New Testament & Psalms 2019

How the Gospel Shapes Pastors to Oppose False Teaching

Mike speaks directly in this excellent post. These words are so needed today in our 21st century. The visible church is really challenged daily by all kinds of false doctrines, though as we read in the Bible this is nothing new or unexpected. I suggest reading Paul’s words in Acts 20:17+ also. but this says all that is needed.

“Paul begins his instruction to Timothy by indentifying the false teaching. The Holy Spirit had made it explicitly clear to Paul that the ‘later times’ would be marked by increasing apostasy in the visible Church. The ‘ later times’ is what we often refer to as the Church Age so this would include the time of Paul and Timothy. What do these false teachers do? They depart from the faith. That means that their ‘doctrines’ are not orthodox Christianity.”

BTW, the message about Calvinism is so needed. It does grieve me much when some of the good discernment bloggers cast aside Calvinism, without really understanding the depth of it’s Biblical roots, and what it really teaches.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB) 

When I began studying Theology as part of my spiritual renewal back in 2004-2006 it never occurred to be at that time that I would end up as a Calvinist, but that is what happened. How? It was through the study of God’s Word and taking what…

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New Testament & Psalms 2019

The Sower and the Soils

It might be good Mike to follow up this post by integrating it with other teachings.

The follow on parable of the Wheat and the Tares comes to mind, here some actual bad seed is sown. Perhaps different from the thorns.

Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

The ideas of character and behavior fruit and the abiding in Christ are good points.

Perhaps there is a component of our fruitfulness that flowers in “delights” in the law (word) of the LORD also.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

As there are different seeds, plants and trees each producing fruit after their own kind a broader discussion of differences in our fruits could use further discussion.

And the discussion of the good soil and misplaced focus on the sower is so accurate.
Having my own small tomato garden in spring time I often reflect on just how difficult it is to obtain well prepared soil. Thankfully, it is the Holy Spirit who prepares the hearts of those who will believe and not us.

There is also hope to be found that even unfruitful trees will produce…
Luk 13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
Luk 13:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded…

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