Promises and Secrets

Promises and SecretsPromises and Secrets

A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.



Seeking God

VIEWPOINT



The Old Testament is full of promises that many people claim contradict many of the comments I make on this site. However, if you read the actual words of the promises, you will see a qualification that many people miss entirely, seeing only what they are told is there.

FACT



The Bible implores us to seek God, and if we do, we will find Him and draw closer to Him.


BLUE VIEWPOINT



Many use the Bible to find what they need, and then do not even follow what it tells them.

Yeah, what a provocative statement. But, just think about it and you will see what this statement means. In Acts 17:26-27
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

, Paul "reminds" the people of Athens that the real God is not far from us, and wants us to find Him.

While reading a non-fiction book by David Limbaugh (yes, the brother of Rush) I found another claim made by nearly all Christians, but is demonstrated by extremely few. He wrote a book called Jesus on Trial in which he describes his journey from unbelief to belief and the major steps he took on the way. The purpose of the book is to use his skill as a lawyer to examine the evidence of the life of Jesus to verify that He is, indeed, the Messiah.

Limbaugh uses the Acts passage above to point out that God is everywhere. Then he goes on to provide passages from the Old Testament to demonstrate that God has promised that if we seek Him, He will draw close to us. I agree completely with this concept. However, and you knew this was coming, these passages are not used by most Christians today in the way it seems they were intended. The intent in each one of them is stated very clearly, but is deliberately overlooked by the average reader and pastor. How can I say this? Read on and let me know if you disagree.

But, are you following your mind, or others'?

Now, Limbaugh describes his journey to faith as including being a Sunday school teacher and a student of several Sunday-keeping teachers, indicating that he is not a Sabbath-keeper, but we won't hold that against him. That does, however, indicate that his seeking process has been derailed by who he called those "believers I trusted" mentioned in the first paragraph on page 15 under GODS INSPIRED WORD.

As mentioned on other pages, if you read the Bible with no input from other people, and diligently apply common reasoning to each and all passages in a way that allows them to agree with the rest of Scripture, you will not stray far from the truth. Once you find that truth, then you can seek further input from others, but then apply that input to the foundation you have in the Scriptures as the Bereans did with Paul in Acts 17:11
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

.

Seeking, finding, but not seeing

After a quick dip into the Biblical pool starting with the gospel of John, Limbaugh decides to read the entire Bible. After that, or maybe during that process, he begins to seek out commentaries, Bible studies, and advice from professors - all of whom are steeped in the modified Catholic view (we call it Protestant, but it is still Sunday-, Easter-, and Christmas-based worship) of the scriptures. That simple act sounds like he is truly seeking God, right? But, look closer and you will see the real truth.

"But, I trust Bob..."

Mr. Limbaugh is actually seeking input from those who have already modified the message of the Bible. While his book clearly says that he has been "intellectually embracing the truth of Christianity" (page 16, third paragraph), it appears he has embraced the "truths" of others without "diligently seeking" God. In fact, he then goes on in page 17 to quote Romans 10:17
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

and 2 Tim 3:15-17
15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

, followed by commentary from other men, evidently without first checking to see if their input was sound. As it is given in paragraph 3 on page 17, the advice of the men is sound, but if you interpret it in the light of the typical Protestant input sources he solicited on page 16, the interpretation is skewed to allow the modified Catholic view to infiltrate the meaning.

One of the passages Limbaugh uses is Job 8:5
5 But if you will seek God earnestly
and plead with the Almighty,

6 if you are pure and upright,
even now he will rouse himself on your behalf

. The clear meaning is that if you seek God directly, and plead with Him directly, He will show Himself to you. Does this mean to go ask someone else, not compare it to Scripture, and go on your (or their) merry way? Not if that way includes breaking any of the commandments, celebrating Easter with rabbits and eggs, or celebrating "Christmas" during the winter solstice. It means read the Word of God and follow it diligently, pray to Him, and accept the Son of God as He is, not make Him into some sissified Savior of everyone, even those who deny the real Him.

Seek, then pay attention

If you seek God earnestly, you will recognize Him for the Creator of the Universe that He is, realize that every word He uttered is still in effect, making it necessary for us to go to Him through Christ. Those words He uttered, both personally and through the Prophets, tell us what He expects. Unless He tells us something different, or tells us that He has changed some Covenant He has made, then we should never presume to change anything based on what we think is appropriate. See if you can find one passage in the Bible that says "Stop keeping the Sabbath." or "Celebrate My resurrection on the pagan holiday called Easter." I'm sure He doesn't care if we worship Him on Sunday, but that does not translate into direct, blatant disobedience of His direct commandment "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

Those are just a couple of the more obvious examples. The churches are full of people who believe in "dispensationalism". Do you know the definition of "dispensations"? Google says:

dis-pen-sa-tion
dispen'saySH(e)n, dispen'saySH(e)n/
noun
plural noun: dispensations

1. exemption from a rule or usual requirement.
    "although she was too young, she was given special dispensation to play two matches"
synonyms: exemption, immunity, exception, exoneration, reprieve, remission
    "a dispensation from the Pope"
        permission to be exempted from the laws or observances of a church.
        "he received papal dispensation to hold a number of benefices"

2. a system of order, government, or organization of a nation, community, etc., especially as existing at a particular time.
    "scholarship is conveyed to a wider audience than under the old dispensation"
synonyms: system, order, arrangement, organization
    "the new constitutional dispensation"

"You may now break the law with impunity."

It is easy to understand humans wanting to give dispensation, but when did God ever give dispensation from the Sabbath, Holidays, and obedience to the law in general? Even the definition above uses the Pope (a human) as the giver of dispensations, not God. When did it become "acceptable" to become gay pastor(s) as was recently done in Washington, D.C., at the Calvary Baptist Church as reported in January of 2017 on the site at Religion News Service?

WASHINGTON (RNS) Calvary Baptist Church, a progressive Baptist landmark in the heart of downtown Washington, has named a gay couple as co-pastors.

Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen were presented to the congregation during worship services Sunday (Jan. 8) and are set to begin their new jobs on Feb. 26.

Deliberately sin, but expect salvation anyway?

And, if God did not hand out dispensations, what do you think is going to happen when He comes back to judge? Does 1 Cor 6:9
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

or Rev 22:15 (CJSB)
15 Outside are the homosexuals, those involved with the occult and with drugs, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

or Romans 1:26-28
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

ring a bell? The 1 Cor 6:9 verse clearly says that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. There are even some sites that teach that these verses really are not condemning homosexuals. For example, Bible Study Tools says:

God's timeless Word reveals His plan for humanity and His intentions for marriage and sexuality. While Scripture teaches that homosexual acts are sinful, these Bible verses aren't about condemning homosexuals, gays, lesbians, or transgender people. Rather, read God's loving warning and offer of grace for those who have strayed from His will for sex. We live in a fallen world with a fallen nature, but in Christ, we can be new creations.

So, we are supposed to think that these verses are not condemning homosexuals, just condemning the practice. But, if those who continue the practice are to be thrown into the Lake of Fire, what's the difference? There are only two possible outcomes of our decisions - the Lake of Fire or the Kingdom of God. Of course, we are to love them now, and I know some wonderful people who are or were at one time gay, but if that loving does not help them change their ways, they cannot inherit the Kingdom.

"Oh, Jesus, there you are. Now about this obedience thing..."

Seeking God does not mean seeking Him for forgiveness, only to find Him and then fight against obeying what He commands. If God accepts those who spit in His face, what about murderers and thieves? Do they get "dispensations" as well? If the people at Bible Study Tools are right, "Heaven" will look just like the earth does now. And if that is the case, what about the promises of the Bible? Seek the real God, and when you find Him, you will understand how to please Him.

"Do whatever you want, I 'got you covered..."?

What about the concept, "we can be new creations"? It seems there is some confusion here. The Bible Study Tools quote above smacks of the belief that, no matter how bad we are, when Jesus comes back, he will "remake" us into someone who can go to Heaven by changing our nature into a "new creation". That means that if you are a homosexual now, or murderer, or thief, or worship other gods, even if you keep practicing until either you die or Jesus returns, that you will no longer be a homosexual, or murderer, or thief, or worship other gods.

The way the quote from their site reads, that's the only way that homosexuals can inherit the Kingdom of God - by not being homosexuals. ??? If that's the case,what's the reason for this trial down here in the world, and why all the warnings about what to do and what not to do? The "new creation" is the person who voluntarily discards his old life, seeks and and follows Jesus (the real Jesus), obeys the commandments of God, and does not hang on to some mythical Jesus who is not described in the Word.

Things will be done His way

Christ can make us a new creation, but only if we stay close to Him and obey the commandments of God to the best of our abilities, as He stated Himself in Matt 19:16-29
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

18 "Which ones?" he inquired.

Jesus replied, "'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"

28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[c] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."
. Notice that Jesus did not tell the rich young man "Don't worry about it, I will fix that when I come back. You won't even know yourself when I get through with you." And in this passage, He wasn't even talking about homosexuality, but only greed or maybe idolatry.

Some say that these listings in Matt 19:16-25
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

18 "Which ones?" he inquired.

Jesus replied, "'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
from the ten commandments are not the commandments of Jesus, but that is selective twisting and changing the meaning of the "two" commandments of Jesus that are really quotes from the Old Testament. In fact, this Matthew passage uses one of those two commandments in the list. This means that none of the original ten commandments were replaced by anything.

By His own words, He will save those who commit to Him

Notice what He said to his apostles and students. He will give eternal life to those who commit everything to Him. For those who think loving Jesus and your neighbor is all you have to do while hanging on to homosexuality or flaunting some other flagrant disobedience to the word of God, please read what it means to seek the real Jesus. The Bible is full of clear statements on this and they still apply - all of them.

Think about what true seeking means. If you lose a one-hundred-dollar bill, that is what you would search for, right? Even if you didn't lose one, but want to find one, you would look for the real thing, right? If you weren't sure what they look like, you would first go to someone who knows and find out what you should seek.

Hopefully, you would not start looking for a one-dollar-bill that you never had in the first place just because someone told you the one was better than the hundred or easier to find, would you? Seek that which is real, not something different or made up. God is still the same real One He was in the Old Testament and in the New. In order to really seek Him, we should follow His clues and leave the dispensational pastors and false teachers behind, as well as our old natures. That is how we are "made new" - by finding Him and listening to, and doing, what He says.


Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at glenjjr@gmail.com and give us your view.

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