Chapter 6 - The Heart Of An Apostle


 

 

Chapter Six

The Heart of an Apostle

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“A servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”  Romans 1:1 KJV

 

“Called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.”  1 Cor. 1:1 KJV

 

“An apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father , who raised him from the dead.”  

Gal 1:1 KJV

 

“An apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ.”  

Eph. 1:1 KJV

 

“An apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.”  

1 Tim. 1:1 KJV

 

“Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle … a teacher of …” 1 Tim. 2:7 KJV

 

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”  Hebrews 3:1 KJV

 

“A servant and an apostle … to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”  2 Peter 1:1 KJV

 

Many months have passed since I wrote Chapter 5.  For many including me, life has been very difficult following the attacks of 9/11.  However, this last Tuesday, God helped me to resume the writing of this book.  God willing, it will be finished this year in a timely manner.

 

It doesn’t surprise me that God also arranged the events of this week.  And, of course, like the preceding five chapters, God is in the process of altering and reorganizing the contents of this chapter far from what I had originally thought.  I have learned to go with the flow of God’s Spirit and yield to God’s “inspiration!”  That is, in part, what it means to have the heart of an apostle.  Yielding to God means His thoughts are more important than yours.  It also means that His words are more important than yours.

 

This last week, God focused my attention on the word “repent”, the King James Bible (KJV) and the issue of infallibility.  Just three nights ago on Wednesday, we studied the issue of “infallibility” at length.  It wasn’t the first time.  Do you believe that the Bible is infallible?  That it contains no errors?  That is, it is an inerrant guide from God?  Note: The majority of the verses cited in this chapter are from the King James Bible in accordance with instructions I have received from God for this subject.

 

On Thursday night [two nights ago], God also provided the final points of discussion for this chapter at a contentious public Bible study I chose to attend.  It was hosted by another small group of God’s truth seekers.  They are like the people who study and worship with me.  They are called to set aside prior doctrinal teachings of the Christian Church and to ferret out the truth from God’s Holy Word based only upon Scripture.  Like the Bereans did with the teachings of Apostle Paul, we search the Scriptures and test all teachings against the written word of God.

 

“These [from Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they [actually] received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, [testing] whether those things [taught] were so [true].”

Acts 17:11 KJV

 

 

Why would you want to search the Scriptures yourself?  You too need to test the teachings of your church, just like the Bereans tested Paul’s teachings.  Becoming knowledgeable in the Scriptures means that you will not be led astray by the errant doctrines of mankind.  Many congregations are manipulated by the false teachings from the pulpit.  However, your church will not be judged as a unit before God.  Instead, each individual in the church including you are responsible for his or her own sin.  How do you know what is acceptable and unacceptable to God?  How do you know what is sin [the activities you want to stop]?  It comes from reading God’s Word.

 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”  2 Tim. 3:16 KJV

 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Tim. 2:15 KJV

 

While the King James Bible is widely used, the language is very stilted and we no longer speak the King’s English.  Modern translations can present God’s Word in a more easy to understand fashion.  For example, the New King James Bible presents 2 Timothy 2:15 as follows:

 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Tim. 2:15 NKJV

 

Depending upon your loyalty to the King James Bible, you may or may not agree that the NKJV better presents the above verse.  In any case, God’s Word is clear that you need to study it.  Today, it is estimated that only 15% of those who claim to be Christians are actually students of the Bible.  If you are not one of the 15%, then I must warn you that you cannot appreciate the grave danger you and your family may be involved in when it comes to Christian mythology.  Without a working understanding of the Bible, you are ignorant.  Ignorance can be “bliss” on the earth, but you will have no excuses for your sin before God at the time of your judgment.

 

 Four contentious young men who claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit also attended Thursday night’s public Bible study.  Their insulting behavior and divisiveness illustrated the words of Jesus when he said: “You will know them by their fruits.”  What are the fruits of the Spirit?

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”  Galatians 5:22 KJV

 

“For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.”  Ephesians. 5:9 KJV

 

 The Bible also contrasts the fruits of the flesh. Consider the following Bible verses:

 

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV

 

 Among the fruits of the flesh exhibited by the truth squad on Thursday night were idolatry, wrath, strife and heresies.  There was also a lack of peace and goodness.  Gentleness was not in their arsenal as they insisted repeatedly it was their right to “contend for their faith.”  Not in a new group of people without taking the time to know them and what they stand for!  To this apostle, it was witnessing sheer arrogance and ungodly behavior.

 

 I am mindful of the gentleness of Jesus when he dealt with sinners.  Jesus never beat people into submission from Scripture with strong rhetoric.  That is something to think about.  Why didn’t he?  It is all about free will.  In direct contrast to those modern day teachings about beating people into salvation, God is the One who calls us unto Him .  

 

 

If God calls us, you can surmise that He doesn’t call everyone.  No matter what you believe, some people are predestined for evil just like Judas Iscariot.  If God wants everyone saved, why wasn’t Judas Iscariot saved?  After all, he was in close and direct fellowship with Jesus Christ.  The answer is now overlooked by many of the aggressive elements within Christianity and it is very simple.  God respects every person’s free will.  We are told to preach the Word.  However, we are not told to beat sinners into salvation with our rhetoric.

 

God Respects Your Free Will!

 

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

Rev. 22:11 KJV

 

If those who claim to be of God and “filled with His Spirit” fully understood this, there would be no rhetorical attempts to coerce sinners into salvation.  The old adage is still true: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  Aggressive salvation workers need to remember first the gentleness of Christ; second , that God has not called everyone to salvation either with Christ or without Christ; and third , that God respects man’s [or woman’s] free will to choose.  Even to choose eternal damnation over eternal life.  Many, so-called Christians, have never made a free will choice from their heart for God.  Have you?  If not, isn’t it time—right now?

 

 When you have the heart of an apostle, you understand the above three factors.  You understand that God wants to get His word out so a free will choice can “be better understood.”  However, He does not want you to go armed with a “truth squad” and rifles.  Not Christians, Jews or Muslims!

 

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His .  And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity [stop practicing lawlessness].”  2 Tim. 2:19 KJV

 

 An armed “truth squad” dedicated to their King James Bible describes the aggressive four men at Thursday night’s Bible study.  They were intent on saving everyone.  They presumed, like a lot of Christian warriors, that everyone must need to be saved because they did not believe what they believed.  They may also believe that anyone who uses an English Bible other than the King James Bible is in total error.

 

 There is a movement in society today that takes such a stance.  They even infer that anyone who uses the New King James Bible is of the devil.  They believe this because of the ancient trinity symbol used on the NKJV.  To them, the ancient trinity symbol represents a graphic of the number 666.  The ultimate apostasy is to try and improve the King James Bible.  I can tell you that this confusion, itself, is evidence of the work of the Antichrist.  Those who attempt to shut down an honest debate over Scripture and its various translations are NOT OF GOD.  They are, of the Antichrist.  Remember Isaiah 1:18 where God says: “Come and let us reason together?”  Those who walk with God are gentle people who can be reasoned with.

 

 I have studied the New King James Bible for over 20 years.  But, I have not studied it alone.  I use over 19 different Bibles.  A full 12 or more of them are on computer software where the Bible text is easily searched for truth.  At all of our Bible studies, we have at least one or more King James Bible open.  We also have one or two parallel Bibles open.  Each of these has four translations side by side.  At a minimum then, our studies have six (6) different Bible translations open for constant comparison.

 

 When I asked the young men some questions, there were some curious issues exposed.  One issue was that of the word “iniquity.”  They did not understand that it also translates as lawlessness.  Compare the KJV and NKJV of Matthew 7:23.

 

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Matthew 7:23 KJV

 

“And then I will declare to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”  

Matthew 7:23 NKJV

 

 In the above verses, you can see that the KJV renders the words “ye that work iniquity” and that the NKJV translates this as “you who practice lawlessness.”  

 

From Strong’S® Concordance, we see that the word “iniquity” in the above KJV verse is derived from the Greek word anomia , which is pronounced an-om-ee’-ah.  It means illegality, i.e. violation of law or (gen) wickedness: ‑ iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

 

 Therefore, both translations render the Greek word appropriately.  Yet, isn’t the NKJV easier to understand?  On Thursday night, the four salvation warriors did not understand the NJKV translation nor did they understand the meaning of lawlessness.  It was simply not in their vernacular.  To put it bluntly, they were entrenched within the language of the KJV and within the doctrine of the assembly they came from.  They were also not equipped to rightly divide the word of God as all are charged to do.  They were, instead, equipped with rhetorical machinations designed to beat sinners into salvation.  They were also steeped in a very interesting doctrine on “perfection” that got my attention.

 

They believed it is impossible for real believers to sin in any form after receiving salvation through Christ.  They believed you are then perfect just like Christ.  It was interesting for me as I was preparing to write this chapter.  Little did I know that God would provide more input to me as he rearranged my life this last week.  This perfection doctrine dovetails quite nicely with Chapter 5 and it needs to be discussed at this time.

 

 You recall that I ended Chapter 5 with the admonishment that God expects us to live a sin free life.  Inasmuch as is humanly possible having His Spirit inside of us.  You also recall the prior discussions on Hebrews 10:26.  The King James Bible renders the translation of this verse as follows:

 

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”  Hebrews 10:26 KJV

 

 

 Therefore, even the King James Bible acknowledges and distinguishes that there exists a condition called “willful sin.”  Intellectually, it doesn’t take much to surmise that there then must also be a condition called unwillful sin.  What could that be?  It could be sin that you are not even aware of or even simply unintended sin.  These two types of sin were cited earlier in the chapter on repentance [page 44].  God’s Word makes it clear to us that even if we are unaware of our sins, He will still hold us accountable for them.  However, Christ is our propitiation for those types of sin for God.  

 

Christ is not a blanket that covers a life of wickedness.  However, his blood does cover “unknown and unintentional” types of sin for us.  Yes, it means that we are not 100% perfect on our own as the Thursday night truth squad tried to assert.  The moderator shouted back: “That’s blasphemy!”  Few things are tantamount to this.  However, the idea that we become 100% “perfect” [instantly] in the sense these men postulated is indeed blasphemy.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48 KJV

 

“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”  Luke 6:40 KJV

 

“I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One ; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved me.”

John 17:23 KJV

 

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect [to God] in Christ Jesus.”  Col. 1:28 KJV

 

“So everywhere we go we talk about Christ to all who will listen, warning them and teaching them as well as we know how.  We want to be able to present each one to God, perfect because of what Christ has done for each of them.”

Col. 1:28 Living

 

If your doctrine says that we can be perfect through Christ Jesus in the eyes of God, then I fully agree.  If, instead, the doctrine says we are perfect per se’ [in and of ourselves after accepting Christ], then the doctrine is false and fails to understand how the grace of God actually works within our newborn souls.  Such a doctrine acknowledges John’s words in 1 John 3:9-10 but fails to understand the ramifications of Paul’s words in Romans 7:19.  

 

When I pointed out “unknown and unintentional” sin to the truth squad, they dismissed the Old Testament as being irrelevant.  However, if you have the heart of an apostle, you understand that the Old Testament remains true today and that God has not changed.  You also understand from your heart that the New Testament cannot be fully understood without first understanding the Old Testament.  Was God Almighty changed when Jesus Christ arrived?  When Christ was crucified?  Not according to Malachi 3:6.

 

Another problem posed for the truth squad on Thursday was that the very idea of “lawlessness” implies you have to obey God’s laws.  Their doctrine seemed to dismiss God’s laws.  The word “practice” also does not show up in the vernacular of the King James Bible and, of course, it does run counter to their doctrine and idea of “instantly becoming 100% perfect.”

 

We can look at Moses who walked with God daily and marched the Israelites out of Egypt.  Since Moses was in direct contact with God and walked with Him , can we surmise that perfection was in Moses?  No, and Moses is a prime example of what our lives will be like walking with God.  Moses struck a rock prematurely for water and it angered God.  He made an error in judgment.  Such error prone behavior is the nature of our human existence, even when we walk very closely with our God.

 

We are not 100% perfect on our own accord.  Yet, we can choose to make righteous choices to honor God each and every day of our lives.  We understand what “Thou shalt not” means.  And, we don’t.  God’s laws are obvious and meaningful to us and we don’t think twice about obeying them. Indeed, God’s law is written on our hearts and placed in our minds.  Having accepted God and his Son Jesus, we carry “His brand.”  We belong to God.

 

 

However, like Moses, human errors in judgment and even getting confronted with potential sin happen all the time, every day.  Our job is to pick up the cross daily and to choose each day to be all that we can be for God.  The heart of an apostle strives to make righteous choices because he or she understands they have to or otherwise they do not belong to God.  The heart of an apostle will not willfully sin.  The heart of the apostle will trust in God to guide him or her through life’s minefield.  And, should they find themselves unwittingly involved in some kind of sin, they will confront that sin as soon as it is humanly recognized.  The heart of an apostle knows he or she can become 99% perfect.  Practice to 99%—yes; Perfect to 100% —no!

 

As we walk with God daily and as our knowledge of God’s Word gains depth, our spiritual discernment increases.  As our spiritual knowledge and discernment increase, we will become more perfect in God’s eyes by the day and by the minute.  As you make more and more right choices based upon God’s Word, your spiritual strength will become strong.  The stronger you get, the closer to God you get.  The closer to God you get and the more active you demonstrate your faith, the more of a target you will make yourself to the enemies of God.  Hence, the more of Christ’s strength you will need in your life.  Satan doesn’t care about “so-called Christians” who don’t stand up for righteousness.  Why is that?  They’re into myths not God.

 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Cor. 12:9 KJV

 

“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.”  2 Cor. 12:6 KJV

 

 With the assurance of salvation in your life, you need to adopt the heart of an apostle.  A heart like Paul who writes: “Lest any man think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.”  Paul understood his job was to glorify God, not himself.  Yet, in these last days, men are boasters of themselves.  Indeed, they see themselves 100% perfect in every way.  Even on the same level with God as Satan saw himself.

 

 

In Christ, We Are Perfect In God’s Eyes!

 

The truth squad at Thursday’s meeting started to badger the moderator.  One would ask a question.  But, before it could be answered, another would chime in with the next question.  The dialogue became interesting to me when one young man asked the moderator: “Are you a sinner?”  The moderator responded, as I would have at the time, with YES.  Of course, the response was just what the rhetorical questioner wanted.  The truth squad expounded on 1 John 3:9-10 and without giving the moderator any chance to respond, they assumed he and everyone else were unsaved.

 

I sensed what was going on from this team and I asked the moderator: “Are you a willful sinner?”  He responded NO.  Just like I would have.  The next hour was quite contentious as the team of four young men took on the attitude that “Praise Jesus, we have located a den of seven sinners.”  That was the rest of us who actually came to study the Bible.  However, if these young men had learned some manners with their rhetorical skills, they would have found out otherwise.  The moderator finally asked: “Why are you here?”  The answer was: “We are here to save [your] souls.”

 

Later I realized how clever these young men were with their tactics.  If someone admits to being a sinner, they must be unsaved.  That was the logic of their perfection doctrine.  The answer from the moderator was never allowed to be clarified and his and the perspective of everyone else was:

 

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  1 John 1:10 KJV

 

Their “perfect” theology rhetorically split hairs.  John writes if anyone says he has not sinned, he is a liar.  Their point from 1 John 3:9-10 was that now, after Christ, you should be spiritually and humanly 100% sin free.  Now let’s go back to John in 1 John 3:9-10 and Paul in Romans 7:19 and carefully examine whether the Bible supports this 100% perfection doctrine.

 

 

 

 

Apostles John & Paul Clarify Sin!

 

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”  

1 John 3:9-10 KJV

 

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.  In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”  1 John 3:9-10 NKJV

 

Apostle John was trying to get the point across for God that you simply cannot go around in life willfully sinning if you claim Christ as your savior.  Real believers have a duty to God to walk a straight and narrow path with God.  Indeed, real [sincere] believers have no problem with this since the Spirit of God flows inside of them.  John continues his dialogue with the idea of doing righteousness as a sign of the believer not sinning.  The NKJV translates “doeth not righteousness” into “does not practice righteousness,” which is well supported by the Greek word poieo , pronounced poy-eh’-o as shown in Strong’S® Concordance.

 

Therefore, if you have a proper understanding of Apostle John, you would demonstrate your sinless [almost perfect] life to God by [practicing] righteousness.  Our acts of righteousness are defined by doing what is right in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of man.  You also cannot understand Apostle John if you don’t understand Apostle Paul.  Likewise, you cannot understand any apostle unless you first understand the Apostle Jesus Christ.  

 

 

 

 

Those with the heart of an apostle respect the words of Christ and “take them to heart.”  The heart of an apostle understands that Jesus Christ spoke directly for God and said only what God told him to say.  Further, they understand that Christ only did what God told him to do.  To deny the words and deeds of Jesus Christ is to deny God Almighty Himself .  It is the work of the Antichrist that alters the plain words of Christ in Christianity.

 

Apostles don’t try to explain away Christ’s words and in the process make Christ a liar.  Either what the Apostle Jesus Christ told us is truth or it isn’t.  The words of Jesus cannot simply be dismissed because they run counter to any man made Christian doctrine or theology.  Any doctrine or theology that has the effect of negating the words of Jesus Christ is NOT FROM GOD .  It is that simple.  Further, any fellowship of so-called Christians that do not obey Christ and accept his words at face value do not belong to Jesus Christ.  They will be part of those whom Christ informs at the time of judgment: “I never knew you.”  When asked to accept the words of Jesus, the truth squad denied Christ.  In the process of refusing to accept what Christ said, they made Christ out to be a liar.  More in a moment, but for now, let’s get back to Apostle Paul in Romans.  Paul writes:

 

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  Romans 7:19-25 KJV

 

 Paul laments that a war wages within him between the flesh and the spirit.  The more you exercise your spiritual muscles, the more your flesh will become subjected to the will of your spirit.

 

 I have walked with God now for over 25 years.  I walked with Him for 20 years before I received His call of apostleship.  I also ignored the call for at least 2 years.  I am sure that I was not saved during the first 32 years of my life.  God was all head knowledge to me.  The matters of the heart that I now speak to you about did not exist for me in the first 32 years of my life.

 

 Most of us know someone whom the following statement applies: “He [or she] doesn’t seem to have a heart for his [or her] job.”  When someone doesn’t have a heart for their job, they don’t seem to do it very well.  They are disheartened.  When I talk of having a heart for God, the opposite is true.  You are excited to learn more about God.  You study His Holy Bible.  You get excited about fellowshipping with other believers.  And, like Jesus proclaimed, you worship only God “In Spirit and truth.”  The issue of our sin can be further clarified with this graphic.

 

Good works alone doesn’t get people into Heaven.  When Jesus proclaimed: “I never knew you,” it wasn’t because those Christians hadn’t done something good.  Listen to their response.

 

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?”

 Matthew 7:22 KJV

 

It takes a bold person to prophesy in the name of Christ.  It takes a bold person to cast out devils in the name of Christ.  It takes a bold person to do many wonderful works in the name of Christ.  Yet, all of this can get you nothing.  Why?  Jesus tells us why with: “Get away from me you who work iniquity; you who practice lawlessness.”

 

The graphic on page 106 is an image God gave me this morning as I awoke.  If you want to understand the nuances between good works and faith, it is a good starting point.  It is not meant to be all-inclusive and it shouldn’t be taken as such.  However, consider that Christ has informed us that there exists a minimum righteousness standard.  He also indicated that the scribes and Pharisees didn’t make the cut.  Listen to the words of Christ.

 

“For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”  

Matthew 5:20 KJV

 

Hear the plain word from Christ that informs you that your own righteousness will play a factor in your salvation.  Then, recognize that Christ’s words are opposite to a lot of Christian doctrine today.  The graph above is separated into two halves.  Above the centerline is righteousness and below the line is unrighteousness.  A diagonal line represents the continuum between Satan at the bottom and God at the top.  The deeper your unrighteousness is, the closer you are to Satan.  Likewise, the stronger your righteousness is, the closer you are to God.

 

 

When Jesus told us why those Christians didn’t make it in Matthew 7:22, he said they were practicing lawlessness.  Those people cast out by Christ were working both sides of the fence.  In other words, while it is true they did good things, they also demonstrated no respect for God because they also operated on the unrighteous turf of Satan.  Fellowshipping with Satan in the works of unrighteousness means that they never really received God’s call.  There is no fence with God.  Once saved, we cannot go back to the world of willful sin.  We have to make the conscious choice daily to walk with God sin free [99%].  When we do error, our sin is miniscule compared to what it would be without Christ.  If I were to overlay the sin graphic from page 43 onto this second sin graphic, it would look like this.

 

 

 

Walking with God means you quickly jump up into the square in the upper right.  That is where you operate in your new life of righteousness.  It is far away from the world of sin.  It is the realm of faith.  Faith is exercised by unyielding will power dedicated to truth and righteousness.  You understand fully that you CANNOT BE PERFECT 100% on your own.  You understand that you need both God the Father ’s Spirit and the spirit of Christ within you just to live up to the expectations that God has for you.  You no longer lean on your own understanding because you now know that God’s ways are higher than man’s way.  Without His Spirit and the spirit of Christ inside of you, you realize that you would meet with failure.  That is because you have developed the heart of an apostle; a heart that loves God and understands it is He and Christ within us that help us to be obedient.

After you gave your heart to God, you either instantaneously or within a short time literally dumped all the sinful behavior that falls below the line of righteousness.  You realize that you need to practice righteousness all the time.  When the unrighteous behavior of colleagues, family and friends surface, you have no problem letting them know why you choose not to participate.  Your life becomes a living testament for God and Christ. Because you know that God has a minimum righteousness standard, you quickly dump the rest of your routine sinful behavior including the bad habits you’ve acquired from the world and you operate in the area of Faith .

 

Your Heart Speaks Loudly To God!

 

When it comes to sin, your heart will matter more to God than any perceived notion that you failed to be 100% perfect and 100% sin free.  When Peter denied Jesus three times to the authorities, did he sin?  Yes, to me, that was sin.  That is the level of sin that comes from the understanding of the heart of an apostle.  Yet, Peter did not deny his God.  The Almighty God and His only begotten Son that I know will use your weakness to demonstrate their strength.  Their compassion on us mere humans will cover our shortcomings.  All this occurs for the person who will walk a life of faith with God.

 

 

 

 

 The badgering at Thursday’s Bible study bordered on intimidation when the truth squad launched the next serious question.  “Who appointed you a teacher?  Which apostle appointed you?  You know that the Bible makes it clear that only an apostle can appoint a teacher?”  The emphasis of these four young men could not have been clearer.  They specifically challenged the moderator’s credentials and his right to lead a Bible study.  Who exactly are you to open your Bible and guide others in a study?  That was the unmistakable attitude and it disturbed everyone.

 

Did apostles only appoint teachers?  Exactly what was their Bible reference?  Since they never offered any proof Scriptures for this doctrine, I will never know their exact reasoning.  However, I know their claims are not in Scripture because the word of God states clearly:

 

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”  1 Cor. 12:28 KJV

 

 Want to know who commissioned the moderator to lead that Bible study on Thursday night?  It was God Almighty.  Want to know who commissioned me to become an apostle?  It was God Almighty.  There are no Scriptures in the King James Bible that state apostles appoint teachers.  One can only conclude that theirs was a man made doctrine.  It has no basis in God’s Word.  How exactly does God set these people in the church?  God sets them inside the church by the call on their hearts.  In other words, God speaks to their hearts in a way that they get the message, even if they get the message reluctantly at first.  So, do they all voluntarily jump into the shoes of any of these offices just because God calls?  I doubt it.  Like the Prophet Jonah and the Apostle Paul, God made it plain to them through various means that this is what He wanted them to do.

 

God Almighty said: “I have an offer you can’t refuse.”  Does it sound familiar?

 

 

 Whether it is reluctant or voluntarily, it is God Almighty that sorts out the qualifications of the individual for each office.  He knows what you are capable of even if you don’t realize it.  Moses is the classic example of the person who initially said: “Not me, I think you need someone else.  Why, I can’t even speak straight.”  You know the rest of the story.

 

God Calls The Apostles, Prophets And Teachers!

 The arrogance of the truth squad on Thursday seemed to be also attached to their King James Bible.  I can say that because they seemed totally ignorant of the translated language in other versions.

 

Is the King James English translation the “inerrant” word of God?  The “infallible” word of God, which is another way of saying that it, has no errors within it?  Considerable debate is taking place on this very issue.  However, supporting such a doctrine must come from uninformed people.  Well, at least from people who do not have the KJV text on their computer for fast and easy searching of truth?  It would certainly have to come from those who do not have parallel translations along with a Hebrew and Greek dictionary.

 

 What we know about the King James Bible is that it was at least the 15th translation of the Bible that occurred.  There were many Bibles before it, including English translations, and many after it.  Some of those that support the exclusive use of the King James Bible hold to the belief that it is not only inspired, it is also inerrant.  Critics of the King James Bible would point out that earlier versions of many manuscripts were found later.  Convention holds that those earlier translations would be more accurate since less time had passed from the original writings.  They would also point out that the language of the King James Bible is out of date and no longer easily understood by English speaking people.

 

 I have seen verses in the King James Bible that speak so wonderfully to a particular subject.  Then, there are those you would need to study very carefully and ponder a long time simply because the language is so stilted.  

 

 

The New King James Bible seeks to retain the eloquence of the original King James Bible translation.  However, it also seeks to clear up the language issues and translation errors found from the newly available earlier manuscripts of Scripture.  Since I am exposed to both constantly, I can attest to the validity of the New King James Bible.  It is easy to read and it has an accurate translation of the original biblical text.  The doctrinal statement at the back of this book has been closely examined using the King James Bible (KJV), the New King James Bible (NKJV) and the New International Bible (NIV).  I can tell you that all three versions support the doctrines described.  Therefore, if you are partial to a certain translation and think you can summarily ignore all others, don’t think for a moment it will matter with God.  He will still hold you accountable for searching out His truth.

 

 It was last week when God had me search the word “repent” in the various translations.  It is, for those supporters of an inerrant King James Bible, a very serious consequence.  I suspect God showed me it so that the point can be made that all translations should be used to ferret out His truth.  I would add the caveat that some newer translations should be held suspect in the sense of gender neutralization and other questionable practices.  With modern computer technology, publishers can alter the text and mislead people quite easily.

 

 Look for the activist homosexual and lesbian crowd to come up with their own Bible.  They seriously need one that supports their sexual deviancy because they won’t get that kind of support from God’s Holy Word.  Look for feminists to do so likewise.  They could use one to support their cause of co-equalness with man in all respects.  They too won’t get such support from God’s Holy Word because God has distinct callings on men and women, callings that compliment one another for His glory.  Gender neutralization can only lead to further translation errors.  Suffice to say, we have many excellent translations today and they all speak the same language.  I would be wary of any new English translation with a specific goal in mind other than the exact translation of original biblical manuscripts.

 

 Exactly how many English translations do we need?

 

 

So, what about the infallibility issue of the King James Bible?  The quick and easy answer is that it contains some errors.  Having said that, most likely all other translations contain some errors.  If you were looking for perfection, you missed the dialogue I offered on 99%.  My guess is that all translations are at that 99% level.  Many modern translations offer an excellent comparison against the King James Scripture.  You most certainly need at least three translations if you are a serious student of the Bible.

 

Has God any reason to repent?  Does God wreak evil upon people?  Or, is His holy wrath justified by a need for justice?  The answers seem very clear from the Bible.

 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  James 1:17 KJV

 

“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”

Numbers 23:19 KJV

 

The KJV Bible is clear in James that all good things come from God.  Then, in Numbers, the KJV Bible is also clear that God does not repent.   Please note also that James asserts that there is “no variableness” with God meaning God does not change.  Note also that Numbers states clearly that God will do exactly what He says He will do.

 

Conflict arises in the King James Bible when you examine the word repent.  Not only does the King James Bible state accurately that God does not have anything to repent of, it later states that God DOES repent.  What does God repent of?  EVIL!  Consider the following King James verses:

 

“For the Lord shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.”  Deut. 32:36 KJV

 

 

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God repenting for His servants.  Contrast the New King James, which says: “God will have compassion on His servants.”  A Bible that states OPPOSITE conditions is not inerrant.  You cannot on one hand state that God does not repent and then a few pages later start providing a list of how God does repent.

 

The King James Bible Has Errors!

 

 

“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for He is not a man, that He should repent.”  

1 Samuel 15:29 KJV

 

 In the above verse, we see once again that the King James Bible clearly states that: “God [Strength of Israel] does not repent.”

 

“For the Lord will judge His people, and He will repent Himself concerning His servants.”  Psalm 135:14 KJV

 

In the above verse, we see once again that the King James Bible has God repenting for His servants.  Contrast the New King James, which again says He will have compassion on His servants.  This isn’t too complicated here.  Do you think that God will repent for His servants or have compassion on them?

 

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.”  Jeremiah 18:8 KJV

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God repenting of evil.  Contrast the New King James, which states: “I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon them.”

 

 

 

 

“If it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”  Jeremiah 18:10 KJV

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God actually repenting of doing good.  Contrast the New King James, which states: “I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”

 

“If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.”

 Jeremiah 26:3 KJV

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God repenting of evil.  Contrast the New King James, which states: “That I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their ways.”

 

“Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent Him of the evil that He hath pronounced against you.”

Jeremiah 26:13 KJV

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God repenting of evil.  Contrast the New King James, which states: “Then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.”

 

“If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent Me of the evil that I have done unto you.”

Jeremiah 42:10 KJV

 

In the above verse, the King James Bible has God repenting of evil.  Contrast the New King James, which states: “For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you.”

 

 

“I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 24:14 KJV

 

Ezekiel again makes the case that what God has spoken will come to pass.  The New King James Bible translates the KJV language of “neither will I repent ” into “Nor will I relent.”

 

“Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?”  Jonah 3:9 KJV

 

Who can tell?  Indeed, if you have the heart of an apostle, you know that God does not have anything to repent to mankind for.  He is the potter.  It is us who are the clay in His hands.  The New King James translates the above verse as: “Who can tell if God will turn and relent?”

 

Finally, on the issue of infallibility in the King James Bible, you will find that the word “infallible” is used only once and it is in Acts 1:3.

 

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”

Acts 1:3 KJV

 

“To whom he also presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  Acts 1:3 NKJV

 

Note that the New King James maintains the use of the word infallible.   That is an example of how close the NKJV is to the KJV.  However, if you attempt to research the word “infallible” back to its original Hebrew or Greek using Strong’S, you will find that there is no root.

 

 

When there is no Hebrew or Greek root word cited, it only means that the translators have “added” the word into play.  It could be an excellent word based on the resources the translators had available; but you need to understand that it was chosen vs. actually being a part of an original Hebrew or Greek manuscript.  Other translations use a phrase like “convincing evidence” in Acts 1:3.  Yes, God inspired the Holy Bible.  However, it is not infallible [inerrant] and the above verses should suffice to make that point to you.  I might note that God continues to this day to inspire writers.  

 

Your ability to discern whether or not a writer is actually inspired by God instead of Satan is simple.  Does Holy Scripture back the writer’s thoughts?  In other words, can the writer help you connect the dots between different Scripture so you can SEE THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE FOR YOURSELF ?  Or, do you need to take a leap of faith to accept the writer’s points?  If the Scriptures do not speak for themselves as presented by the writer [speaker, teacher or apostle], it is a sign that they ARE NOT OF GOD .

 

In the above illustration, a teacher [etc.] walks you through various Scriptures needed to illustrate a spiritual principle to you.  Scriptures speak for themselves in full support of the discussion and main points that the speaker is trying to get across.  For example, in the cited Scriptures on King James, did you have to take my word for it that the King James Bible is errant?  Or, can you see for yourself from the Scriptures I cited?  Note: It is up to you to check all Scripture citations.  One of Satan’s tricks is to quote non-existent Bible verses to an ignorant congregation either lacking Bibles or the conviction “to test the spirit” for truth [look up the citation].

 

An even more subtle way that Satan deceives believers is to simply “misquote” Scripture ever so slightly.  Off just enough to make it convincing to you that Scripture itself connects the dots.  However, unwittingly, you wind up accepting lies instead of God’s truth.  Do not accept misquoted Bible Scripture from any teacher.  Once you realize the speaker is inserting error or his own opinion into Scripture, you need to confront them and get out.  If you have the heart of an apostle, you will not tolerate apostasy in any form from those who profess they know God’s Word.

 

Many churches have congregations that do not even carry a Bible.  While some churches have Bibles located under the pews, the message is clear that you do not have to read the Bible to attend “our congregation.”  I tell you that if you do not read the Bible, you can never know God’s truth and whether you are in God’s house or Satan’s house.  Many churches are nothing less than elaborate and deceptive dens of Satan.  If you are ignorant of the Holy Bible, how will you tell which house you are actually in?  If you call yourself a believer in Christ, do you not also see a responsibility to the word of God?

 

 

In the above illustration Scripture citations do not connect to one another to support the Bible teaching.  Instead, you need to take a leap of faith from one Scripture to the next.  Often, this leap of faith, is taking the teacher at his or her opinion.  Sometimes it is accepting errant Scripture that you know does not line up with your Bible. This is the work of Satan in the church today.  The teachings are designed to take you off God’s truth.

 

 

While the debate over which Bible translation is the best rages on, it important to realize that they are all prone to similar types of errors as shown above in the King James.  Some have curious quirks to them.  Some have suspicious things about them.  Still, all do seem to agree on the important principles of God.  Curiously, despite this general agreement and the fact that the translations are pretty much 99% error free, various doctrines exist today in Christianity that do, actually contradict established biblical text.

 

If you have the heart of an apostle, the truth of God’s Holy Word is more important to you than the translation [or book, teacher or apostle] from which it came.

 

Yes, God’s truth is also more important than the notion of being 100% perfect on our own or having, in our possession, an inerrant Bible.  Having learned Satan’s tricks for taking you off course with biblical instruction inside the church, what else can you do?  What also keeps you smart enough to discern God’s truth?  It is simply “abiding in His Word.”

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; [32] and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31-32 KJV

 

The New King James states: “If you abide in my word .”  The message is simply that God’s Word is the truth for our life here on planet earth and our ability or lack of ability to discern truth is directly connected to our knowledge of the Bible and whether or not we “abide in it [the Bible].”  Secondly, as your walk with God grows strong, His Spirit will set all things straight for you in accordance with what the Apostle John taught us.

 

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  1 John 2:27 KJV

 

Those with a heart of an apostle understand they need to stay strong in God’s Holy Word.  By abiding in the word of God, you will find yourself in fellowship with God daily.  You may even talk to Him all the waking hours of your life.  When Paul said to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thess 5:17, he was telling us that we can fellowship with God throughout our day.  I certainly do and I cannot tell you the amount of joy it has brought into my life.  You can find yourself being physically directed by the Holy Spirit just as the Spirit directs the fingers of my hands while I type.  The combination of Bible knowledge and the Spirit’s help inside of us will provide you with strong discernment.  Then, be humble and willing to go do your homework when it is needed.

 

Finally, on sin, Timothy provides the following instructions.

 

“But God’s truth stands firm like a great rock, and nothing can shake it.  It is a foundation stone with these words written on it: ‘The Lord knows those who are really His , and a person who calls himself a Christian should not be doing things that are wrong.’ ”  2 Tim. 2:19 LIV

 

And James provides the following definition on SIN.

 

“So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.”  James 4:17 AMP

 

 The above two citations illustrate the language of other modern English translations.  However, the verses cited have the same meaning in all the other Bibles I use.  Note that the clear message from Timothy is that we are not to do wrong.  Note also that James makes it clear that when we do wrong we sin.  Do you remember the words of Jesus to “sin no more?”

 

 I have come to rather appreciate James 4:17 and I now view it as a catch all for mankind’s sin.  You see, what is right or wrong depends upon each individual’s perspective and knowledge.  God will hold me to a much higher standard because of my knowledge of the Bible and the resources I have to ferret out His truth—over that of a new believer.

 

My education and experience may suggest a different right course of action over another person just because I may see things differently.  I may see an event larger or smaller than another person.  I may see it in a different context altogether because of my background.  Still, there are always the right and wrong things to do for all of us in any situation, even for you.

 

 The most fascinating and overlooked aspect of James 4:17 comes from the idea that all of us will be held accountable for sin every time we do something wrong.  Regardless of what our knowledge is about God’s Word or any other given subject, there will always be that right and wrong thing to do for everyone.  Perhaps even a list of right and wrongs things that can be done in a given circumstance.  No matter who you are and what level of education or experience you have, God’s spirit is the thing inside of you that always tells you what is right and what is wrong.  He will separate out the things on your list for you, if you will listen to Him .

 

When You Don’t Do The Right Thing, God Calls It Sin!

 

James 4:17 is the best definition of sin you will find.  Your knowledge of the Bible should be good enough to not buy into the nonsense that the Ten Commandments no longer apply to your life.  It should also be good enough so you do not dismiss [ignore] the words of Jesus.

 

Was Jesus Christ an apostle of God [messenger from God] or was he actually God manifested in the flesh, as so many Christians believe today?  Is it possible to be both?  If so, how?  The answers to these questions are at the heart of the Christian trinity question.  And, they are in this book.

 

Today’s Dictionary of the Bible 1 , Guideposts Edition — 1982 Bethany House Publishers defines the word “apostle” as follows:

 

Apostle  A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy.  This word is used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (John 20:21; Hebrews 3:1)

 

 

 

Jesus Christ Was An Apostle of God!

 

“Then said Jesus to them again, ‘Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.’ ”  John 20:21 KJV

 

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”  Hebrews 3:1 KJV

 

 The Bible makes it perfectly clear that Jesus was a messenger [apostle] from God Almighty.  When you have the heart of an apostle, you seek to understand Jesus.  You do not ignore nor dismiss his words.  Now, please note that it is the words of Jesus in John 20:21.  Does this matter?

 

 

 

 The respected New Strong’S Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible 2 1990 Thomas Nelson Publishers defines the word “apostle” as follows:

 

 Apostle  Men divinely commissioned to represent Christ.

 

The American Heritage Dictionary 3 defines the word “apostle” as:

 

Apostle  1. One of a group made up esp. of the 12 disciples chosen by Christ to preach his gospel.  2. A missionary of the early Christian Church.  3. A leader of the first Christian mission to a country or region.  4. One of the 12 members of the Mormon administrative council.  5. One who leads or advocates a cause or movement.

 

 Who are those listed in the Bible as Apostles?  If you have any knowledge of the Bible, you know that there were not just twelve apostles.  But, did you realize that Jesus Christ himself was an apostle of God?  Do you understand the message that God gave Jesus to tell us?

 

Ninety-Six Apostles Identified

 

No.

Name of Apostle

Bible Reference

1

Jesus Christ [the head and chief apostle]

Hebrews 3:1

2

Simon [who is called Peter]

Matthew 10:2

3

Andrew [the brother of Simon]

Matthew 10:2

4

James [the son of Zebedee]

Matthew 10:2

5

John [brother of James & son of Zebedee]

Matthew 10:2

6

Philip

Matthew 10:3

7

Bartholomew

Matthew 10:3

8

Thomas

Matthew 10:3

9

Matthew [the tax collector]

Matthew 10:3

10

James [son of Alphaeus]

Matthew 10:3

11

Lebbaeus [whose surname was Thaddaeus]

Matthew 10:3

12

Simon [the Cananite]

Matthew 10:4

13

Judas Iscariot

Matthew 10:4

14

Matthias

Acts 1:26

15

Barnabas

Acts 13:2

16

Paul

Acts 13:2

17

James [the brother of Jesus Christ]

Galatians 1:19

18

Silvanous

1 Thess 1:1

19

Timothy

1 Thess 1:1

20

Andronicus

Romans 16:7

21

Junias

Romans 16:7

22

Apollos

1 Corinthians 3:22

23

Cephas

1 Corinthians 3:22

24

Luke

2 Timothy 4:11

25

Titus

Titus 1:4

26

Jude

Jude 1:1

27-96

The “other seventy” appointed by Christ

Luke 10:1

 

 With very little effort and nothing more than Strong’S concordance and a KJV Bible, you can come up with the above list of 96 apostles.  You might ask, did Christ stop with these apostles or did he appoint others?

 

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”  Luke 10:1 KJV

 

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”

Ephesians 4:11 NKJV

 

God has never stopped appointing apostles and others to do His work here on earth and that much is very clear.  So, exactly what do apostles do for God?  Is it God they serve or Christ they serve?  Do apostles make a distinction between God and Christ?  If so, why?  Aren’t they the same?

 

Again, using Strong’S® Concordance and a KJV Bible, we can come up with the following list of things that apostles do for God.

 

No.

Description of Task or Mission

Bible Reference

1

Perform Miracles

Matthew 10:1,8

2

Preach the Gospel

Matthew 28:19-20

3

Witness for Resurrection

Acts 1:22

4

Write Scripture

Ephesians 3:5

5

Establish the Church

Ephesians 2:19-20

6

Interpret Prophecy

Acts 2:14-36

7

Defend Truth

Phil. 1:7, 17

8

Expose Heretics

Galatians 1:6-9

9

Uphold Discipline

2 Cor. 13:1-6

10

Establish Churches

Romans 15:17-20

11

Deliver a Message to Jews

Matthew 15:24; Acts 20:21

12

Deliver a Message to Gentiles

Acts 15:7; 2 Timothy 4:17

 

 The most fundamental and basic task of an apostle is to deliver a message for God.  Secondly, and no less important, is to deliver the message that God gave Jesus Christ to deliver.   Christ’s message was the same as all the earlier ones from God concerning salvation: “Repent and be saved.”

 

Did God’s message on salvation to mankind ever change?  No, it didn’t.  From time immemorial the salvation message is fundamentally the same.  When Christ started preaching, he said: “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:17] Today, the message I write is the same, with some added emphasis directed at those who call themselves Christian.  However, this is the same basic message from God.  It is “repentance [first] and salvation [second],” exactly in that order.

 

 I was waiting for the first question to arrive concerning the audacity to call myself an apostle.  After all, aren’t there only 12 apostles in totality? This is a common ignorance in the church at large.  How can there be another one rising up in the twenty-first century?  It was a predictable question from a Christian more concerned about authority than God’s Holy Word.  

 

So Edward, “Exactly who appointed you an apostle?”

 

My answer is the same as Paul’s.  I serve God first and Christ second.  Like Paul, my apostleship is “not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and of God the Father .”

 

The message I received from God : Is to explain to Christians why many, if not a majority, will be going to Hell instead of Heaven.  I write nothing new!  Instead, as God has commanded of me, I remind you, who claim to be the salt of the earth, the words God has already provided.  His message has always been the same one to mankind.  REPENT and BE SAVED!

 

 The next question came from the heart of a sincere believer, a seeker of truth, who gently asked: “Ed, do you really consider yourself to be an apostle?”  I responded: “This is something that I struggled with for many years.  I also ignored God’s call for over two years.  If an apostle is someone with a message from God, then yes, I am indeed an apostle.  For surely God has given me a message to deliver to all of Christianity.”  I might add that God’s Spirit has been relentless on me for many years to get His message out.  When this book is done, I will have completed God’s main task.

 

 In Hebrews 3:1 we read to: “Consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”  As the message God has given me unfolds, you may start to ask yourself this important question: “Do you worship God or do you worship the Apostle Christ Jesus?”  How about the High Priest Christ Jesus?  Do you worship him?  Would you consider any priest or apostle worthy of your worship?  If so, why then is it clearly written to only worship God Almighty?  Consider these words of Jesus Christ.

 

“Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”  Matthew 4:10 KJV

 

Jesus also said: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him .  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:23-24 KJV

 

 When you have the heart of an apostle, it is God the Father that you worship.  You recognize that Jesus Christ is the head apostle and the leader of our worship service as the High Priest in the temple of our God.  You don’t worship Jesus Christ per se, but you honor him in all you do.  Every time you pray to the Father in Christ’s name, you honor Jesus Christ.  You also work with Jesus Christ to serve the One true God in a hierarchy of service that God established.  Jesus calls God the “Father .”  God also calls us into the continued work of Jesus Christ in getting God’s message out.

 

 For millennium, mankind has not listened to the words of Jesus.  Let me remind you that the Bible states clearly who Jesus is.  It states Jesus is an apostle of God.  That he goes back to Heaven to serve God as our High Priest.  Yet, many Christians worship Jesus instead of God.  They are confused by a trinity doctrine that cannot be reconciled with the written word of God.  Do you seek the truth?  If you are the type that does not seek the truth, you might as well close of this book right now.  It is too late for you.  God has written off everyone who is not a “lover of the truth.”

 

 

 As I write, I will quote from God’s Word.  You, yourself, will have to decide if you will OBEY what God has already provided to you in simple sixth grade language that all can understand.  If you want to judge my apostleship, then judge the totality of this book and its conformance to the written word of God.

 

 Today, I would die upside down on a cross before forsaking my God.  For that matter, I would die upside down on a cross before forsaking my brother Jesus Christ.  Yes, Jesus Christ is NOT my God.  He is my brother and he is a brother to all who do God’s will.  Like Paul, Christ is “my hope in whom I live for God.” [1 Timothy 1:1] Think about Apostle Paul’s words.

 

 The denial of the words of Christ by the truth squad at Thursday night’s Bible study was the final straw for me.  That is when I stood up and looked at the young men and told them:

 

“I will tell you something that only an apostle will tell you.  If you refuse to accept the words of Christ, you do not belong to God and His Spirit is not inside of you.”  Edward

 

 I tell you the same thing.  You cannot dismiss or otherwise explain away the words of Jesus Christ simply because it inconveniently contradicts your Christian theology.  Why?  It’s because Jesus represented God in everything he said and did.  It was not God in the flesh in the likeness of Jesus; it was God using His human begotten Son Jesus as His spokesperson.

 

“Then said Jesus unto them, when ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”  John 8:28 KJV

 

“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”  John 9:4 KJV

 

 Jesus spoke for God and did only what God told him to do.

 

 

 If you want to believe that God came down in the flesh and died on the cross, then you must also believe that God committed suicide on the cross.  That would have to be your intellectually honest conclusion.  After all, no one can kill the omnipotent awesome God who created us.  If you believe that He committed suicide, you will then have to conclude that He had to repent for something.  Why else would God commit suicide?  Such is the nonsense of today’s Christianity.  If you stick around, this is a subject I will talk further on in a later chapter.  It was not God on the cross.  It was Jesus Christ, the only begotten human Son of God on the cross!

 

“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”  1 John 5:4 KJV

 

“But who could possibly fight and win this battle except by believing that Jesus is truly the Son of God?”

1 John 5:5 Living

 

The Bible makes it clear that those who actually overcome the world and win the battle for salvation really believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  The Holy Bible does not state we should believe that Jesus was God; make a note of it.  That’s why the Bible does not state or imply anywhere that God repented on the cross committing suicide.  Think about the plain and simple words of the Apostle John above.  Then think about the implications of the God on the cross theology and why it doesn’t measure up to biblical text.

 

When you have the heart of an apostle, the words of all the books of the Bible are important to you.  You understand that, collectively, they represent a beautiful mosaic created for your human benefit while on earth.  Created to enhance your joy and ensure your eternal life in Heaven after this short earthly existence.  You know the books are interwoven and presented as a whole, a complete work of God.  When you have the heart of an apostle, you don’t try to then take God’s Word out of context.  This could be either the biblical context or the context of the character of God Almighty.  You also do not try to parse sentences to create your own doctrine.

 

 

 

 

Once again “consider” the words of Jesus as he describes two different methods and sets of criteria for you to enter into eternal life.

 

So he said to him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but One , that is, God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”  He said to him [Jesus], “Which ones?”  Jesus said, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and your mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  The young man said to him [Jesus], “All these things I have kept from my youth.”  Matthew 19:17-20 NKJV

 

For Eternal Life, Obey God’s Commandments!

 

“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’  He [Jesus] said to him, ‘What is written in the law?  What is your reading of it?’  So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’  And he [Jesus] said to him [the lawyer], ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ ”  Luke 10:25-28 NKJV

For Eternal Life, Love God With All Your Heart!

 

        Was Jesus lying when he provided the above two instructions for entering into eternal life?  Do you dismiss or ignore these words of Christ?  If so, do you also ignore the words of Christ that state he only spoke what God Almighty [his Father ] told him to say?  These are not Christ’s criteria; they are God’s!

 

 

 

This is not the last discussion on the issue of the trinity doctrine.  I will return to the subject and cover it in more depth during a later chapter.  For now, God poses a simple question to you.  Do you really accept Christ?

 

 If you accept the salvation of Christ, do you also understand the ramifications of the salvation criteria that Christ provided?  Many Christians think they have a free lunch with God.  That they can simply mouth that Jesus is their Lord and then be assured once and for all of eternal life.  God has called me to explain to you why this is not how salvation works.

 

 How did we get to this state of confusion with the simple and plain words written in the Bible?  To the point where organized Christianity would preach apostasy from the pulpits in direct contradiction to the word of God?  When I asked God that question, he gave me the answer and an experience of suffering through rationalization for four days until I fully understood His answer.  The short version is that “there is no limit to the rationalization of man.”  God told me that in order to intellectually support mankind’s trinity, diverse theologies were developed.  The centerpiece of all those theologies is that they summarily dismiss the written word of God.

 

 The truth squad never realized that God had brought an apostle to listen in at last Thursday’s Bible Study.  God placed me there to show me how deep the apostasy had grown in Christianity.  It has grown so deep, that these four young men, like a lot of those in Christianity, simply dismiss or ignore the words of the very savior they claim to embrace.

 

“When you have the heart of an apostle, you study carefully what Jesus taught and you obey him.  It’s because Christ was more than a willing sacrifice, he was a teacher of God’s truth!”  The Apostle Edward

 

When You Give God Your Heart,

It Can Grow Into …

The Heart of an Apostle


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© Rev. Edward Palmer 2013