Is Believing in God Enough?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

©2016 Stan Hallett

is_faith_enoughOrthodox Christianity says that all you need to do is believe in God to be saved. Many people believe that they are saved because they “accepted Jesus as their personal savior”, or they “accepted Jesus into their heart” or said a “sinner’s prayer”. This is Satan influenced, man-made philosophy. It is a lie, and a trick of Satan, and cannot be found in the Bible, anywhere.

Modern Orthodox (what is commonly accepted) Christianity says that; “you do not need to do anything in order to be saved”.  They reason that Jesus paid the full price on the cross, and thus did all the work for us.

They use Bible verses such as Ephesians 1:8,9 which says; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

We are indeed saved by the Grace of our Lord and Savior. Through faith in Him and His Word we are indeed saved. But, James 2:17 says that “Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead, being alone”.

True faith requires action. People say lots of things, but until they put some action behind it, you never know for sure. A person can say they love you, and that is nice to hear. But if they really love you, they will show it by their actions.

James 2:18-24 says; “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

James says that simply believing is not enough, for “the devils also believe, and tremble.” Not only that, but the book of James says that if you don’t back up your faith with action, that your faith is dead.

James 2:20-24 – “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

So if we get a little deeper into the Word of God, we see besides having faith, that there are some things that we must do, and that we must obey to be saved.  Call them works if you will, but never-the-less they are necessary.

Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:5; “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Already we see that it takes more than simply believing or accepting.

Then in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 we read; “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

The Gospel must be obeyed, whether you call it a work, or simple obedience. You see Jesus is Lord and Savior.  People seem to like the savior part, but they don’t want anyone to be Lord over them.  They are in essence saying; “Save me from the bad stuff, but don’t tell me that I have to do anything.  I just want to continue to do as I please.” I dare say that many “christians” live their life just that way.

So how do we obey the Gospel?  The Apostle Peter gave it on the day of Pentecost which was the beginning of the church in Acts 2:38,39; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Sounds like a work, doesn’t it? You see God requires that we repent of our ways and turn to His ways,  It is a decision we must make, and do in our heart and mind, an about-face if you will.

Acts 3:19 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Acts 17:30 – “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”

Acts 26:20 – “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

Then we must, as Jesus stated in John 3:5, be born of the water.  That is to say that we must be baptized in His name, the name of Jesus, just as the Apostles preached and baptized.

Not by repeating Matthew 28:19, but by obeying it and being baptized in the NAME (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  That NAME is Jesus!

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved  (Acts 4:12).

The Bible says in Romans 6:4,5 – “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”

This must be done in the name of Jesus just as the Apostles did in Acts 8:16, and Acts 10:48, and Acts 19:5. For Colossians 3:17 says; “…whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”.

We then have the promise that He will fill us with His Spirit just as they were filled on the Day of Pentecost at the beginning of the church, even so it is happening yet today in the last days of the church.

Acts 2:39 – “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Don’t believe the lie of the masses that call themselves christians, preachers, and ministers of the gospel. You cannot be saved by simply believing, “accepting Jesus” or saying a “sinners prayer”.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Do not be fooled by the great multitude that follows after them. Matthew 7:13,14 (NKJV) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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You Gottawanna!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

©2015 Stan Hallett

Gottawanna is the secret to all accomplishment, whether it is about quitting some addiction, doing a job, building a business, or having a close walk with God.  If you don’t want to and are only doing it because someone chided you into it, or you are just doing it because you know that it is the right thing to do, chances are that you are going to fail.

Think about it. . . we are walking in the very same flesh that Jesus walked in.  If you are full of Holy Ghost then you have the very same Spirit of God inside of you that Jesus had. Jesus said; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” – John 14:12

So what’s the problem?  Why are we not more like Him?  Why are the vast majority of saints that are baptized in His Name and filled with His Spirit wallowing in the filth of this earth and are spiritually weak?

Gottawanna!  How badly do you want it?  Do we pray daily?  Do we keep our lamps full?  Are we truly walking in the Spirit? Or do we spend our days caught up with the issues of life? Are we listening to the wrong things? Involved in the wrong things, or with the wrong people? Hanging out with the world? Or just watching the television?

Are we easily defeated by obstacles such as fears and trials?  There is an old saying; “If the mountain was smooth, you couldn’t climb it”.  Think about it!  I’m not talking about some little hill.  I’m talking about what the Apostle Paul referred to as a race.  Think of it as a mountain that few men can climb like K2, where 1 in 4 people that have even attempted it have died trying.

The mountain that I am talking about few men are equipped for climbing.  You need rope, climbing boots, a helmet, crampons, carabiners, a harness, etc.. When you receive the Holy Ghost, God equips you for the climb.

As you begin to climb there will be obstacles. There will be rocks and crevices, shrubs and trees, perhaps hindering weather like rain, snow, or sleet during the climb. There will be some slippery places seemingly impossible to climb, but you ARE equipped.

Every trial on the climb can be overcome if you have the desire and faith to overcome it. The Apostle Paul said; “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13. Obstacles once overcome only serve to strengthen us, allowing us help someone else facing the same obstacle climbing up from behind us.

We CAN be like Him!  Do you have the gottawanna?  Do you have it bad enough to pursue Him? Remember He climbed the mountain first! Are you willing to follow Him?  Climbing is the only way you are going to get there.  It’s by leaving the things of this world behind and climb.

James the Apostle said; “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?”.  Actually He used stronger language than that.  He said; “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

If you have not obeyed the Gospel and have repented of your sins, been baptized in the name of Jesus, and have not been filled with His Spirit, then you need to do this to be equipped for the climb (See Acts 2:38, John 3:5).

However, if you have been baptized in His name and have been filled with His Spirit, then you ARE well equipped for the climb.  So what are you waiting for?  What obstacle has stopped you?  What IN THE WORLD is holding you back?

Take on the whole armor of God and let’s climb.  But you Gottawanna more than anything!

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” – Ephesians 6:13-18.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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A Dangerous False Gospel

Friday, March 21st, 2014

© 2014 Stan Hallett

I recently joined a “Christian” social site called CHURCHBUD (I recently learned that the site no longer exists). I did it knowing that most people that call themselves Christians in the world follow what is called “Orthodox Christianity” and believe a false doctrine concerning salvation. There are a few that continually post this false salvation message on the site (sort of preaching to the choir, if all of these folks are Christians). Here is a post that I just saw this morning:

“Do you have the peace of sins forgiven, and a hope beyond the grave? We need to be prepared to meet God before it is too late. Are you ready? If you died today, do you know if you would make it to heaven? The heart of the Gospel Message of salvation is found in the Holy Bible in John 3:16. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. You can become a child of God and inherit eternal life in heaven when you die. Ask Jesus to save you today. Romans 3:23: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then where will those that reject Gods plan of Salvation go to get their wages? The answer: Hell! Psalm 9:17: The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God. Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Matthew 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell. Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Are we saved by good works? The answer: No! Ephesians 2:8,9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. How to be saved: Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. To accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ask Him into your heart and He will save your soul! “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive me of all my sins! I repent of my sins. I believe you died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day for me. I now receive you as my personal Lord and Savior! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!”

The only part of this that is in the Bible is the part that refers to repentance. But that is only part of the gospel message. We don’t accept God as our “personal savior”, He accepts us! True repentance is from our own heart and not repeating some words or phrases. This is a watered-down gospel. If this is all that you did, you would still die in your sins because you have not obeyed the gospel. John 3:16 is often taken out of context. It says that; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It says that IF you believe in Him, then you SHOULD not perish.  In other words IF you believe that He is the Savior and that He is Lord, then you should be obedient to Him as Lord, and not perish but have eternal life.  It takes more than simply believing and accepting.  The gospel must be obeyed (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17).

Note that the majority of scriptures that they use are from the Epistles, which are letters, mostly written by the Apostle Paul to various Churches (people already saved). The Epistles do not tell us how to get saved, or how to obey the Gospel! They tell us how to stay saved once we are. If you want to know how to get saved, what the Gospel is, and how to obey it, you have to go back to the beginning. The beginning of the Church is in the book of Acts, The Acts of the Apostles was the beginning and history of the early Church. This is where people were being told how to be saved and were saved.

Then the writer does not put John 3:16 in quotations or italics, but continues on with: “You can become a child of God and inherit eternal life in heaven when you die. Ask Jesus to save you today.” If one did not take the time to look up the verse for themselves, one might think that was written there as well.

They go on to say: “Are we saved by good works? The answer: No! Ephesians 2:8,9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” This is to say that we don’t have to do anything else but accept the gift.  This varies with all who preach this doctrine. Some say that you should repent, as this person does.  Most say that you at least need to accept and pray some prayer, and they usually tell you what to pray.

Indeed we are not saved by our good works.  These are being a good person, or giving money to causes, or feeding the hungry, etc.  Salvation is a gift of God, and cannot be earned lest any man be able to boast that they earned their salvation because of how good that they were or how many good works that they did.

Obedience to God is not a work, but it is obedience. Unless you obey the gospel you cannot be saved. God is going to take His vengeance on those that do not obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Note that most of their scripture references point to the epistles.  The epistles (Romans to Jude) are letters, mostly written by the Apostle Paul, and were written to various Churches (people that are already saved). If you want to know how to be saved, don’t read letters to people that already are.  You need to go back to the beginning of the Church where Peter stood up and told the people how to be saved (Acts 2:38). Or, go back when Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3-5, that a man must be born again of the water and of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God.

We have a great challenge in front of each of us to know what is truth, and obey that truth. But how can anyone be assured that they are making the right choice?  There are approximately 41,000 denominations just in the professed Christian faith alone.  Each have different doctrines, even concerning how to be saved.  We know why this is.  Satan is the author of confusion and the father of lies. How, without God’s help could any of us make the right choice?  We need to seek Him diligently concerning what is the truth.

Those that go even further and take it upon themselves to be minsters, pastors, evangelists, and do not have the truth themselves, heap a great judgement upon themselves when they come face to face with God, as we all will one day. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Do not make what it is that you believe concerning the gospel a sentimental thing.  Some believe a certain way because it was what their parents believed. Some believe a certain way because they are comfortable with their Church, like the Pastor, like the music, or worship, or people, or programs, etc., etc.. We need to challenge what people tell us, and prove it out in the Word of God.  Pray that God will reveal to you what the truth is, no matter who’s right or wrong, or where the chips fall.  Your eternity and those you witness too, preach to, or lead depends on it.

What is the gospel? Read the answer to the question; “How Can I Be Saved?” It’s not hard to be saved.  Jesus said: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30) But we cannot follow man-made doctrine of how to be saved, we need to do what God says.  It’s in His Word.  Pray that God would illuminate His Word to you.

There is nothing in the Bible that tells you to “accept Jesus as your personal savior”. Nowhere in God’s Word does it say to “say this prayer”, or “accept Him into your heart”, or any other of this man-made nonsense.  We need to obey the Gospel.

Don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’s.  Pray to God to lead you into His marvelous light and reveal the truth to you in His Word.

 “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:1-7)

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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YOU Were Kidnapped at Birth

Friday, January 17th, 2014

©2013 Stan Hallett

key-in-jail-door(It’s your choice to be captive or free.  The only bonds that hold you are in your heart and mind.)

We Were Created by God in His Image

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  (Genesis 2:7)

Kidnapped Children

I got this message right after the three kidnapped girls (Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight) were rescued back in the Spring of 2013.  They were held hostage and abused for 9-11 years. Then I recalled a similar story regarding Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was rescued back in April 2011. Jaycee was held hostage and abused for 18 years. Psychologists say that the women have many long years of intensive therapy and rehabilitation ahead of them, to begin to undo the damage left by the captivity and horrific abuse that they suffered.

Update: There is a more recent but similar story of Kamiyah Mobley who was kidnapped from the hospital at birth by Gloria Williams. She changed the baby’s name to Alexis Kelli Manigo who did not find out that she was kidnapped until she was sixteen years old.  She was finally reunited with her real parents at age eighteen.  Gloria Williams was arrested and the case is pending as of this post update (01/18/17).

Alexis claims that she will always love the woman who was her “mom” for eighteen years.

 Two Fathers?

God is referred to many times in the Bible as our Father, and often by the Lord Himself as He walked among us in the flesh. There were some people that Jesus referred to as Satan being their father . . . 42* Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43* Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44* Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:42-44)

I believe that you and I are the sum total of everything that we have been taught and accepted. Everything that we have taken in through our natural senses. What we hear, what we read and receive, and what we see with our own eyes, along with the things that we can touch and feel. Combine that with your own perceptions and personality and you have the sum total of you.

Young children are very malleable in their young tender years.  That is why King Solomon said Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This is when we as parents need to teach them, not in just word, but in deed. I think that they actually learn more by watching what the parent does than by what they say.

Often parents say one thing, but do another contrary to what they teach the child. I have seen this so often even in families that have regularly attended Church all through the child’s youth. Sometimes we see a child that was raised in that way be rebellious and have little respect for a parents or a particular parent.  Why? Because the parents preach one thing and do another. They didn’t live it.  They didn’t practice what they preached, and their life was a contradiction.

If a child is raised from birth by a stranger, the relationship grows to become what is familiar, and seems natural to them. It is all that they know. The way in which they have been brought up, and the things that they know and endure become “normal” for them. The things that they believe, even though they may be false, become truth to them. Should this same child after many years come into contact with their natural parent, the real parent will seem foreign, unnatural, and false to them.

On October 4, 1987 Carlina White  was snatched from the hospital at just 19 days old. She was back in the hospital due to an infection. She was 23 years old before she finally discovered the truth. What was interesting to me about this story is that she never knew her real parents, they were strangers to her.  At last report she is trying to get to know her real mother (Joy White) with great difficulties. She claims to be willing to forgive her kidnapper (Ann Pettway) who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and plans on maintaining a relationship with her. That is an amazing phenomenon. She was brain washed from infancy. What she believed was a lie, but it became true for her. No bonds, or locked doors were necessary. The three other young ladies were kidnapped in their teens and early adulthood.  They had to be restrained to keep them from escaping because they knew the truth of their situation.

Most people that have ever lived on this earth were raised by those that only understand and believe man-made world views, and satan influenced philosophies. They follow the traditions of men (Mark 7:13) and the doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Make no mistake, Satan has kidnapped the heart and minds of this world, and the world at large has accepted it from birth, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

When we approach those that were kidnapped by Satan with the truth, it seems so foreign to many compared to how they were raised. In fact for most, unless they are at their lowest, most desperate place, they will not believe or receive it.

I was talking with someone the other day who was saying “Why can’t I be blessed?  Why can’t I have some things that I desire like a house, and be able to enjoy life and not be stressed over money?” My response to them was “You are blessed!” I said how many real monetarily wealthy people do you see in our assembly?  How many successful doctors, lawyers, well-to-do business men? How many millionaires? Most of those people have put their trust in their knowledge, or in their abilities and in their wealth. Didn’t Jesus say that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24)?

Most do not come to God until they are at their lowest point, until God is all that they have left.  They are at their wits end financially, physically, emotionally, and God is the only direction left to turn.

Most kidnapped children are severely abused be their abductors. Similarly satan does not love us, he is a liar and a deceiver.  He hates us, and all of God’s creation, and desires to destroy us. If he can keep us in sin, in disbelief of God, in humanism, in witchcraft, in belief in evolution, in man-made philosophy, in hedonism, and focused on the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, then he has succeeded and has won.

He lies and deceives us with promises, and with the pleasures, and the entertainment of this world. His goal is to lure us further and further into sin (disobedience to God), and keep us captive.

Satan would never die for us, yet many die for satan everyday. There are no bars that keep us, no chains that bind us, no locked doors, no physical fetters of any kind.  We are only held captive by our own mind, and what it is that we believe to be true. Our true Father loved us so greatly that He paid the price for our disobedience with His own blood (Acts 20:28), to redeem us to Himself. All we have to do is to repent, turn from following the father of lies, and obey our true Father.  As the prodigal son did (Luke 15:20-24), we just need to go home.

It’s simply our choice. Satan is a great showman, enticing us with all pleasures that this world has to offer. He promises to fulfill our desires for happiness. But everything we enter into leaves us empty, unfulfilled, and searching for something else that will give us peace, and give us joy. If you’ve never heard this before it may sound foreign and strange to you, and there are so many things that you have yet to try.

Surely something will give you joy, peace and fulfillment. Perhaps promises of fame or stardom.  Perhaps positions of power or prestige, surely that will satisfy. Perhaps sex, or you could try some drug that would make you feel good, and make you forget about all of your problems. Perhaps the latest video game, or the latest sitcom will give you some laughs, some joy, some peace? Come on, there is so much to try!  Food, clothes, cars, relationships, careers, pornography, movies, booze, cigarettes, dope, sports, something is going to fulfill that need, right?

There have been hundreds of movie stars, rock stars, and celebrities that have committed suicide.  They are continually in the news. Obviously the success and fame did not do it for them.  38,329 people died of drug overdoses in 2010, and it’s climbing. Was this the peace or joy that the were looking for? About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 4.9 million people die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined. But they keep right on smoking. The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Everything that you know, think, or believe is a culmination of everything that you have read, seen with your eyes, heard with your ears. You have taken that sum total and weighed them in your heart and your mind, and formed your own unique philosophy based on that information and thought.

What you believe in, as much as you believe a thing, becomes true for you. We’ve all had experiences where we have come across those that have some beliefs that we cannot imagine how they could possibly believe such a thing. In fact I think for most of us, it happens so often that logic would dictate that we ourselves probably have areas of belief that are probably in error. In other words we would have to admit that there are most likely things that we believe that are quite possibly, totally wrong.  That’s tough for some of us to admit.

Many of us that were not raised in the Church, and were not raised by Christian parents, were raised by world dominated views. It is the world system that is orchestrated by who the Apostle Paul referred to as the “God of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He has kidnapped and deceived most of mankind, and desires to abuse, violate, torture, and spiritually and emotionally maim each and every one of us.  It is His goal that we perish without God, and therefore suffer the same fate that he is doomed to. Even most of what the world considers to be “Christian” is not true Christianity at all. Most of man-made religion falls short of truth, short of the true Gospel message, and therefore short of salvation.

Even many that have found truth, and have once believed, only to have wandered off enticed by the world, and the lies they still cling to. They say things like; “God knows my weaknesses.” or “Nobody’s perfect.” They may say “God will forgive me for this one little thing”.  “They drank wine in the Bible, what’s wrong with getting a little high?”  “The Bible doesn’t say that smoking is a sin, does it?” “Hey, all the famous preachers get caught doing it.”

It is reported that there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in the world today. It is no secret as to why. . . orchestrated confusion and diversion from truth.

If God did not draw us, did not lead us, and did not guide us, how could anyone have a chance to find truth? The world, including most that consider themselves to be Christians are still deceived by the greatest deceiver of them all. Oh yes!  The Bible says “13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  14* And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15* Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If  you have not repented, have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost, then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are reading this now. That being the case, and after your true Father has paid the ransom for you, after He has brought you to this point to tell you the truth regarding the captivity that you have been in, and after knowing that regardless of the overwhelming deception in the world. . . You by His grace and mercy have found your way here. How could you come this close and not respond with brokenness and joy to have finally, after all these years of lies and captivity, now having come to the knowledge of your true Father, the only one that loves you with a love like none other.  The one that suffered to pay the price for you to be redeemed to Himself, and safely returned to Him.

What a joyful thing to be able to come home and cry “Father forgive me, for I have sinned against you!” and be forgiven and received. He desires to have a personal covenant relationship with you.  He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The Gospel is simple. . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) 15:1* ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

He does not ask us to die on the cross as He did for us. But rather he requires us to die to ourselves through repentance, which means to turn from our ways and follow Him. He does not ask us to be buried in a tomb as He was, but in like figure we are buried with Him in the waters of baptism in His name. Then He promises us that the very same Spirit that raised Him up on the third day would also be given to us with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. …the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39) The choice is yours today.

The only bonds that hold you are in your own mind. Yes, that’s right! The greatest battle known to mankind, having the greatest consequence, is fought on a very small battlefield. ”And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.“  (Luke 2:4,5). God formed us and breathed the breath of life into us.  He created us to have fellowship with him, to be His children. But God did not create us as robots or slaves.  He gave us free will, free choice. It’s your choice to be captive or free.  The bonds that hold you are only in your heart and mind.

We Are His Children

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God(Romans 8:14) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1) I beseech you, I beg you, If you are here, and you have not repented, or you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are here now, regardless of the circumstances that caused you to be here at this moment. If you need help in finding the right Church, then please contact me.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Salvation: The Bottom Line

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

©2012 Stan Hallett

There are some of us that just want to get to the point without having to read a book to find out what some refer to as the “bottom line”.

“What do I have to do to be saved?” A direct and simple question. The direct and simple answer is that you need to first believe that Jesus was and is the Christ, and that He was God manifested in the flesh, and is indeed the Savior. For Jesus said; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.– (John 8:24)

Then you simply need to obey the Gospel;

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” – (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8)

The plain Gospel is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1* ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4* And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The Gospel or “Good News” is the Jesus died, was buried and rose again. So the obvious question is: “How do we obey what only appears to be an historical event?”

Peter told us how in Acts 2:38 where he said to:

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift (Luke 11:13) of the Holy Ghost.”

God did not ask us to be crucified as He was and die as He did.  He asks us to die to ourselves through repentance.  He does not ask us to be buried in a tomb as He was, but rather be buried with Him in the waters of baptism for the remission of sins. Then He promises that same Spirit that rose Jesus up on the third day would be given to us in the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Repentance = Death  (A simple and sincere turning away from sin).

Baptism = Burial  (by immersion and in the name of Jesus. – Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 19:50).

Holy Ghost = Resurrection  (with the evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance – Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6).

This is the only way that you can be saved. “Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior ” or saying a “sinners prayer”, or “joining a Church” is no where to be found in God’s Word.

Jesus said; Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God – (John 3:3). Then He clarified; Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God – (John 3:5).

This is what is referred to at the New Birth. When we repent and are baptized by immersion in water in the Name of Jesus our sins are remitted or washed away (Acts 2:38). Therefore when we come up out of the water it is like a new birth in the flesh in the sense that we are now sinless, and truly have a new beginning or birth.

A baptism reciting Matthew 28:19 (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is not valid.  Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are titles, and not names. The Apostles knew what the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was and they obeyed it. They baptized only in the name of Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 says “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”.  This includes baptism!

Then when God fills us with His Spirit which is evidenced by a heavenly language that flows from out lips as the Holy Ghost gives the utterance or ability (Acts 2:4), we then then being born of the Spirit as well. We then become a child of God, our name in written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15).  Now that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, resides in us, which will raise our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11) when Jesus returns for His Church.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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There Is More To Being Saved Than Easy Believism

Monday, January 21st, 2013

©1995 Stan Hallett

How Can I Be Saved?YOU CANNOT AFFORD to make a mistake about Salvation. Your soul is too valuable, the lake of fire is too final, and eternity is too long to be wrong.

Satan’s master plan includes tricking people into believing that they are saved when in reality they are still lost. His plan is sly, crafty and deceptive. His timing is just perfect. The name of his counterfeit is called EASY BELIEVISM. Approximately ninety five percent of all Protestant churches now accept it, and most evangelical tract companies print it as being gospel truth. It has swept upon our land at a time when the cry of the masses is, “We like it easy and comfortable”. A person can become a millionaire overnight by inventing a gadget that will make a hard job easy, or an easy job easier. You can see this principle revealed in the success of perma-press clothes, micro-wave ovens, electric door openers, automatic dishwashers, and electric knives. Everyone is crying, “Make it easy brother”.

Satan knows the Word of God better than you or I. He uses the scriptures that add reverence and credibility to his counterfeit doctrine, and at the same time he twists the truth, and changes the words to produce a subtle half-truth which is more dangerous than an outright lie. Only the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH will save a man or woman from sin.

Is a person saved by simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior? Many churches now teach that a person is ready to meet the Lord in the second coming simply because they raised their hand and recited a prayer; “I accept you Jesus as my personal Savior”. This plan is simple, easy, soothing, mild, and effortless, but OH . . . So FALSE! Ministers will be judged by God on the grounds of criminal negligence who allow their church members to continue in their sinful habits, and at the same time believe they are gloriously saved. Saved from W H A T???

There is more to being saved than EASY BELIEVISM -please notice Acts 16:31 very closely. And they said “. . . thou shalt be (future tense) saved. . .” The Apostle Paul used the future tense, shalt be, which places the act or event in the future. Notice, he did not say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou art saved”, like so many do today. It takes more to being saved than saying “I believe”. James 2:14 teaches that faith alone can not save. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and have not works? Can Faith Save Him?” James 2:20 declares, “Faith without works is dead.” You do not have faith if you do not have works. Faith without works is dead. It can not save you if it is alone. Works are proof of faith. If works prove faith, then the absence of works prove unbelief. Yes, faith is necessary to be saved, but it takes more than just faith.

Was Simon the Sorcerer saved in Acts 8:13 by easy believism? we quote “then Simon himself believed also. . .” the answer to this question is “NO” Simon was not saved by only believing. We know this to be a fact from Apostle Peter’s stinging rebuke in Acts 8:20-21. Listen to what he said, “. . . but Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee, because thou has thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou has neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God“. He believed but was still unsaved.

Even Simon Peter himself believed and made a confession of faith in Matthew 16:16 “And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Was Peter saved according to the New Testament plan of salvation by his confession of faith? The Bible teaches he was not. In Luke 22:32 Jesus revealed Peter’s spiritual condition by saying, “. . . when thou art converted (future tense) strengthen thy brethren.” Mark 14:71 lets us know Peter was still in an unconverted condition of lying and cursing. Revelation 21:8 teaches us that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.

What about the thief on the cross? “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43). How was the thief saved without obeying the New Birth Plan of Salvation? The answer is, the thief actually lived in the Old Testament dispensation and did not have access to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as we know it today. This is made clear in John 7:39, “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” The Baptism of the Holy Ghost or the New Testament inheritance could not be given until the testator died. Hebrews 9:16-17. The thief was not saved according to the New Testament Plan of Salvation which is found in Acts 2:38.

What about Romans 10:9? “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Again please notice that the Apostle uses the future tense. shalt be, placing salvation in the future. The Apostle Paul realized that no man can truly confess Christ without the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3 teaches, “No man can say Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Besides all of this, he is not addressing sinners, but a church of saved individuals. We know this because he addressed them as brethren in 1 Corinthians 12:1.

Were the disciples saved under the New Testament Plan of Salvation in John 6:66-69 when they made their confession of faith? Let us read, “We believe and are sure, that thou art that Christ. . .” Easy Believism must answer “yes, they were saved here.” Let us, however, notice what Jesus said to these same disciples in Matthew 18:1-3. At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus. . . and Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye (Disciples) be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” If the disciples could not be saved by Easy Believism, then neither can you or I.

Are the Devils saved? Easy Believism must answer in the affirmative. Why? Because James 2:19 teaches “The devils also believe. . .” Let us now examine the scripture to see if devils will be saved. Revelation 20:10 says, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire. . .” Also notice 2 Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.” NO! Devils are not saved by only believing.

Acts 10:1-6 records that Cornelius, the centurion, was a very religious and devout man; who feared God, gave much alms and prayed to God always. Was he saved by doing all of this? After doing all of this the angel spoke and told him to send for Peter in Acts 11:14 “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” In Acts 26:27-29 we read that King Agrippa believed. “I know that thou believest. . .” King Agrippa still remained unsaved however.

How to Become a Christian

What is the New Testament Plan Of Salvation? Only Belief? Accept Christ? Join a Church? Pay dues every week? NO! Acts 2:38 is where the true plan is found. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, and the experience of the Holy Ghost were the keys to the kingdom spoken about in Matthew 16:19. They are the fulfillment of the birth of the WATER and of the SPIRIT in John 3:5, and the resurrection power of the church as recorded in Romans 8:11. As there was a death, burial and resurrection in the life of Jesus; so repentance is our death to sin, Baptism in Jesus name is our burial, and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is our resurrection (To walk in newness of life). The church at Jerusalem believed this plan in Acts 2:38. The Church at Samaria believed in Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, and receiving of the Holy Ghost in Acts 8:12,16,22. The church at Caesarea also affirmed this truth in Acts 10:44-48. The church at Ephesus obeyed Paul’s preaching and were baptized in Jesus Name and received the Holy Ghost, Acts 19:5-6. As you can see, believing in Jesus is necessary, but after they believed, these people in the book of Acts went on to REPENT; be BAPTIZED in JESUS NAME, and received the HOLY GHOST (Which comes with the evidence of SPEAKING IN TONGUES as the SPIRIT gives the utterance – (Acts 2:4).

Many today will say that you cannot be saved by works, therefore you are not saved by being baptized in water or being baptized in the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. I submit that they are SO WRONG. Baptism is something that is done to you. All that you have to do is to receive it. The same is true with receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the speaking in tongues. It is a gift! It is done to you. All you must do is receive. Are you doing a work if someone gives you a gift? Absolutely not! If this is a work then the very act of accepting Jesus as your Savior or the repenting of your sins could also then be considered works.

I would also tell you that there are many good men, charismatic men, even Godly men preaching the gospel. Many are led by the Spirit of God, but not filled with the Spirit of God, rejecting the whole of God’s truth because of self study, or theological or denominational beliefs. The most dangerous lie there is one that is wrapped in so much truth that you can’t see the lie that will send you to hell. First, pray that God will reveal the truth to you regarding his plan for salvation. Then, study God’s word for yourself. It’s there in black and white. Not a mystery, yet there is none so blind as them that will not see.

You can disagree on many things in the bible, much of which we’ll know by and by. But there can be no mistake in the plan of salvation. To be saved you must first believe, then repent (turn away from) of your sins, be baptized by submersion in water in the name of Jesus, and be baptized in the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the speaking in other tongues.

ETERNITY IS TOO LONG TO BE WRONG!!

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Why We Must Be Baptized in the NAME of the FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST

Monday, January 21st, 2013

© 2013 Stan Hallett

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father , and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

baptismThe Bible commands and teaches the necessity of water baptism for the New Testament Church (John 3:3, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20,21), so it is our responsibility to obey this commandment. One day each of us will account for our lives. Since we have God’s Word, ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse on that day.

The Necessity of Water Baptism

Is water baptism a necessary part of the salvation experience of the New Testament? People have various ideas about water baptism that we cannot always trust. We need to depend upon the Word of God as our source of instruction.

Jesus gave us some insight as to the importance of water baptism in John 3:5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” Both the context of that statement and the subsequent practice of the New Testament church indicate that He was speaking of water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

If in Matthew 28:19, Jesus gave the apostles and us a direct command to go, teach, and baptize converts. Then since He gave this command, baptism is important and necessary.

The Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

If Jesus instructed us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. In other words, He told us to baptize in the name (singular) that fully reveals God in His redemptive manifestation and work.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost are titles and not names. I am a father and I am also a son and I also have a spirit. All that refers to who I am, but none of that is my name. What is the name?

The name given to the Son of God was Jesus. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus was a genuine human being, born by the miraculous work of God’s Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and thus He was literally the Son of God (Luke 1:35). He was more than a man however, He was actually the one God manifested in the flesh (Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:17). He was the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

As such Jesus declared, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). In other words, the Father is made known to us by the name of Jesus. The Father, the one true invisible God, gave His name to the Son (the manifestation of God in flesh), thus the Son received His name by inheritance (Hebrews 1:4).

The name Jesus literally means “Jehovah Savior.” Jehovah was the unique name by which the one true God identified Himself to Israel in the Old Testament. The name Jesus describes the one God of the Old Testament coming in flesh to be our Savior. Thus the name of Jesus reveals both the Father and the Son.

What about the Holy Ghost? What name reveals God in His spiritual essence and action? Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). In other words, the Holy Spirit comes to us in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit does not come to us with a separate identity but is the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus Himself comes to dwell within us Spiritually (John 14:16-18; Colossians 1:27).

In short, the supreme name that reveals God, the name by which we know the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is Jesus. By invoking the name of Jesus, then, we would fulfill the command of Matthew 28:19.

The Importance of the Name of Jesus

Many passages of scripture emphasize the importance and supremacy of the name of Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”  (Luke 24:47).

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:4).

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of the things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” (Colossians 3:17). If we are to do all things in the Name of Jesus, why would baptism be in any other way?

The Practice of the Early Church

How did the apostles obey the command that Jesus gave to them in Matthew 28:19? On the Day of Pentecost, sinners asked the question, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The apostle Peter gave them the answer: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). This verse reveals that the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and that baptism is for the remission of sins.

When Saul (later known as Paul) repented, Ananias instructed him, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”.

What is the name of the Lord?

Just a few days earlier, Paul had asked the same question: “Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5). Paul later wrote, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

Jesus revealed Himself to Paul as the Lord (Acts 9:3-8). Paul knew about the Lord God of the Old Testament, but at that time he did not serve the Jesus of the New Testament. But he learned that the Lord of the Old Testament was the same Lord of the New Testament, and to his amazement this one Lord was Jesus.

The Bible clearly indicates that there is but one Lord, and not only one Lord, but one faith, and not only one faith but one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). When Philip preached the gospel in Samaria, those who believed “were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16).

When a group of Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, Peter asked, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:47-48). As we have just seen, the name of the Lord is Jesus. Moreover, as translations such as the Amplified Bible and the New International Version (Acts 10:47-48 NIV) indicate, the oldest Greek manuscripts we now have actually state here, “in the name of Jesus Christ”.

Paul re-baptized the disciples of John at Ephesus in the name of Jesus. “He said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:3-5).

The Command of Matthew 28:19

Clearly the early church baptized everyone (Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles) in the name of Jesus. How does this practice harmonize with Matthew 28:19? First, Matthew 28:19 says “in the name” (singular) not “in the names” or “in the titles or offices of God.” The name that Matthew 28:19 describes is Jesus. So the apostles correctly understood and baptized converts in the name of Jesus.

The Bible does not tell us that we have life through the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but it tells us we have life through the name of Jesus. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:31).

The Bible does not say that we are baptized into three different persons, but it says we are “baptized into Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:3-4). Specifically, we are “buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

Conclusion

As it is written in the King James version, shortly before His ascension Jesus gave the baptismal command found in Matthew 28:19 to the apostles. According to Luke 24:45, He also opened their understanding. A few days after His ascension He baptized 120 waiting disciples with His Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. On this occasion the apostles proclaimed to the multitude that everyone should be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38).

The apostles understood that Jesus was the redemptive name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. They did not merely repeat those three titles (as many denominations do today), but rather they invoked the name to which those titles referred. The other preachers in the New Testament Church, such as Philip, Ananias, and Paul, adhered to the same baptismal formula.

There are no contradictions in the Word of God as it was inspired by God and written by the apostles and patriarchs. The New Testament teaches that we must be baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, and that name is Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 says “…whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”. If we are directed to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, why would we baptize in any other way?

Then consider this; in John 14:6 Jesus was speaking of the Father, so in John 14:8 Phillip said to Jesus; “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” To which Jesus replied in John 14:9; “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

It is easy to understand if in fact you have the revelation that God is one, and not three. Who Jesus is and was is a revelation from God. “There is one Lord and His Name One” (Ephesians 4:5)!

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Life’s Greatest Question

Friday, November 16th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

antGod’s creation is so amazing to me. My wife and I are not into watching many videos, but one thing that we do enjoy from time to time is a nature video all about God’s marvelous creation. We are still discovering new things about it everyday, and even discovering life forms that have never been recorded in history.

How could anyone be a scientist working in these various fields of science and not come to a belief that these are the result of divine creation and have not just somehow evolved?

Some scientists believe that this all evolved from some great explosion that took place millions, or billions of years ago.  Have you ever seen something created by an explosion? Has an explosion ever been known to create anything other than destruction? How could things like the human eye have ever evolved?  If this is random and just left to chance why are my limbs equal and why don’t I have an arm sticking out of my back?  Why does virtually all forms of life have amazing semmetry and similarity, two eyes, two antenna, two ears, to arms, two wings, two fins, all balanced.  Why is all life so unique and complete, and not in a state of evolving into something better, but perfect with great purpose and form?

If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?  Were they just the slow kids?  Why do we not see any real provable signs of continued evolution in man’s recorded history?  Because it’s a lie!

Did you know that we are the only living thing that God did not just speak into existence?  Read it for yourself.  He spoke every single thing and creature into existence, except man (Genesis 1:1-24).

But the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).

That’s why when we die our natural body goes back to the ground (Genesis 3:19), but our soul lives forever.  It’s just a question of where. This life is but a vapor, then what?  Where will you spend eternity?  You have a choice, free will, and free volition that God will not violate, and satan cannot violate. It’s up to you!

God had a plan and loved us before He formed us, or this world.  He had a plan for us before man ever fell into sin.  He knew that He would one day come, suffer and die to redeem us to himself before Adam or Eve had their first thought. It is amazing for us to even try to comprehend it.  What love!  How could we not respond in kind?  How could we remain all caught up in out own little world, our pride, our little pleasures, and not obey His voice regardless of the cost?

Because of sin man is separated from God. But because of His love for us He made a way for us to come back into a relationship with Him. We call it salvation, the act of being saved from His righteous judgement.

Do you want to know how to be saved?  All you have to do enter into His covenant.  To do that you simply do what the covenant requires and obey the gospel. We simply obey God and enter into what is a beautiful covenant relationship with Him.  But it’s not the lie of today’s “Orthodox Christianity”. Theirs is diluted, and watered down and of no effect, a “Placebo Christianity“.

It’s not a difficult requirement, or any great burden.  On the contrary, Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29,30)

But the Gospel is something that must be obeyed, not just accepted.  We don’t accept Him, He accepts us!

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8* In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8)

So the question is; What is the gospel?

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

“1* Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4* And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.

That’s the gospel!  But you may say; “Wait, that’s just a historical event!  How do I obey a historical event?”  I’m so glad you asked.

This is tied right in the message that Peter preached in the book of Acts.  When asked what they should do, Peter said to them: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

God does not ask us to die on the cross as He did for us, but rather that He die to ourselves through repentance.  That simply means turn from our will to His will.  God does not ask that we be buried as He was, but in like figure we are buried with Him in the waters of baptism in His name.

Baptism has a purpose, as Peter proclaimed in Acts 2:38.  It is for the remission of sins, without which our sins cannot be remitted.

Jesus said “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

The true gospel is not “accepting Jesus as our personal savior”. That cannot be found in the Bible anywhere.  It’s not just saying a prayer. We must obey God’s plan of salvation and not man’s philosophy. If we do, then He promises to fill us with His Spirit with a great and wonderful evidence.

God robed Himself in the flesh of a man (John 1:1, 1:14) and He called that flesh His son containing the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit). Now God has sent that same Spirit to us, to not just dwell with us, but within us.  We (the Church) are now His body (Ephesians 5:30, Colossians 1:24).

No three Gods, and no three persons in the Godhead. The Bible is clear that there is but one LORD, and His name one (Zechariah 14:9, Deuteronomy 6:4, John 14:7-9).

There is only one God, one faith, one gospel, one plan of salvation, and one Church, the one that Jesus is building (Matthew 16:18).  Not Joseph Smith, not L.Ron Hubbard, not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Benny Hinn, or anyone else.  The Church is not the Baptists, The Methodists, the Mormons, the Catholics, the Pentecostals or any other man-made organization.  It knows no denominational lines (John 10:27).

Repentance is not asking for forgiveness, although when you repent it should be due to a Godly sorrow for your sin.  Repentance simply means an about-face, a change of mind and of heart, and turning from your way to God’s way.

Baptism comes from the latin word Baptizo which means to be completely submersed. It is done exactly the same way today that the apostles and the early Church did it in the book of Acts, in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:5).

Then God promises that you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Luke 3:16, Luke 11:13, Acts 2:38).

So where should you go to Church? We need to be connected to a body of believers which is the Church, that have obeyed the gospel as I have preached here. If you live in Southern Maine the answer would be easy for me. Anywhere else you will need to seek out what is known to be a Church that is “Apostolic” meaning that they teach the same message and doctrine as the apostles did in the book of Acts.

They should also be “Pentecostal” which means that they still preach and have received the same experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost as they were on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Placebo Christianity

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

Placebo:   A placebo (pləˈsiboʊ/ plə-see-boh; Latin placēbō, “I shall please” from placeō, “I please”) is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the “placebo effect.

In medical research, placebos are given as control treatments and depend on the use of measured deception. Common placebos include inert tablets, sham surgery, and other procedures based on false information. However, placebos can also have a surprisingly positive effect on a patient who knows that the given treatment is without any active drug, as compared with a control group who knowingly did not get a placebo.

In one common placebo procedure, however, a patient is given an inert pill, told that it may improve his/her condition, but not told that it is in fact inert. Such an intervention may cause the patient to believe the treatment will change his/her condition; and this belief may produce a subjective perception of a therapeutic effect, causing the patient to feel their condition has improved — or an actual improvement in their condition. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect.

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Jesus asked Simon Peter “Who do ye say that I am?” Peter said; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus said; “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:15-19).

There are three Biblical truths that I want to point out in that portion of scripture:

(1.) Who Jesus is, is a revelation from God. Most of the religious, and even proclaimed “Christians” do not fully understand who Jesus is.

(2.) The name Peter is derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning “stone”. This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning “stone” in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus. But when Jesus said; “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church“, He wasn’t saying that He was going to build his church on Peter, or even beginning with Peter as a foundation, but rather on the verse before, which is the revelation of who Jesus is. That is the foundation on what Jesus built His Church on.

(3.) That it was Jesus that built His Church, not Simon Peter, not the Christians, not the Jews, not the Mormons, not the Catholics, not the Pentecostals, or Apostolics, not the Baptists, nor anyone else but Jesus. There is but one Church.

(4.) That the keys that Jesus told Peter that he would give to him were not physical keys, sorry Catholics. St. Peter is not the physical keeper at heavens gate with a big key ring. The Keys that Jesus gave to Peter were spiritual keys that Peter then shared with us in Acts 2:38 where he said; “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Death, Burial, and Resurrection, those are the keys to heaven, and that is the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

God has given us free volition, and free will to choose and live as we please. Without God’s allowance, satan also cannot violate our free volition and free will.

There is a great spiritual battle going on, from the time that God created man, right up  until this very moment. It is a battle waged in the hearts and minds of men.

Satan uses trickery, lures, traps, and deceit, which are seemingly endless. For the most part he has most of the world convinced that either there is no God or they have a very warped, worldly conception of God. However, just in case they use that free will and try find God, he throws in great confusion.

Primary Religions of the World

1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
2. Islam: 1.5 billion
3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
4. Hinduism: 900 million
5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
6.Buddhism: 376 million
7. primal-indigenous: 300 million
8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
9. Sikhism: 23 million
10. Juche: 19 million
11. Spiritism: 15 million
12. Judaism: 14 million
13. Baha’i: 7 million
14. Jainism: 4.2 million
15. Shinto: 4 million
16. Cao Dai: 4 million
17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
22. Scientology: 500 thousand

Just in “Christianity” alone there are now reported to be approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in world, many of which cannot be verified to be significant. Talk about confusion!

Let me ask you a question. . . without direction, or revelation from God, how would anyone know what is truth, or find the true Church? Remember there is only one true Church, the one that Jesus is building.

But that is just what so many in the world try to do! The paths are as varied as there are people in the world. Some choose a religion or denomination based on a family members, a friend, a neighbor. Many simply try to find what seems right to them. Many go from religion to religion, denomination to denomination, assembly to assembly, looking for something that they can accept, and that feels right to them. A place where they can be happy or satisfied, and feel good about.

This is why 2 Timothy 4:3 says “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. 4* And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Many folks were born into whatever religion or denomination that their parents were a part of. They were born a Baptist, or a Catholic, or whatever, and they are going to die a Baptist, or a Catholic, or whatever.

It’s an psychological and emotional attachment for most. Many will stay with the Church that they got “saved” in, or won over to because of this. They have a psychological loyalty to their philosophy and their Placebo Christianity.

Colossians 2:6-9

6* As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  7* Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8* Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  9* For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Many in false religions and false Christianity have been spoiled through philosophy and deceit. They either will not get into a discussion with you regarding it due to instructions they have received, or they know that they lack the ability to adequately defend what it is they believe. Some will argue and debate with you to justify or prove out what it is they believe, never able to see truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

2 Timothy 3:1-9

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. 9* But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

Looking for LoveThe Bible says that God is Love (1 John 4:7-8). God is not to Love as apple pie is to good.  God is to love as apple pie is to apple pie. . . God IS Love!  I can tell you that apple pie is good, but you will never know for yourself until you get some apple pie inside of you.  Likewise you will never know just how good God is until He dwells inside of you (Acts 2:4).

Further, you cannot really know what love is until you are filled with His Spirit (Romans 5:5). Without Him we are only capable of loving within the limits of our flesh.  Many of us have a certain amount of love for our children, our siblings, our parents and perhaps our spouses.  All too often this love is conditional.  As long as they are kind and loving toward us we often can love them back.

The law was our schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24-25). What we could not achieve in our flesh under the law, now through His Spirit the dwells with us and in us, we can be obey the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:33).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

But the greatest of these is LOVE  (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles (Matthew 7:16)?

Henry David Thoreau  (1817-1862) said that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation“. He made a keen observation, but did not truly realize the full truth of it.  Most of mankind spends their entire lifetime searching for love, never truly finding it. Many, if not most never realize that love of God is indeed what they seek.

There is a country song that come out around 1980 with the main lyric of “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places”.  We spend our entire lives looking for God and being deceived that what we are looking for is everywhere else but in God.

Many marry thinking they found love, never truly know what love is.  We marry for all the wrong reasons.  When we marry because of the lust, the attraction fades with the flower of what originally attracted us. All too often that marriage ends in divorce.

We live in a “me” generation which says; “as long as I get what I want”. Remember God is love.  A Godless marriage is a loveless marriage.

Do you want a blessed marriage where you are truly loved, and can be truly happy? It’s probably not that cute guy with the hot car, and great job.  It’s probably not the gorgeous, sexy looking “chick”.  No, the recipe for a wonderful loving, blessed marriage is the one that begins with YOU being in a right relationship with GOD, having obeyed the gospel and walking in a close relationship with God, full of the Holy Ghost.

What you want for a mate is exactly the same things.  Let me say right here with all sincerity that what will be most attractive to a Godly man is a Godly women, and what is most attractive to a Godly woman is a Godly man.

If you use a fly you’ll catch a trout or a bass.  If you use cut bait (flesh) you’ll catch a shark. If a young lady uses bait such as provocative dress, appearance or actions to lure a man into a relationship, she may not be happy with the catch.

Let me say something here to the young singles. Do not strive over being married or finding the right husband or the right wife.  God knows the desires of your heart and your needs even before you ask of Him.

However, this also does not mean that we should hide ourselves away, all the while praying that God send us a mate.  We need to pray that God will direct our paths, and then step out in faith seeking environments where God can work to bring us that equally yoked mate. The Church and similar environments is a good start.

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength (Mark 12:30) and when it is in God’s timing the man or woman God has for you will be standing before you.

Be patient and wait on God.  The Word of God is full of examples of the grief that we can bring on ourselves when we become impatient and take matters into our own hands.  When it is God’s choice and His time, you will know.

Love is the greatest test whereby we can know if we are full of the Holy Ghost and in a right standing before God.  Do you love your neighbor as yourself?  Or, do you mutter under your breath when someone cuts you off in traffic?  Are you at odds with ANY brother or sister? Love is the greatest test of our right standing with God.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen (1 John 4:20)?

The only way that you can be filled with Love is to be filled with God.  The only way to be filled with God is to be full of the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God manifested to man.  The only way that you can be filled with the Holy Ghost is to first, obey the gospel (Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), then continue to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4). This means to be continually full of the Holy Ghost.  That means to be in continual relationship and communication with God (see No Oil. No Light).

There are some television shows that have been around for the last few years called things like ‘American Idol’ and the ‘X Factor’. Every once in a while someone will have an audition that has great singing talent. Often even during their debut performance the large crowd will stand to their feet and applaud, sway, shout, all showing their acceptance and appreciation, including the judges.

If the contestant had great talent there will be an uproar of applause and shouting at the conclusion of the performance. This almost always brings even many male contestants to tears, unable to contain themselves. Why? Because of the great affection, appreciation and acceptance being bestowed upon them. It gave them great joy, albeit short-lived. This is why many seek fame in the first place. They really are seeking love and acceptance. However, should they lose their talent, their beauty, or whatever it was, they would just as quickly lose the acceptance, the appreciation, and the perceived love.

Everyone is seeking the satisfaction and the joy that can only come from the Love of God, and they do not realize it. They look for satisfaction, they look to be fulfilled, they look for acceptance in virtually every place, and everything but God. Most never turn to God until God is all that they have left, if even then.

Many look for satisfaction and fulfillment in relationships, in success, in obtaining wealth, in drugs, in alcohol, in power, in sex, in material things like houses, cars, and the list goes on. Most people who by the world’s standards have achieved great success, wealth, fame, still are never satisfied and often turn to drugs and all too often eventually suicide.

Even born-again, Christians often struggle with these things. Many are all too easily get caught up with success, entertainment, and the things of this world. They lose their way, all the while having the Holy Ghost within them and the power to overcome, and still lose out with God. How sad.

I’m not talking about just going to Church, praying when you think of it, reading the Bible from time to time, and trying to act like a Christian. I’m talking about being in a one-on-one, intimate, covenant relationship with God. What about you?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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