Saturday, August 11, 2018

How Can We Really Reach Out To Muslims Who Resist Hearing The Gospel From Us?









In The Midst Of Mockery, Should We Continue Preaching?

Question: Should we keep preaching even when we are mocked by those for whom we are preaching? Is it bold preaching that is needed or unnecessary confrontation that should be avoided, which is more important? Especially when sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Islamic people, how can we really share it effectively, because they want to oppose us when we speak.

Answer: Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name!

We need to speak about Jesus Christ and His Resurrected Power and his Holy Blood which becomes our Testimony of how God has changed us inside out, only blood washed saints can over come the subtle lies and resistance of the enemy
(Rev 12:11). Do not confront other religion. Be wise as serpents and harmless as a dove. In Quran, many times Jesus and Mary were spoken about, of course we can start with it, and say something deeper about the good news of salvation. If ever you want to confront them, forgive and forget on the go about the mockings and slander, but please before confronting them by comparatively speaking up apologetics, do not face them apologetically without a logical answer from the Bible, so get more knowledge about Quran and the Bible, or at least know some basic stuff and then face them.

Rather than confronting them...it is always good to speak what we have and put a full stop after that. Also one should fully understand Islam if we want to debate with them. Debating does nothing great, but testimony does something eternal in their heart by seeing our good behavior so that they might glorify God when they get saved, or they will glorify God even on the day they will be judged after their death for their wrong doings on earth by having resisted the truth of God which came towards them through us
(1 Pet 2:11-12). Praise the Lord! Emmanuel God is with us!

People mock and slander others, when they are unable to win a logical argument.

Anointing of the Holy Spirit gives us the courage to witness... Jesus' disciples who hadn't attended seminary were the people who turned the world upside down after Pentecost! The true power of Pentecost GIVES COURAGE....as the Bible points out this truth saying,
"What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you [IN POWER], you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world." (Acts 1:8, MSG).

The book of Acts is full of vigorous acts done to testify the resurrected Lord Jesus. A bunch of ordinary disciples did mighty things for God through the power of the Holy Spirit. That tremendous power of the Holy Spirit we have to depend, not our own intellectual plans or capacity to win the debate. We should testify with our whole heart, but leave the rest in to God's hands to convict the hearers of their sin and repent to God through the conviction that comes through the Holy Spirit
(John 16:8, NEB). If they continue to resist the truth, they will have to give account to God on the Judgment Day for despising the Good News when it came close to turn their destiny towards heaven (Matt 12:36).

Oswald Chambers the great man of God said : "Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God." Get right with God before it is too late is the main message that gets highlighted by the Holy Spirit whenever He puts a conviction upon a person. When we get right with God, then we will get right with humans who have been tricked or offended by us, or choose to forgive those who have offended us.

To be convicted is to experience an utter dreadfulness of sin. Our attitude toward sin becomes that of Joseph who fled temptation, crying out,
“How could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). We become aware of how much sin dishonors God when conviction hits a person. The Holy Spirit not only convicts people of sin, but He also brings them to repentance and make them receive the grace of God through which they get saved (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:5; Eph 2:8). Our work is to share our testimonies to people of what Jesus has done for us to transform us, but it is God's work to convict people of their sin. We should never try to do God's work instead of doing just our work that He has appointed us to do. We cannot become like God to save people, only God can save them, but we can be the channel to let God do His work through us which is a privilege given to every child of God.

God word says,
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Mat 7:6). Thus to know the difference between what we should speak and what we shouldn't, to withdraw the pearls from being thrown out or speak the truth in boldness (Prov 27:5), depends on our dependence on God and the discernment that we develop through eating the Word of God and growing in it (Heb 5:14). In all thy getting get understanding to know the difference between speaking the truth, and restraining ourselves from throwing the pearls of truths to dogs or swine of unbelievers whose ingrained behavior is to resist the truth (Prov 4:7; Acts 7:51-60). When people resist truth when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit deeply within their heart, they sin against the Holy Spirit for rejecting the the truth of salvation that have come to them in the day of the decision for salvation (2 Cor 6:2; Mark 3:28-30; Matt 12:31-32). Our duty is to speak the truth in love and power, along with the conviction that comes within us through living the truth that affects the hearers positively to take a decision towards salvation or to confess and deny sin because of the same conviction that comes through the Holy Spirit who works in both the speaker and the hearers for the Glory of God (Eph 4:15; 1 Thess 1:5). By living the truth and staying holy, the speaker of the Gospel will be empowered to convict the conscience of people.

Never be concerned with mockers and scoffers and never shrink back from challenging another's religious ideas. Be respectful, but with authority preach the truth. God did not call us to go to only those who agree with us. Preaching the Gospel will often come with the discomfort of persecution. But the greatest joy comes from experiences such as this as well as the greatest affirmation of God's power in us. So many Christians miss out because the devil has bullied them into silence for fear of experiencing persecution. And so their life becomes dead condemned to sit on a pew, and never experience the true power and revelation of Christ working in them and through them.

The Bible reminds us to be,
"Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks us the reason for the hope we possess. But we should respond with gentleness and respect towards the unbelievers who oppose us." (1 Peter 3:15, BSB, b).

May the power of the Holy Spirit help us all, to give boldness and to preach the good news of Jesus Christ that saves the unbelievers and makes us show them a way to heaven through Jesus Christ. Let us continue to
"Preach the word of God and about Jesus Christ! Let us be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (2 Tim 4:2, Emphasis Mine).

It is the duty of every Christian to share the good news of Jesus Christ where ever they go. At the same time we ought to be careful heeding the words of Jesus who said,
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matt 10:16). Serpents are wise to escape from being destroyed and doves are harmless to fly away from danger and that too meekly fly away to safety instead of trying to attack the attackers with vengeance. The doves are so meek that it never returns back to those who do not want their presence, and who are not trustworthy and loving to receive them with grace. When somebody knowingly wants to reject the message of salvation, we should shake the dust off and move on as they will be the one who will give account for despising the opportunity to get saved from sin for eternity ahead (Matt 10:14, NLT). We should not continue to shout at deaf ears when we know a unbeliever is rejecting our message, we should move on to those who are in need, and leave the mockers and rejecters behind or else some times it may move us dangerously close to being persecuted towards great loss or towards our own destruction. So throwing a valuable pearl before someone who does not want to recognize its value, is foolishness on our part. It is wisdom to move on and not waste our time with those who voluntarily reject the Gospel.

Much Blessings....






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Friday, August 10, 2018

As A Minister Of The Gospel, What Do I Do When My Wife Is Not Satisfied With My Salary?









Working In A Christian Trust, But I Need To Raise Some Extra Money To Run My Family Smoothly. Please Give Your Opinion.

Question: Praise the Lord Pastor!

How are you Pastor? I Hope you are fine. I am also doing good. Pastor please pray for my salary. At present, i am earning Gross salary Rs.18.800/- and with deduction of my two kids education I am getting Net salary Rs.11.117/-. with this I have to pay rental amount Rs.4600/- (electric & water bill separate). So kindly pray for me to manage with this amount for the whole month. By God's grace I may get good increment by next month.

Especially pray for my wife, every new academic year I am showing my salary slip to her. This academic year, I mean today I am going to show my salary slip.

She shouts at me every month for the past 18 years saying that I am working in the same Christian Trust but getting only this much all the time. Please pray for her Pastor.

And please give me a suggestions to how to deal with her.

At least we need Rs.5000/- extra to run our family smoothly. Please give me your opinions.

Answer: Praise the Lord dear Brother!!!

I am doing well in the Lord. Praise God that you too are doing wonderfully well. Yes I understand being a Pastor by sacrifice towards the Lord and His people are not a easy thing to do like as other profession where you have a fixed income at the end of the month. So you have a tight budget on hands to deal with. For us believers, one thing that should make us rejoice all the time, and that thing is, that we are already blessed with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
(Eph 1:3).

The very fact that you know God has put you in ministry in itself is a privilege that all do not have. So for those soldiers and commanders in the Lord's army to push through the enemy territory of the world under Satan which lives for itself, is in itself is a challenge for everyone of us. By spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, people are saved from sin to receive eternal life, we do it because the world of people are loved by God like us who were once sinners, but now have the opportunity to become the children of God through believing the Gospel. With the vision God will always give you the provision to carry on to do his work.

Try to bring what you spend to a lesser level. May be the education spending for the children can be adjusted or prayed for, to know which level of expenditure you can accommodate with what you have.

Apostle Paul referred in his writing this following Old Testament verse,
“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain” (Deut 25:4), and questions it saying, "Is it for oxen that God is concerned” (1 Cor 9:9)? Paul continues by writing, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (1 Cor 9:13-14).In other words, those who preach the gospel have the right to be supported in their ministry by those who receive the spiritual blessings by God's ordinance through his appointed ministers who dispense it for the Glory of God (1 Tim 5:18). Even though the 'worker deserves his pay', many times we forgo our right to it because of the immensity of pioneering a new work so that the name of the Lord might be kept in great regard by those who are becoming new believers.

Looking for eternal reward many times we let go of our rights over claiming temporal rights for sustenance, in doing so we allow the Lord to supernaturally sustain us physically and financially to carry on the mission He has given us
(1 Cor 9:15-18; Matt 4:4; 2 Tim 2:17; 1 Cor 9:15-27). When we do voluntarily the work of God, our motives for doing the work of God stays right and pure. Once we demand our wages to do the work of the Gospel with charge expected from our side, slowly our motives for doing the work of God becomes tainted and we do because of necessity laid upon us and not because of our love for God and people. What is our eternal reward then? We lose it completely because of gaining the temporal by abusing our right of authority which God has given to build people and not break them (Matt 23:4). When we demand submission, we have not learned submission. When we demand our wages, we have not learned to be good stewards of God and therefore abuse our authority (Matt 24:48-49; 20:1-6; Luke 12:45). Anything we trade for temporal, conveys our heart priority of despising the eternal things of God (Gen 25:29-34; 27:41; Heb 12:12-17). God stays faithful to His word in providing us what we need to fulfill His purpose, when we continue to seek His kingdom first and his righteous way of living to fulfill His will for our lives (Matt 6:33-34).

I understand how your wife is someone who expect things to be in place for her to plan the home things and fulfill it. But it is Ok. God has promised to supply all your needs and loves to see His servants prosper
(Php 4:19; Psa 35:27).

Remember the promise Jesus has given,
"When you seek the Kingdom business first in your life [by seeking to save souls wisely] (Prov 11:30), all the things that you need in your life to carry on the purpose of God in your life will be supplied to you day after day just when you need it." (Matt 6:33). The beauty of God's provision is that when you need something the most, it will be added to you. God never stocks everything in advance in our lives, but rather adds it by His providence. Our God is a on-time God and the God of the living, which does mean that He always acts in the present time meeting all our needs and is never taken by surprise (Mark 12:27). God provides in His time, in His way and in His sovereign power.

So keep praying day by day for the provision and stay patiently in faith, you as a good soldier of Jesus Christ will finish the race to your surprise at the end of it all victoriously
(2 Tim 2:3-4).

Usually the wife is someone who encourages you and helps you move forward in ministry, but when I see that she has been critical over your income, try your best to supplement your income through other means of doing something like a small business or something that will not affect your focus on the call of God in your life
(Acts 18:3). It is not wrong to try your best to support yourself, when all other means of support from the Church fails at large because of the type of mission work you are in (Acts 20:34). But know one thing, a worker is worthy of his wages, and the word of God tells us to expect God to provide our needs through whom we minister to. So at least temporally as like in the life of Paul and his team worked in tent making business, so that together they might have fellowship with each other and remain committed to God's vision to world evangelism, until God opened up His provision for them to carry on in full time ministry later with a wave of revival with which provisions followed them.

But above all, learn to be content with what God has given you
(1 Tim 6:6), knowing that we exist on earth to fulfill God's eternal purpose for our lives, and we cannot take anything out of this world when we die, except the eternal reward from God for whatever service we have done after our salvation towards others in the will of God (1 Tim 6:7-8; Eph 6:8-9; Col 3:23-24).

Tell your wife that we need to manage our house with what God really provides, and that we are collecting treasures in heaven together for us and our family in the bank of heaven where God is storing great eternal treasures for us and our family
(Matt 6:19-21).

Pray for your wife to God considering her as a weak vessel, so that she might have better understanding regarding the ministry needs and cooperate with the vision with a mission that God has given you to fulfill, so that together
"as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life" might continue, "so that nothing will hinder your prayers" (1 Pet 3:7).

Your life depends on how you handle with care your wife whom God has given you to care as his very gift to you. God will help you to handle all the situations that arise in your family life, when you allow Him to guide you step by step everyday of your life
(Matt 6:9-15). One step at a time, one day at a time...is the best way to handle all the challenges and endeavors of life that God allows us to face and be victorious through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Matt 6:34; 2 Cor 2:14).

Life without challenges is a dead life, life full of challenges are a bedrock to build our life on, and succeed to stand on it as our eternal possession to bring great Glory to God.

So the extra that you need monetarily is a challenge for you to succeed. Because God believes that you can, it shows how much God trusts in your ability to stand as his soldier and see success in partnership with Him.

God is faithful and able to fulfill all His promises, if you believe enough to hold it within your heart and look to Him in continual faith through prayer
(Eph 3:20; Heb 7:25). Remember, Jesus Christ is interceding and praying for you to succeed in His purpose for your life.

When God is for you and with you, who or what obstacles can be against you
(Rom 8:31)! Praise the Lord! Praying for you.

Much Love and Blessings....






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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Parable of Jesus 2: Put New Wine Into New Wineskins To Preserve Both!








Can You Put New Wine 

In To Old Wineskins Without Breaking It?


By Abraham Israel



Parables are heavenly reality and truth, expressed to earthly people through stories to make them understand what is impossible to grasp with the natural mind. They are more like two edged sword, one edge cuts deep in to the fleshly heart of people who are inwardly humble and seeking God honestly, and replaces it to provide them with deeper truth of heaven and a understanding of faith towards God that begin to work in them and through them for the Glory of God. The other edge is something that cuts or scratches the top of the mind of people to entertain them for a while and give them some basic things for that moment of time, it can be healing, provision, comfort, joy, etc....but these people will not be eternally blessed through the blessing they receive because of their superficial seeking towards God, which focuses on only temporal needs and not on knowing God in person to person kind of deep relationship (Matt 13:10-15).

Those who seek the hands of God are blessed temporally, but those that seek the heart of God will be blessed eternally
(Psa 123:2; Heb 11:6).

When Jesus spoke about the traditions and the law of Moses, he referred it to a old garment, and the new covenant as a new garment. Both are exclusive and cannot go together. Let us hear from Jesus Himself: 

"Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Matt 9:17)
.

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." (Mark 2:22)
.

"33 Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” 34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” 36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”" (Luke 5:33-39)
.


Context, Context, Context...

We need to get the context right, if we want to know the true meaning of the parable that Jesus intended to convey spiritually. We see almost in all the Gospels the same parable was expressed by the writers Matthew, Mark and Luke to express almost a similar message. For all these writers to mention the same parable in the same context, except John, they must have had heard it many times from the mouth of Jesus at various times, repetitively. Jesus had told this parable to the sincere inquiring mind, but were was too focused on the Old Testament truth to the point of resisting the New Testament truth that Jesus was bringing in to existence at that time. This was also spoken to the Pharisees and experts of the Law who did not want to believe Jesus because of their religious pride, to these kind of people, the real message was hidden from them. 

"27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. 29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-32)
.

In
Luke 5:27-39, we see Jesus entering the house of Levi after he accepted His invitation to follow Him as His disciple. Because Levi was a rich tax collector with a good social standing, lo and behold a lot of other tax collectors and their scribes and Pharisees accompanied them to the great feast he gave to them as a send-off party to say a big thank you to them all for their friendship, love and care they have given to him in the past.

Because many of the Pharisees and scribes were already well established religious experts who had many followers who were rich tax collectors, we see their status quo being challenged religiously as Jesus was introducing the New Promise of God
[i.e. New Testament] by fulfilling the Old Promise of the God [i.e. Old Testament] which they considered themselves as experts in the field of expounding of it to the closest accurate theology and law at that time. The problem with the teachers of the law [i.e. the Scribes] and Pharisees was that they were telling something that they themselves were not practicing and living. I mean externally, these people walked with their own strength by practicing the law not just to please God but for men to see about their spirituality and praise them for it (Matt 23:2-7), but in the internal matter of the heart which God was more concerned about they neglected. The matters of the the heart that God considers as the prime thing and more important than tithing, and that which pleases Him are justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt 23:23). Practicing the law can only convict us of our sin, so that we can go to God for the solution that He provides through Christ and learn to live by faith (Rom 7:7; Gal 3:24-25).


Touch Not The Unclean Sinners, Or Else You Will Become Unclean!

The idea of practicing the law by the Pharisees through their own strength gave way to pride of considering themselves as exclusive among common people. The sinners who lived liberally in sin were considered as untouchables by the Pharisees, Scribes and the experts theologian of Jesus times, but these people who looked down on the sinners themselves failed to keep the law fully, as they were concentrating on restraining external sins of actions and were indulging in the internal sins of the heart.

Once God sees pride in the heart of men and that too religious pride, he ends up resisting and opposing them from the opposite camp
(Isa 63:10; Jam 4:6). The Pharisees, Scribes and all the expert theologians belonging to the 'exclusive holy club' did not even realize because of their pride, that God was acting against them as their enemy from the opposite camp as they were more concerned about what people think of them rather than what God thinks of them.

When a wrong idea is probagated often through repetition and tyranny, slowly it goes in to the mind of people deeply to become the norm of the day. As these Pharisees and teachers of the law, trained people by the flesh without the Spirit behind them, they began to produce only religious nuts who made a lot of noise but had no substance of God's character within them. According to the theology of the Pharisees and Scribes, the tax collectors and sinners who do not come under their system of religiosity are untouchables. So for Jesus and his disciples to go to the house of tax collectors who were considered as sinners was a gross sin in their sight. Little did they know or realize, that this very feast is given by a tax collector Levi who has been called by Jesus personally to follow him to be a disciple and a apostle for the Glory of God. To God the Father obedience in one's heart to Jesus command whom He sent as his apostle to the humankind was considered more important and better than the sacrifice that people do to God externally with their behavioral actions to please Him like the Pharisees and the experts of the Law did in their lives.

Submission to the religious dogma of the Pharisees and Scribes is a must for others to be considered as holy and spiritual and worthy of emulation, so for them Jesus moving with sinners and telling them that only a sick needs a doctor and therefore only the sinners need a savior like Him, is a anathema and a valid reason to be excommunicated out of the exclusive club. This is the reason they approached his disciples to confront them for an answer, but when Jesus answered them pointing to Himself as the doctor of the soul who can be able to heal all the sickness of the soul, and that he had not come to call the hypocrite who think that they are righteous in themselves but to call the sinner who is ready to repent of his sins by believing Him, they wanted to corner Him with some more latest information of their tradition.


The Messenger Was A Fad, But Not The Master Who Stays Forever

The Pharisees and Scribes who mastered doctrines, were never discplined enough to be a disciple as they thought that they know more than others. So being not ready to accept Jesus as someone who knows more than them, they immediately referred to the latest craze of John the Baptist who was baptizing many many people and equated it as something belonging to their own order of religion. But when we see in reality, John the Baptist rebuked many many Pharisees and Scribes who wanted to come to him and take Baptism of repentance in order to show themselves as acceptable to a huge audience who considered him to be a true prophet of their times
(Matt 3:7-10). Because these Pharisees were seeking Baptism of John to have a standing before men and not before God, they actually rejected the very purpose of Baptism except some true seekers, and many other Pharisees and experts in the law because of having pride of holier than thou attitude, did not humble themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness through the Baptism that John the Baptist gave, hence they did not even take it at all (Luke 7:29, 30).

But those who took the Baptism of John for a good standing before men rather than God, they began to look in to the strict fasting regimen of the disciples of John and began to closely relate with them as they were having similar traditions and routines of the Old Testament order like themselves. The doctrines of the Pharisees and the experts of the law were many times very accurate which was even acknowledged by Jesus Himself
(Matt 23:2), but their heart was very far away from God as they justified themselves before men in themselves (Matt 15:8; Luke 10:29; 16:15). So John the Baptist moved by the Spirit along with his disciples and were fasting for spiritual power, and the Pharisees and the experts of the law moved without the Spirit and fasted to be seen by men as some sort of spiritual giant, for which they even went to the extent of disfiguring their faces to look sombre (Matt 6:16-18; Luke 18:9-14). The difference between the two even though they relate doctrinally in the same way, the chasm is as far as heaven is from hell fire (Luke 16:26).

John the Baptist came to prepare the heart of people to repent of their sin in humility before God and men so that when Jesus comes, they could humbly accept the Messiah as their Lord and Savior to be saved for eternity ahead. But the Pharisees and experts of the law when further questioning Jesus they were missing the main point, and was relating religiously their own works of fasting along with the works of the disciples of John, not understanding to whom they were speaking to was not just a man, but the very God living with men
(John 1:11). Religious pride is the biggest of all sins that blinds the spiritual eyes of people more than any other sin, and pride was the very reason Satan fell in sin for the first time in the entire universe. Remember, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, so humble yourself before God and the ministers of God to serve humbly within the Church when you are young, when you become old God will lift you up with His supernatural grace and use you mightily for His Glory everywhere you go (Jam 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). John the Baptist introduced people to Jesus and faded away in to oblivion to die in God's time as His martyr, because that was his purpose (Matt 14:13).


If You Believe In The Old Testament As Divine, Why You Don't Follow It?


Jesus when asked anything related to the Law of Moses, He always believed that if some one really followed it with a sincere heart, they would end up accepting themselves as sinners and will accept Jesus as their Messiah who has been sent by God to save all sinners from sin to have eternal life (John 3:16; 5:46).

So when we hear the Pharisees always asking questions to Jesus and his disciples, we can clearly see that they did not ask Jesus the questions to know deeper about having relationship with God, but rather to find fault with Jesus so that they can accuse him to be a false teacher before all. Why? Because Jesus was not only spreading a new teaching that is making people to be freed from the bondage of law they have tied them with
(Matt 23:4), but also have been providing answers to the problems they faced due to sin and sickness and was bringing God so close to their heart without the religious agency of Pharisees and experts of the law, that they were becoming more and more fearful that they will be out of their profession soon if Jesus and his disciples were to continue to preach and teach this new doctrine of grace.

The question of the Pharisees to Jesus and his disciples was,
“Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” To this the clear answer of Jesus was something that startled them as they never fully understood it, as it was symbolically spoken by Jesus. Most of the time the answers of Jesus was a question to be answered, which in itself gave the answers to their question as this time was when he said, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?" The answer is a clear no. Why?, because the festivities remain so that the happy time of joy and fellowship is shared for the occasion. Just like that, Jesus expressed Himself as the bridegroom and the disciples who followed him as the friends of the bridegroom. But Jesus also continued to say, "But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days," which meant that time when the bridegroom will be taken away in ascension from them will be after Jesus' death and resurrection (Acts 1:4-10). Then they [i.e. the apostles and disciples] the friends of the bridegroom will become a new company of bride the Church who will long for the holiness of the bridegroom, as they put to death their own sinful nature in order to be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:15). As Jesus Christ after his ascension will be physically seated at the right hand of God to rule over the entire universe and will be in heaven, and they the bride Church will fast to long for the character of the bridegroom which is holiness acceptable to God and that which pleases Him (Eph 5:25-27; Rev 19:7; Col 3:1-17; 2 Pet 3:12; 1 John 3:2-3). The Church which is Christ's bride which is called and chosen to be holy (Matt 22:14), will love and long for Jesus character to please Him by denying sin and self as long as they live in the darkness of this earth being a light in its midst, and will fast to humble themselves and their flesh before God, until they see the light of heaven which is Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior after their death or during the rapture whatever comes first to them.

As these religious Pharisees, scribes and disciples of John were following the Old Testament covenant of God, Jesus wanted to then drive the most important point to them that, the New Testament that is coming by his sinless life, death and resurrection, is a brand new promise of God that cannot be followed along with the Old Testament. Because Old promotes the law, while the new promotes grace. Law came through Moses, but grace comes only through Jesus Christ. Old is practiced to achieve righteousness that comes through the law, while the New is practiced to believe the righteousness that comes through faith. While the law of the letter is emphasized in the Old Testament which only brings death, the law of the Spirit of life is emphasized in the New Testament
(2 Cor 3:6). While the law keeps those who practice it in bondage, the grace sets the receivers free from it and keeps them in liberty that comes through the Spirit. The Old was a ministry of condemnation which was glorious and was passing away, but the new is a ministry of righteousness which will remain until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ again in the rapture to take away the bride the Church to his Father's mansions which was built for them (2 Cor 3:7-11).

Then the parable which Jesus spoke as an answer to the question asked by the Pharisees is,
"“No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”" Here we can identify the old garment as the Old Testament and the new garment as the New Testament. Jesus was emphasizing to them, that the practice of the Old is as exclusive as practicing the new. Those who have in the time past have walked in the law, when the try to take a little here and little there, will find that when they attach the new to the old, they cannot walk in the new without making their life miserable, and make it impossible to wear the garment of salvation in practice in their life through faith. Law and faith do not go together. The law is not of faith (Gal 3:12). Do we then through the faith make Law useless? No, rather as faith upholds the law we fulfill it (Rom 8:3-4), these are not contrary to each other but rather complementary as Jesus fulfilled already the law by coming "in the likeness of sinful flesh and offering Himself for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh" for those who believe Him by faith, so that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" of the New Covenant who writes the law in our heart and makes us walk according to it by the grace that He provides to us (Rom 3:31; Matt 5:17-20; Heb 10:16-18; 8:10-13). The Old Covenant has become obsolete as it has been already fulfilled and reinstated by the New Covenant (Gal 5:3-6).

Also Jesus compared the Old wineskins to the Old Testament law, and compared the New wineskins as the New Testament grace
(John 1:17). New wine is the blood of Jesus that sealed our eternal salvation when we chose to believe Him as our Lord and Savior to remember through communion what He has done (1 Cor 11:25-26), and thus were sealed with the Holy Spirit who is of the promise fulfilled and a guarantee of the assurance of our future salvation (Eph 1:13-14). As we know that the Holy Spirit could not be given until Jesus had gone away in to heaven to be seated at the right hand of God (John 16:7), therefore the new wine entails more than just forgiveness, but also suggests God's Spirit—His love, power, and sound-mindedness (2 Timothy 1:7; Rom 14:17). The old wine which the Pharisees, Scribes and the disciples of John who were used to drinking is the dissipation that was sweet to them because of being inebriated by walking in the religious ways of fasting to please God (Eph 5:18-21), keeping law to achieve the righteousness of God, glorifying themselves in keeping the law, giving tithe to please God, keeping all the small things but overlooking over the main things of faith, mercy and justice (Matt 23:23), etc... and finally doing things of the flesh to make themselves holy, end up desiring the old wine which suits them fine because it can be done and achieved by their natural strength with God (Php 2:13), even if it was making them miserable. Even after being saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:6-8, 9), we sometimes reach for the old wine (Gal 3:3-9). If we continue to work with our own strength of the flesh to get saved or to please God, the wages of God's blessings are not counted by heaven as grace of God's free gift given to us, but rather as a debt we should pay back to God for whatever he does (Rom 4:4). In other words, no human on earth can ever please God by keeping the Law, but anyone can learn to please God through believing His grace. Thus to come in to the power of the new, we need to be saved by believing in Jesus and continue in the grace of salvation, and not get back in to the lifestyle of the flesh and keeping of the law by our strength to please God, but rather we should die to our self and hate the world (1 John 2:15-17; Luke 9:23-26). That is the only way, we can live without pouring the new wine in the old wineskins of the tradition of the law and flesh, which breaks our spiritual life and continue to make us miserable as like when we were before we were saved. Thus our so called spirituality will become ruined before us and others.

But when the new wineskins of grace, faith, mercy and justice are reached for through living a life of self-denial to our-self
(Matt 16:24-26), and thus allowing the Lord to control our lives through faith in what Jesus has done for us (Gal 2:20-21), then both the new wine and the new wineskins of our earthly spiritual lives are preserved. If we have been unsaved and are drinking in the old wine of keeping the law to please God, we continue to say, ‘The old is better,’, because unless we are saved and become poor in the spirit (Matt 5:3; Luke 6:20; Psa 34:18), we cannot have a desire for the new way of grace that Jesus gives to inherit eternal life and walk in it on earth as it is in heaven (John 3:3; 7:37-39).

May the Lord help us to find that salvation and sanctification's satisfaction comes to us only by grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone
(1 Thess 5:23-24, 28), and none other can satisfy us or save us from the miserable being we are in our sins. May we store the precious new wine of the Holy Spirit and all his goodness, in the new wineskins of faith and not waste it by trying to store it through the life of law keeping that breaks us and condemns us in our sins which is the old wineskins. May those who are not yet saved and are still desiring the religious life of old wine with their old wineskins of keeping traditions to please God, I beseech you to get right with God by accepting yourself as sinner and seek the Lord Jesus to be your Savior by believing the good news that he has died for you to forgive you from your sins and help you live a new life (Rom 12:1-3; 2 Cor 5:20). This is the true Gospel of grace that saves you and gives you eternal life, and make you live life abundantly in joy, peace and righteousness just like God lives in heaven (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 14:17). Those who are saved, must learn to drink only the new wine and not the old wine or mix both which will make your life on earth miserable and meaningless when you have a choice to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus gives through faith (Rom 1:17).

Much Blessings....





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Friday, July 27, 2018

Parable of Jesus 1: Is It Worth To Stitch A New Clothe On A Old Coat?




Will You Purchase A New Clothe Just To Patch Up The Old One?

By Abraham Israel









Parables are simple stories or earthly imageries which have often been used by Jesus in order to explain the heavenly truth that cannot be otherwise understood with our finite mind.

"No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse." (Matt 9:16)
.

Finding the Context:
"18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse." (Mark 2:18-21).

"Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old." (Luke 5:36)
.


The Key: Get The Context Right

The context of the parable should be the most important thing to consider before understanding the exact meaning or the intent for which Jesus Christ spoke it.

Context does mean the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.

Here in the above parable, we see that the context is about the Old Testment way of life followed by disciples of John and Pharisees, compared to the newly introduced New Testament way of life in which Jesus Christ is symbolised as the bridegroom and his followers as the bride.

So fasting is a spiritual activity even during the Old Testament times, which was done not to please God through it, but was used as a activity to deny and humble oneself and look inwardly to see one's fault to correct it before the Lord and ask His mercy to live a altered God pleasing life for His Glory
(Isa 58:5-7).

We know from the Law of Moses, the greatest significance of note are the nature of the food prohibition in the Garden of Eden, the supernatural fasting of Moses on Sinai, the compelling command of personal affliction on the Day of Atonement, and the various dietary restrictions of the law associate fasting with living in or returning to the sustaining presence of God. The first sin that came in to this world was a violation of dietary restriction. So it became ingrained in the religious culture and in the faith culture of all time since the beginning, that if the food intake is restricted or fasting for a period of time is pursued, there is a cleansing of the soul from the impurities of self, flesh and Satanic influences upon it to break its bondage that bind us, and the removal of yoke that weigh us with the weight of sin will be removed from us by the power of God through his grace and mercies received supernaturally
(Jonah 3:5-10). When we starve the body, we make our soul cry for supernatural sustenance from heaven.

Until Jesus came to earth, people through the Old Testament only received the conviction of sin through the law
(Rom 7:7), but grace and truth came to all mankind only through Christ and Him alone (John 1:17). Even if there was a favor of God shown to people in the Old Testament for their deep and sincere repentance and a lifestyle of godliness, it was only for covering them from the sins they have done and not for the cleaning from sins and the assurance of faith like in the New Testament (Heb 9:13-14; Rom 4:7; Psa 32:1).


Jesus The Bridegroom And Church The Bride

There is an intimate relationship that has been described as something that is beyond our natural human understanding, that is, the intimate relationship between a bridegroom and a bride, a husband and a wife, a man and a woman. Again and again we see in the Gospels, Revelation, the Epistles and related verses in the Old Testament, this theme of the Church as a whole are identified as the bride betrothed to Christ the bridegroom
(John 3:29; Matt 25:1), even though individually the members are identified as the brethren of Christ (Heb 2:11). In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul compares the union of husband and wife to that of Christ and the church.

A woman who is getting married is called the bride.
Revelation 19:7 speaks about a literal marriage of the bridegroom who is Jesus the Christ with the bride the Church.

Then Jesus calls his disciples and apostles who followed him during his three and half years of his earthly ministry as friends because he shared all the intimate details that the Father showed Him to his friends the disciples
(John 15:15). These friends were trained by Jesus Himself to make them future pillars in raising the Church universal which He has envisioned as his bride at that point of time.

Further the the bride Church came in to existence only after the resurrection of Jesus, some of the very friends of Jesus were imparted with the Holy Spirit when Christ Jesus blew upon them, and they got impregnated with the worldwide vision of establishing the Church through teaching and preaching about the good news of the Kingdom of God
(John 20:22-23; Acts 1:1-3). Thus the Jerusalem church is founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes around A.D. 33 (Acts 1:15).

People were first called Christians only later in Antioch around A.D 43
(Acts 11:26).

After the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ to heaven, they returned to Jerusalem and were waiting in prayer for nearly ten days
(Acts 1:3; 2:1). When they the Church received the Holy Spirit as a gift and were all baptized in the Spirit, then the message of the gospel of the Kingdom began to be preached and teached in power in all the places starting from Jerusalem, which brought Satanic resistance to it, but the bride began to fast and pray to long for the power and demonstration of the supernatural hand of God which was given to them by God through His grace and mercy (Acts 1:14, 24; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 13:2-3). So in those days of hardship and persecution, the days had come to the disciples of Jesus who were now become the bride of Christ to seek His presence intensely through the act of fasting and praying together as one corporate body because already Jesus the bridegroom was taken away from them, and in searching for the living power and presence of the bridegroom, they as the bride were fasting and praying in those days for definite result and impact to fulfill the worldwide vision of extending the Church which was the desire of the bridegroom appointed by God to be fulfilled through life and living testimony of the bride.


So What Is The Fact Of The Matter?

Coming to a conclusion, we see that the main topic of discussion was about fasting and praying which was followed right from the Old Testament times to the time of John the Baptist and Pharisees, being thrust as something mandatory for spiritual noteworthiness upon Jesus and his disciples by the religious people of his times. But Jesus rejected their ideas of spirituality as a old garment, and the new vision of Church as the bride and Him as the bridegroom of it as the new piece of unshrunk cloth which was ready to be stitched by the power of God and His presence who is going to build it
(Matt 16:18; 18:20; John 14:13-14; 16:23-24).

Speaking of the contrast between the Old and the New Testament, Jesus clearly portrays the Old Testament righteousness of the law as something that is ready to be thrown out as it was shrinking in value and power
(Heb 8:13; Rom 2:26-27), as the new unshrunk clothe was the righteousness of Christ introduced for the bride who will wear it as a gown of beauty in the coming days through her good works and the gifts that Jesus will provide as the ornament over her (Eph 4:7-8; Rev 19:7-8).

In the Old Testament, all those who kept the law tried to keep it by the strength of the flesh to please God, but they were never able to actually please Him because law was only meant to convict humans of their sin and lead people towards the solution of having faith in the Messiah Jesus Christ
(Gal 3:19, 24-25). In the New Testament it is "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," (Zech 4:6) the Lord has loudly declared to the whole world, that all might be justified by faith and not by works of any kind (Rom 5:1).

So the above parable regarding the Old garment is about the law, and the unshrunk new clothe was about the grace of Christ and His righteousness that we receive through Him freely. The law is something to work out through labor, grace is something to receive and enjoy without labor. As long as we continue to be with Jesus through the righteousness that comes by faith, by accepting what Jesus has done for us
(Rom 5:17-18), we will experience a supernatural rest that he gives and will continue to live supernaturally with the new unshrunk clothe of Christ's gift of righteousness beautifying us day in and day out as long as we continue in faith for the Glory of God (Matt 11:28). Either you live by the tradition of the law or you totally live by the Grace of Jesus, you cannot mix the two and see a positive change in your life. Instead, when law and grace are mixed, you only see a negative change towards deterioration of the quality of life you live on earth that is detrimental to the spiritual well being of a child of God.






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