Has A Means Become An Idol? Evans Olang

Numbers 21:8-9, “8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

20131203-0701101

The book of Hebrews opens up with God’s supreme revelation, and throughout the book it establishes that Jesus and His message is above the prophets, angels, priests etc. It begins with “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; “, Hebrews 11:1-2. There were some signs either through dreams, acts, audible voices that were for a time and a season. They addressed specific things in history however they were not rolled out by the Lord as normative for us to look to. God has spoken to us consistently by His sufficient trusted word. Jesus said as recorded in Hebrews 10:7, “… ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’” Continue reading

It Is Settled, Pastor Phil Sessa

Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” 

memo

Here on earth people have various discrepancies with the Word of God. Here are the thoughts of some people that don’t believe God’s Word to be the absolute truth:

  1. I don’t believe the Bible to be God’s Word.
  2. The Bible has been changed.
  3. It’s just a bunch of stories.
  4. Not everything is true in the Bible.
  5. The Bible has contradictions.
  6. I tried to read the Bible, but can’t understand it.
  7. Didn’t men, NOT God, write the Bible?

And whereas all of these statements can be easily explained in away, and please e-mail us if there is one you believe and need an answer to, or one that you would like to know so as to answer another who has or may make such a statement, these statements are never heard in heaven. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 7of10, Evans Olang

John 15:18-19, “18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”

memo

In the early verses of this chapter, Jesus talked to His disciples of the nature of His relationship to them. Towards the end, He turns to address the disciples’ relationship to the world. His relationship to His disciples was that of love and of friendship. In addressing them in vs 18, He would have them understand that the world’s relationship to them will be the opposite of His. He uses a strong word “hate” which means a deep and emotional extreme dislike. It is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards hostility. Hate by biblical definition is murder at heart something we are not to have as His friends. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 6of10, Evans Olang

John 15:13-17, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.”

friendship-pictures-quotes_18053-5

Every day we hear the word “LOVE” expressed in a number of ways (people, food, clothes, movies etc.). A musician at the end of his concert would conclude with something like this “I love you all” which may mean little or nothing. If we are to understand love, we have to get the biblical definition that both Christ and Paul give us.

There are three types of love we see in the bible Eros love, Philos love and Agape love not to be confused. I will only address Agape love which fits perfectly with this chapter. Agape love is what God commanded all believers to have for everyone (believers or not). Agape love should never be determined by our feelings; it is more of a set of behaviors or actions. With agape, you do not have to actually feel it for you to give it, which means that you can be able to show love without feeling anything at all. At times feelings can follow after showing this kind of love but they are not the defining factor. Agape love is a demonstrative love, its love in action. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 5of10, Evans Olang

John 15:9-12, “9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”

images

In my experience in the last 15 years or so, songs about God’s love in different genres have been heard and sang. What I found strange is that majority of the lyrics left out the words like “God, Jesus, Son of God etc.) and you were left to somehow figure out if they were Christian God’s love song or not. Even some of the popular worship songs sound like thinly disguised teenage crush songs. When we think of God’s love, are we to think of boy/girl type of love type (hold me, kiss me, etc.)? Most of these songs are pampering love. God’s love is perfecting, persevering love. The disciples preached the love of God by preaching Christ crucified.

Jesus said, John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love” We cannot be anything apart from Him, therefore love starts with the Father who loves His Son who extended that love unto us through His son,  1John 4:8, 1John 4:16. The Father the gardener loves the Vine (His Son), and the branches He prunes, He does it to align with His love for the Vine (His character, nature). Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 4of10, Evans Olang

John 15:7-8, “7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” 

images

God’s will that we see in the Bible is His permissive or perfect will (1Thessalonians 4:3,  1Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 143:10).  To discern the will of God we must KNOW, THINK, PRAY and ACT biblically. These two vs. will be our foundation, Romans 12:1-2, “1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not CONFORM any longer to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind. Then you will be able to TEST and APPROVE what God’s will is–his GOOD, PLEASING and PERFECT WILL”(NIV). CONFORMED is to act or be in accord or be in agreement with something, in this case the world (Psalm 1, Romans 8:7, Colossians 1:21). TRANSFORMED on the other hand is to change the nature, function or condition. Other word suitable is to convert. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 3of10, Evans Olang

John 15:7-8, “7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples”

images

I constantly run into believers seeking to know or discern the will of God. As I mentioned in part 1, John 15 is one of the most important passages in the bible because it helps us discern the will of God for believers. In this posting we will look at discerning perceptive or revealed will of God and in the next posting we will look at closely at God’s permissive or perfect will.

Before I address the two vs. above, we need to ask ourselves what does Mark 11:24 mean? It reads, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  Its one of the most quoted and also highly abused vs. From looking at the vs. it sounds like a blank check does it not? “God told me “…whatever things you ask…”? This needs to be looked at in the light of who we are in Christ. We should be driven to have the mind of Christ, be imitators of Christ, and be conformed to the image of Christ. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 2of10, Evans Olang

John 15:3-5, “3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you 4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” 

imagesIn this vs. Jesus wants His disciples to be reminded of their salvation and He uses the word “already clean”. This cleansing is effected through hearing, believing, and obeying the Word. The Word tells us what to do that we may be cleansed and saved. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that Word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. We have been purged from the guilt and power of sin, moved from the wild vine and grafted into the New True Vine.

Those who have repented and trusted in Christ alone for eternal salvation are already clean (made holy); the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16, Romans 11:16, “For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches”. Continue reading

John 15 Study: Abiding In Christ, 1of10, Evans Olang

John 15:1-2 “1 I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”

images

The foundational principles for knowing and living in the will of God as a Christian is to abide in Christ and bear fruit. Acts 17:28 reads “for in Him we live and move and have our being” a summary of John 15 in my judgment. John 15 is one of the most important chapters in all the Bible, it has wealth of treasure we will look at in the next few postings.

The opening of John 15 begins with one of the Jesus’ “I AM” statements. These statements distinguished Him from others who may have used some of these metaphors He used to describe Himself. In this “I AM” statement, He wants us to understand who He is, who we are and the connection we have to the Father through Him. Jesus is encouraging His disciples as they know His time on earth was drawing near, crucifixion and ascension were not far from this time.

Continue reading