Loading...

Follow Bryan Casson SEO and AdWords Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Bryan Casson SEO and AdWords Blog by Titw Admin, Truth Is The Word - 23h ago
What happens when we take a Bible verse completely out of context? We get Gateways that go nowhere!

We also get someone else’s philosophy thrust onto us, often convincing, but always based on a verse pulled from the Bible and used to communicate the author’s agenda. But how do we know if what we are reading (or listening to or watching) is true?

In this TruthTalk, Dr Christopher Peppler goes into detail about how to recognise these ‘gateways’. If you would prefer to read the post this is based on, then click HERE, otherwise click on the play button below to listen to this TruthTalk.

http://www.truthistheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/TruthTalks-Gateways-that-go-Nowhere.mp3

The post TruthTalks: Gateways That go Nowhere appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Gateways usualy open into something, but every so often I come accross gateways that go nowhere.

When something interesting, troubling, enlightening or important comes my way, I like to write a short article about it. Just the other day, someone sent me a booklet titled, ‘Gateways of the Threefold Nature of Man’. A quick scan revealed that the author had built a fanciful ‘spiritual’ teaching based largely on two texts from the book of Revelation. Here they are:

Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”. This verse is part of a letter the Lord Jesus dictated to the church of Laodicea. The author of the ‘Gateways’ booklet claimed that Jesus discussed this verse with him and revealed that He, Jesus, was actually referring to the door to a believer’s spirit.

The second key verse for this author was where Jesus wrote to the Ephesian church and told them that, “You have forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:4). He identified this as meaning the ‘Gateway of First Love’ leading to the Tree of Life located right in the centre of the human spirit. Good grief! If you don’t understand this, then don’t worry becuase I don’t get it either.

Now how can a responsible reader of scripture extract this sort of thing from the texts mentioned? I think that the answer to this question is, ‘because of a flawed understanding of biblical inspiration’. Some folk, most probably like the author in question, believe that the Bible is a form of holy magic book where texts contain mystical information quite unrelated to the intended meaning of the passage. This is a form of the irresponsible allergisation, which I address in my book Truth is The Word.  It is a way of interpreting the Bible where any text can mean anything the reader fancies it to mean.

So, what do those verses mean?

Take the two examples I have cited here. In Revelation 3:14-22 the Lord Jesus reprimands the church of Laodicea for being lukewarm and worldly. Yet despite their pathetic spiritual condition, He offers to come into the church to commune with them if anyone is prepared to open the door to his presence. And no, this is not a text to use as part of an altar call inviting individuals to respond to Jesus – this is also faulty interpretation.

The Revelation 2:4 quote is where Jesus commends the church for its healthy condition, but then writes that He had just one thing against them in that they have forsaken their first love. The biblical text does not explain just what He meant by that statement, but in the context of the letter and the whole book of Revelation it is much more likely to mean that they had lost the love they used to have for him when first they believed.

My two main take-away points from this recent re-exposure to faulty interpretation are:
  1. We get into a terrible doctrinal mess when we play fast and loose with interpreting the Bible. The foundational elements of sound biblical understanding remain as Context, Christocentricity, and Exhaustive Reference. (See HERE for an explanation of what I mean).
  2. We should be sceptical and critical of any theory, system, or understanding of a Bible verse based on flawed interpretation. At best, it will be an expression of an individual’s own philosophy or imagination.

Bear in mind that it is one thing to believe that the Bible is inspired and quite another thing to interpret it responsibly.

If you have any particular biblical passage that you still can’t understand even after applying the three principles I have mentioned, then post your problem as a comment to this article and I will try to help you with it.

The post Gateways that go nowhere appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Recently, I was challenged to name the four things I am sure of about God. It was an interesting and revealing exercise not only because of what made it into the top four, but because of what did not make it.

I considered some of the attributes of God such as His omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience, but did not select any of them. For those folk not familiar with theology-speak, these three divine attributes are that He is everywhere present, all-powerful, and all knowing. So, why didn’t I settle on these three plus, say, His sovereignty? I think it’s because they are too incomprehensible and abstract for me; I cannot grasp them sufficiently to be sure of, and they are too intangible for me to even describe adequately. As the author of Proverbs 30:18 wrote, ‘There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand.’

What are the four things?

The first thing I know with absolute certainty about God is that all good and perfect things come from him. James 1:17 ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’

The second is that He is with us through all the things in life that are neither good nor perfect. Psalms 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

The third thing I know for certainty about God is that He desires to communicate with us. Hebrews 1:1-2 ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.’

And this brings me to the fourth thing I know with certainty about God and that makes sense of everything else I know about God; God is Jesus. John 14:9 “Philip, don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!”

If you want to know more about these important attributes of God, then listen to the sermon I preached on this by clicking on the audio link below.

http://www.truthistheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Three-no-four-things.mp3

The post TruthTalks Sermon: The Four Things I am Sure of About God appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
In this third and final part of the Spiritual Gifts mini-series, TruthTalks looks at the differences between Gifts and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Please click on the play button below to listen to this podcast:

http://www.truthistheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/TruthTalks-Spiritual-Gifts-Part3.mp3

If you have missed the first 2 TruthTalks on this topic then click HERE for part one and then just click on the “NEXT POST” button at the end of the pist to go to the next one. Please do subscribe to the podcast by going to www.truthistheword.com.

Don’t forget, there is also a book on the subject of Gifts and Ministries written by Dr. Christopher Peppler available at Amazon Kindle now. It is in the QuickReads series (designed especially for folk who don’t have time or inclination to read hundreds of pages on a subject) and is well worth the read. You can find it by clicking HERE or on the image of the cover below.

Until next time, all the best and thank you for reading this and following us at www.truthistheword.com,  Admin

The post TruthTalks: Spiritual Gifts and the Anointing appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This is the third and last of my posts exploring some of the aspects covered in my newly published book ‘The 9 Spiritual Gifts & How to Find your Ministry’. Yes, it’s now available on Amazon Kindle and you can find it HERE.

I mentioned in my last article that I wanted to touch on the correlation between Gifts and Ministries, so let me do that now before proceeding to the main topic of this post.

The Correlation between Gifts and Ministries

Ministries are areas of service in and through the local church. Manifestations are what the Holy Spirit does in and through us as we minister. This identifies both the difference and the correlation between the two – We minister and the Holy Spirit manifests His gifts through us as we do.

In 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 Paul sometimes used the same word to identify both manifestations and ministries. For instance, he wrote of both a gift of prophecy and prophetic ministry/prophets. The word ‘gifts’ translates a Greek word with the general meaning of ‘spiritual matters’ or ‘graces’. Romans 12:6-8 makes it obvious that both manifestations of the Spirit and human ministries were in view when Paul wrote; “We have different gifts , according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully”.  Both manifestations of the Holy Spirit and ministries are gifts to the church body corporate.

For instance, someone with a prophetic ministry will often speak out prophetic messages from God. The manifestations of Holy Spirit initiated prophecy establish and authenticate a prophetic ministry. However, the Prophet does not ‘possess’ the ability to prophecy at will, and he or she could well bless the church with other manifestations of the Spirit, such as Words of Knowledge, Discerning of Spirits, and so on.

Anointing and Gifts

A key idea presented here is that God brings believers into a sort of unequal partnership – we minister and He manifests supernaturally. This grace-filled partnership also helps us to understand the relationship between Anointing and Gifts.

You will often hear the word ‘anointing’ used in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, but not so much in other denominational groups. For traditional Protestants, the word ‘anointing’ usually signifies something or some person that God has set apart for a particular purpose. In Old Testament times Kings, Prophets, and Priests were anointed with oil to consecrate them for service. However, even in the Old Testament it was evident that anointing signified more than simply a sacramental act. For instance, 1 Samuel 16:13 has: “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power”.

The connection between anointing and spiritual power continues into the New Testament. Luke recorded ‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38). James connected anointing the sick with oil to the Holy Spirit empowerment of the Elders to heal when he wrote; ‘Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up’ (James 5:14-15).

So, if ‘anointing’ has to do with consecration and spiritual empowerment then it surely includes the ‘gift’ manifestations of the Holy Spirit through believers.

Read the book

There is of course much more to anointings, gifts, and ministries and my book covers this ground in a simple and overview-oriented way. It is part of the Christian Quickreads series and designed especially for folk who don’t have time or inclination to read hundreds of pages on a subject. If you are interested in reading it, then just click on the picture below… I hope you do.

The post Spiritual Gifts and the Anointing appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This podcast briefly explores one of the difficulties we have in appreciating Spiritual Gifts, which is the lack of biblical definitions. The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, but nowhere described.

It is important for us to understand what the Spiritual Gifts are, because:

  • This affects how we appreciate them. Are they manifestations of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of a believer and therefore directly supernatural in origin and presentation? Or are they expressions of our human giftedness, leading, and experience enhanced perhaps by the gracious help of the Holy Spirit?
  • It affects how we respond to them. Do we act only when the Holy Spirit directly motivates us to do so, or do we operate in the gifts as a normal part of our Christian life and ministry?

In this presentation I use just the first of the 9 Gifts of the Spirit as examples of some approaches to the matter at hand.

You can listen to or download this TruthTalk by clicking on the play button below.

http://www.truthistheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/TruthTalks-What-are-the-Spiritual-Gifts.mp3

Get the book now by going to http://www.truthistheword.com/revival-book-complimentary-access/

The post TruthTalks: Just what are the 9 Spiritual Gifts? appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Most Christians know that 1 Corinthians chapter 12 contains a list of Holy Spirit manifestations, but just what are the 9 spiritual gifts? 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Here is the passage in question: ‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines’.

However, we don’t find definitions of these manifestations anywhere in the Bible. So what exactly are they? Let’s take just the first two as examples – the gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge.

Definitions of the Gifts

When I was a new believer, my pastor taught that the gift of knowledge consisted of supernaturally given knowledge that the recipient would not normally have – information imparted directly by the Holy Spirit. He then linked the gift of Wisdom to Knowledge and defined it as a realisation, imparted by the Holy Spirit as to how to apply the gift of knowledge. But how did my teachers, and I come to this understanding?

Other teachers have different understandings of these gifts. For instance, one of my favourite theologians, the late J. Rodman Williams, states that ‘a word of wisdom is in some way an explication of the mystery of God that centres in Jesus Christ.’ He defines a word of knowledge as ‘an inspired word of teaching or instruction that occurs within the context of the gathered community’. Dr Wayne Grudem moves even further away from a directly supernatural understanding when he writes that a word of wisdom is simply ‘the ability to speak a wise word in various situations’. He describes a word of knowledge as ‘the ability to speak with knowledge about a situation’.

So, who is closer to the truth and how do we know for ourselves? I explore this question in my soon to be released book ‘The 9 Spiritual Gifts & How to Find your Ministry’, but I will tell you more about that just before it’s released… watch this space!

The importance of the matter

It is important for us to understand what the spiritual gifts are, because:

  • This affects how we appreciate them. Are they manifestations of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of a believer and therefore directly supernatural in origin and presentation? Or are they expressions of our human giftedness, leading, and experience enhanced perhaps by the gracious help of the Holy Spirit?
  • It affects how we respond to them. Do we act only when the Holy Spirit directly motivates us to do so, or do we operate in the gifts as a normal part of our Christian life and ministry?
And to make matters worse …

If it wasn’t confusing enough, we also have to contend with the occult counterfeits of the Spiritual Gifts.

Paul starts his discussion of what he calls ‘spiritual matters’ with the words; ‘About matters of the spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know how, when you were pagans, you were led to dumb idols—being led astray’. (1 Corinthians 12:1-2)

This seems a strange and enigmatic way of introducing the subject, unless one realises that many of the Christians in Corinth had been saved out of occult pagan teachings and practices. These occult phenomenon included things such as spiritual healing, prophecy, and tongues. Paul tells them, and us, not to be ignorant of this fact and thus become confused by the pagan counterfeits of the Gifts.

However, there are three things that I pick up in his warning that help me identify the nature of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

  1. Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 12:3 by identifying the key differentiator between true and counterfeit gifts – True gifts centre on Jesus and give Him glory.
  2. He writes of ‘speaking by the Spirit of God’ and this points to supernatural utterances rather than normal purely human interactions.
  3. Paul is concerned that believers might mistake the counterfeit for the real and this must surely mean that the real and the counterfeit appear to be very similar. In the occult world, both then and now, the ‘gifts’ are seen as direct manifestations of the ‘gods’.
Still to come

In my next post I want to deal briefly with the correlation between ‘anointing’ of the Spirit and the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit. I also intend to write about the correlation between manifestations of the Holy Spirit and ministries in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual manifestations are usually a feature of church revivals, so, in the meantime, why don’t you read my FREE book ‘The 12 Key Aspects of Revival’ – just click on the picture below or copy and paste the following link to your browser – http://www.truthistheword.com/revival-book-complimentary-access/

The post Just what are the 9 Spiritual Gifts? appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them, or give them?

In this and subsequent TruthTalks, I am looking at some of the underlying issues that make the subject important yet problematic to some.

In this podcast, I speak about the common misconception that Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities permanently conferred upon Christians. I argue that the key text of 1 Corinthians 12 points rather to The Holy Spirit temporarily entrusting gifts of healing, prophecy, and so on to believers to deliver to those in need of the gift.

You can listen to or download this TruthTalk by clicking on the play button below.

http://www.truthistheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/TruthTalks-Spiritual-Gifts-Part1.mp3

Get the book now by going to http://www.truthistheword.com/revival-book-complimentary-access/

The post TruthTalks: What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them or give them? appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them or give them? I used to find this difficult to answer… but not any more.

As a very new Christian, back in the 70’s, I was introduced to something called the Houts Questionnaire designed to help believers discover their dominant spiritual gifts. C. Peter Wagner later modified this approach and I see that his book ‘Discover your Spiritual Gifts’ is still available.

The common Charismatic understanding of Gifts

The basic idea in these approaches is that God bestows permanent spiritual gifts upon His followers, but that we don’t always recognise which of gifts we have. The available number of these gifts range from the 7 listed in Romans 12:6-8, to a composite list of 28 drawn from Romans, Ephesians and 1 Corinthians. Common words in the descriptions of the various current questionnaires are discover, find, release, and activate. So the main point presented is that God gives them to each of us but that we need to discover what they are.

My problems with this approach

I have long had a few problems with this whole concept. Firstly,  I don’t think it stems from a correct understanding of the key biblical passages. Secondly,  it places the focus on us and not the Holy Spirit and tends towards pride and status distinctions. Thirdly, it confuses Holy Spirit empowered ministries with manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

I have written my own book on the subject to join the hundreds already out there and I will tell you more about that later.

The difference between Ministries and Manifestations

In this article, I want to focus on just one of the problems I have identified, the distinction between ministries and manifestations.

  • A ministry is an area of service in and through the local church.
  • A manifestation is what the Holy Spirit does in and through us as we minister.

Ministries are what we do to build up the church and to extend the Kingdom of God; manifestations are what the Holy Spirit does to make this ministry supernaturally effective.

Who receives the gift?

In a sense, we discover our areas of ministry, but the Holy Spirit manifests His gifts through us when they are needed. He distributes the gifts through us as we minister, but the ones who benefit from them are the ones who receive the gift. For example, if I respond in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and speak prophetically to the church or to an individual, then they have received the gift of prophecy. This might happen while I am preaching or performing some other ministry in the church. I would not be entitled to think of myself as a Prophet simply because I have prophesied from time to time. Conversely, as one who ministers as a preacher, I would be foolish not to ask and expect the Holy Spirit to manifest words of prophecy through me as I preach, because this is what imparts spiritual life to the preached message.

A new book about to be published

I develop these ideas more fully in the soon to be published ‘The 9 Spiritual Gifts & How to Find your Ministry’. The book is part of the Christian QuickReads collection specifically designed for those who prefer reading something around the 100-page length, rather than a longer and more comprehensive volume.

In my next post I want to address the matter of how we can determine from scripture what the 9 spiritual manifestations listed in 1 Corinthians 12 actually are. I also want to touch on apparent ‘gifts’ that may not be from God.

If you would like to be notified when these articles appear and when the book becomes available on Amazon Kindle, then just click HERE and subscribe to truthistheword.com (if you have not already done so)

The post What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them or give them? appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I have just published a book on Amazon Kindle called ‘The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ: Christian Foundations’. You can purchase it HERE or if you want a free pdf of the book then just click HERE and go straight to the opt-in page.

The book is part of the Christian QuickReads collection specifically designed for those who prefer reading something around the 100-page length, rather than a longer and more comprehensive volume.

Why this book

When, at the age of 30, I was born again into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, a Christian friend gave me a set of lessons by Derek Prince called the Foundations Series. They helped me to understand some of the basic teachings of my new faith, but they also puzzled me a little. Dr Prince had built his series around Hebrews 6:1-3 and his six booklets were respectively titled Repentance, Faith, Baptisms, Laying on of Hands, Resurrection, and Judgement. Even then, as a brand new believer, I wondered why these six were more important than subjects like the Bible, Prayer and Worship, the Church, and so on.

My own experience as a new believer highlighted the need for something short and simple. However, something that covered the actual foundations of the Christian Faith and not teachings based on what I later realised are the foundational doctrines of Judaism (Hebrews 6:1-3) and not Christianity.

Of course, there have been many other foundational teaching books since Derek Prince’s, but they all seem to fall short of the mark in one way or another.  So, when I became a pastor of a local church at the age of 40, I took on the task of writing something for the new believers around me.

What the book is about

I listed what I thought were the foundations of the Christian Faith. Here are the 9 that I came up with:

  1. Salvation – including covenant, repentance, new birth, Fact, Faith, and Feelings, water baptism, assurance, being filled by the Holy Spirit, and obedient living.
  2. The Bible – including Inspiration, what translation to use, how to study the Bible, and what Jesus said and did as the key to understanding scripture.
  3. The Kingdom of God and Spiritual Warfare
  4. The Stewardship of Time, Money, and Talents
  5. Prayer and Worship
  6. Ministering in the Power of the Holy Spirit
  7. Fellowship and the Church
  8. Witnessing and Making Disciples
  9. The Christian Family
Who the book is for

It is obvious from what I have already written that I designed the book primarily for new believers. However, two other groups could benefit from it:

Christian Leaders – Men and women planting new congregations or considering a teaching series for their church could find it useful as an outline and seedbed for further research and development.

Mature Christians – It has always surprised me just how many folk who have been Christians for a long while have such a sketchy idea of the basics of their Faith. A prayerful read through ‘The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ’ would prove very helpful to them.

In the near future, I will be publishing further books in the Christian QuickReads series. If you would like to be notified when these appear, then just click HERE and subscribe to truthistheword.com.

The post New Book – The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ: Christian Foundations appeared first on Truth Is The Word.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview