Against the Lord, There is No Defense.

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.
– Obadiah 1:3-4

By Agur Israel Thomas
20 August, 2020

You don’t have to be in the military to know this, but in case you do not, ask anyone in the infantry, what is the most ideal topography to defend, and they’ll all say that it is the mountains.

The reason for that answer is because of height, slope, and size. Height gives an all-around view of the battlefield: no one can approach without being seen. Slope negates speed and impact of the attack as no matter how fast and powerful the force, they’re also fighting against gravity. Finally, the size of the mountain will surely tire even the strongest of men. There is an added advantage to mountains more relevant today, and that is cover and concealment.

The sheer ruggedness of the Afghan mountains offered the Mujihadeen and the Taliban greater protection and enabled them to hide and move almost unseen because the face of the mountains are covered with boulders and clefts. Soviet in the 1980’s and Americans and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) struggled against them because it is all but impossible to see, find, and kill them. Often caught in an ambush, they often resorted to calling artillary and airstrikes to surpress until the attackers withdraw.

And all this Edom enjoyed. Their sense of security is something we also feel in the United States as the oceans separates us from the rest of the world, our land is almost as large as China, and our neighbors are nowhere near as powerful as we are. But a state, no matter how powerful or secure, is not always destroyed by outside forces as it can be destroyed inwardly. And God, who have created all can eliminate all key factors of that country’s source of safety, strength, and prosperity.

In the case for Edom, though they’ve dwelled in the mountains will not gaurantee them victory or survival, and histroy bore that out with the Babylonian invasion led by Nebuchadnzzar, followed by Persia. God promised judgment and He delivered.

For us today, as Americans, it is easy for us to feel invulnerable just like the Edomites for the aforementioned reasons. but the destruction of the state doesn’t always come from outside of our borders. The finest example of this is Rome.

ID 2904101 © David Solodar | Dreamstime.com https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/jordanian-valley-4-2904101.jpg

Once Lost, Now Found.

 1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
– Psalm 7

Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
– Psalm 85

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
– Psalm 130

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
– Romans 5

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
– 1 Peter 3

10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other
– Psalm 85

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
– Romans 8

What price He paid, what gift He had given; to unite God with us and us with God.
We were worthless dust, enemies of God, and nothing of or in us redeeming
But God in His infinite grace chose us anyways; to be His treasure and His children.
So not we can reflect His glory in not just in terms of creative might and intellect, but to display His love and mercy.

Our Refuge & Strength.

 1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
– Psalms 84, 55, & 84

What better refuge for our weary souls than to dwell with the Lord in seclusion, in prayer, in thought, and in reading? Whatever burden or circumstance(s) we’re in, He is our comfort, our strength, and our hope.

Devotional: Lasting Reputation (Part 2-2).

Back to Enoch and Abraham, while the two did not gain fame for their work, deed, or skill, they did have fame nevertheless as being among the greatest heroes of the faith. Enoch was known for being one of the only ones in the genealogical list to being one of God’s person other than Abel, and Abram is blessed by all.

Seeking Fame?

While outside the church you will face unpopularity, within the church it may be different. Who wouldn’t want to be known as a the luminaries of the church, God’s man or woman, that said, not everyone of faith would even make it to fame in church, let alone, within Christianity. The questions you must ask yourself is:

  1. Would you like to be known for your heroics/occupation/status, or your faith?
  2. If you choose the latter then are you content with anonymity?
  3. But if you’re not OK with anonymity but desired spiritual fame then is it for the glory of God for your own?

If you want fame then heed this caution of mine; you may not be good for it.

God called men to be in the public eye not because they’ve earned it, but because they are to be leaders. And to be a leader is to live in such a way that no one can fault them. They become targets, and even if they’ve done no wrong will others slander; to reduce one to ignominy because they hate the truth. Paul had to defend himself because there were those who’ve claimed he was a false apostle (1 Corinthians 9:1-2), a con-artist (2 Corinthians 11:7-9), and more. Paul had to live in such a way that he is blameless (which might have included taking jobs rather than living as a full-time preacher) (Acts 18:1-4).

Are you ready for the same treatment, and are you ready to make the same sacrifices?

Now, it not easy. Some of us are of little note in church, ignored like a janitor in school while others have that same treatment within our own families; not many of us go to school reunions for that reason. But if our focus is only for God’s glory, then we’ve reached the level of spiritual maturity in Christ (but by no means the only sign):

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
– John 3:30

Devotional: Lasting Reputation (Part 1-2).

Readings: Psalms 83 & Genesis 12-14

Of Note or of Nought?

If you’re like me, the image or thing I’d love to be known for is some of importance; a person everyone would look up to as one of the heroes of the state, or one belonging to a prestigious institution. I do not want to be world famous, or to be remembered throughout history, but I do want to say “Yes, I have done important work which made the difference”.

In the proceeding chapters, there were many men mentioned in the genealogical records, but only few were notable. Some, like Nimrod, were mentioned because they were pioneers or originators of what we now took for granted. For example, in Genesis 4:22, Tubal-Cain (pre- Noetic flood) in the line of Cain was the “instructor” of Brass and Iron (I take it to mean that he discovered how to make them); others were notable for their mighty deeds. Nimrod, in the line of Ham (post-Noetic Flood), was a “Mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:8-9). However, Enoch and Abram were different.

The Men of Faith

The preceding men were known either for their skills and talents, but Enoch and Abram were not known for either one. Instead, they were renowned for their walk with the LORD. In the world where skill and talent and usefulness matters, these men were not known for any of it but one thing: their walk with God:

21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
– Genesis 5

And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
– Genesis 12

Worldly Fame or Spiritual Acclaim?

Enoch walked with God, and Abram called on the name of the LORD; Enoch was the first to be notable for his relationship with God and Abram was the first to call on the name of the LORD. The latter in particular would go on to be the father of faith in which through him came the nation of Israel.

These are the men the world would look down on. Just as “Nerds” are frowned upon for their lack of physical prowess, personality, or beauty, so also are those whose only reputation are in reading the scriptures, praying, and going to “church”.

At best they will ignore you, but at worst you will be thought of as a religious fanatic and a self-righteous Pharisee. You will be picked on for not engaging in the activities they do, or jeered because you spoke out against their actions. You will be the “Odd Man Out”, and depending on your circumstance, be treated harshly as Chad Williams had been (See: SEAL of God: p. 209-217).

In The End…

… What matters more? Fame in the eyes of the world (1 John 2:15-16), or anonymity or ignominy but pleasing to God? If you are of faith, truly saved and regenerated, you will ultimately pick the latter (Acts 5:41).

Why Good Works Will Never Save You (Part 1-2): The Righteous Standards of God.

  1. We will sin, and will always sin, for we have a sinful nature

    From our birth until the day we die, we will continue to sin; not because we’re imperfect, or that we are always tempted, but because we have a sinful (rebellious) nature. When we are not saved, we have a carnal mind, a mind bent on rebellion (Romans 8:6-7), and so are a slave to sin (Romans 6:16). Even when we’re saved, receiving a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:21), we will continue to commit sin so long as we have our carnal bodies (Romans 7:14-18).

  2. God requires Moral Perfection.

    20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    – Matthew 5

    This is not a hyperbolic statement; Jesus began afterward to restate the commandments, each one He refined which raised God’s standard of righteousness. For example, in the Old Testament (OT) to commit murder is to kill unjustly but Jesus included hatred as an act of murder (vs. 21-22); and with adultery He included lust towards the opposite sex (vs. 27-28).

    Finally, when the rich man found out that he must sell all he had and sadly departed, Jesus said ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter into heaven’ (Matthew 19:16-26). dismayed, the future Apostles wondered “Who then can be saved”? And here, is the lesson Jesus tried to convey:

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    – Matthew 19

  3. There are 613 Commandments

    In the Bible, one not only has to keep the commandments without sinning, but one has to keep all of them. It is not just the Decalogue, the 10 commandments, but all 613 plus commandments.

    It is often argued that Christian need only to follow the 10 Commandments to be saved, believing that the rest are mere civil and ceremonial laws, but that is not true; neither is just follow the two greatest commandments.

    For example, Christians are not to mistreat orphans and the widows (Exodus 22:23-24), are not to practice divination and sorcery (Deuteronomy 13:1-4, 18:20-24), and to worship God in ways He does not approve of (Leviticus 10:1-2).

  4. To break just one commandment is to violate all:

    10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
    – James 2:10

    The reason for this in my mind is simple, if you are capable of breaking a commandment, you are also capable of breaking all others. Even the ones dealing with heinous sins.

    You might doubt that, after all, not everyone is like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer. While that is true, it is only true because God prevented humanity from acting on our darkest imaginations. This is why He equaled hatred to murder and lust to adultery.

  5. God will not forgive your sins by your acts of contrition, repentance, your many prayers, payment for indulgences, and compensation

    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
    – Isaiah 64

    The context of this chapter was in dealing with Israel as they were in sin (vs. 5). And because of this, what righteousness they’ve done God considered their good works as a garment smeared or caked in dung.

    Whether their deeds are done to compensate for their evil, or acts of penance through burnt offerings, either way their good works will not be considered in the day of judgment.

Why Good Works Will Never Save You (Part 2-2): The Great Dilemma & The Solution To.

  1. The Purpose of the Law

    Your final wonderment might be: why would God make it so hard for us to enter into the kingdom of heaven? Has He imposed on us a standard just for us to fail? Yes. He made it so that we will always fall short.

    To be sure, He did not “Raise the bar” beyond His actual standard, nor did He do it so that we will all be damned. There is an important reason why which can never be underscored enough:

    19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    – Romans 3

    The reason why God must bring us to utter hopelessness is to have us understand that we need a savior, for we cannot save ourselves.

    Now God’s standards have never changed; for those who enter heaven, must be worthy of it (Psalms 24:3-5 & Romans 2:6-7), but the scriptures clearly evidenced that none of us are, for we are sinners by nature (Genesis 8:21 & Romans 8:6-7).

    The Great Dilemma

    With that fact, The Great Dilemma in all scripture appears: how can God be just but at the same time justifies (declare righteous) the wicked? For if God were to do that, He would Himself be unjust (Proverbs 17:15), and that is by His nature a sheer impossibility (Psalms 136:1 & Malachi 3:6).

    His goodness requires removal of and elimination of evil; He cannot allow sinners into His presence (Psalms 5:4-5). His goodness also demands justice against the evil-doer; the price for sin must be paid.

    In judgment He will cast the guilty to the Lake of Fire which achieves both ends (Revelations 20:12-15). There s/he will not escape and there will s/he pay for his/her sins for all eternity (Matthew 25:41-46 & Luke 16:26).

    Jesus was meant to save you — not you

    However, in His goodness He also loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son down on our behalf. Jesus is the answer to the great perplexing theological dilemma. God sent His son down to become the propitiation for sins which satisfies the justice of God (Romans 3:25 & 2 Corinthians 5:21), and He lives in us (Galatians 2:20) so that when God see us, He sees His righteous Son.

    It is His righteousness that is in us God will grants entry into His kingdom. Those who repent of their sins, and believe/trust Christ alone for their salvation are the ones going to heaven (Mark 1:15 & John 5:24). It is not by works at all but by His grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we believe, we receive a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17); we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16-18). Christ lives in us.

    He does such a work in us that when we die, we will enter into heaven, faultless before Him (Jude 1:24). This does not mean we will achieve moral perfection or completeness as we will always sin and fall short (Romans 7:19-25); but as we live, we be conformed to the image of Christ.

    We will be tested (Romans 5:2-5), pruned (John 15:1-2), and molded (Hebrews 12:6-8) to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

    For those who believe that Faith Alone is not enough

    Jesus has paid such a price for our salvation that anyone who attempts to reach the kingdom of God apart from Him will not succeed; and to say that you also trust in Him as you “Work in cooperation with His grace” missed the entire point.

    We cannot earn our salvation for it is inhumanly impossible for all the aforementioned reasons, and God will not help you when He made it perfectly clear that no one will be justified by the law. Even if you pair it with faith.

    Jesus came, suffered and died so He can set us free from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:10-13), and so for you to not trust Him entirely for your salvation has denigrated His sacrifice (Galatians 2:21).

    Either you trust Christ alone for your salvation, or keep all of the commandments against the grain of your fallen nature (Romans 2:14-16, 5:12-14, & James 4:17). Please choose Christ, only He can save you.

    1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    – Romans 4

    Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    – Galatians 5:4

What Is The Gospel of Jesus Christ?


Of all the teachings of scripture, this is by far the most important thing you should ever learn.

The Gospel, which means the Good News, is Jesus Christ which is His life, death, and resurrection. However, I will only share the essential parts of the Gospel which comes in seven basic points:

1. Who God is
2. God’s Word, His Standard of Righteousness
3. What Man is before God
4. The Great Dilemma
5. Jesus Christ
6. The Eternal Promise
7. Assurance of Salvation

Some of you who are Christians are familiar with Four Spiritual Laws and the Romans Road. The difference between those and mine is that what I’ve written is that it goes into most of those point more deeply; and the biggest difference is #1 and #3 on the above list. It is also differentiated from the other gospel presentations like “The Romans Road”, and “Five Things God Wants You To Know”.

My mentor who taught me this Gospel version called it the, “Four Truths of the Gospel”; and credit also to Paul Washer as, thanks to watching his videos, have learnt much on the character of God.

#1 – Who God Is

The Bible says that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4 & Isaiah 43:10); He is all powerful (Genesis 17:1 & Isaiah 45:7), all knowing (Psalm 94:9 & Proverbs 15:3), and that He alone is true (John 17:3). He is eternal and having no beginning and will have no end (Psalms 90:2). He is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). And by His very nature is good (Psalms 136:1), and so He is described by the following verse:

And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
– Exodus 34

However, in His goodness He is also by nature, holy and just. He is holy in that must be separate from evil, nor can He allow evil doers in His presence (Psalms 5:4-5). Not only that He is just; any sign of evil He must eliminate, and the guilty He must punish:

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
– Exodus 34:7

#2 – The Standards of God

He has, by inspired men, written the Bible; it is both inerrant (Proverbs 22:12, 19-21) and inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21). Through the scriptures He reveals what is true concerning Himself (Isaiah 48:16-17) and the world (Hebrews 11:2) but also His commandments; His standard of righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Whoever want to enter into His kingdom must be morally perfect and morally complete (Matthew 5:20); and to break or fail to keep any of His commandments is to sin, and to miss the mark of His righteousness (James 2:10 & 4:17).

#3 – What Man is Before God

Man was created in His image as a physical reflection of His creative attributes and wisdom; man was created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). But because Adam and Eve sinned, man has become a sinner by nature. He is not only tempted to sin, but an inclination to sin for his mind is bent on it (Genesis 8:21 & Romans 6:16, & 8:6-7). He ultimately neither cares for, or understands the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).

To sin is an act of rebellion against God (1 Samuel 15:22 & James 4:17) and the sin committed cannot be compensated, so good works (increased obedience, penance, sacrifices, etc) can never suffice (Isaiah 64:6). He is thus separated from God (Isaiah 59:-12)

And so because of his constant rebellion against Him, God in His just wrath will judge him according to his evil deeds (Romans 1:18-23). His good works will not count (Isaiah 64:6), but will answer to God for every sin committed (1 Peter 4:4-5). Then he will be sentenced to Hell (Revelations 20:12-15) for an eternity, and there will be no escape (Matthew 25:41-46 & Luke 16:26).

#4 – The Great Dilemma

Therein lies a profound theological and soteriological dilemma: how can man be saved when he is sinful and how can God save a wicked people without ignoring His nature and standard of righteousness?

15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
– Proverbs 17:15

It is often asked “Why can’t God just forgive our sins?” The reason why goes back again to the character of God, if He is good then He must rid of evil and apart from Satan and His demons, we are the source of that.

For the guilty He must condemn into eternal damnation (John 5:25); He will cast into Hell, the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15), those who do not obey His word (Matthew 5:21-23 & 25:41); and there will be no escape or reprieve (Luke 16:24-26).

The price must be paid (Deuteronomy 21:22-23 & 27:26).

#5 – Jesus Christ

But because of His love for us, He sent His only Son down from heaven to save us. Jesus existed before time began; he is fully God (Isaiah 48:16-17 & John 1:1-3), and fully man. He is the promised messiah in the line of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16), and He will come as a man, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:18-25).

Although He is the promised king , He must first come as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53:1-4) with two goals to complete: To fulfill the law (Deuteronomy 18:18 & Matthew 5:17-20) He was at all points tempted, but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15); He alone have kept all of the commandments.

Finally, He must suffer and die (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53:5-6, & Daniel 9:26), so that He can redeem us (Psalms 130:7-8 & Isaiah 59:20) For our sin and our salvation He bore our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, 10, & 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was mocked and beaten (Matthew 27:30); scourged (Mark 15:15), and was led to the cross to be crucified (Psalms 22:16 & Luke 23:26, 33). From His arrest to the cross He became the Propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25); He finished the cup of God’s wrath (Matthew 26:38-39 & 27:46) until His wrath was satisfied and the law complete, saying “It is finished” (Luke 23:44 & John 19:30).

In three days, He rose again from the dead (John 20) as prophesied (Psalms 16:10 & John 2:19-21). He has ascended to heaven, and He will soon return (Acts 1:10-11).

It is because of what He had done, He has bridged the gap between Holy God and us; and God can now justify (declare us righteous) us

#6 – Salvation Through Faith Alone

I have said before that God cannot forgive sins; the price must be paid. Jesus paid that price, and now He can justify you.

The way to be saved is simple, repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). To repent means to change your mind against sin to no longer live in it, and to believe is to trust in the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-5); that He not only saves but His sacrifice* is enough. Good works can never save you, but only Jesus (Titus 3:5-6). Surrender to Jesus making Him your Lord, forever.

The Bible promised that when you believe, you have eternal life (John 5:24). This gift of eternal life one can never lose (John 6:37-39), because it is not you who keep it but God alone (John 10:28-30). He will mold you and bring you to heaven (Philippians 1:6).

#7 – Assurance of Salvation

The Bible also says that when you truly believe you will be changed fundamentally (2 Corinthians 5:17.

You know that you are a true believer if your love the Lord and your hatred of sin increases continually which naturally causes repentance (1 John 4:19 & 2 Corinthians 7:10). You will also grow in knowledge of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:15, & 3:16-17), holiness and righteousness (Romans 6:16-18). Finally, you will ultimately endure every adversity including infamy and persecution in His name (Matthew 13:19-23).

However, if the believer’s way of life is becoming a burden to you (which also includes living in repentance of sin), the Bible asks you to do this:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
– 2 Corinthians 13:5

If you truly believe you will endure to the end (Matthew 24:13), but if you do not and continue living in sin then then it is possible that you never believed in the first place (1 Corinthians 15:3 & 1 John 2:18-19).

Come to Jesus Christ and you will be saved!

For New Believers

After you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, you need to do

1. Buy a bible if you don’t have one. The best bibles to buy is the English Standard Version, or any “Word-for-Word” version of scripture Find a Bible-Believing church

2. Read the whole bible, starting with the Gospel of John (or any of the Gospels. i.e., Matthew, Mark, or Luke) until you reach the book of Revelation. Then, start on Genesis and read all the way to Revelation. Read it with care, read it often, and do not stop reading it as it will equip and strengthen you (2 Timothy 2:15, & 3:16-17).

3. Find a Bible believing church* (congregation); fellowship in and serve it (Romans 12:4-17). A bible believing church is a church that believes that the scriptures is inerrant and inspired. It is also Evangelical, meaning that it is a church that believes in
a) The Four Solas (which I will write about soon)
b) In studying theology & church history (John 17:3)
c) The importance of modesty, purity, holiness, and charity
d) The spreading and defending the Gospel

4. Pray, as often as you can
a) Pray to God for His guidance, strength, wisdom, and will to do what is right in His eyes through the scriptures
b) Pray for you to understand His words, and the will to obey it
c) Pray for discernment so that you can spot error and avoid it
d) Pray for others. Make a list for everyone you want to pray for


  • The sacrifice is in reference to animal sacrifices which act as a stand-in for the guilty. When Jesus died, He fulfilled the laws and the Prophets. On the cross He died as if He was the law breaker (Deuteronomy 21:22-23) deserving every curses in the book (Deuteronomy 27:15-25, 26). He was our propitiation, our scapegoat and substitute for our sins. He was the the stand-in, the spotless Lamb to be slaughtered. When Adam and Eve sinned an animal was killed in their place (Genesis 3:21). This continued with animal sacrifices instituted by Moses (Leviticus 5:1-9 & 9:1-7); the sacrifices covered but could truly pay for their sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice for sins, and He had accomplished for us, forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17-18).
  • The word “Church” means those who are “called out” of the world (Ephesians 2:2-3 & 1 John 2:15-16). The Church is not a building or a club membership, but are made up of true believers in Christ; they are the body of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15). Today, church is synonymous with the word “Congregation”; a place where people congregate or gather together. As you read scripture, you will learn about Sheep and Goats; those who believe and those who do not.
  • There is a 5th Sola I will also write later, and I believed it to be very biblical but essential for believers to accept.

Biblical Baptism (Part 3-3): The Errors of Baptismal Regeneration, Continued.

Acts 22:16

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

In actuality, Baptism does not wash away sins, but then why was Paul instructed to get baptized “… and wash away thy sins…”? Look at the underlined words and look at the following passage:

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
– Romans 10

Now read this: “… and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” I believe that the word “By” is implied here so as to read as “… and wash away thy sins, (by) calling on the name of the Lord.” By reading it as I put it, it harmonizes well with the overall context of salvation in terms of salvific methodology. One is saved by Faith Alone,

Romans 6:3-4

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
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.

In showing this passage, they, the supporters of BR says that by being Baptized the person mystically participates in His death, burial, and resurrection and so the recipient is saved, regenerated which also washed his/her sins are washed away.

However, the context (6:4-7) indicates that this is not to be taken literally as it speaks of it in a spiritual sense. Recall that in Part 1 that the root word for Baptism (Gk: Baptizo) means “To be identified with”.

Romans 6:3 is really about the fact that when the Roman believers are Baptized, they were identified with Christ. By undergoing Baptism they’re showing the world the change wrought within them. So how can they go on sinning when they’re supposed to be changed believers? Their continued sinning send a contrary message that they are not.

Later, Paul said that sinners are a slave to sin. So when they do they’re either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness, thankfully, they’re not but a slave to the latter (6:13-18).

Colossians 2:12

12 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.

This is in a similar language of Romans 6:3-7 so this should not be taken literally. Not only that, see the proceeding context:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

So, if Baptism here is to be taken literally then why did verse 11 say “… ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands….”? What Colossians 2:12 is really saying is that the Colossians believers were regenerated spiritually. If vs 12 really did speak of the ordinance of Baptism, then our regeneration would be by hands and yet vs 11 contradicts that notion.

2 Peter 3:21

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

The first question to be asked about this is, “What is it that Baptism saves us from”? It is in reference to Noah when he was saved by water in vs. 19-20 which should strike one as odd. Supporters of BR believes that Baptism saves yet the proceeding verses speaks of the water saving Noah by destroying all of the inhabitants.

What is being spoken of here is having a peace of mind, saved from worry, that one is saved from judgment. So when we were Baptized as believers, it reminds us of the fact that we’re saved from the judgment and wrath of God. That is why it says the latter verse of 21 “… (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

And when it says, “… by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, it speaks of His work of regeneration alone… and not ours. Back to Colossians 2:11, we are circumcised made without hands and so this is no different.

Concluding Notes

If you are new to bible reading and/or apologetics, you will notice a commonality with how I’ve answered each verse, and that commonality is the use of context. the context of scripture is the most important thing with regard to proper interpretation.

That is how scriptures are answered, not just doctrinal issued claimed to be biblical such as Unitarianism, Hebrew Roots, and of course, Baptismal Regeneration but alleged Bible Contradictions as well as to explain disturbing events such as the annihilation of the people of Canaan, the practice of slavery in Israel, and the suffering and loss of Job.

The first book that should take as priority for apologetics study is not “Kingdom of the Cults” by Norman Geissler*, nor is it the “Case for Christ” series by Lee Strobel, but the Holy Scriptures. the Bible. This is true for all other areas of study whether it be for holiness and purity; for the running of the church; for the missions field, or for the raising of the family; the Bible takes precedence over all. The Bible, and the Bible alone decides what is to be established, what is to be kept, and what is to be rejected.

The Bible is God’s word.

12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

19 That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
– Proverbs 22:12, 19-21, 30:5-6

CORRECTION: The author of “The Kingdom of the Cults” is by Dr. Walter Martin, not Norman Geisler.

Biblical Baptism (Part 2-3): The Errors of Baptismal Regeneration.

The following seven verses are ones most commonly used by Cults and others to support BR. Some of the BR passage are not to be taken literally as the context proved while others are mere commands as you’ll soon see. Three of them are featured here and the remaining four will be on Part 3.

Mark 16:16

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Here, the latter part of the passage is key. If one must be baptized to be saved why was it not repeated at the latter end?

Also, there is this notion called “Hebrew Parallelism” where if a speaker or writer wanted to give a special emphasis then s/he would repeat the statement whereas with us we would either underscore, highlight, italicize, or put it in CAPS. Jesus as a Jew used Hebrew Parallelism Himself.

In addition, Baptism is a command for every new believer to undergo. It is, as said previously in Part 1, that it is a symbol of set apartness; a public… declaration of the change within and an identification of him/herself as a Christian.. If one refuses to be baptized, then is s/he ashamed of Jesus? Does s/he truly believe?

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.

It is my contention that water in this verse really means Spirit because of the following context:

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

I’ll put it this way, if one is a human being is because he is born from a human being, then how can water make one born again? Water is a physical property whereas the spirit does not have any.

Furthermore, if Jesus is telling us to be water baptized in order to be born again, then why in verse 8 does it speak of its unpredictability? Should it not be that when one is baptized the person is immediately born again?

The reason why Jesus paired “Water” with the “Spirit” is because it is an another example of Hebrew Parallelism; He is emphasizing to Nicodemus that the person needs to be born from above (vs. 3). This is in total harmony with an earlier passage which says:

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
– John 1

Acts 2:38

The most go-to passages for the supporters of BR is Acts 2:38 which says:

38 Then Peter said unto 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

If it is to be taken in strict isolation, then it would most likely prove the argument for BR. However, there is no indication that it should be done. So how is this not a support for BR? Look at the preceding verse 37.

First, the Bible says that they, the visiting Jews, were “cut to the heart” after listening to Peter (vs. 14-36). The words in quotation indicated that they believed as they just evidenced “Godly Sorrow” (2 Corinthians 7:10). It was then that Peter gave his instructions to them.

Second, look at the word “For” in verse 38, it does not always mean “In order to”, for context already given. It is thus more appropriate to interpret “For” as “Because of”. This notion is supported by other passages using the same word, . For example, Matthew 3:11; did John baptize people in order for them to repent or because of their repentance?

Biblical Baptism (Part 1-3): What Is It?

The following is an answer I’ve given to a brother or a sister concerning the rite of Baptism:


Baptism is definitely a show that a person is a believer (which, like circumcision, naturally identifies and sets him/her apart from the world), but it is a demonstration of what happened to him/her on the inside, […] Not only that, it is an illustration of the Gospel.”

The History of Baptism

“…. Baptism was originally part of a ceremonial rite of healing and purification (Leviticus 15:1-5 & Numbers 19:1-9). Later it was used to heal Namaan the Syrian General inflicted with Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1, 10, 14).

This is the most important passage with regard to baptism because leprosy symbolizes what sin is to God. A leper’s body is a body with little skin left because s/he scratched/tore his/her skin away because Leprosy took away any feeling of pain. So the Leper when you look at him/her they are “covered” with pus and blood and rotting flesh. They also stink of it. It is naturally repulsive and putrid to us, imagine how sin is to God, but more so for sin is evil and an act of rebellion against Him. ….”

The Christian’s Baptism

“…. The final unique use of Baptism prior to Christian Baptism is through John the Baptist as he used to as a show of repentance, but when Jesus came, Baptism began to have a new meaning:

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
– Matthew 3

Water came to symbolize the Holy Spirit.

Additionally, after His death and resurrection it came to symbolize is death, burial, and resurrection:

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 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:
– Romans 6

My first teacher/mentor taught me the following. The root word for Baptism (Gk: Baptizo) means “To be identified with”. Like dipping white cloth to red ink, when one undergoes baptism, the person is identified with Christ, and the act of Baptism illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. As a side note, this is why I’m for full immersion rather than pouring.”

The Errors of Baptismal Regeneration

The most common heresy that cults teach is called, “Baptismal Regeneration” (BR) which they claimed that once a person is baptized s/he is Born Again. However, there are host problems that proponents of must account for

  1. The Bible is absolutely clear that salvation is gained by Faith Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  2. Faith is an intellectual and a conscience act (Romans 10:17) act whereas Baptism is a rite, therefore, a work.
  3. Baptismal passages used by the proponents of Baptismal Regeneration is often taken out of context.
  4. And even if the context doesn’t answer for it, there is a hermaneutical that needs to be followed “The obscure must yield to the clear”. There are more passages for Faith Alone (FA) than there are BR; not only that, FA is absolutely clear in rendering.

In Parts 2 & 3 I will answer the most commonly used verses to support that heresy. Before I do, I will conclude this first part by quoting a passage to prove the opposite notion is true:

1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
– Galatians 3