Thursday, 30 December 2010

CDD - What changed?

Men have always been saved by grace through faith, but God has not always required the same expression of faith from us.

God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden in order that He could share a relationship with them. That relationship was based upon freedom. So Adam and Eve were free to go anywhere and do anything. The one commandment God gave them was that they not eat of His tree. In the garden the relationship with God was maintained by adherence to one commandment. Their faith was expressed by not eating.

After the fall men lived without much addition to the one (now redundant) commandment. For nearly 2,000 years men lived as they saw fit and almost to a man they turned away from God. Relationship with God was based upon the willingness of people to seek God entirely of their own volition. Their faith was expressed by their own standards.

After the flood God instituted laws of governance for murder and some dietary laws. He set up a covenant with the promise that He would never again destroy the earth with water. Relationship with God was based upon respect and remembrance of His capacity to act upon His word. At this time faith was expressed by respect for God.

To Abraham God gave a promise and Abraham believed that promise. His relationship with God was sealed because he believed His word. His faith was expressed by his belief.

To Moses God gave the law. The nation of Israel had relationship with God through the law and the nations of the world had relationship through Israel. Israel's faith was expressed by their adherence to the law.

There are five different time periods where God entered into relationship with people under distinct conditions. Four times the conditions changed either explicitly or implicitly. You can imagine the confusion or conniving of people who might live at the time of one of the changes. Imagine had Cain demanded that he be allowed the same conditions as his parents. What do you think would have happened had some Israelites ignored the law and demanded a relationship like God had with Abraham.

And compare this to what we know today. We are not in relationship with God because we do not eat. We have not approached God of our own volition. We might respect God's ability to act on His word, but that doesn't save us. We can believe in God, but even demons do that! We can follow the law but believing that any part of the law is obligatory puts us at the mercy of the entire law.

Mike - Do you agree that throughout history God has changed the rules about how we are to express our faith?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

CDD - It's always been Grace.

Mike - I love your style and have always appreciated your willingness to discuss things. May God bless our discussions here!

All men throughout all history have always been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But before Christ came there was no knowledge of His work. Thus the means for men to express their faith in Christ was in the hope of His coming. And the means God presented for expression of that faith was in the law. For the law was a tutor and a preconfiguration of Christ. The law taught that men must obey the law and be righteous to be saved. And when men failed they had to sacrifice for their sins. Jesus' sacrifice then paid the price that all man's sacrificing could not. And because man's sacrifices were never able to satisfy the righteous demands of the law, men had to be saved by grace.

Mike. Do you agree that all men throughout all history could only ever be saved by the grace of God?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Dispensation Discussion.

Stolen from a Facebook discussion...

Grant Dexter
toldailytopic: All I want for Christmas is....

Michael Tan
Fire and Anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Grant Dexter
Wrong dispensation, Mike. :)

There is a Holy Spirit, but He doesn't do things like anointing people with fire these days.

Michael Tan
Bro, Jesus baptise us with Fire and Holy Spirit - matthew 3:11 - New testament - we are in this dispensation. Heb 1:7 - God makes His ministers flames of fire!! Fire-Brand believers!! Acts 2:3 - Flames of Fire came upon the disciples at the Outpouring of Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Our dispensation bro, Our Inheritance - Its for us! God's Fire removes lukewarmness Rev 3:15-16. The Word of God is like Fire in our hearts (be it Old or New Test) - jer 20:9, jer 23:29. Its burns within...........

Grant Dexter
I disagree. :)

You are talking about the promises made to Israel. We are in the Body of Christ. No tongues of fire for us. :)

Michael Tan
Bro, It is not for israel; it is for the church of Jesus Christ! Those who has received christ and has press on to receive baptism of the Holy Spirit. He set the model for us by asking his disciples(believers) to tarry in jerusalem till th...
See more

Grant Dexter
I still disagree. :)

I think God first communicated His plan for the church to Paul alone in Acts 9.

Michael Tan
Hope u are kidding and not really believing that :)

Grant Dexter
No, no. I REALLY believe that. What's the problem? :)

Michael Tan
Thought U were just having fun arguing. In that case, some of your beliefs is erroneous though it is hard to understand your point as we are not talking face to face. Definitely not what eastapo and their denomination's teachings when U were there in your uni years.

One way to safeguard believers is also to recognise and learn from Five Fold Ministers that God has placed in the Body of Christ. We can learn from them. In this case, esp the Office of a Five Fold Teacher is appointed by God to guide and teach the Body of Christ.

But learn from an established Five Fold Minister with proven Ministry and Character. If you are reading books, Derek Prince's teachings should be good. There are also other recognised and Proven Ministers and Teachers in the Body of Christ!

(It is not just theology or Theological lecturer but a Minister called into the Office of a Teacher. Becareful of the books you read or internet articles etc There are many erroneous and false teachings. God has a reason for placing His Ministers in Authority and also place the Five fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelist and Pastors to govern and teach the church. It is not just about believing whatever we want to believe or pick and choose doctrines we agree. There are many false doctrines floating around. Learn from a man of God with proven ministry and character.)

Michael Tan
Regarding your last point, can consider some of these:

a) The church did not start from Acts 9. In Acts 2:40-47, 3000 new converts were added to the church, peter's 1st sermon. Verse 42 - the church followed the apostles' doctrines...........Verse 47 - God added to the church. These Apostles were used by God to teach and govern the church even before apostle paul came into the picture. They were anointed by the Holy Spirit. The church was following the apostles doctrine/revelation as given to them by the Lord.

b) Lord Jesus ask the believers to gather to pray to receive Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 before going forth to witness/evangelise. About 120 believers responded and gathered to pray in the upper room - Acts 1:12-15

In Acts 2 - the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened after Jesus was ascended into Heavens, He received the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured upon the Assembly of 120 Believers(Church) - Acts 2:33. Apostle Peter preached the 1st sermon and 3000 was saved that day......

This Outpouring was given by the Lord Jesus to the Church. The Holy Spirit has been poured out and he is now on earth...........but today the Blessings of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is still for the Church. Beginning From there believers begin to flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 12. It is the gateway to the gifts and spiritual experiences with God.

c) According to Eph 2:20, the church is build upon the Foundation of Apostles and Prophets and upon the Lord Jesus Christ! It is not build on apostle paul alone.

d) Lord Jesus is the one that has the Plan for the Church. He is the Head and we are the body and he used the Apostles to start the church and He later used apostle Paul to pioneer the gospel of grace to the gentiles too.

e) In fact,Jesus shared in Matt 16:17-20 to apostle peter, that the Father has revealed "Jesus is Christ" to apostle peter and "You are peter and upon this Petra or Revelation, I will build my Church,...........".

f) The plans of the church is not revealed to paul alone in acts 9. Then what were jesus and the other apostles doing and teaching? Paul was not even amongst the 1st 12 apostles. And came into the picture much later. Eveything was for nothing before he came in acts 9?

Like I shared at the earlier comments, good to pick up some books or materials by established and proven Teachers in the Body of Christ. U can check out strong churches in taiwan if u are there..................snr pastors who preached the Word of God in Holiness and righteousness, who bears the Fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit, who carry God's anointing upon their life.

Grant Dexter
Hi, Mike. Merry Christmas. I have thought through this very carefully and I think it checks out. But I am willing to test what I believe against what my more learned friends think.

Merry Christmas. :)

Michael Tan
Blessed Christmas! Great to hear from you after uni time. In singapore, also some teachings are affecting the beliefs of believers so tend to be a little careful. Blessed Christmas!

Grant Dexter
I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord...

...I'm prepared to include bad theology in that. :)

Michael Tan
Yes. Once again, it is not about theology. One of the false doctrine that penetrates the churches is a perversion of the grace message. The bible talks about doctrine of demons and that if it is possible, believers will be deceived. It is not just theology.

Don't have time to discuss at length here; but one of the false doctrine is that a christian or believer will not go to hell even if he sins and continues to sin. It is possible actually for christians, believers or even pastors to miss heaven and go to hell. It is possible for christians to miss the rapture of the church and get left behind.

Many think that because of grace, you have the passport to sin or not to forgive others etc etc The Word of God says if we don't forgive, God will not forgive us......of course many explain these verses away...

The above verse you quote is true, God loves us and nothing can separate us from His Love if we continue in Him and in His word. Nothing can separate a believer from God eternally except the believer himself. T

Thus believing in lies/deception can cause many to live in sin and thus eventually missing Heaven. Believers going to hell does not make God unrighteous or that He can't save. But believers are given the power of choice.

God is still loving and righteous! share more next time!

Grant Dexter
There is only one thing that saves. That is the work of Jesus Christ. If we have sold out to Him then we will not be separated from Him. This is contrary to the gospel of the law where one had to maintain one's salvation by adhering to laws and rituals.

Believers are given the choice, but that choice must be made according to the gospel. The gospel is that Jesus saves completely. There is nothing left for us to do. Thus your concern that some might find salvation as an excuse to keep sinning is understandable - people challenged Paul over this as well.

But your concern is unfounded. God will not be mocked. If a man claims his salvation as justification to continue in sin then he clearly has not understood the gospel and his salvation is not according to God's word, but is his own vanity.

Michael Tan
Bro, this is where your main problem has been exposed. You are also under this lie. It is good for you to seek God and find out more just as you have checked out your previous beliefs. But the more important one is this. I believe God expose this and i encourage you to seek out more to see if what you believe is really God's Truth as u have previously done. I will share more...but just a little now as i have something on.

Yes. Jesus saved completely but man has a part. And the part is a continuous one. Eternal Life is not just a one time act of Sinner's prayer.

You also have mixed up Legalism with God's requirement for Holiness, Righteousness and Holiness. It does not mean that just because we are saved by Grace and not by Works and Law means that there is no requirement by God to obey His Word. We are saved by Grace and not by works nor law because nothing could save us apart from Grace for we fail the law and works. But just because Jesus came to fulfill the law for us does not mean there is no requirement by God to be holy. God says be Holy as I am Holy.............of course it is only by the Holy Spirit that we can be Holy, but man has to make that choice daily and it is not easy. Taking up the cross and following Him is not an easy path.............which is what he asks as well. That those who follow Him must take up the cross and die to self. Those who belongs to Christ has crucified the flesh and its passion. Obeying God and having a requirement to be holy by God does not tantamount to salvation by works or law or legalism or earning your salvation. We can't earn our salvation period. But salvation by grace does not mean that there is no requirement to be holy and obedient. Salvation and Eternal Life is continuous; not a one time event of saying a sinner's prayer, get saved and always saved.

A man or woman can know God's Love and that Salvation is by grace, and received the Lord Jesus yet did not choose to obey God in some areas of his life. The Holy Spirit may convict our conscience but it is up to us to obey. You are somewhat blinded by theology because you think that just because someone understands the gospel of grace and received Christ, he will naturally not want to sin.

a) Choosing not to sin or b) to obey God or c) to live a holy life or e) to die to self f) to crucify the flesh g) to be godly h) to obey the Word of God etc etc is not easy and it going against what we want to do naturally even if a believer is a genuine, sincere and spirit-filled christian, He still have to make that choice.

Adam and Lucifer was created perfect and sinless, live in God's presence and God's glory. Know and enjoy God's Love yet they choose to sin. It is a choice. Judas knows Jesus personally. He is an apostle and preaches in signs and wonders and miracles if you read the word. Yet he chose to sin against Jesus and eventually did not repent but committed suicide. Do you think he is in heaven? Just because he was an apostle and anointed believer? Anointing and gifts of the Spirit cannot save a believer on that day.

A genuine believer can also backslide, can also choose to sin or disobey.

Brother, it is not once saved always saved. That is an absolute lie of the devil and doctrine of demons...Do you know that teachings of demons can penetrate theology, or even teachings from pupit of churches? They were doing that even in the time of the new testament church. The Gospel of Grace that apostle paul preaches cannot be taken independent of Jesus Teachings in mathew, mark, luke and john or other parts of the Word. We must know the Full counsel of God.

Becareful, I advise you to seek to find out more as you read the word. Ask God to open your eyes to see. Ask God to show you the truth. Will share more but has to go.

Grant Dexter
Sounds like you've been through this before. :)

I see it very simply. God instituted the law. God then usurped the law as a means (and a requirement) for salvation.

The way to understand the bible is to know exactly when God made this change. I think the change came when He met Paul on the road to Damascus. Thus the most pertinent information for us today is found in Paul's theology.

Michael Tan
bro, appreciate your sharing

1) For the law was given thru moses, GRACE and truth came thru Lord Jesus Christ- John 1:17

GRACE came through JESUS not apostle paul as you seem to think only he understood Grace or God's REAL plan of salvation. That is not true. JESUS Christ is GRACE himself, He is the God of grace, grace is his nature. Even God showed himself as a gracious God to moses Ex 34:6 - It is the nature of God.

To put it in a crude way, JESUS did not come down to earth to preach Non-Sense and that Paul preach truth.

Paul's teachings cannot be isolated from JESUS teachings while he was on earth and also the other apostles. Else there will be misinterpretation of scriptures.

2) Also, the Principle of the Bible is where there are two or three witnesses, All things are established. God will not give a doctrine to paul alone which will be totally different from the other apostles including Jesus.

3) God is a Holy God. The purpose of the Law is to help man realise that he is guilty and that he can't save himself for he fails the law.

And because he is guilty and helpless, he needs to be saved and needs a saviour. The Law turns the eyes of mankind from self to Jesus who saves. The purpose of the Law is not to save but to declare the guilt of man and the need of salvation and a saviour.

But just because the Law is removed as a tool or means of salvation because it is powerless to save does not mean that God is no longer a Holy God nor does His Holy expectation ceases altogether.




4) What is GRACE? Grace is Divine Enablement. God's Effort and Way not man's self-effort. God's ABILITY in man.

Apostle paul struggled to be holy by his self-efforts in Romans 7, by trying to obey the law and he failed. He cried who can save me from this body of death? For my flesh serves SIN or likes to SIN. He said this at the end of Romans 7.

But in beginning of Romans 8(and in continuation), He found the way, he says, THEREFORE there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, who walk according to the SPIRIT. The Law of the SPIRIT of LIFE sets me free from the LAW of SIN and DEATH.

God has given a higher way to be Holy; not by self-efforts through the Law but by GRACE or Divine Enabling. Grace is God helping us; Grace is God imparting to us His ABILITY.

God gives His Grace - He gives man a new nature; make him a new creation. Your human spirit is born again with new nature and is in union with God. ROMANS 6 - The old man or old nature(or sinful nature of your spirit) has been CRUCIFIED (PAST TENSE).

A) ROMANS 6 - POSITIVE - Apostle Paul discovered his new nature and his old man has been CRUCIFIED OR DIED. His spirit man has new nature - POSITIVE.

B) ROMANS 7 - NEGATIVE - Yet his experience is negative because he discovered his flesh is still sinful(Man is not just spirit but soul and body. Our soul and body is not new even though our spirit is born again). Thus he can't depend on his himself or his flesh.

C) ROMANS 8 - POSITIVE - He discovered Grace or another power within him; another Force or the Law of Spirit of Life that always, always help him to overcome as long as he don;t depend on his flesh(which has the law of sin) but depend on God's Grace, God's Higher way, God's way of being Holy.

That's why he says in Romans 8, Walk(practise/experience) according to the Spirit( Grace). Romans 7 is self-effort.

i) Romans 6 - He discovered he was a new man. His old man has died. He was happy.
iii) Romans 7 - He was sad. He could not be holy in his experience. He failed because of self-effort, his own way.
iV) Romans 8 - He discovered God's way, he overcome sin and live victoriously. He was able to live a holy life by God's Higher way and Grace.

5) The Holy Requirement of God never change. God "remove " Law is actually removing self-effort. No man can save himself by his own self-effort of obeying the law. No man can be holy by his own self-effort as seen in Romans 7. But man can be holy as seen in roman 8. And God says be holy as I am holy. How can God demand that believers be holy when they can't?

How can God hate sin and condemned sin and not provide a way for man to overcome sin but instead ask man to be holy by their self-effort?

No, God gives Grace. Grace is not just forgiving sins in man. Grace is divine enabling and ability given to man so that man can live up to God's Word.


a) Saving Grace - Eph 2:5 - given to save man
b) More Grace - james 4:6 - to resist satan's temptation
c) Great Grace - Acts 4:33 - God Ability imparted for evangelism and signs and wonders
d) All Grace - 2 Cor 9:8 - when one is generous in giving to God
e) Exceeding Grace - 2 Cor 9:14
f) Manifold Grace - 1 Pet 4:10

God's gives grace in every area that man obeys the Word. Thus also God gives Grace for man to be holy. We can also grow in levels of grace - John 1:16.

E) I will write again to show you bible scriptures/examples of eternal life lost. Else too long.