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October 27, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 562 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. My parents have recently converted to the Russian Orthodox church and they say that every other denomination has apostatized. I am not sure if I should believe them or if I should believe what everyone else seems to say. Can you help?
2. What does the bible mean when it talks about the anti-Christ. Is it a spirit or a person?
3. Ananias and Sapphira got the “death penality” from God, but Moses, David, Paul, and others who seem to have actually murdered did not get this judgment. Why is that?
4. Do exorcisms still happen today? I have heard that certain miraculous things have ceased to take place after the ministry of Jesus and the apostles. Are exorcisms included in those things that have ceased?
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton
Can Christians Celebrate Halloween? by Adriel SanchezOffers
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Can you tell me of real exorcism still happened in the church today. That is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer with pastor Adm. Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com. Well it's Halloween week and we know Christians have different views on trick-or-treating and Halloween and it really take your kids trick-or-treating. I do actually wrote a article over core, Christianity.com: can Christians celebrate Halloween rest of unpack some of the reason for why I think it's okay but obviously you know this is one of those issues where people have a difference of opinion and that's totally okay. I really enjoy the candy coming typically after were done.
I am able to tax my children's bags and I leave them with all the Tootsie Roll's and I take the good stuff like the Reese's peanut butter cups in the butter fingers and my favorite top of the list and I know that this is a controversial thing, maybe even more than whether or not we can do Halloween candy corn. A lot of people debate about whether candy corn is good and I happen to love it.
You know, I don't know if you realize this but the outer coating on candy corn is made from bugs well that has to be the most delicious bug I've ever heard of no is Sandy corn's firm, smooth coating listed as confectioners glaze on the label, but it actually is known as black resin coating that comes straight from lack bugs which are bright red insects found in Asia now just let you know they have six legs and a set of antennae. Oh well, I never heard that bill and I'm can continue to enjoy my candy course so thanks for trying to ruin it. Okay, let's get her first question of the day. This is a call that came in from Gregory my parents are Russian Orthodox. Their original immigrants to America from the former Soviet Union, but they converted from baptism to Russian orthodox and they believe that all other church denominations have gone apostate kit I believe them or should I believe everybody else than what everybody else because they're telling me that all other church denominations are apostate and that the Orthodox Church of the only true denomination that exist. I don't know what to say. Please help thank you, thank you for that question Gregory sets is quite the claim to say that all other Christian groups are apostate. That would apostate just means they've abandoned the faith to be apostate means you're not a true believer you're lost and so that is quite the claimant.
I know that this is such a difficult thing, especially because this is your family and of these kinds of divisions and family can be really hard in some sorry to hear that that you're experiencing this and often times when people convert another told that the Orthodox Church is the church that Jesus instituted no pressing on the idea that they've been worshiping God the same way for 2000 years almost as if to suggest that if you go to one of their churches, the worship you're going to experience is the exact same thing that Peter or Paul experienced when they gather together with the church that's described in leases like the book of acts. Historically, that just isn't true. The Orthodox Church as it developed in the East solve various liturgical developments.
That is, you know developments and how they were shipped that were introduced later into the worship of the church, things like icons you might be from there the icons but I'm sure a lot of our listeners aren't there those images of Jesus and of the saints and of the Virgin Mary that are sort of plastered all over the church walls will that wasn't something that you had in the early churches in the earliest churches in incense as well, and of the earliest churches didn't have incense in the reason they didn't have them, is because it was so closely associated with the pagan worship merely Christians and they talk about instances and especially the instance was related to the temple in the Old Testament under the old covenant.
They said the fulfillment of that was the prayers of the church right now so there were these developments that that took place these changes in worship that took place over the years and often times that I bring this up because what orthodox people say is we've been worshiping God the same way since the very beginning. I think historically that's not the case now.
One of the concerns I have with all of the smells and bells is that sometimes the very simple gospel can be buried under our traditions and worship that is an article written some time ago by an Orthodox priest. And in that article he lamented the fact that if you ask the average orthodox person in the pew today. What is the gospel. They wouldn't be able to give you an answer why is that I think part of the problem is that sometimes in these more liturgical traditions.
You have less of an emphasis on preaching the Bible breaking down the text of Scripture now doesn't have to be that way. That is often what you find. That's a terrible situation to be in if you're the quote unquote one true church with the people in your church. Don't know the basics of the gospel and that's in part why believe that true churches aren't the ones that have a specific name in all the Russian Orthodox Church, but the ones that preach and teach the same gospel that the apostles believed in with passion and power that there a lot of denominations out there Gregory and and their differences shouldn't be exaggerated, but they also should be underestimated. But here's what you need to know where ever Jesus is being proclaimed faithfully, according to God's inspired word. The Holy Spirit is at work building the church and and at the end of the day what central to the church.
The deposit of faith that was meant to be handed down from one generation to another is the holy gospel is the message of the forgiveness of our sins that we have to focus on that that you need to focus on and I hope that that's what your parents are focusing on is well, because there's nothing more important than that message. And that's what our churches should be giving to us. God bless you brother and I pray that the Lord blesses you and that he blesses your relationship with your parents it as you continue to have conversations about this focus on Jesus and focus on the good news of the gospel. No Israel have a friend whose wife is a Russian immigrant, and she grew up orthodox and she for some reason is unable to attend evangelical churches because she says it's too casual and the worship music is not appropriate because of what she grew up with the chanting and the very liturgical style of the Orthodox Church.
And so it's really a tragedy because he wants his wife to attend church with them but she just won't go yeah 12 and then that also raises another issue because I think that critique might be true in omitting some of our churches.
We really have downplayed the holiness of God and worshiping him with reverence and with awe as the author.
The Hebrew says in Hebrews chapter 12 as of the other things that we can learn from one another. I think in and that's really important to you know what we want to demonize each other, but there are also serious differences and at the end of the day. The main thing the area we need to focus as I was saying to Gregory is on the gospel message the deposit of faith once for all delivered to the saints meant to be handed down for all generations. Jesus, the message of the gospel that we need.
That's where our focus has to be and I hope that in whatever church Gregory said that's the focus in and whatever church you're in, as you listen to this that needs to be the focus for men. This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez.
Here's a question that came in through our website at core, Christianity.com/radio David says, what does the Bible mean when it talks about the Antichrist is that a spirit or a person who while overcoming this is a really really important question. I think because there's so much confusion about the antichrist today. A lot of people when they hear that were there envisioning this in a one world ruler in their certificate of that could be this person could be that person was waiting for the antichrist to appear well.
The only place in the New Testament where you have that word antichrist is in the epistles of John, and John introduces us to this idea in first John chapter 2 beginning in verse 18 with what he said there children. It is the last hour and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come now that phrase right there could be translated so now many have become antichrist as well. Therefore we know that it is the last hour they went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that it might become plain that they all are not of us but you have been anointed by the holy one, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you know it, and because no lies of the truth, who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ.
This is the antichrist, he who denies the father and the son now.
Later in first John Jonathan a talk about how the spirit of the antichrist is already at work in the world today and so David, when were thinking about the antichrist. John says there there were there people there in that church would abandon the church read become antichrist if you will, and that was because they were under the influence of the spirit of the antichrist and what is that influence look like will John says very clearly this what you need to know. It looks like not understanding who Jesus is. It looks like denying who Jesus is the spirit of the antichrist wants to take our eyes off of Jesus Christ. Once this confuse us about Jesus you think about what Paul said in second Corinthians were he warned the Corinthians about abandoning the simplicity of the gospel.
He says you know someone comes and preaches to you another Christ, you may well put up with them to the danger for us and for the church primarily is not you looking to some one individual world leader who's the antichrist know it's more close to home. It's our own failure to understand who Jesus is. I think of that discussion that Jesus our Lord had with Peter. This is the most important question that any of you could ever answer. Who do you say that I am Jesus said to Peter, and I wonder if you listening right now if you'll ask yourself that question right now let Jesus ask you that question right now. Who do you say that I am.
And of course Peter went on a list of what some people were saying. Some people say you your your another profit.
Your you're like Elijah Jesus said to Peter, who do you say that I am Peter said you are the Christ, the son of the living God. You see, not knowing who Jesus is denying the truth of the incarnation that he is God incarnate, the Christ, the anointed Messiah came to save us from our sins, we reject that that antichrist. That's the spirit of the antichrist at work today and that's with the Bible focuses on David when it talks about the antichrist is not so much a focus on one individual. You do get some of that in the book of Revelation in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians that we were to take away primarily is we need to have a right understanding of who Jesus is.
Who is he he's the God man who came for us and for our salvation, who conquered sin and death on the cross and rose again from the dead. That's the truth and that's with the antichrist wants us to turn away from this is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez's and if you are a regular listener to this program. We want you to know that we are listener supported and we count on people just like you to make donations to keep us on the air now one of the ways you can do that is by joining what we call our inner core.
Yeah, what a joy it is to answer questions about the Bible every day and we have an amazing team of people behind us producing the show. Writing the articles over core, Christianity.com that are going to help you go a little bit deeper into the questions that we get here on the program. These are resources that are helping you and so many others more fully understand the gospel and ultimately to have confidence in what you believe about God's word so that you can share with others as you can imagine this is a work that requires many people to come alongside of us and support us and we can't do it without your prayers and support. From what I ask you come alongside of us and become a regular supporter with the monthly donation of only $25 or more, you can join the inner court and be a part of the team that makes the show possible core, Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more or give us a call at 833. The core at 833-843-2673. We would love to have you involved in our intercourse. So I give a scholar go on the website today and learn more about that. Let's go to another question. This is a call that came in at 833. The core and I was thinking about Ananias and the firemen they got the death penalty from God and let out David and Moses and Paul. They did not get the death penalty and they all murdered questionably transfer miles from town. Thank you. Say thanks for that day and I can see why that would be a little bit confusing because he think about these guys and and they committed these heinous sentiment David he deserved the death penalty. Frankly, for what he had done adultery and murder essentially and and when Nathan the prophet confronted David. David realized that he was deserving of death, the member Nathan gave him that little story that parable if you will about an individual who take something that wasn't his, and then David says that guy deserves to die. And Nathan said to David, you're the guy it's okay so yeah why is it that Ananias and Sophia read in acts chapter 5 are put to death, but David wasn't just for those who are not familiar with that passage and ask chapter 51 to read acts chapter 5 verses one through 11. This is the early church man named Ananias, with his wife. The fire is sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself. Some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles feet. Peter said Ananias, why his Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself.
Part of the proceeds of the land while it remained unsold. They do not remain your own and after was sold, was it not at your disposal. Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart you have not lied to men but to God. When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young man rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him in court. The same thing happens to his wife the fire when she comes in. That seems Diane at least to me like the Lord is making a point here and the point was taken by the first century believers have a great fear came upon all of them were told again in verse 11 after his wife. The fire died we read and great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things, the fear of the Lord and what what's being communicated here. I think, is that God takes sin very seriously. You know, we sometimes think that in the Old Testament God took sin very seriously that he judged made have been a by you in Leviticus 10 verses one through three for for not worshiping in him in the way that he wants to be worship to be put them to death, but under the new covenant. You know God is way more laid back and he doesn't take thinness.
Seriously though, that's not the case that all God is demonstrating for us here is very early stage of the Christian church. The new covenant community. This God is a consuming fire who takes sin seriously who will not permit it in his church ascended steadily. Paul said in first Corinthians 11 verse 30. This is the reason why many are sick and some have even died because we don't deal with the sin in our lives. We don't turn away from them and then we come to church and take communion like everything is A-OK know God won't put up with it so we all experience death because of sin for the believer, but the good news this week when we die in Christ death is been transformed but we don't always experience death at the same time I heard it said before I think this is true. You can choose your sin but you can't always choose your consequence and certainly that was the case for Ananias since the fire, and so I think Diana what's happening here is God's making an example showing the early new covenant Church that he takes these things very seriously and we should as well. This is why Paul known first Corinthians talks about purging the church of sin is why we have things like church discipline now. That's not to say that there isn't grace for sinners. Oh, thank God there is because all of us fail, we all fall and struggle with sin and there is grace and what you have here is more than just I think stumbling into said no. This was a conscious, willful disobedience.
To me this is why Peter says to Ananias, you're lying to the Holy Spirit. You're lying to God. You're putting on a show.
This is hypocrisy.
And God takes that very seriously.
But there's hope. When we recognize our sin, we turn to the Lord there is grace there is forgiveness.
But let's not downplay the reality of sin. The fact that God cares about holiness in the church and in in his community and let's take this this story this account as a warning for each and every one of us that God takes sin seriously that it's not okay to pretend in the church to be a hypocrite to say one thing and do another thing that God got a serious about that. And so if that's something that were doing what we need to stop. Remember Ananias and Sapphire. But above all, remember the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is kind and merciful toward sinners and who calls us to himself. To be honest about our sin to confess it, bringing it into the light and to receive his mercy and grace. Thanks for that question you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and this is a question that really fits this week with Halloween coming up Christian posted this on her Instagram page and he says do exorcisms still happen today. I've heard that certain miraculous things have ceased to take place after the ministry of Jesus and the apostles are exorcisms included in those things that have ceased. Yeah, you're right. Bill of this is the question at the tester to fit with the hollow insert spooky theme and the reality is, Satan is at work in the world today him and you just can't deny that. We know that John says and we talked about first John earlier in the spirit of the antichrist, the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one. That spirit of the antichrist is Satan working today are we even thinking about that passage that I just read from acts chapter 5 where Peter says to Ananias, why his Satan filled your heart now I don't know that that means that Ananias was possessed by the devil that he needed an exorcism.
But certainly he was under the influence of the evil one. His heart had been captivated by this lie by sin and I do think people today can be possessed by evil spirits and, in so far as that's the case then yeah I think that exorcisms can happen today. Now one thing that we have to keep in mind is that Jesus in his earthly ministry bound Satan that's one of the reasons why over and over, and in the Gospels, what you have are these accounts of Jesus casting out devils. Jesus gives a story a parable in the Gospels if you will about binding the strongman and plundering the strong man's house and in the context there what Jesus is revealing is that he's come to bind Satan the strongman whose taken people captive so that Jesus through the preaching of the gospel through his ministry might release the captives might deliver them. That's key, I think, because if we don't realize that the and I've said this before working to view ourselves as the sort of spiritual Ghostbusters were the ones were called to deliver people from Satan's grip by performing exorcisms or something like that will know that's not the case. Jesus is the one who drives out the devil and that's what he did definitively in his first coming and he went to the cross.
He conquered Satan he destroyed his kingdom. He plundered it so that people might be redeemed saved the ultimate exorcism. I think Christian happens at conversion unit one of the things that's really interesting. In the early church baptisms were always accompanied by an exorcism.
Isn't that kind of interesting that many of these early baptismal rights were typically a candidate for baptism as they were being baptized, they would renounce Satan and and the pastor would would perform. Essentially, this exorcism if you will now wasn't like that.
The kind of thing that you see in the movies but there was this sense, a very clear sense in which this individual was coming out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light and we do know Christian. The light in the darkness cannot dwell together that when someone is in Christ when they belong to Jesus when they been purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. They can be possessed by the evil one know John says he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. So I do think that Satan does have a sway today. I do think that are there instances where someone really does need to be delivered from evil spirits. Yes, but that happens through the preaching of the gospel by the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual's heart as they understand who Jesus is and what he's done forces of evil are driven out.
If you will, and there redeemed rescued from the kingdom of darkness. We are brothers and sisters light in the Lord Jesus Christ through his work for us on the cross and were called to stand firm against the powers of the evil one, and to point others still captive to the darkness. Jesus the light of thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together