Tag Archive | Don Fortner – Discovering Christ in all the Scriptures

The Religion of the Pharisees

pharisees

“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash theirhands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:1-13

 

As our Lord Jesus warns us elsewhere to “beware of false prophets,” he warns us here to beware of false religion. Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men, and nothing more deadly than false prophets and false religion.

 

The Apostle Paul warns us that those who eat and drink the bread and wine of the Lord’s Table without faith in Christ eat and drink damnation to themselves. What he says about the Lord’s Table is true of and applicable to all other religious practices without faith in Christ. To profess faith without faith, to claim an interest in Christ without an interest in Christ, to be baptized without being born of God, to pretend to be a child of God while you are yet a child of the devil, all these things are eating and drinking damnation to yourself.

 

Our Lord Jesus warns us again and again to, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” The warning is repeated often because it is needed often. Here he explains exactly what he meant by the leaven of the Pharisees. When our Lord warns us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, he is talking about the doctrine, or the religion of the Pharisees.

 

What a humbling picture we have before us of apostate, human religion. Continue reading

Never Distinguish Tares From Wheat

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Mercy and love, kindness and encouragement, forgiveness and patience are things we all constantly want and need from others. Shall we not constantly bestow them upon others? Continue reading

The Lord’s Prayer

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Photo by : VERNELLE IMAGING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” (John 17:1-26)

In these 26 verses of Holy Scripture we have the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, as he was about to enter into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, with his own blood, to obtain eternal redemption for his people.

Our blessed Savior left us the full text of this prayer. He prayed frequently while he was here on the earth in our flesh; but this is the only prayer of our Lord Jesus that is recorded in its entirety. This is Christ our God-man Mediator, our great High Priest, praying to the heavenly Father on our behalf, interceding for us. He left us the full text of this prayer as an example of his intercession, which even now he carries on for his people at the Father’s right hand.

The Scripture says that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and was buried and raised again that he ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. There he prays or makes intercession for his people. This prayer is the prayer of our High Priest, our Mediator, which he is praying for us at this moment, as he makes intercession for us in heaven (Romans 8:34).

In Hebrews 7:25, we read that, “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” So, this is the prayer of the great High Priest, the one Mediator between God and men. The Scripture says, “There is one God and one Mediator,” one who prays for us and only one. That is our Lord Jesus Christ. This is his effectual prayer of intercession.

It is the Lord Jesus himself who is praying here. The fact that he prayed, prayed often, and prayed earnestly ought to encourage us to pray (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer doesn’t change God or change the will of God. It finds the will of God. Prayer not only finds the will of God, it bows us to the will of God. Prayer rejoices in the will of God and changes us, causing us to know and to follow the will of God. If our Master prayed, his servants certainly ought to pray.

Three Statements Continue reading

The Errors of Lordship Salvation

LORSHIP PROGRESSIVE PIC BEWARE

Note:  this is probably the longest article placed on our little blog, all of 83 pages long. Take your time to read and understand this serious error being taught today, a damnable heresy called Lordship Salvation.  I have found this to be the most clear and explanatory article I have yet read about this serious error which is proving to be so  popular in, so-called, Reformed circles. It is my prayer that this is of value to you, the reader, as it was for me.

 The Errors of Lordship Salvation

 

By Pastor Kelly Sensenig

D L  Moody told this story:

“An old man got up in one of our meetings and said, ‘I have been forty-two years learning three things.’ I pricked up my ears at that. I thought if I could find out in three minutes what a man had taken forty-two years to learn, I should like to do it. The first thing he said he had learned was that he could do nothing toward his own salvation. ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘that is worth learning.’ The second thing he found out was that God did not require him to do anything. Well, that was worth finding out, too. And the third thing was that the Lord Jesus Christ had done it all, that salvation was finished, and that all he had to do was to take it.”

 

Can it be true that God does not require the sinner to do anything in order to be saved? Can it be true that God only asks a poor lost sinner to take salvation as a free gift? Can it be true that salvation does not require any previous commitment to following Christ or obedience? It is true because eternal life is called “the gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). It is true because salvation is called “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) and a person receives this gift “through faith” (not following). It is true since a sinner is only asked to “come” (Rev. 22:17) and “take the water of life freely” (not follow). It is true since salvation is offered freely “without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). However, not everyone in the evangelical community would agree with this conclusion.

 

Those who embrace the teaching of Lordship Salvation would disagree and convey that a person must promise to follow Christ, obey Him, and make Christ Lord over area of his life before he can be saved. Lordship Salvation teaches there is a price or cost that is attached to salvation. In short, a person must meet the requirements for discipleship, become a follower of Christ, commit himself totally to Christ, step out to obey His commands, make Jesus Lord over area of his life, take the initiative to serve Christ, and comply with the conditions that Jesus requires for salvation, if he wants to be saved.

 

Lordship Salvation is a serious departure from the historic and Biblical teachings regarding the content of the Gospel message, old-fashion repentance, and simple faith in Christ. When this teaching is analyzed in the light of God’s Word it is found to be spurious and misleading. Lordship Salvation pertains to the area of a person’s salvation and specifically how a person is saved. For this reason it becomes a serious issue in relationship to what a person must do in order to be saved. It strikes at the very heart of the orthodox Christian faith. Continue reading

The Strong Man Armed — Bound and Cast Out

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“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:21-26)

 

From the beginning of time the prince of darkness has been at war with the Son of God, and the Son of God has been at war with him (Genesis 3; Isaiah 14; Revelation 12). It is a mutual conflict, a mutual enmity. It is ever the purpose of that fiend of hell and the myriads of demons ruled by him to topple the throne of God, usurp his authority, and destroy the souls of men. His principle weapon of warfare is religion — self-righteousness and will worship (2 Corinthians 11; Galatians 1:6-9).

 

But the fiend of hell, that old serpent, the devil shall accomplish nothing. He is God’s devil. He is by the omnipotent power of Christ forced into servitude. And soon he shall be cast into hell, crushed beneath our Savior’s feet and ours. Yes, he shall be crushed beneath the feet of us, poor, weak mortals he seeks to destroy (Romans 16:20). Continue reading

The Sheep

My Sheep hear my voice

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”

(John 10:1-6)

There are some people among the fallen sons of Adam whom God almighty has purposed to save. They are called “his own sheep.” These sheep are sinners loved of God with an everlasting love, chosen by him unto salvation, and redeemed by Christ the Good Shepherd. They shall, each of them, be called to life and faith in Christ by the power of God’s irresistible grace at his appointed time and preserved in him unto everlasting glory.

Sheep and Goats

According to the Word of God, the whole human race is divided into two categories: sheep and goats. Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep. Our Lord plainly tells us that some men and women are his sheep; and some are not his sheep. Some are goats (Matthew 25:31-33; John 10:16, 26). This division of the human race was made in eternity in God’s sovereign purpose of grace in eternal election. He chose some to salvation and passed by others.

This division is made manifest in time, at the time of love, when the sheep are called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel to life and faith in Christ. The call of the Spirit and our resulting faith in Christ do not make the division or make us sheep;  but the call of God and the gift of faith in Christ make the division manifest, and make it manifest that we are Christ’s sheep, chosen, redeemed, and called by grace.

This division of the human race is a permanent, immutable division. — Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep.

Lost and Found  Continue reading

Who are the Hebrews? The Israel of God

2 edged sword

Every promise of God in Holy Scripture, every covenant blessing is made to one race, only one. Every prophecy in the Book of God concerns the welfare of one nation, only one. And I assure you that few people in this world have a clue who that race and that nation is. This will come as a shock to many, but it needs to be shouted from the housetop: — God is not a Jew, an American, a Democrat, or even a Republican.

There is only one nation in which the God of Glory is interested, only one nations whose interests are his interests, and that nation is “The Israel of God” (Gal. 6:14), “the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Read 1 Peter 1:9-10. Here the Holy Spirit clearly identifies that race and nation upon which the very heart of the triune God is fixed and has been fixed from eternity.

(1 Peter 2:9-10) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (10) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

Let’s read Exodus 3:15-18 together. Continue reading