Thursday, May 1, 2008
You don't think of Jesus as having a bad day, do you? Nevertheless, I want to look in this study at what was quite probably one of the worst days of Jesus' life, and how he handled the challenge he was faced with.
(36) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
(37) And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
(38) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
(39) And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].
Have you ever been so depressed that you wanted to die? That's how Jesus felt on this day. There is no record elsewhere in the gospels where he felt so bad that he told any of his disciples about it, but that's what he did here. And, he didn't bare his heart before all of his disciples; he went off with only Peter, James and John into the Garden of Gethsemane, where he sometimes went to pray, and let them know how he was feeling. He didn't try to put on a good, "spiritual looking" front for them. He was honest with them about how bad he was feeling.
Now here's something to think about: If Jesus was so depressed, what was he doing wrong that caused it? Was he focusing his mind on the wrong things? Was he failing to look at things from God's perspective? Was he failing to exercise proper control over his mind?
We know even as we ask this question that Jesus was doing nothing wrong. There was no sin or guilt in his life to pull him down. There was no shortcoming or failure in his walk with God that could have caused this. He was as fully committed to God as always, and as disciplined in his walk with God as he had ever been. And he was still so depressed that he wanted to die.
This lets us know that depression is not always the result of something you or I have done wrong. Depression can occur even when we are doing things right. If Jesus could get depressed in spite of his perfect walk with God, perhaps we should not be so quick to condemn ourselves or others when depression occurs.
Now being depressed is one thing; handling it the right way is another.
How did Jesus handle his depression? Did he seek for comfort at the bottom of a bottle? Did he look for recreational herbs to numb his mind? Did he gorge himself with food, or seek to forget his troubles in the arms of a woman? Did he seek out entertainments? Did he cut himself off from those around him? Did he curl up by himself somewhere and sleep for hours on end, unable to do anything?
How did Jesus handle his depression? He prayed. And he did something else that you never see him doing throughout the gospels: he asked three of his disciples to pray with him.
Can you imagine being Peter, James or John and having this weight dropped on you? It's hard enough that Jesus is depressed; it's another thing entirely to be asked to pray with him about his problem. The disciples had prayed for other people; they were not strangers to prayer. But praying for Jesus in a crisis situation was something entirely new -- and, no doubt, frightening -- to them.
What would you do in that situation? Wouldn't you be on your best prayer behavior? This would be the most important prayer you've ever prayed. The farthest thing from your mind would be taking a nap. Yet, when Jesus returned to them after going off a little way to pray, he found them all asleep.
Why was Jesus depressed? Verse 39 gives us a clue. Jesus knew what it was that God wanted him to do, but he didn't want to do it. There was a conflict here between the will of God and the will of Jesus. But rather than running off and doing his own will, Jesus went right to God in prayer.
What was the conflict? We don't have to guess about this. The Scriptures tell us.
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
To put it quite simply, Jesus did not want to die. The "cup" that he asked God to let pass from him was his death.
God's plan for the redemption of mankind was for Jesus, the one sinless man, to die in the place of sinful man, and for God to raise him from the dead. Now let's be frank for a moment and forget that we're talking about Jesus Christ. What kind of plan does this sound like to you? If God's plan was for you to die and for him to raise you from the dead, how excited would you be about the idea? Would you follow right along, no questions asked, because of your trust in God? Or would you have some serious questions about whether it was really God
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A computer search on Anoint, Anointed, and Anointing in the KJV brings up the following results..
Anointing Is used 25 times in the OT and 3 times in the NT.
Anoint Is used 30 times in the OT and 5 times in the NT.
Anointed Is used 86 times in the OT and 12 times in the NT.
Definition of 'Anoint' in Eastons Bible Dictionary.
The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was common among the Hebrews.
(1.) The act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest (Exo_29:29; Lev_4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Exo_30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called “the anointed” (Lev_4:3, Lev_4:5, Lev_4:16; Lev_6:20; Psa_132:10). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him (1Sa_16:13; 2Sa_2:4, etc.). Prophets were also anointed (1Ki_19:16; 1Ch_16:22; Psa_105:15). The expression, “anoint the shield” (Isa_21:5), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield so as to make it supple and fit for use in war.
(2.) Anointing was also an act of hospitality (Luk_7:38, Luk_7:46). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deu_28:40; Rth_3:3; 2Sa_14:2; Psa_104:15, etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.
(3.) Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds (Isa_1:6; Mar_6:13; Jam_5:14).
(4.) The bodies of the dead were sometimes anointed (Mar_14:8; Luk_23:56).
(5.) The promised Delivered is twice called the “Anointed” or Messiah (Psa_2:2; Dan_9:25, Dan_9:26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isa_61:1), figuratively styled the “oil of gladness” (Psa_45:7; Heb_1:9). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (Joh_1:41; Act_9:22; Act_17:2, Act_17:3; Act_18:5, Act_18:28), the Messiah of the Old Testament.
Nave's Topical Bible lists the following references to 'The Anointing'
Of the body
Deu_28:40; Rth_3:3; Est_2:12; Psa_92:10; Psa_104:15; Psa_141:5; Pro_27:9; Pro_27:16; Ecc_9:8; Son_1:3; Son_4:10; Isa_57:9; Amo_6:6; Mic_6:15
Isa_1:6; Mar_6:13; Luk_10:34; Jam_5:14; Rev_3:18
Mat_26:12; Mar_14:8; Mar_16:1; Luk_23:56
Of Jesus, as a token of love
Luk_7:37-38; Luk_7:46; Joh_11:2; Joh_12:3
Omitted in mourning
2Sa_12:20; 2Sa_14:2; Isa_61:3; Dan_10:3
God preserves those who receive
Psa_18:50; Psa_20:6; Psa_89:20-23
Of high priests
Exo_29:7; Exo_29:29; Exo_40:13; Lev_6:20; Lev_8:12; Lev_16:32; Num_35:25; Psa_133:2
Exo_28:41; Exo_30:30; Exo_40:15; Lev_4:3; Lev_8:30; Num_3:3
1Sa_9:16; 1Sa_10:1; 1Sa_15:1
1Sa_16:3; 1Sa_16:12-13; 2Sa_2:4; 2Sa_5:3; 2Sa_12:7; 2Sa_19:21; 1Ch_11:3
1Ki_19:16; 2Ki_9:1-3; 2Ki_9:6; 2Ki_9:12
Of the tabernacle
Exo_30:26; Exo_40:9; Lev_8:10; Num_7:1
Exo_30:26-28; Exo_40:10; Lev_8:11; Num_7:1
Exo_30:27-28; Exo_40:9-10; Lev_8:10-11; Num_7:1
Jacob's pillar, at Bethel
Gen_28:18; Gen_31:13; Gen_35:14
Of Christ's kingly and priestly office
Psa_45:7; Psa_89:20; Isa_61:1; Dan_9:24; Luk_4:18; Act_4:27; Act_10:38; Heb_1:9
Of spiritual gifts
2Co_1:21; 1Jo_2:20; 1Jo_2:27
Exo_40:13-15; Lev_8:12; 1Sa_16:13; 1Ki_19:16
Symbolic, of Jesus
If you have looked up the above references, noting the usage of the word Anointing, I am sure you have noticed a few vital specifics.....
1) Anointing is not the "power of God," but the act of being consecrated or set aside. (anointing is constantly mis-defined as the "power of God.")
2) in the Old Testament the anointed ones were the Priests, Prophets and Kings. In the Hebrew Bible, the High Priest and the king are each sometimes called "the anointed" (Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16; 6:20; Psalms 132:10). Prophets were also anointed (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him, in fact in Israel a crown was not required (1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4, etc.). Thus David was anointed as king by the prophet Samuel:
3) In the New Testament ALL believers are said to be anointed.. Let me repeat that.. It is NOT a few special persons who are anointed but ALL believers have a general anointing. John makes it clear that this gives us a relationship with our blessed Lord, but it never makes one better, greater or more powerful than another. As in the following three verses
2Co 1:21 Now He who establishes us together with you in Christ and who has anointed us is God,
1Jo 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
1Jo 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. [All Emphasis Added]
Did You Also Happen to Notice
1) There is not ONE SINGLE reference to the anointing being a supernatural power given to human by which they are able to perform miracles.
2) There is not ONE SINGLE reference to a double or triple portion of the anointing. [See Footnote I on Elisha]
3) There is not ONE SINGLE reference to anyone being able to transmit the anointing by any means, including the laying on of hands. [See Footnote II]
4) There is not ONE SINGLE reference to getting, keeping, increasing, or losing the anointing.
Monday, April 28, 2008
False Teachers, False Teachings, & Non-Christian Cults
Not to long ago it was pretty simple to expose false teachers and non-Christian Cults, but today this task has taken a much deeper level and quite frankly it is becoming more difficult. See, non-Christian Cults such as Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Moonies, and others are for the most part known about today, but there are many within our so-called Christian Churches today that many Christians are not aware of. It is a sad thing to say this, but many of us who are a part of the body of Christ have been deceived from teachers within more so than those outside of the Church.
What is the Big Deal?
There are people who simple say: "why are you judging people, who are you to point a finger, just let people be, it really does not matter what people believe as long as they believe in Jesus." The Bible does speak of not judging another person in the sense of being like the religious Pharisees who lorded over people and were hypocrites. (Matthew 7) Jesus in Matthew 7 and the other accounts of the same sermon in the Gospels was speaking to the crowds on the issues of how people were be looked down upon in a way of disrespect and contempt, and this we are not to do. However, looking at other places on what Jesus and the apostles taught on Biblical judgment consider the following.
"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
(John 3:18 NASB)
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
(John 7:24 NASB)
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB)
"in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." (2 Thessalonians 2:12 NASB)
"And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 NASB)
"to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him" (Jude 1:15 NASB)
"12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds." (Revelation 20:12-13 NASB)
These are just a few Scriptures that speak of the issues of judgment to come and if you don't like it, well, then you just don't like the truth of God's Word. The Bible warns about false teachers and prophets who claim to be of God, and it is very Biblical to be on your guard against being deceived, even from those among us.
"13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:13-15 NASB)
"21 "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Matthew 7:21-23 NASB)
"28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." (Acts 20:28-31 NASB)
"13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds."
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NASB)
"6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!" (Galatians 1:6-9 NASB)
Be Careful of False Teachers in Sheep's clothing
Unfortunately when it comes to exposing false teachers it is not an issue of feel good mentality but rather on the issues of concern for the body of Christ. Let it be known that it is the purpose of this information and it is important to examines things for yourself. Non Christian Cults are more obvious in certain areas where they have false teachings, but when it comes to those who are supposedly of the Christian faith it is more difficult.
Tommy Tenney is a very common teacher within Christian bookstores and among Churches. However many Christians are not aware of Tommy Tenney's Church background and affiliation with the UPCI, commonly known as the Oneness Pentecostal movement. Oneness Pentecostals deny the doctrine of the Trinity and teach another theological spin of who God is known as Modalism. Now according to the sources Tommy Tenney broke off from the UPCI but nothing has ever been stated on his part in rejecting the Oneness teachings on who God is and accepting the true doctrine of the Biblical Trinity. Along with that Tommy Tenney has connections with the charismatic chaos known as the Toronto Blessing movement. Tommy Tenney is Biblically teaching false things concerning the identity of God, the working of the Holy Spirit, and he endorses false teachers among the Faith Movement and Toronto Blessing. For more in depth information check out http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ttenney.html & http://www.letusreason.org/Poptea10.htm & http://www.equip.org/free/DT252.pdf
Joyce Meyer? What does Joyce Meyer teach that is so bad? Is Joyce Meyer a false teacher? Is Joyce Meyer a Christian? Why should anyone be concerned? Joyce Meyers does not have all the same false teachings as those in the Faith Movement, but she does have some teachings that are the same with various Faith teachers. Examine this information for yourself and line up the Biblical gospel to the gospel that Joyce Meyer teaches, check out http://www.afcministry.com/Joyce_Meyers.htm
Bishop Thomas D. Jakes is a very popular preacher and writer. The purpose of this examination is to provide people with information concerning T. D. Jakes beliefs & teachings on the Trinity doctrine, his affiliation with the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI, Oneness Pentecostals), and other issues of concern. Our intent is not to be judgmental but to be open to the truth and test all things in light of the Scriptures. The concern is, Is Bishop T. D. Jakes a true or false teacher of God, and What is the evidence? Check out http://www.afcministry.com/T_D_Jakes_Examined.htm
Mid Acts Dispensationalism? There are different groups that people label Mid Acts Dispensationalists and I want to make it clear on who I am addressing. In this context when I say Mid Acts Dispensationalists I am referring to those who call themselves "Bereans, Acts Dispensationalists, Pauline followers, Grace believers, right dividers", among other descriptions. This movement for the most part is new but it is growing and when examining their theology there are some dangers that need to be addressed. For more information check out http://www.afcministry.com/Hyper_Dispensationalism.htm
Kenneth Copeland is a popular faith movement teacher. Many say do not attack Kenneth Copeland. I wish to say that I am not attacking at all, but I am sharing information that is needed for the body of Christ to know concerning what Kenneth Copeland Ministries teaches concerning what took place at the cross and what Jesus went through for atonement. I ask all those who read this to be open enough to look at this carefully and decide for yourself whether or not Kenneth Copeland is true or false doctrines on the message of the cross and salvation. For more information check out http://www.afcministry.com/Kenneth_Copeland.htm
Benny Hinn is known by being on TV and his crusades around the world. Is Benny Hinn a true teacher? Is Benny Hinn a false teacher? Is Benny Hinn a false prophet? Is he a true prophet? The following will be actual statements and quotes from Benny Hinn's teachings on what he believes concerning certain topics and you examine for yourselves whether Benny Hinn is of God or not. For more information check out http://www.afcministry.com/Benny_Hinn.htm
Do not be Deceived!
False teachers hide behind things like don't touch God's anointed, do not judge, and it is our Biblical Christian duty to expose those who are misleading people with false teachings on who God is, the Gospel message, and the working of the Holy Spirit. Non Christian Cults such as the Mormon Church (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, etc, all have false teachings on the identity of God, the Gospel, and if you are looking for information on them visit our other sections, and we welcome your questions or comments.