can tell, for the belief that the new covenant is a state of grace that primarily affects Gentiles. Rather the new covenant is the power of God in operation through Christ that produces a new creation of righteous behavior. The new covenant is not a state of grace that prevents God from seeing our behavior. Rather the new covenant is the writing of the law of God in our heart and mind until old things pass away and all the elements of our personality have become new. This is what the Bible says.

The Bible does not teach we are "covered by the blood" so God does not see our behavior. The covering of the blood refers back to the first Passover and means when we are trusting in Christ the angel of destruction will pass over us when executing judgment on the gods of the world.

To continued. Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 6