THE KNOWLEDGE OF ETERNAL LIFE

April 27, 2011

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:13 KJV

This scripture is all about “Assurance.”  It clearly is teaching you that it is possible to know whether you are saved or unsaved. The assurance of the believer is not based on feeling, but on the principles of God‘s Word. We can know we are saved because Christ is in our hearts, we our the witness of the Word of God, because we love the brethren, we keep His commandments, and because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, that we are the children of God. So now that we are assured that we are saved, John goes further on to say, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14 KJV  This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him. Now we are Assured the Confidence, so now John explains how to enjoy, by sharing a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings Joy. In the bible it says, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 KJV   God is the light !! He is my light, just as He should be yours. If you hear His message and cleanse yourself of evil, you can walk in the light of God. As it says in the bible, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  1 John 1:5-7 KJV  Now we have the Assurance, Confidence, To Enjoy, The Joy to Walk with God in Light. This is the “Simplicity of God,” He is not complex and Man’s understanding is finite, because God is infinite. So if you want to walk in the light of God, don’t wait any more. Ask Jesus Christ into your heart today, because He is the one that put all of our sins on the cross and died for us to pay our penalty so we could have eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



AT EASTER, WHAT ABOUT THE TWO THIEVES ON THE CROSS – WHICH CROSS REPRESENTS YOU ?

April 20, 2011

   “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

  Luke 23:39;43 KJV

It seems to me that the most important thing that Christ did for us was to die on the cross. However, two other men were crucified next to him that day. Knowing God could have chosen for Christ to be crucified alone, thereby putting more of a historical spotlight on the sacrifice of this Son, I wonder why God chose to allow two other men to be crucified with Jesus that day?  The forgiveness that Jesus gives to the one man before dying is yet another act of love even as he is dying himself. A seven hundred year old prophecy was being fulfilled when Jesus was hung in the middle of the two thieves, as if to say, “Here is your King of the Jews.” They didn’t realize that Jesus was not only the “King of the Jews.” but the “King of Kings.” They just didn’t know. So they stood there and mocked Him, shouting, “Alright, King of the Jews, if you’re the Son of God, come down from the cross. Save yourself. You saved others, save yourself.” The two thieves hanging on the other crosses along with Jesus also didn’t understand. They were mocking Jesus right along with the crowd. Two thieves! These two men about to die, were both faced with a choice. One thief spoke words that showed insights even greater than that of the disciples. This thief realized Jesus had a kingdom beyond the grave. He looked over at Jesus, saw Jesus in His weakest state, dying on a cross, yet he believed. The Bible says, “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43 KJV  This was God’s gift to him, His son would take on the sins of this man, and pay the price for his atonement. This thief didn’t deserve it, but because of his faith he became Jesus’ first trophy of Salvation. The other thief had the same choice, but his heart was hard. The penitent thief was obviously saved by Jesus, and without baptism!  His salvation cannot be questioned, because of it, Jesus asserted that the thief would enjoy Paradise with Jesus.  But, a logical question would be,if baptism was not necessary for the thief, then is it necessary for me?  The Biblical answer is yes.  There are two fundamental problems with assuming that baptism is not necessary for us, just because the thief was saved without it. The first point that should be observed is that the thief lived and was converted under a different covenant than us.  Please recall the following passage of the differences between the Old and New Testaments. It says, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out-of-the-way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:12-17 KJV  So, the Old Testament was done away when Christ died upon the cross, having nailed it to the cross.  A result of it being removed was the removal of the Old Testament’s authority.  Therefore, the old law’s commandments about food, drink, and regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths,  are no longer bound upon people.  However, today we live under the New Covenant which commands us to be baptized.  That being demonstrated, we may wonder, under which covenant did the thief live? Paul illustrate the transition between the two covenants. It says, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:2-4 KJV  First, this passage teaches that the old covenant ended when Jesus died, which was after the thief’s repentance and forgiveness by Jesus.  Second, recall that baptism symbolizes our selfish desires having died with Christ. So, how could the thief have possibly been baptized into Christ’s death when Christ had not even died yet?  Baptism by Jesus’ name was not commanded until after His death. It was first commanded in Jesus’ great commission, which occurred after the resurrection. The Bible says, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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 alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 KJV  Therefore, the thief’s example is irrelevant to us because he was saved under a different law, the old law, when baptism had not even been commanded yet. Therefore Christ wanted to take both of these men to Heaven with Him, but it was not to be. Christ was supplying the grace, but faith has to come from realization, belief, and acceptance, and this thief was incapable of it. Faith is knowing that you are a sinner, believing that Christ is the only one who can save you, and accepting His gift of salvation. Only of the thieves saw this. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV  These two men represented everyone, each and every one of us. They were symbolic in the sense that they were obviously both depraved sinners, as indeed we all are. The heart of a man throughout the whole Bible indicates a meaning of the heart being the whole person the mind, the body, the soul, the very essence of a man. There is significance to the fact that on the day Jesus was crucified, two others were as well. It says, “Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.” Matthew 27:38 KJV The three crosses represent FINALITY. They were not going to leave the crosses and resume life. Jesus died for sin and was resurrected. The man on the right received Christ and went to heaven. The sinner on the left died and went to hell. The three crosses represent the GRACE OF GOD. Christ was in the middle dying for both the sinners. The thief on the left had the same opportunity. You do not have to get saved, God will let you make the horrible choice and pay the price. The man on the left only wanted his life saved, not his soul. The same grace was offered to both. The three crosses represent the wonderful PLAN OF SALVATION.  Christ died on the middle cross FOR SIN, the man on the right DIED TO SIN, the man on the left DIED IN HIS SIN. On the middle cross, GOD COMES TO MAN, on the right cross MAN COMES TO GOD, on the left cross MAN GOES TO HELL. The three crosses represent mankind’s reaction to God. Jesus on the middle cross represents God LOVING, SUFFERING, SUBSTITUTING, GIVING, FORGIVING, PAYING AND OFFERING. The cross on the left represents man SCOFFING, REFUSING, HATING, DENYING, UNBELIEVING, AND UNWILLING DYING LOST. The cross on the right represents man REPENTING, BELIEVING, RESPONDING, CONFESSING, ACCEPTING AND RECEIVING and going to heaven by the grace of God. The question to be answered by all is, WHICH CROSS REPRESENTS YOU?  On the day Jesus died, three crosses were raised. Jesus hung on the center one between two criminals. One of the men mocked Jesus, but the other said to Him, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus answered, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Imagine the man’s thoughts as he took his last breath. He had paid a horrible penalty for his crimes. But now, because he put his faith in Jesus, he was welcomed into heaven as a child of God. You can too. Open up your heart today to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION USING THE EXAMPLE OF THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS

April 7, 2011

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

The definition of temptation is an act that looks appealing to an individual. It is usually used to describe acts with negative connotations and as such, tends to lead a person to regret such actions, for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health, economic, etc. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.
Temptation is as old as mankind, beginning in the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted Eve to do what God had forbidden, he appealed to her reasoning. God wants us to succeed and prevail over temptation, but Satan, God’s sworn enemy, longs to devour us. The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV  When Adam and Eve gave in to temptation in the Garden, and not obeying God as He desired, they yielded control of this physical world to Satan. His goal in our lives is two-fold: first, he wants to take us with him to hell. If he loses that battle because we become Christians, his goal is then to make us ineffective for God in this world. He uses temptation to carry out his purposes. The very essence and meaning of sin is to miss the mark, and this is accomplished through giving in to temptation. Sometimes we can confuse temptation with God’s testing of our hearts, but temptation and God’s testing are very different. Most of the time, though, what we’re experiencing is both. God’s testing presents the opportunity to do that which would please Him. At the time we are experiencing it, we may not be able to distinguish the difference between testing and temptation. Temptation can occur on many levels. We may be tempted to eat something we shouldn’t for health reasons, we may be trapped in a harmful pattern of thinking, or dangerously involved in a lifestyle that is harmful. In all cases, temptation is rarely a one-time event. Tests may occur more than once in similar ways, but temptation is almost always cyclical. In the Bible it discusses the process of being tempted, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:12-16 KJV  The Spirit’s role in this is not to directly tempt Jesus, for God cannot tempt any man, but rather, to lead Jesus to the situation where Satan would provide the temptations. Why was Jesus tempted? While Jesus was God, He was also man. Jesus hungered as a man, thirsted as a man, suffered as a man, and ultimately died as a man. He was also tempted as a man, yet without sin. The Bible says, “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.” Hebrews 4:15 KJV  This was necessary so that He could become a merciful High Priest. It says in the Bible, “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.” Hebrews 2:17 KJV  This is where Jesus was tempted at in the Bible, “Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 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. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Matthew 4:1-11 KJV  When fighting temptation, society’s solutions revolve around personal stamina and will-power. However as worthwhile as this may seem, the chances of success are minimal, due to the focus being on natural ability.The Bible Tell’s us clearly, the battle is not natural, but spiritual, “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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13 KJV  As an example to us, Jesus used the weapon of God’s Word in resisting temptations as it said in Matthew 4.  Since He is the only human who has ever been tempted, yet did not sin, His example is a good one to follow. God knows how to provide a way to both get through temptation, and overcome temptation. Everybody faces temptation, even Jesus did. But how do we face temptation? Answer temptation with truth from God’s Word.  See it as an opportunity to make God and His Word real in your life.  So why not today open your heart to Jesus Christ because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins so you could have the free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



THE KNOWLEDGE OF ETERNAL LIFE

March 3, 2011

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:13 KJV

This scripture is all about “Assurance.”  It clearly is teaching you that it is possible to know whether you are saved or unsaved. The assurance of the believer is not based on feeling, but on the principles of God‘s Word. We can know we are saved because Christ is in our hearts, we our the witness of the Word of God, because we love the brethren, we keep His commandments, and because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, that we are the children of God. So now that we are assured that we are saved, John goes further on to say, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14 KJV  This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him. Now we are Assured the Confidence, so now John explains how to enjoy, by sharing a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings Joy. In the bible it says, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 KJV   God is the light !! He is my light, just as He should be yours. If you hear His message and cleanse yourself of evil, you can walk in the light of God. As it says in the bible, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  1 John 1:5-7 KJV  Now we have the Assurance, Confidence, To Enjoy, The Joy to Walk with God in Light. This is the “Simplicity of God,” He is not complex and Man’s understanding is finite, because God is infinite. So if you want to walk in the light of God, don’t wait any more. Ask Jesus Christ into your heart today, because He is the one that put all of our sins on the cross and died for us to pay our penalty so we could have eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



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