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Dr. Brown Tackles Your Toughest Questions

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 4:42 pm

Dr. Brown Tackles Your Toughest Questions

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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September 30, 2022 4:42 pm

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. You've got questions. We've got answers.

Let's do it. Phone lines are open wide. It's time for the Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the Line of Fire. And now here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome, welcome to the broadcast.

Yes, it is the Line of Fire. Yes, we are live. There is, they're saying tropical storm weather coming our way, our prayers, of course, with those devastated in Florida and outside of the United States as well. May God's grace be with them in the midst of the storm. It looks like we'll be able to broadcast fine today.

Hopefully we won't suddenly be cut off, but I am wearing the sweatshirt that I wore on the way in just in solidarity with those that are going through it now. Right here's number to call 866-34-TRUTH. Any question of any kind on any subject that relates in any way to anything we talk about on the Line of Fire, anything I write about.

If you heard a rumor, you want to find out is this really true? Do we believe this or that? Give me a call.

Or, again, you want to take issue with something, feel free to do it. As long as it's appropriate for Christian Radio. Phone lines are open. The earlier in the broadcast you call, the better chance we have of getting back to 866-348-7884.

Let us start with Josh in Durham, North Carolina. How's the weather where you are, Josh? Oh, thank you for taking my call.

It's raining just a little bit, but it's not too bad. Good. All right, yes, your question, please. Yes, sir. First of all, thank you for taking my call.

Your ministry has been a huge blessing to me, and I've learned so much from your videos, your articles, and books, and I still have a lot to learn from you, so thank you for all that you do. That being said, you do ask people to call in who differ with you, and I've heard several people call in before asking about the Sabbath, and I've heard you kind of just throw out, you know, Colossians 2, let no one judge you in these things. And I don't really see Colossians 2, whether you're for or against the Sabbath is not the point.

I don't see Colossians 2 referring to the day of rest Sabbath in Colossians 2. I have several points. I'd like to offer two and just get your take. Yeah, sure, sure. Go ahead, please.

Awesome, sure. So the first thing is just the context, you know, it talks, it's very heavy on the deity of Christ, how he's the head of all rule and authority, and it goes on to say that God cancelled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands, nailing it to the cross. Therefore, let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food or drink, or with regard to a festival in New Moon or a Sabbath. It seems to be tied in directly to the sacrifice Christ offered. The second point is just that idea of these things are a shadow of the things to come. We only see three times in the New Testament where anything is called a shadow of something else, and the other two times occur in Hebrews, and both times it's referring to the sacrificial system, the duties of the priests, the temple. And so just with those two points there, I don't see Sabbath as referring to the day of rest, but more specifically as a group with food, drink, festival, and New Moons as just being the sacrificial system. Got it. Okay, but first, thank you for the kind words.

I appreciate that, and I appreciate your questions very much. Wouldn't your very argument, though, turn against itself? In other words, for those who say that Sabbath observance is mandatory, or you must do it, and Paul is saying don't let anyone put you under pressure, this is part of an old system that is especially not binding on you as Gentile Christians, and that the substance, the Sabbath is the shadow, the substance is found in the Messiah, so the rest we find is in him, just as the sacrificial system pointed to the Messiah, and we no longer need to offer blood sacrifices. So also, the Sabbaths, the New Moons, the dietary laws, don't let anyone put you under pressure if you have to keep those things.

Those were shadows only, the substance is found in the Messiah. Now, doesn't your very argument support my point that Paul was saying don't let someone put you under pressure here? Obviously, someone's free to keep a seventh-day Sabbath, a Gentile Christian or not.

They're free to do it. But Paul's argument is saying because of the new order that we are in now and the fulfillment coming in the Messiah, don't let anyone judge you by whether or not you observe these things. I agree that Paul possibly may have believed that Gentiles don't need to keep the Sabbath. I don't think there's a case here for or against it, because he does go on to say let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels. You know, many people believe that he's referring to a gnostic heresy that angels would intercede with man, but he's saying here in Colossians 1 and 2 that Christ is the intercessor between God and man, and so I don't think, you know, I think Sabbath isn't set aside here by itself. It's combined with festivals and New Moons and food and drink as a group, referring to sacrifices in general, not really referring to anything else. I think he's specifically talking about just sacrifices in this passage, you know. Yeah, so the point where I agree is yes, there is another heresy being dealt with here, and many scholars would look at it as kind of a proto-gnostic, obviously hyper-ascetic, as well as Jewish or Judaizing heresy, that there was a mixture, and that's how I would read it as well. But I just don't see how you can relegate this to sacrifices when he is very specific, you know, in the list, right, food or drink, that's not sacrifice, that's dietary laws.

Or with regard to a festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath, these are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ, that the one thing he doesn't mention is sacrifices here, because that was not something that they were doing. Anyway, hey Josh, I appreciate the dialogue and the interaction. Yes sir, thank you.

Alright, god bless. 866-348-7884. Let's go to John in Ohio, welcome to the line of fire. Hi Mr. Brown, just wondering where you broadcast that you're in the path of the hurricane. So our studio, where I'm sitting with my team right now, we are in Harrisburg, North Carolina, we are not far from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. We connect directly to the Truth Radio Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, so the weather's hitting us it seems a little bit before Winston-Salem.

Then from satellite we connect there around the country and by internet around the world, and it's all in real time, but physically right now I'm in Harrisburg, North Carolina, slightly north of Concord. Okay, well my question today, thanks for answering that, is it seems like you're a man who takes the law seriously, so I was wondering what you think about today. The Russian government said that basically obviously the Russian Federation is now larger because they said there were referendums held, and basically literally the Russians are saying that Russia has expanded, and I'm noticing that there's many countries that are saying no that's not true. It seems like this is a very serious problem if Russia has 6,000 nukes, if they're going to tell them that no, this is not the Russian Federation, even though they're saying that this is now the Russian Federation. Right, so we have to use wisdom, Putin does not seem to be rational these days, I mean there's every kind of report that you hear, but as best as I can see he's not acting rationally, the war is terribly unpopular at home. When I was in Poland, one of the leaders was talking to me about the fact that many of the soldiers that have been involved thus far have been from some of the more Asiatic reasons of Russia, and it's not quite the mainstream, it's not the Moscovites and things like that. And so they're dying on the field and it's terrible, but when he called up 300 plus thousand reservists from all over Russia, now it kind of hits home across the country, and as those people start getting killed, wounded, it's going to send shockwaves more through the nation, just like Russia had to pull out of Afghanistan when the body count was just too high. So I look at it that the war is bound to fail, that it's going to collapse inward on Putin, I don't know what the implications are going to be, but we really need to be praying, I look at everything happening as completely unjust, as an illegitimate land grab, as the annexation now and the alleged vote as completely bogus, so I agree with all those who say this is absolutely wrong, there's no legal basis for what they're doing.

But the question is, how aggressively do we push back? If we push the wrong button, does that provoke Putin to do something crazy, or can we allow him to hold us hostage because he has nuclear arms? I think we need to be praying urgently for God's intervention, lest there's some kind of horrific nuclear war that breaks out, really be praying for God's intervention, don't just take it for granted that it could never happen. And then pray for wisdom for world leaders.

I think what has to happen is a gradual war of attrition that Russia keeps losing slowly and finally has to pull out, rather than like an all out, all the nations standing together with Ukraine to attack Russia because Putin might do something crazy. So it's a time for prayer and it's a time for wisdom, it's really volatile, John, for sure. Okay, thank you, appreciate it.

Yep, you are very welcome. 866-34-TRUTH. I am not an alarmist, and it takes a lot for me to think that there could be certain extreme danger, I normally expect to feel it in my gut as well as I'm praying about these things.

But just common sense tells you, you've got someone that is not acting rationally, acting wisely, acting in the best interest of his country right now, and what could happen, so I'm not trying to put fear in anyone, but it's a good time to pray. God, restrain evil, restrain evil. 866-34-TRUTH.

Let us go over to Jonathan in North Carolina, welcome to the line of fire. Hey Dr. Brown, I have a couple of questions, I'll go with the easier one, I think it's easier first, it's in Luke chapter 2, talks about Anna and the temple. I had a lady talking, she was defending women pastors, and I didn't say either way, but she said, well, Anna was there in the temple in Luke 2, 36 and 38, and I said, well look, it says in Acts 3 that Peter and John were in the temple, but they were really in Solomon's porch, they weren't inside the temple. And she said, well the Bible says she was in the temple, she was in the temple, that's the first question. Well, number one, this has nothing to do with women being pastors whatsoever, it's unrelated to the question a thousand percent. That being said, there was the women's court in the temple, a Jewish woman, a gentile can only go so far, you had the gentile court, right? And then you had a clear inscription, any gentile who goes pastor dies, and then you had Jewish women, and Jewish women could only go so far, and that was it. So that she was, there was only one possible place that she could be in terms of how far she could go, she could not be in the inner courts of the temple as a clean Jewish man could be.

So she would have been in the women's court, if you just get online and look for Herod's temple women's court, you'll see it diagrammed, but that's as far as she could have gone into the women's court. So whatever argument someone's trying to bring from that breaks down completely, just breaks down right there. All right, we'll be right back with your other question. Hey friends, a reminder, visit our completely brand new website. I was on it today and was just so pleased to see how it's been redone by our team. They spent months working with our media team and others to say, okay, how can we help those going there the most, seekers, those with questions, those looking for information? You could break it down by subject matter, and we keep populating the site so that we had so many thousands and thousands and thousands of articles and videos that it's taking time to populate. We were populating it for many, many weeks before we launched it.

So go there, ask Dr. Brown,, be sure to sign up for our emails, do that first. This way you'll be the first in and we've got a few more really exciting announcements with some free resources coming your way, so be sure to sign up for the emails, All right, let us go back to Jonathan, you're still on the line of fire, go ahead. Yes, sir, so the other question I was talking about with this woman is in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 10 through 15, it talks about the works, let each one's works, and Paul says in a later foundation, let each one's works become manifest for the day, that's the day of judgment, we'll disclose it because it will be revealed by fire for the testing for each work is done. In verse 15 he says, if anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer a loss, though he himself will be saved with only us through fire, and she was trying to say, well this means they're going to go to hell. And I said, well I think it means they're going to make it to heaven, but their works are going to be burned up because they didn't have any good works. What's Paul saying here?

No, you're 100% right. I don't know any interpreter that says that they're going to go to hell. Catholics would say this is speaking of purgatory, but even they would say that it's ultimate salvation. No, the language is clear, they will be saved, yet as through the fire. It's an idiom from the Old Testament, like a brand plucked from the fire. So it's 100% that, it's either talking about church workers, because Paul's talking about building on the foundation, let everyone be careful how they build, right? And what you build is going to be tested by fire. So let's say I built this mega church, and it was built on my own pride and ego, and now it gets tested.

Well, there's no reward for it. It all goes up because I built it on a prideful, self-centered foundation, but I'm still saved, just as one going through the fire. So your interpretation is completely right, and there's no support for it in the Greek, there's no support for her position in any translation, it just doesn't work, it's not there. Awesome, I thought I was right on both of them, but she wanted to argue with it, but anyway, thank you Dr. Brown, appreciate you and your ministry. Sure thing, yeah, whether women should be pastors or not is a totally separate question, obviously, but these responses are pretty easy on both of these. Alright, 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go over to Andrew in Minneapolis. Welcome to the line of fire.

Hey, thanks Dr. Brown. Hey, my question is about some of the Old Testament laws and punishments, especially in regard to being put to death. Do we have any instance in the Bible where someone repented of their sin and still got put to death? I was thinking about David, how he committed adultery and he repented of his sin and he didn't get put to death, so I was wondering if there's any sort of connection with repenting and that kind of helping people not receiving the harshest punishment. Right, so first, under Torah law itself, there is no room for repentance lessening a death penalty. In other words, there's no legislation that says, okay, this couple is caught in the act of adultery, they're both married to other people, they commit adultery, but they repent, they're so sorry, they'll never do it again, so instead they get whipped instead of death penalty.

No, there's no indication for that. Or Deuteronomy 13, you lead people to follow other gods, now you're going to be stoned to death, I am so sorry. Look, who wouldn't be sorry after, and who wouldn't pledge to never do it again, right?

So, you would expect everyone to react in that way. But no, there's no evidence of that whatsoever. Now, when it comes to David, as king, he was above man's law. There is no one that's going to put him to death for the sins that he committed, even though he was worthy of death.

But of course, the child that they conceived does die. There is judgment that falls, and then a lot of subsequent judgment falls on David, as you read in 2 Samuel the 12th chapter, as a result of what he did. So, he still doesn't get away with the sin, God forgives him, right? Right there, Nathan tells him, you're not going to die, but when Nathan tells you you're not going to die, I don't believe he means you're not going to be put to death by people. I believe he means God's not going to put you to death now, but the child is going to die, and then there are other things that are going to happen as a result of your sin. But no, you know, Achan, for example, in Joshua, so he sins by taking some of the consecrated plunder that was to be devoted to destruction and given over to the Lord in Joshua 7, he gets singled out for his deeds, and Joshua says, okay, confess, give glory to God. Confess your sin. And he does, and then he's put to death. His family with him, which the rabbis deduced from that, that they all knew what he did, and no one reported it or anything like that. So, you have, here's public confession, but he's still put to death. So, as far as we can see, that's the way it is when Jesus extends the mercy the way he does in the New Testament, he does it because he's the son of God, able to do that.

That's something that makes sense. Thank you so much for everything you do. You are very welcome.

866-34-TRUTH, we go to John Meyer in New Jersey. Welcome to the line of fire. Hello, Dr. Brown. Thank you for allowing me to come on the platform. I appreciate the minute. I just have two little questions, if that's okay? Sure.

Thank you. So, my first question is regarding to Genesis 3.15, when the Lord says, I will put enmity between you and the woman, right? I would just like to know, is it okay to use that verse to speak about Jesus? Yes, so the question is, is Genesis 3.15 a messianic prophecy? So, right, this is a major discussion in Jewish and Christian apologetics and polemics. It's not a direct prophecy where you read it and say, oh, that's obviously talking about Jesus, even when it talks about the seed of the woman.

It doesn't have a biological seed, but it just means offspring, right? So, on the one hand, it is talking about the hatred between the human race and snakes. It is talking about that and the snake bites the heel, but you crush its head. There's obviously more going on here because of the fact that it's Satan behind the snake, bringing about the fall of man, and now ultimately it's going to be offspring, the seed that's going to crush the snake, which Paul quotes in Romans 16 that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet shortly. Paul ultimately sees a messianic application here, that it's referring to the final defeat of the serpent, of the snake, of Satan, by the seed of the woman. Now, the other thing that's important is that zeroth seed is very, very big throughout Genesis and beyond. Genesis 12, 3, that through Abraham's seed, or Abraham's seed, the whole world will be blessed, and then the promised seed throughout the Old Testament. So, you could say in seed form, it's a messianic prophecy.

It finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. So, I don't think that when Adam and Eve heard this, that they were conscious of the largeness of what was happening, right? You know, let's not read too much into it, but in God's intent, yes, it is a seed of the final victory of the Messiah over the power of Satan.

Thank you, thank you, Dr. Brown. Now, my other question, right, I just wanted to get an understanding on, I see, like, a lot of people posting about these red heifers that came to Israel. I'm just trying to get an understanding on what does it have to do with scripture, if you could help me understand why it's being, you know, popularized that these red heifers showed up.

If you could just help me understand that. Yep. So, I happened to mention it on the radio, because my friend Jonathan Feldstein, Orthodox Jew in Israel, posted about it, was very excited that a Christian farm, breeders in America, had shipped over five red heifers over to Israel, and even when they were marking them, they didn't put something through their ears, you know, to identify them like they normally would, because they wanted them to be without blemish. So, I said, normally, I pay zero attention to these things, but because it has gotten the attention of religious Jews, rabbis in Israel, it's of interest to me. So, check out Numbers 19, all right, Numbers 19, that's the law of the red heifer, the red cow. And what Israel had to do when they were in the wilderness, and then this is part of the tabernacle and temple, is they had to have a red cow without blemish that had never been worked in the field or anything like that. It was to be, excuse me, it was to be slaughtered, excuse me, and its ashes were then to be used for the water of cleansing, so if you were richly impure, you had some severe skin disease, you accidentally touched a dead body, something you would wash, and then you had to have the ashes sprinkled on you. So, with the destruction of the temple, and no more ashes of a red heifer, then in that sense, the entire Jewish world would be richly impure. So, if you're going to ever rebuild a temple, then you have to have a red heifer today, and it has to be without blemish, so as it grows, gets older, it still has to be without blemish or defect, and then you can kill that animal, and then mix its ashes with the water, and now you have purification water. So, religious Jews interested in the rebuilding of the temple, either thinking the Messiah's going to come and do it, or we're going to do it in preparation for the Messiah. They've been waiting for the red heifer, and when they finally get one that's without blemish, oh, so now we have the potential of having the ashes for impurity, means we're one step closer, potentially, to rebuilding the temple, which would be very exciting to the religious Jewish world, especially the belief that the Messiah will come and build it. So, that's why there's this excitement about it.

Like I said, I never pay attention to these things, but because it's of interest to the religious community in Israel, at least some of it, it's of interest to me. Hey, thank you for the call. Welcome back to the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back to the Line of Fire.

My profound joy to be with you. One of my favorite things to do, take your calls, answer your questions. Number to call 866-348-7884. We have one line open. I just looked up. We've got one line open.

Let us go over to Tracy in High Point, North Carolina. Welcome to the Line of Fire. Thank you so much, Dr. Brown. I have a follow-up question about a broadcast that you did earlier in the week. You were talking about your trip to Poland, and you had been describing a service there where you were speaking from the pulpit, and when you turned around, you saw that the pastor, I think it was, of the church had fallen out of the chair onto his face under the power of the Holy Spirit. And I hope I'm going to get the topic right, but I think that you were asking, are churches afraid of the moving of the Holy Spirit? And I was thinking that, as a Pentecostal, I relate to what happened in Poland. I haven't seen it quite like that, but I'm comfortable with that. I'm familiar with that. But there are entire denominations and churches, you know, mainline Protestant churches, where you would never see anything like that. And the services are sort of predictable from week to week. You go in, there's a little singing, there's some preaching, you know, you get up and go home.

Sometimes it can be a little on the dull side sometimes. Yeah, I'm just wondering, how do you know that the Holy Spirit is in those churches, and they're not just going on their own power, their own strength? I know they don't want to, but how do you, if you're not looking for the big supernatural aha moment like you saw in Poland and like we Pentecostals, Charismatics would be familiar with, how do you know? In some of these calmer, mainline Protestant churches, that sort of manifestation is just not part of their culture. How can you tell where the Holy Spirit sits on the continuum in those churches? Right, and then conversely, some of those folks would say to us who are Pentecostals and Charismatics, how do you know it's not just the flesh, emotionalism, power of thought, demons? That's why you don't see it sometimes.

They're so scared of the flesh. Yeah, so let me say a few things here. For those who missed the show, I was talking about what happened Sunday morning. It was a very intense message that God wants to share his heart with us. The pain of a dying world, the pain of an often sick church, the pain of the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

He doesn't just want to reveal himself to us and his power to us, he wants to share his heart where we intercede with weeping, with tears. At one point in the message as I was speaking, the translator just started crying. She was so burdened and overcome by the subject, she began to weep and then continue to translate. And I said something and it was a sacred moment. I could feel something was being transacted. And at that moment, I saw to my right, the translator just kind of staggered.

Shouldn't fall to the ground, but just staggered. And then I heard a thud and I looked to my left and the pastor had fallen out of the seat, flat on his face. So nobody touched him, nobody prayed for him, nobody said a word about any such thing and God did something very significant.

He told me in very sober terms afterwards that the deep burden that God gave him and something very personal that God did in his life, he told me about it with real sobriety. And, you know, people say, well, where is that in the Bible? Well, people fall like dead people in front of angels, in front of the presence of God. That happens in the Bible. You know, Ezekiel falls like someone dead, Daniel falls like someone dead, John falls like someone dead in Revelation 1. You know, other passages of Ezekiel 2 and 3 and Daniel 10, you see things like that. And these people falling on their faces because of the presence of God and because of something he's doing. So it's certainly scriptural.

It's often happened through church history as God was moving. Of course, we don't look for that. I don't expect that. That kind of thing happening in that intense way is actually rare.

But here's what I would say. Let's talk about everybody. Pentecostal, non-Pentecostal, everybody. If you are seeking to honor the Lord, if you are praying for his blessing on what you do, if you're doing your best to be faithful to scripture and to preach Jesus without compromise, then you can expect that the Holy Spirit is with you in doing that. Because the Holy Spirit wants to exalt Jesus. The Holy Spirit is always in harmony with scripture. And if your desire is to honor God, to build up the church, to reach the lost, even if it's a predictable service, even if you know when it's going to start, when it's going to end, even if there's no one healed or no spiritual manifestation of people growing in the Lord, that's by the Spirit. If the lost are getting saved, that's by the Spirit.

If faith is being built, that's by the Spirit. Now, conversely, are there things God wants to do beyond that in terms of setting captives free? Sure. Setting people free from addictions, healing the sick, glorifying Jesus in other ways.

Absolutely. So we're never looking for just a response, a display. If I pray for a thousand people and nobody falls and nobody shakes, but all of them are deeply touched by God, that's wonderful. If I pray for a thousand people and they all fall to the ground shaking and nobody's changed, that's miserable.

So that's what we always want to see, the lasting fruit of a transformed life. And that's how we can tell if the Holy Spirit's at work. Are people being conformed to the image of Jesus? Are they being set free from bondages?

Are the lost being saved? Are God's people becoming more and more like Jesus? Those would be the signs of the working of the Spirit.

But it's a fair question. Just because we have big meetings, just because we have good singing, good teaching, just because we have a lot of excitement or emotion, whatever the thing is. You may have speaking in tongues or shaking. Where's the evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead and is working in our midst by the Spirit?

That's what I'm asking everybody. Pentecostal, non-Pentecostal, whatever the background, show me the evidence of changed lives to the glory of God and God working supernaturally in people's hearts and minds. And I'm going to rejoice, whether it's a liturgical service, whether it's a predictable service, whether it's a Pentecostal jumping and shouting service, show me the long-term lasting fruit. That is the work of the Spirit. Hey, thank you very much for the question.

I really do appreciate it. 866-344-TRUTH. Let's go over to Sarah in Tennessee. Welcome to the line of fire. Hi.

Hey! So, I am majorly confused about a particular subject pertaining to Romans 8-2. I cannot figure out the difference between being freed from sin and struggling with sin. Because if you're filled with the Spirit of the Lord, you're no longer a slave to sin, you die to sin. And I believe I had just heard you talking about how there's evidence of the Spirit inside of somebody who's saved. But how would you know what that looks like? And if you're looking for those things, would it be a work-based salvation?

Like, how do we know exactly? So, Sarah, first, be assured that as people read through Romans 6, 7, and 8, that many are confused by Romans 7, because Paul is talking about the things I hate, I do, the things I want to do, I don't do, and who's going to deliver me from this body of death, and thank God for Jesus. And so, with my mind, I serve the Lord. With my flesh, I serve sin.

I mean, what's he saying? And then 8-1, therefore there's no condemnation to those who are in the sight of Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death, for what the Lord was powerless to do, that I was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his Son. So he goes on with all that, and what I always tell people is, listen, whether Paul's talking about his past life, or the struggle he has as a believer, or whether he's talking about life under the law as a believer, what's indisputably clear is Romans 6, that we have victory over sin, that we have died to sin, that we should consider ourselves dead to sin, that sin will not reign over our mortal bodies, and Romans 8, that we live in the Spirit and by the Spirit.

So, here's my simple answer to the question. We must take hold of the spiritual realities to walk this out, that even though we will be tempted, and even though we can have ups and downs, we must, Romans 6, consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. We must take hold of the fact that we are empowered by grace, and therefore not under the law, meaning under the law as a system of righteousness, or under the law as condemnation, or under the law as a tutor to bring us to the Messiah. That we are under grace doesn't mean we can do whatever we want, but it means that we are now empowered by God. You say, okay, isn't that works righteousness? No, no, works righteousness is, if I work harder, if I pray more, if I live holier, I can be right with God. If I can just get to this level, if I can quit dealing with porn, or dealing with a bad attitude, or dealing with lying, or dealing with gluttony, if I can just master those things, then God will accept me. That's works righteousness. Grace says, I'm accepted by God because of what Jesus did, and now I am empowered to live differently, let me take hold of that. And if I'm not taking hold of it, if I'm back and forth, back and forth, then I know that there is more, that there is a life beyond that, that should not be continually tormented, continually beaten down, continually defeated. So look at it as a divine invitation and a divine exhortation. Consider yourselves dead to sin.

Get it in your heart, get it in your mind. Get the realities of Romans 8, life in the spirit, so dominate your thinking that now you live differently, and sin is the exception to the rule. Yes, okay, so on that, I also go to Hebrews 10, I think 26, right, where it talks about sinning deliberately after the truth. It seems like in my personal walk with the Lord, you know, you can go through a season of like really bad things, kind of like David, and David knew not to do that.

So it's confusing to me because I've had people say that, you know, that would be evidence that you have a false salvation if you have like lived in sin after receiving the hope. Right, so here's the question. We're going to take a break and I'm going to come back on the other side of the break.

I want you to think about this. When you were doing that, were you struggling? Were you saying, I hate what I'm doing.

God, I messed up. Why am I doing this? This is so wrong.

I'm so weak. Or were you saying, I don't care about God. I don't care about what's right or wrong. I'm going to do what I want to do. Let me know when we come back on the other side of the break. Stay right here. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us on The Line of Fire, 866-34-TRUTH. So, Sarah, just back to you. How would you answer my question when you have had these periods of your life as a believer of struggle and going up and down? Have you said, I'm going to rebel. I'm going to do what I want. I don't care if there's a God or not.

Or have you been struggling and hating yourself in the process? I think that it can be either sometimes. I know that at one point in my life, a year and a half ago, I just felt like God didn't care because there was just no revealing of Himself to me. And the Holy Spirit is just not very prevalent where I live, I guess. I don't know.

I just don't know what that's supposed to look like. So, to me, I just have said, well, if God's real, He'll stop me from doing this because I have no power to stop doing this. If He has to be the power within me to stop doing these things, because when we go to being freed from the law of sin and death, I get confused as to what does that mean to be free from the law of sin and death? Am I expected to be sanctified to a certain degree before death?

The law of sin and death is the destructive power of sin in our lives that brings with it spiritual death and then ultimately physical death. Here's what I'd encourage you to do, Sarah. If I were in your shoes, I would say this. I need to know God more deeply.

I cannot live with this up and down, in and out uncertainty. I need to know God more deeply. I would go back to how I came to faith, how if you're just raised in the church and always assume certain things, then you could really genuinely need to be born again because you're just kind of going along with the flow. But assuming that there was a point in time where you recognized your sin, you called out to the Lord to save you, you confessed Jesus as Lord, the roots need to go down deeper. And you just have to determine, okay, I am going to spend quality time crying out to God.

I am going to pray like I've never prayed because there is a place where you live differently. No, we will not be perfect. We will never be perfect in this world ever. But we can live overcoming lives. We can live lives that are different when we are not slaves to sin. I'd encourage you to check out a little book I wrote called The Grace Controversy.

The Grace Controversy. You'll find it really easy to read. Just got translated into Polish.

That's one reason I was in Poland, in fact. But you'll find it really easy to read, very clear, addressing the questions about forgiveness, about sin. I think it will help you to renew your mind to being forgiven, to being accepted, to being loved, and yet to being empowered. It's up to you to say no to sin. God's not going to say it for you, but he has given you the power to resist.

So check out the book, The Grace Controversy, and then just make a determination. I'm going to get to know God in such a way that my life is evidently different, that I can see it and others can see it. So may the Lord guide you on your journey, Sarah. Thank you so much for calling. I appreciate it. All right, 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go to Chrissy and Raleigh. Welcome to the line of fire.

Hi, thank you, Dr. Brown. So my question is, I have two questions, but the first one is, what exactly is blasphemy and once a saved person has committed it, are they hell bound? Right, so blasphemy, generally speaking, is to speak against God. The same word is used for slander or for blasphemy. So when you speak falsely against a person, right, you say, you know, your next door neighbor actually has been stealing from the government and he's a terrorist.

Okay, you're lying about that person, speaking falsely, you're defaming them. Blasphemy is to do that about God, to speak evil things, false things about him. So someone can do that and repent, God forgives. Blasphemy of the Spirit is when someone knowingly takes, attributes the things of the Spirit and attributes them to demons. Where they know that this is the working of the Spirit and with full knowledge, they attribute that to the power of demons. They obviously cross a line where they're not going to want forgiveness and they're not going to want God. So blasphemy in general, one thing blasphemy in the Spirit is specifically something else.

Okay, thank you. And then my next question is, I really felt like there was a generational curse on me and my kids. So what I did, I fasted and prayed, but I know when you fast, you're not supposed to tell anybody. So for three days, you know, I kept it to myself, but afterwards I talked to my kids about, you know, I feel like there's a generational curse, I fasted and prayed.

So hopefully our life will be changing for the better. Now I spoke too soon after the fast and I'm not seeing any change. I'm just like, so does that, when you talk about it before the revelation comes, does that negate the fact? Okay, first thing, don't worry that like God's watching and it's like this system and if you don't get it perfectly right, it doesn't work. Okay, take that pressure off. And when Jesus tells us about talking about fasting, he's saying don't do it for people to see.

In other words, don't fast and then you come in like to work. I'm having a bad day. Oh, because I'm fasting.

So that's what he's talking about. To tell your kids afterwards, that's perfectly fine and you did it by faith. But look, here's the thing. You don't know for a fact there was a generational curse. You sense that, you believe that, therefore you fasted and prayed, right?

The only time I look for generational curse type stuff is when there's evidence that something is just going wrong all the time in the most bizarre, unexpected ways and it's almost like bad luck follows. You know, I had a friend that led to the Lord in high school and then he always, an accident, bizarre things would happen. So he decided one day that he wasn't going to take his car to school. He was going to go with someone else so that nothing would happen to his car. And while it was parked there in front of his house, the lamp on the light stand fell off and crashed through the windshield of his car.

He seemed like snake bitten, you know? Then you wonder, is something going on here when it's periodic and it's through the family? But if it's clear that things continue to have that feel like just over and over and over, wrong, wrong, wrong, attack, sickness just hits you, financial things just hit, spiritual attack, hit. Yeah, it just seems like I can never get ahead, even if I work two jobs, you know, and I have it, my parents have a history of, you know, not, you know, serving the Lord, but I do. And so I'm just like, I want this thing off of me. I want to prosper, you know, but... Right, be able to meet your needs.

So, Chrissy, if that was me and I did what you did and I fasted and prayed, the thing wasn't broken, then I would get with a seasoned man or woman of God in the church, you know, serious leaders with spiritual insight, I'd share with them what's going on, and if they felt together, okay, there is some demonic attack or there is something that's trying to hang over you, some attack from the enemy, let's break this together. Sometimes it just comes coming into agreement if, again, it does seem like you're just snake bitten. We obviously are going to go through hard times. We're going to have ups and downs. We understand that. There's going to be suffering in this world.

But like I said, there are those patterns. It's just like, I don't understand it. The same thing to the same family over and over. And it's the parents and it's the kids and it's the grandparents. Like, what is going on here? And then these things can be broken in Jesus' name.

And sometimes, like I said, it takes getting with someone else to do it. Hey, may the Lord's grace be there for you and your family. Alright, I got time for another call. Quickly.

Jenny in New York. Sorry to have to rush, but let's go right to your question. Thank you.

Hi. I was part of a Christian project and I kind of got behind it and invested in it and it's gotten really big. I don't want to mention it just because I don't want to disparage it, but I'm concerned because the person behind it was working with Mormons and mentioned saying Jesus. And then was sought for clarity and basically said, you know, it could be a mistaken identity just because it's not the same or kind of justified. I didn't clearly say Mormonism isn't a Christian denomination. Then recently came out again and said, I just want to clarify, there are some Mormons that could be Christians. I'm not going to say Mormons aren't Christians. And the concern I have is it's built on, you know, false teaching outside of Christianity teaching. So I think if you're a Christian and a Mormon, you wouldn't actually be a Mormon. So is there a distinction between Christianity and Mormonism?

Yes. So, Jenny, go to C-A-R-M.

C-A-R-M. It's a great apologetics website. and look up Mormonism.

Yes, you are absolutely right. Mormonism is distinct from Christianity. Now, there are Mormons who are ignorant of Mormon teaching, who have been exposed to the true gospel along the way, who may be saved and not aware of the depth of error in Mormonism.

But that is by accident. That is despite Mormonism. So Mormonism is a cult. It is not true Christianity.

Yes, it is weakened in certain ways, and there are more people that get exposed to a true gospel through other means. But if you're true to Mormonism, you will not be true to the Bible and true to the Jesus of the Bible, for sure. Now, I would work with Mormons for pro-life issues.

I would work with Mormons if you're helping hurricane victims, you know, just like I've worked with many others. But to join side by side spiritually? No, no, could not do that. Could not do that. All right. Be blessed, friends. Have an awesome weekend. Visit us at
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 11:59:43 / 2022-12-29 12:18:45 / 19

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