The Lighthouse Sentinel
So truthful, it hurts!
VOL. I NUM. IV
2015 HOLY SPIRIT ALL RIGHTS PRESERVED
JULY / AUGUST
PAID IN FULL
Unanswered Prayer & the Secret of Contentment...
by Pastor Dennis Kizonas
Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
How did he learn the secret of contentment? Of being content even when "hungry" or "in want"?
It went back a number of years to an experience that he tells about in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 when he had a need in his life.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
He pleaded with the Lord three times to remove that thorn in his flesh.
And the Lord's answer was ... No!
Instead of taking away Paul's problem, as he had prayed, the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
So Paul then says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9.
In the administration of God's grace that the Lord Jesus revealed to the Apostle Paul, He does not promise to fix all our problems. There is no promise like in the gospels where the Lord promised Israel that "whatever you ask in faith you shall receive." Read through all of Paul's letters where he writes about the administration of God's grace that the Lord Jesus revealed to him for us today, and you never read a promise like 'whatever you ask in faith you'll receive.' Here is the answer to the problem of unanswered prayers today. Claiming a promise that wasn't made to us!
Today, under grace, we have the promise of "grace and power" (2 Corinthians 12:8) sufficient for any problem in our lives, and the Lord Jesus wants us to learn this secret of contentment. Not that He will fix all our problems or "move all our mountains" out of our way, no matter how much faith we may have, but that He is our strength.
"I can do everything through Christ who constantly strengthens me!" Have you learned the secret? Do you know God's Grace For Today?
The official Savior of the world; The Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ
On August 28, the NRA presented ATF and FBI data showing Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has fallen “51 percent.”
The NRA tweeted, “Since ’91, Americans have acquired over 170 million new firearms and violent crimes have declined by 51%.”
This information squares with the findings of a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study covering the slightly shorter period of time from 1994 to 2009. For those years, CRS found that Americans purchased approximately 118 million firearms, and the 1993 “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate of 6.6 per 100,000 fell to 3.6 per 100,000 by the year 2000. It eventually fell all the way to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.
That is more than a 50 percent reduction in “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide.”
Then, in 2009—the year the CRS study ended—Obama took office and gun sales began their climb to record levels, which made covering the gap between the 118 million guns that had been purchased by 2009 and the “170 million new guns” that Americans would own by 2015 an easy gap to bridge.
Breitbart News previously reported that there were 21,093,273 background checks for firearms in 2013 alone. And each of those checks were on buyers who could have legally purchased multiple firearms.
The overarching message is simple—more guns, less crime. Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has decreased as gun ownership has increased.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by AWR Hawkins
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. - Galatians 4:4,5
If you are absolutely thrilled with The Lighthouse Sentinel, drop us a line at: Rick@thelighthousejournal.com
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. - Colossians 2:13-17
Repentance: It's a little different than what we've been taught!
by Pastor Curt Crist
What a wonderful topic of discussion! Repentance!! Who needs it and why? Much of the controversy over the issue of repentance comes about first of all because of the "misguided notion" often being taught in religious circles as to the definition. Many believers and unbelievers alike seem to erroneously already have that issue settled pretty soundly. Repentance simply means "a change of mind". Repentance has always meant "a change of mind". As you well know, most bible teachers say repentance means a change of direction in life style. While repentance might lead to a change of direction, a change of mind can indeed take place without a change of direction.
Another misconception is that the word repentance means "Godly sorrow". This usually comes from the passage found in 2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Here, Paul says that "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation (deliverance) not to be repented of." Repentance is not "the sorrow" Paul has in mind here! Of course "Godly sorrow" (this has to do with believers) oftentimes leads to a change of mind. But "sorrow" need not be present for "a change of
mind" to take place. We must understand that "repentance" simply means "a change of mind" sorrow and performance not withstanding!
IN THE AGE OF GRACE, the word "repentance" means the same thing "a change of mind". In every age the application of that word is distinctly different depending upon the economy and the context under which it is being used.For instance, when dealing with God under "a law contract" repentance from sin was an absolute requirement! And why not? The law contract demanded obedience. So the Israelites while under the law would of a necessity have to "change their minds about their behavior" and get back to the contract! In other words...they would have to see their behavior as wrong. Not an easy thing to do when "self-justification" is a constant companion. And they were always "justifying themselves"! But "under the contract" they would need ANOTHER change of mind as well. And that change of mind would have to do with the fact that they were continually unable to live up to the dictates of the contract. The confession of Leviticus 26:40 and 1 John 1:9.
40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; 41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: 42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. 43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
In these verses, there are two different "changes of mind" that would have to take place in connection with Israel and the contract under which they were operating. In addition, there is a third application of repentance where Israel was concerned! They would have to change their minds about "who Christ was". You see, Israel did NOT believe Jesus Christ was "their messiah" much less "the very Son of God"! They would certainly have had to change their minds about that. How about "repentance today"? Under God's special dispensing of grace committed to the apostle Paul, repentance would have to do with "a change of mind" for those who are ALREADY SAVED! To be SAVED...does not always mean "from the debt and penalty of ones sins". As an example, to be "delivered from false doctrine" a grace believer would require a "change of mind" if "incorrect doctrine" had been the previous mindset. So, here is an application of repentance for "BELIEVERS" of this present age. Paul uses this application in his epistles.
The issue that really lies at the crux of the matter is whether or not "repentance" is necessary for salvation today. Keeping in mind again the meaning of the word repentance is simply "a change of mind". Here is the long and short of the issue: If an individual is simply unaware of what Christ accomplished at Calvary and has no preconceived ideas about God's righteousness and salvation then I suppose one could say that "hearing the gospel" and "believing the gospel" would require no change of mind simply an acceptance of truth. On the other hand...if an individual has had "an association with modern day "religianity", he or she has most likely "BELIEVED THE FALSE GOSPEL SATAN'S MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE PROPAGATING TODAY". After all, this false gospel (a gospel devoid of the justification aspect of Paul's gospel) is pretty much accepted across the "religianity" board in our day. Forgiveness on the installment plan is the main course of denominationalism. One group seeks forgiveness on a weekly basis at what they call "mass".
Another group on a nightly basis when the jammies are on and bedtime arrives. Another group (continually throughout the day) because they believe salvation can be lost and regained should that (imaginary) line be crossed and God decide to "give up on them". Problem is...no matter how we try to get around it...these folks have never really understood Paul's gospel have they? "THE GOSPEL" by which folks can be DELIVERED TODAY from the debt and penalty of their sins should they simply BELIEVE IT. But you see... believing.... it in these instances will indeed require "A CHANGE OF MIND" from what these folks had previously held as truth. Sometimes, (not always) the acceptance of truth requires we discard what we had previously believed to be true... which we at some point find to be...not true at all! If I believe that my righteous deeds (church membership, baptism, commitment, re-
commitments, tithing, turning....etc., etc., etc.)..is that which establishes
my righteous standing with God today....then I must change my mind about those things in order to "adopt the truth of Paul's gospel". I must
discard those false beliefs and replace them with "God's way of approaching Him".
This by the way... is the only application of "a change of mind"...where "the issue of salvation from the debt and penalty of one's sins" is concerned in this age of grace! Not "turning away from sin". Not "changing
life-style direction". Not hot scalding tears where the past is concerned. While all those may be beneficial in their proper place, none of them are a change of mind that brings salvation for heaven.
In fact...there is NO CHANGE OF MIND...pertaining to ANY BEHAVIOR, WHATSOEVER required for the deliverance from the debt and penalty of
sins in this age of grace. A change of mind from "PREVIOUSLY HELD
ERRONEOUS BELIEFS"...is the only application of "repentance" that can
be made.... where believing Paul's gospel is concerned. And believing Paul's gospel is the only thing God requires for heaven. Hope this helps. Sometimes I can do more to cloud the issue than to
clear it up. If such is the case here...I don't mind trying again. Just let me know where the confusion lies...as this computer never seems to "run out of ink"! Luv ya all.....Pastor Curt
Visit "Welcome to Grace" where Pastor / Teacher Curt Crist continues his "Journey Through the Bible" audio series. Visit Curt at www.welcometograce.com
Galatia - The saints at Galatia had allowed their own rebellion and pride to begin to influence their conduct in regards to how God viewed them. Instead of trusting in His grace and sufficiency for their walk, they began to gravitate back towards legalism and the standard of the law in order to maintain their righteousness before God..let us NOT make the same mistake!
Paul responded in Galatians 3:1-7 "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? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham"
Paul spoke out against the believers at Galatia by asking them; "Who has spoken slander to you through praise while you know the truth about Christ"? He was evidently ( I love the sarcasm) crucified among these folks! The apostle provoked their reasoning by asking them questions that we can ask ourselves today. I also find it amazing how Paul reminds believers of the crucifixion and its accomplishment in Colossians 2:13-15: - And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Paul reminds his readers about how they got where they are today. Was it by faith or works? Is the Spirit of God impressed by our accomplishments brought on by duty or is Christ magnified by our rest in and through Him? When the love of Christ constrains us to want to serve Him, it is true love displayed the way God intended! Paul uses the account of the faith of Abraham as a great example of righteousness by simply taking God at His word. Further, we identify ourselves as those in Abraham's time (the children) who through simple faith were accounted as righteous. Please note that Paul does not use this example to testify that Abraham trusted in the finished work of Christ for his salvation. We must remember that Abraham only knew what God revealed to him at that particular dispensing. We must not make the same mistake many, many bible teachers make by "reading into" what God has dispensed to us today! In all of God's dispensings to mankind, man has always been saved by faith, through God's grace. However, today under the abundant grace shed upon our hearts through Christ Jesus, we have exceeding grace that we need to examine, study and then proclaim as we comfort one another n this common faith only proclaimed through the distinctive message of Paul.
The Italian saints were growing weary from a wrongly, perceived confusion of what Paul was trying to tell them in his letters!
Rome - This is what we now know today as chapters 9 through 11. Here Paul, prior to his impending visit to Rome, takes a dispensational view of what God's future plan is for Israel. In other words, Paul dedicates 3 chapters worth of information so that Jewish and Gentile grace believers can further understand what Jesus Christ had revealed to him as concerning the nation of Israel. It is important to remember that prior to God's super, special dispensing of grace through Jesus Christ, the world was under the Mosaic Law. If you were Jewish, you had to abide by the law and its commandments. As an example, if you were a Gentile, you had to come through Israel in order to be saved. This was why Christ did not acknowledge the initial request of the Syrophenician woman who besought Him to cast out the devil from her daughter in Mark 7:24-30.
When the woman acknowledged her humbled position, it was Christ who proclaimed that her faith in taking God at His word prompted Him to heal her possessed daughter! This story remains as a great example of the distinctive ministries of Jesus Christ and how he deals with mankind. Through time and eternity, man has always been required to respond to God as God instructed!
Paul's letters to Rome equips believers in the fullest of ways while expounding on the doctrine of grace in regards to salvation and standing in Jesus Christ! In 3 remarkable chapters (9 through 11), believers can read about the great promises to Israel which are distinctly different from the promises given to Gentiles today under the dispensing of grace. The fulfillment of the former promises are conditional upon the completion of the Body of Christ and culminated by the coming of the Deliverer out of Zion! Another key point to remember is that God is not finished with Israel. Their program is on hold in order to provoke the unbelieving nation to jealousy so that all men can be saved through Christ!
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." - Romans 11:33-36
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
This Issue's Topic:
"Last Call For Grace"
"An astute observer of the world events and escalation of hatred, lawlessness, covetousness and wickedness points to a greater imminence of our reunion with Our Lord and Saviour..."
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. - 2 Timothy 3:1-5
During these last days of God's wonderful dispensing of grace, I often think about the urgency of the "ministry of reconciliation" that has been committed to all of us. Since Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed the secret "kept hid in God since the foundation of the world" to the apostle Paul, nearly 2,000 years have passed. I think most people would agree that we are on the back end of this dispensation and although scripture mentions no dates for our gathering "to meet the Lord in the air" (ref 1 Thes 4:16-18), an astute observer of the world events and escalation of hatred, lawlessness, covetousness and wickedness all point to an greater imminency of our reunion with Our Lord and Saviour.
With the above in mind, what is our responsibility in all this?
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, - 2 Corinthians 6:1-4
In the above verses Paul starts out by reminding us that workers together with Christ, we should not receive God's grace vain. Paul is begging us (beseech) in this matter to put forth power together with God (where we get the English word "synergy" from). Doing this would demonstrate what we have learned from him was not worthless (vain - devoid of truth or as vessels that contain nothing)!
In verse 2, Paul tells us what God told him on this topic; " at just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.
Friends, I don't know about you, but I am amazed how quickly life has gone by. As I get older, time seems to go by faster and faster and I think the apostle Paul is trying to convey the same idea behind the urgency of warning people about their spiritual state. The other variable here is that there are no guarantees in this life concerning whether or not people will make it to normal expected longevity as time could end abruptly on this planet through accident, disease, or lawlessness. For us who have accepted Christ's righteousness in order to get to heaven, we are certainly eternally grateful because we know about our end destination....in fact, once we are in the presence of Jesus Christ in our glorified bodies, it will seem as if we woke up from a bad dream!
But what about those who have NOT accepted God's righteousness through Jesus Christ? Are there friends, family members, or co-workers that need to hear this message??
What about the suddenness of the "catching away" (commonly referred to as the rapture) of saints to be with the Lord in the air? Can we assume that our lives won't be cut short or cut off (ref Romans 11:22) at any moment so that those that we have not talked to will be left behind subjected to The Great Deceiver and subsequently doomed to eternal separation from God?
I know that these topics are heavy, not politically correct, exclusive, offensive and phobic to a lost and dying world. But what are the better alternatives? Have people considered that God Himself knew that man's spiritual state was at critical mass, hopeless, alienated from eternal life and utterly doomed to the point that HE TOOK ACTION THROUGH THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST, TO RECONCILE THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF NOT CHARGING THEIR SINS TO THEM, BUT INSTEAD PLACING THEM ON HIS INNOCENT, PERFECT SON?? Logically, it was enough of an issue with God to do what He did FOR US....how and why have we lost our line of sight to these facts?
It is because we have chosen to neglect understanding the power and influence of our sin nature, which in turn feeds the insatiable desires of the flesh. We fall in alignment with what tempted Eve in Genesis 3:6 " And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise...."
I think another reason is due to the fact that people often confuse "religion" with "relationship" (what we have in Christ). The word "religion" has its origins back between 1150-1200 AD in Latin, Old French and Middle English. It is where the word "ligament' is derived from. However, religion means to "re-bind", or re-tie; in its context it is man's effort to rebind back to God. You see, man always wants his fingerprint on being able to save himself. To rely solely on God is an affront to mankind with this thinking. But this reasoning attempts to minimize God's holy requirements (refer to OT Books Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and NT Book Hebrews, chapters 7-10) in relinquishing sin. This is why only God Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ was The Only One qualified to act on behalf of man; becoming The God-Man:
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. - Hebrews 7:22-25
The last reason (and you may have your own thoughts) is that the Church, The Body of Christ has failed miserably in what Paul called out in 2 Corinthians 6:3 - Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed. Paul wants us to try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from embracing and understanding the gospel of grace by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry. Between "false ministers" of righteousness, self-righteousness and questionable conduct, our testimony or our "horizontal" relationships in the environment we live in cause conflict with how people see us. In addition, the infighting among believers (another topic for another day) casts doubt on people's perception of Christianity. Unbelievers can't see the the value in embracing a message where it's followers have not differentiated themselves or acted in accordance with tenets of "the faith" that would make them attractive to hearing more about Jesus Christ.
It is my prayer that we recognize our shortcomings and that our window of opportunity is closing quickly in being able to reach a lost and dying world. One prayer that comes to mind is located in Ephesians 1:15-23. After that, it is up to each of us to make a difference by sharing "the faith" our "Grace Commission located in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.