Saturday, May 30, 2015

SISTER FRANCES STERLING TESTIMONY UPDATE

Since February 23, 2015, was my first anniversary of getting sanctified, I felt led to publish an update!

So first of all it has been the most fulfilling year of my life, in spite of difficult trials that came my way!  Especially of people leaving this world, without me knowing whether they ever repented of their sins!  Yes I mourned and I grieved, but not like I would have, because sanctification made all the difference!  And what helped me also, was the counsel I received from Brother Storts, when I was upset because a person had committed suicide, and that was God does not want us carrying a burden for dead people!  That counsel from the Holy Spirit broke that power Satan had over my thinking concerning that event!  So although the Holy Spirit is IN me now, and not just WITH me, I still need counsel. I am not infallible!  But Praise God! It does not take me as long to ask for the counsel! Or know how to put it into practice!  And I do not need constant prayer! So I spend more time praising and thanking God than I did before!  Before sanctification I had too many requests, and at times I had to almost force myself to praise God!  Now it is exactly the opposite of before! As is pretty much every thing that pertains to spiritual issues!  And sanctification enabled me to LAUGH! DURING! trials that would have been unbearable without it!

The most amazing example was Sunday morning January 18, 2015, after we started our Bible Services!  I had turned my propane fire logs all the way up so I could get it warm in the trailer and turn them off!  So when the smoke detector sounded I turned them off and we waved the smoke detector to quiet it!  A few minutes later we waved the smoke detector quiet again, and then we noticed there was smoke!  And that it was coming up out of the top and sides of the walls built around my propane log fireplace!  Then the living room started getting smokier and smokier and then someone noticed an actual flame!  So I finally called the manager and 911 and begged that dispatcher to ask them not to sound the siren!  But here they came, at 10 something, on a Sunday morning, with seemingly all my neighbors at home! There were 3 huge fire engines, 1 fire chief’s truck, a rescue squad truck, at least one siren, and lights! 

Then Brother Storts, Sister Carol, Sister Margaret, and I, waited outside while the firemen went inside! And the only other man, besides Brother Storts, had left earlier, because he could not get me to panic!  But Praise God! God made me able to actually laugh! And because I was laughing! The others laughed!  Not the firemen of course! They had serious looks on their faces as they went in to extinguish the fire!  But because of sanctification! I knew! That God! Was going to bring some kind of miracle! Out of this!  And Praise God! He did! First of all, no one called me from the manager and/or maintenance number!  And not even one of my neighbors who were at home, even came out of their trailers the whole time!  And one neighbor told me later that she assumed that since we were laughing everything must be OK!  And after the firemen had finished extinguishing the fire, they told me it was not my fault! Thank God!

They said the man who lived here before me, and built the fireplace, 11+ years ago, did not do it right!  And that during all those years I had used that fireplace, it was definitely a disaster waiting to happen! Because the firebox was too small, the burner was too big, and part of the firebox was made of wood!  So after they left, Brother Storts started sweeping wet pressboard sawdust that was all over the floor!  Then he moved this huge couch that the firemen had relocated to the kitchen, back in the living room!  And he had moved my inspirational items that the firemen set on the floor, to beside the kitchen sink!  He also brought the mantel inside that the firemen had thrown out, and set it back over the fireplace!  Then we finished cleaning up the mess and by the time the maintenance man arrived it was beautiful!

But the miraculous part! Was how God! Did not allow any of the things! To happen! That should have! Because this trailer is 30+years old! And we had opened the back and front door to let the smoke out!  And because we did not realize there was an actual fire at first, we silenced the smoke detector twice!  And then I did not call the manager and 911 until I knew that I had absolutely no choice in the matter!  Because I did not want to give the devil anything he could work with to try to stop the Bible Services!

But Praise God! In spite of all our mistakes! God kept the whole situation and increased our faith by it!  Because in spite of the fact that the trailer was filled with smoke, there was no actual smoke damage! Even inside the fireplace! All the way to the ceiling! Without a chimney! It looks like brand new wood!  And even the maintenance man, and the woman manager, the next day, agreed that it was a miracle!  And Praise God! We were even able to have the very next Bible Study Service at 3! As was scheduled!  And of course we spent the first part of it testifying about what God had done! Which was wonderful!  And I have been told I do not know how many times now! That trailers usually go up like a matchstick!

And Praise God! One month later! Approximately 95 POUNDS! Of Bible Tracts! From Faith Publishing! Showed up on my porch! Because they are going out of business! And sent us those tracts for nothing!  So the only place 90+ stacks of Bible tracts would fit was on stackable shelves in front of the fireplace!  So God! Annihilated that fireplace! So we could put those shelves full of Bible tracts right in front of it!  And He performed another miracle! Only because sanctification gave me the faith that I needed for it!

One week before the fire! I thought I had dripped my water enough to keep the faucets from freezing!  But when I got up my bathroom sink faucets were frozen, my kitchen faucet, and my bathtub faucets!  And all I could think was people have to be able to use my bathroom for us to have the Bible Services!  And I knew! That canceling the Bible Services was not an option! That we absolutely must have them!  So all I could think! Was to PRAY! Lord! Please! Help Me! Not To Panic! Over and over and over again! And after I said that I do not know how many times! Praise God! I heard water running in the kitchen!  And I had full pressure! So I checked the bathroom sink! And bathtub! And they had full pressure also!  And Praise God! It was only 16 degrees outside! Still dark! Approximately an hour away from sunrise!  So I called Brother Storts at 5:54! Who had been on the road 30 minutes coming to the Bible Services!  And after I told him what happened! I asked him if it was a miracle! And he said it had to be a miracle!  So that increased my faith! And made me able to laugh! When the fire occurred the following Sunday!

So sanctification enables me! To have faith! Trust God! Not panic! And even LAUGH! DURING! TRIALS!  I just pray Lord! Please! Help Me! Not To Panic! And He finally! Turns the situation completely around!  Sometimes I have to say it for hours! Or even days! But God honors it! Every time! Without exception!

And I believe it is essentially necessary for me to make some kind of attempt to defend Brother Storts!  Because unsanctified ministers have influenced unsanctified saints into believing he is a false prophet!  So he is the most humble, consecrated, whole-hearted, single-minded, church of God minister I know!  And even though we disagree on some subjects, so far he has never become offended because of this!  And I have been verbally attacked before, by unsanctified church of God ministers for offending them!  And I have heard someone say that the way to tell if a stick is straight is to lay a straight one beside it!

So when God showed us Brother Storts, it was obvious that others were less straight than we realized!  And the ONLY difference is that he has The Holy Spirit IN him! While the others have Him WITH them!  That is the ONLY difference! But that ONLY difference is why the others do not have that same power!  And it is the ONLY reason they do not get along, and they are continually disappointed and frustrated!  Because they believe they have something they do not have! And believing it does NOT put it in them!  Just like I believed for 30 years that I had The Holy Spirit IN me! But believing it did not put Him IN me!  And NO! Brother Storts definitely does NOT teach! That babies and children will go to HELL if they die!  He teaches they are born with the sinful nature of Adam, but it is not their fault, so they are innocent!


GOD'S EXAM

Sermon by Jim Storts

Are you willing to submit to God’s examination?
We must be willing to listen to the counsel of the Holy Spirit as He searches our heart.  The Holy Spirit will show you the attitudes and intentions of your heart.  He will teach you to know the right answer to all the questions which will give you the understanding of holiness. 

Listen to the prayer of King David.  This humble attitude of seeking to know the perfect will of God, with a willingness and a readiness to obey, is what made King David great in the eyes of God. 

Psalms 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This was not an idle prayer.  David wholeheartedly wanted to be right in the sight of God.  Throughout David’s life he was continually seeking to know the way of holiness.  He wanted to do what was right.  He hated evil and ever unjust way.  In the day that he sinned and did evil concerning Uriah’s wife, God sent a man of God to correct him and show him his evil deed.  David repented of his evil and sought the forgiveness of God. 

1 Kings 15:5
Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

King David is mentioned 58 times in the New Testament.  His life is described in great detail in the Old Testament.  His life is set before us more than any other man in the Bible.  I firmly believe it is because of the humble and submissive attitude which David had toward God all the days of his life.  David was willing to be examined and corrected.  He had a teachable spirit.  He did not hide from his sin.  His confession was real. 

Psalms 7:1-9
1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

This attitude is what made David great in the eyes of God.
Do you have a humble attitude like King David?
When you judge yourself or any act or attitude, you must do so with the understanding of God’s righteous principles. 

John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

If we are to judge ourselves, we must have the help of the Holy Spirit.  We know that the Bible says in Jeremiah 10:23-24, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”  But Jeremiah did not stop with that recognition and admission.  He went on to ask the Lord to correct him.  He said, “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.” 

As we examine ourselves with the help of the Lord and the Holy Spirit, we must be willing to be corrected.  God will not give us revelations and understanding unless we are will to obey the instructions which come from God. 

Satan will be there when you examine yourself.  If you are saved, he will tell you that you are not saved.  If you are a disobedient sinner He will tell you that you are a justified child of God.  He is a liar and you must learn to recognize his voice.  You must examine yourself with the Word of God.  Are you being obedient and walking in all the light and understanding which God has given to you?   

Don’t compare yourself with another person.  Don’t think that just because you passed one test that you are now safe for the rest of your life.  Obedience is a daily walk with God.  How did you handle the last test you had?  God will require you to re-take every exam you fail.  Un-repented failures which are the result of disobedience will separate you from God and you must re-take the test.  Salvation is not an average grade of all the tests you have taken.  Salvation is dependent upon how you have done since you passed the last test.  Is your conscience clear of guiltiness? 

John 8:7-9
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Examine your conscience.  Does it condemn you or excuse you?  If you know that your conscience condemns you for those things which you have done and allowed, God is greater and knows more about you than you know. 

1 John 3:19-22
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

We must be very honest with our own heart and soul.  We must be careful that we do not deceive our own selves with excuses which are unacceptable with God who knows all things.  You have an adversary who will war against you in your mind.  You can tell yourself that you have not sinned when you have sinned.  You can tell yourself that you sinned when you did not sin.  Satan will do all that he can to help you believe a lie to the destruction of your soul. 

1 Timothy 1:5-7
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

We must examine our self.  We must know our own heart’s desire and our true attitudes.  This is a real test.  We can pass the exam with the help of the Lord.  Without Him, we will utterly fail and be lost. 



Monday, May 25, 2015

THE CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

Sermon by Jim Storts

The Webster dictionary defines “marriage” thusly: “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”  This has been the definition of marriage for 6,000 years.  In our modern society, the sodomites (i.e. homosexual, catamite, pedophile, effeminate) and their sodomite sympathizers are fighting fiercely to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationship.    The next perversion will be to extend the definition of marriage to include human and animal relationships. 

The radical deviants of our society are aggressive and relentless in their pursuit to destroy the moral and godly rules of our society.  Meanwhile the Christians and those who prefer Christian rules for society are passive, quiet and typically do not stand in defense of their beliefs.  One wise man said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.  In our world today, good men are doing very little to stand for and reinforce the righteous laws required for a Christian society and nation. 

What does the Bible say about marriage?  Do you have the courage to stand up for righteousness and stand against the pollutions and perversions of the world?  Does God have a righteous standard for marriage?  A godly marriage is the foundation of the family and the strength of the family is the strength of the nation.  When the sanctity of marriage is destroyed, the nation will fall to destruction.  Most people just let the Devil do what he wants to do without any apposition.

However, God’s laws cannot be changed.  They can be ignored and disobeyed, but not changed.  The consequences for ignoring and disobeying God’s laws will surely come to the scoffers and scorners of holiness.  Failure to follow God’s laws for marriage and the family will result in great suffering by the divine wrath of the one true God who is Lord and King of the whole earth.  God is love; and, He is a God of wrath against all those who desire wickedness and unrighteousness. 

1 Corinthians 7:39-40
39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

Paul taught the Corinthian congregation of the church of God, that the children of God were at liberty to marry whomsoever they desired ONLY IN THE LORD.   What does this mean?  It means that just as the Israelites were free to marry other Israelites, so also the children of God who had become part of the family of God by the blood of Jesus Christ were free to only marry other Christians. 

2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

For a saint and a sinner to be joined together in marriage, unequally yoked together, would be contrary to the will of God.  This would be equal to an Israelite marrying a Gentile, which was forbidden. 

Genesis 24:1-8
1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3 And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

Abraham was very sure that it was the will of God that his son marry a woman from their own tribe and family.  This was the plan of God to protect men and women from being drawn away to worship false Gods.  Abraham was confident that when he obeyed the righteous principles of God, then God would also bless him by providing a proper wife for his son.                                                                                          

Genesis 24:34-41
34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant.
35 And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.

Obedience to God’s rules for marriage resulted in the success of Abraham’s servant in finding a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac.    God never fails to reward righteousness with blessings.  We may need to exercise our faith and patience, but the blessing will come.

Judges 14:1-3
1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

The union and relationship of marriage is often spoken of as “holy matrimony” for indeed it has been ordained of God from the very beginning of mankind.  Samson disobeyed the well known rule for marriage and he suffered the loss of his eye sight, his powerful physical strength and his office of being a judge in Israel.  The gentile (unbeliever) woman he loved became the woman who betrayed him. 

Genesis 2:21-24
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It is intended to be a relationship which remains in force for the rest of their life.  No person can be “one flesh” or have union with more than one person at a time.  A bigamist or polygamist cannot have unity with more than one person.  Adultery and fornication breaks the bonds of holy matrimony.  God’s law is one man and one woman who are joined together for the rest of their life, until death do us part. 

Matthew 19:3-6
3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In marriage, two people become one flesh.  Two men or two women cannot become one flesh.  All homosexual relationships are an abomination to God.  It is also unlawful for a person to divorce their companion for any other reason than adultery or fornication.  When the Bible speaks against marring a “divorced” person, it is referring to the divorced spouse who was divorced for the one scriptural reason, namely adultery.  The marriage vows and bonds are broken when either spouse become one flesh with any person other than their lawfully wedded companion.  Repentance, love and mercy may restore the marriage; therefore the sanctified spouse must listen closely to the counsel of the Holy Spirit.  Satan desires to steal, kill and destroy.  

Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

The word “lie” is used in the scriptures to denote sexual intercourse.  All homosexual relationships are an abomination to God.  In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, this perversion of sexual intercourse is condemned by God.  That cannot be changed.  No man has the authority or right to change a law of God.  God will not condone any act which is an abomination.  If a conditions is an abomination to God, then it is His will to heal or correct that condition.  Is there anything too hard for God?  He is our Creator, Deliverer, and Healer. 

Leviticus 20:13
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

The penalty for sodomy in the Old Testament was death.  In the New Testament dispensation, we no longer put people to death, but the penalty is still death, i.e. separation from God which is spiritual death. 

Romans 1:25-27
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Paul gives us a clear statement of judgment and condemnation of homosexual relationships.  They are vile affections.  They are against nature.  They are unseemly, profane and shamefully improper. 

Satan has devised many evils to destroy the souls of men and women.  He has enticed them to satisfy their sexual desires by perverse sexual acts and by marrying strangers.  A recent survey of Americans was conducted to determine why people are leaving the church.  Church attendance has declined sharply in the last few years.  One of the reasons was found to be that young men and women were marrying companions who were of a different faith than the teachings under which they were raised.  Disagreements of faith cause division and division leads to disobedience.  God has always warned His people not to marry a stranger of a different faith. 

Exodus 34:12-16
12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

This is the reason the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write the New Testament exhortation:  “at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”  The Lord’s commandment is: don’t marry someone outside of the Christian faith in which you were raised.  The Holy Spirit has raised up the standard among true Christian pastors to teach the people that a person is not ready for marriage until they are justified and sanctified.  The second cleansing work of grace purges the soul of men and women giving them the grace to produce unity.  A carnal person has a selfish nature which will lead to disagreements and division.  They are not qualified for marriage.  In marriage two must become one.     

Ephesians 5:28-33
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

This counsel will build strong Christian marriages and produce sound families. 

1 Timothy 5:7-11
7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;
There will come times when men and women may lose their companions.  In such cases, the Gospel has counsel for that time.  If we follow God’s counsel, we will enjoy peace and God’s blessings. 

Are you willing and able to follow the counsel of God’s word concerning marriage? 
Disobedience to God’s counsel will cause sorrow and trouble. 
Our world is full of sorrow and trouble because too many people have disobeyed the laws of God. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

IS IT A SIN TO CO-SIGN FOR ANOTHER PERSON'S LOAN

What does the Bible teach about lending, borrowing and suretyship?
Is it a sin to borrow money or buy something for which you do not have enough money to pay the total price?
Is it a sin to co-sign for a loan for another person?
Let us consider what the Bible teaches. 
Is your opinion and judgment in agreement with what the Bible teaches? 
Are you willing to change your opinion and judgment to agree with what the Bible teaches?

Proverbs 6:1-5
1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
3 Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

What do we learn from this proverb?
Whether you have co-signed and become surety for a friend or a stranger, you have put yourself in bondage and are obligated to pay the debt of another person. 
You should go to your friend and make sure his integrity to pay the debt.
You should deliver yourself from the stranger and your friend as soon as possible. 

Consider the word of 19th century Bible commentator Joseph Benson on Proverbs 6:1:  My son, if thou be surety for (or, “to”) thy friend – Namely, rashly and unadvisedly, without considering for whom, or how far, thou doest oblige thyself, or how thou shalt discharge the debt if occasion require it: otherwise suretyship, in some cases, may be not only lawful, but an act of justice and charity.”   Joseph Benson was a protégé of John Wesley and a strong advocate for holiness and the second work of grace whereby the Holy Spirit purges and indwells the heart of justified children of God. 

Can we use Proverbs 6:1-5 to charge someone with sin and judge that the co-signer has disobeyed a righteous principle? 
Is this passage of scripture a warning against a difficult hardship; or, is it a judgment against an abomination to God?
If you know that becoming surety/co-signing for another person is not wise, is it a sin if you do it because you want to help someone?  The answer to this question would be dependent upon a confirmation of the motive of the heart; whether it be pride or mercy.   

Proverbs 11:15
He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

What does this proverb teach?
If you become surety for a stranger, you will smart for it. 
What does the expression “smart for it” mean? 
Who is a stranger?
A stranger is someone who is not saved and is in the classification of an adulterous and profane person.  If you co-sign for a stranger (a profane and adulterous person), you will put yourself in a place of financial destruction; you will smart for it.

Proverbs 17:18                                                                                                 
A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

This is a strong judgment against becoming surety.  Can a person be “void of understanding” in this area of financial responsibility and yet not be guilt of disobedience to God which is sin? 

Again, let us refer to the nineteenth century Bible commentator Joseph Benson wrote: “This proverb is fitly placed after that in verse 17, to intimate, that, although the laws of friendship oblige us to love and help our friends in trouble, as far as we are able, yet they do not oblige us to become surety for them rashly, and above what we are able to pay; for, by that means, we should make ourselves unable to do good, either to them, or to others, or to ourselves.”   

I do not see the foundation for a “sin charge” in Benson’s comments wherein he warns of the dangers of suretyship.  I do see a warning to be cautious.  Do not become surety for them rashly.  Do not become surety for another above what you are able to pay. 

Proverbs 20:16
Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

When making a loan to a strange man or woman, someone who is unknown to the lender, there must be collateral taken for security of the debt. 

Proverbs 22:26
26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

In context with other scriptures on this subject, we should understand that we must not become surety rashly or unnecessarily.  Frequent participation in becoming surety for debts will undoubtedly subject you to the anger and rage of that person who is unfaithful to his obligation to honor his own debt. 

Are there scriptures which encourage us to be charitable and lend to them who have financial limitations which prevent them from purchasing necessary articles for their health, comfort and well-being?

Deuteronomy 15:7-11
7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

We are warned against waiting to help someone until it is profitable for our own self.  God promises to bless those who are charitable without hypocrisy or covetousness.

Exodus 22:25
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

This scripture teaches us that we should not charge interest on money which is loaned to a brother or sister in the Lord. 

I have known a minister who was condemned for borrowing $10,000 dollars from a saint, even though the minister paid the saint 6% interest on their money when it was earning less than 6% while invested in another financial market.  If the Christian lender was agreeable (and without any measure of duress) to lending the money to the minister, it would not have been out of order if no interest had been charged.  If the minister voluntarily desires to add interest to his loan from a fellow Christian, there is no righteous prohibition against it. 

We must be careful to discern the righteous principles of the Holy Bible and not be influenced by the opinions and business practices of the world.  All too often there has been strife and contention over financial transaction by members of the church.  The love of money is the root of all evil.  The carnal man is naturally covetous and self-preserving.   Without the constant and continuous control and counsel of the Holy Spirit, many have erred from the truth explicitly embedded in charity and mercy. 

Please feel free to comment on this subject in the comment window below this blog posting. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

TOO LATE



Does there ever come a time when it is too late for the sinner to find pardon for sin?  Can a person “sin away his day of grace”? 

Genesis 6:1-8
1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

How long did the people in Noah’s day have to repent and get on the ark before the flood started?
Could God have stopped calling them to repentance many years before the ark was finished and the door was closed?
At some point, God stopped dealing with their souls and made the decision to quit striving with men to repent and decided to destroy the wicked from off of the earth.  Justice and righteousness requires judgment.   

Hebrews 12:15-17
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited   blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Because people are not diligent and obedient to keep the commandments of God, they fail to take advantage of the grace of God when it is offered to them.  Esau was very sad and wept for his foolish decision. Once the opportunity to repent is past, that opportunity may not come again.

John 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

A person may want to repent, but if God does not call him to repentance, then he cannot repent and be saved.   To repent, a person must have godly sorrow and a broken and contrite heart.  This heart condition only comes by means of Holy Ghost conviction and the call of God to obey His laws.

Romans 1:26-32
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

A reprobate is a person to whom God does not speak to give counsel and grace.  This person is considered by God as worthless and He has rejected this person. 

2 Timothy 3:1-8
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Jannes and Jambres were rejected and worthless concerning the faith.  They have resisted the truth and they have corrupt minds. 

Mark 3:28-29
28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Blasphemy means to scorn and despise that which you have known to be true and holy. 

Proverbs 1:24-31
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Yes, there can  come a time when God will not hear the prayer of the sinner who has mocked and scorned the mercy of God. 

Ezekiel 5:5-11
5 Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
6 And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

Is God against you?  Have you sinner away your day of grace?  Has God become your enemy? 

Malachi 4:5-6
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Our nation and our world is currently living under the curse of God for their rebellion and disobedience.  Many have failed to teach their children the way of truth and holiness.  Parents have lost their natural affection for their spouses and children.  We live in a fierce and selfish society. 

Hebrews 10:29-31
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Read and take warning.  Some day it will be too late to repent.