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The Narrow Path 8/10

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg
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August 10, 2020 8:00 am

The Narrow Path 8/10

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg

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August 10, 2020 8:00 am

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Good afternoon and welcome to the Narrow Path Radio Broadcast. My name is Steve Gregg and we're live for an hour each weekday afternoon with an open phone line for you to call if you have questions about the Bible or about the Christian faith. Now I have to say I'm very surprised that there's no calls showing on my screen and I wonder if I should trust my screen because this happened once before and it turned out that something in the studio had to be done differently and there were actually calls waiting. So I can't tell you. No. Okay. No callers yet.

Okay. So I trust the screen and if you'd like to be on the program, it's a great time to call in. If you have questions about the Bible or the Christian faith, you'll be welcome to call right now and get right through onto our switchboard. The number is 844-484-5737.

That's 844-484-5737. Now I received some time ago a letter from a prisoner who had some questions and he's, let's see, he's in Texas I believe. It looks like his name is Lee Keel. I may be pronouncing it wrongly. Both names are unfamiliar to me but he's from actually New York. He's from Comstock, New York, Washington Correctional Facility.

Okay. So he wrote me a long letter with some questions and I just wanted, as the calls are coming in, I want to mention a few of these. He said, can you interpret the following verses? Now he's got three different passages and one of them is 2 Thessalonians 2, 3 through 12, which is the passage about the so-called man of lawlessness and where Paul says that the man of lawlessness has not yet been revealed, at least not in Paul's day, and that he would be revealed except there was something that was restraining him from being revealed in due time. But when that restraint is taken away, then he will be revealed and it describes him as coming with the working of Satan and power and signs and line wonders and that he will actually sit in the temple of God, Paul says. This is 2 Thessalonians 2, verses 3 through 12 is the passage that the prisoner has asked about. Now this is, of course, popularly understood by many to be about a future Antichrist and then the Reformers had the view that it was about the papacy, actually.

And the truth is that either view could be true. The papacy view actually has a pretty good chance of being true because it says that he will sit in the temple of God. Now Paul uses this expression only two other times in his writings. In 1 and 2 Corinthians, both times he uses the term temple of God and both places he tells the church that you are the temple of God. That is the church is the temple of God.

Many futurists who think it's about a future Antichrist believe that the Antichrist will sit in a future Jewish temple in Jerusalem, that there will be a rebuilt Jewish temple and the Antichrist will position himself there and call himself God. Well, maybe, but Paul never actually referred to the Jewish temple as the temple of God. Even Jesus stopped talking about it that way. At the beginning of Jesus' ministry, he told the Jews that they were making his father's house a den of thieves. That means he was referring to the temple as his father's or God's house. But later in Jesus' ministry, Jesus spoke about the same building after the Jews had pretty much rejected him and he was about ready to die.

He said, your house is left to you desolate. In other words, he's leaving the temple and the temple is desolate, but he calls it your house, not my father's house. So obviously the temple in Jerusalem was not and never will again be God's temple. The Jews can build a temple and maybe they will and they can offer animal sacrifices, which if they do, they'll be doing in rebellion against God because God has brought an end to that system and that's because Jesus fulfilled it and there remains no more need at all for it. So for the Jews to continue sacrificing in a rebuilt temple would be just their way of saying, we reject Jesus and we're going to go with our old ways.

Even though God destroyed him, we're going to build it up again. So it'd be an act of defiance against God, at least against Christ. So Christians would never rejoice in that, neither would God. And yet Paul says you can sit in the temple of God.

No Jewish temple will ever again be the temple of God because God doesn't dwell in temples made with hands and the sacrifices that are offered there don't have any relevance anymore because Christ fulfilled them. So it would sound like Paul saying the man of lawlessness will be in the church. And that is one reason why the reformers all believed it was referring to the papacy, which emerged in the church and that which was hindering the rise of the papacy, they said had been in Paul's day, the Roman empire, which the Pope's could not rise to power in Europe as long as the emperors held that position. But with the fall of Rome and the empire up rose the Bishop of Rome pretty much to fill that power vacuum. And so the things that Paul said the man of lawlessness would do, actually, if you look at the history of the papacy, you'll find that they tick all the boxes, everything Paul said they would do or that the man of sin would do, they do.

So it's a very strong position and that's why the reformers all believed it and many still do. The idea that it's a future Antichrist is not impossible, though it would not be the case that the dispensational idea of the Antichrist sitting in a rebuilt temple would find any support here since Paul, as I said, only said he would sit in the temple of God, which is not the Jewish temple, but the church, according to Paul's own use of that term elsewhere. I'll take one of these other verses. I'm going to go to the phones because we have a bunch of callers.

The prisoner also asked about Revelation 19, 20. Excuse me. I haven't said a word today.

I've been writing all day and I haven't even, my voice still thinks I just woke up, even though I've been up for hours. So it has to clear as I talk. Revelation chapter 19 and verse 20 says, then the beast was captured and with him, the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, which he deceived, with which he, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worship the image and these two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. He wants me to get my interpretation of that. The beast and the false prophet are the two beasts mentioned in Revelation 13 and they, from the time of their rise to the end of the book of Revelation, at least until chapter 20, are mentioned as the two great allies of Satan in trying to stop the kingdom of God from growing into its destiny to fill the whole earth. The first beast I believe represents a political power and the second beast, a religious power, which is why it's called the false prophet. Prophets usually are associated with religious systems and the beast, the first beast seems to be a political system ruling over kings and so forth. So my understanding, and this is only one understanding of many that are out there, is that the two beasts represent both phenomena, that is anti-Christian governmental persecution powers and anti-Christian religious influences that are aligned with the politicians or the governments because essentially all nations throughout history until modern times have had state religions. So the religion would simply function to give credence to the state and that has been manifested in very many cases in history. The beast and the false prophet exist at all times in different forms.

Wherever there's a government somewhere that's persecuting Christians, wherever there's a false religion that's opposing Christianity, those are the allies of Satan, the beast and the false prophet. These systems come to an end when Jesus returns and they're depicted as being thrown into the lake of fire. Now we might think, well, if they're thrown in the lake of fire, they must be individual people, but we need to be careful about making that conclusion since in the same chapter that tells us of the devil being thrown in the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet, which is chapter 20, we find later on, it says in verse, let's see, 9, 14, it says death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. So death and Hades, which are not individual people by any means are also cast in.

What we see is revelation is very symbolic drama, and in it we have Christ symbolically described as a lamb and many enemies of Christ symbolically depicted as a dragon, a beast, a false prophet, and also as riders on the fourth horse. That was death followed by Hades. Now, none of those entities are human individuals.

Some are concepts. Death and Hades are not individuals or groups of individuals. They are phenomena, but they are personified in the drama and as in all good dramas, the bad guys finally get their due. So at the end of Revelation, death and Hades and the beast and the false prophet and the dragon, they all are thrown into the lake of fire. This is the way the story is being told using symbolic images. Nobody really believes the devil is a dragon and a serpent, can't be both anyway. And I hope nobody believes Jesus is really a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns as he's depicted in Revelation. And I would think we also don't believe that the beast and the false prophet are individual people because after all the beast has seven heads and ten horns and the seven heads are seven kings and the ten horns are ten kings and they're all part of the beast. So the beast is made up of many kings and kingdoms, not merely one man.

So that's how I understand the beast and the false prophet. We need to move along here. There's another call, another question this brother asked, but I'm out to save it for another time. We're going to go and talk to Warren from, I guess, Roseville, California. Warren, welcome to the Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hi, thanks for taking my call.

I was expecting to get through so quickly. My question is this. God can't tolerate evil or wickedness in his sight. But later on in Job, it talks about how Satan came and presented himself along with the angels. Yeah, God is not so thin skinned that he can't be in the presence of evil.

And that's proved right there and many other places. I mean, the Bible says the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. So it's not as if God can't look about, can't be in the presence or see evil. I think many people who who think that about God are thinking of the prophet Habakkuk, who said your eyes are too pure than to behold evil. And I think it's from that statement that many people say, well, God can't be in the presence of evil, can't see evil, can't look at it. But if he can't look at it, then the criminals are getting away with an awful lot because God can't see what they're doing.

But he does. His eyes are in every place beholding the evil and the good. Habakkuk, when he says your eyes are too pure to behold evil, it should better be translated. And in modern translations it is your eyes are too pure than to countenance evil or to look favorably on evil. You can see it, but you can't look favorably upon it.

And that's what the statement is. So for God to look on Satan or to, I mean, remember in the Garden of Eden, God confronted the serpent and told him on your belly, you're going to go. I mean, there's never been a problem with God being in the presence of the devil. The problem is with the devil being in the presence of God.

He's the one who's got problems. But, yeah, so it's not really the problem that you're thinking. I'm just trying to understand, like, the location of this conversation that they had, because from my understanding, to me, it seems like they're in heaven and, you know, Satan decides to come with them one day and it's like, well, how can Satan, how can evil go to heaven? Well, going to heaven is a term we use for being saved. It's a bad term for it because being saved doesn't mean going to heaven. But most Christians usually think of going to heaven as salvation and therefore say, well, how could the devil go to heaven?

Heaven is simply a place where God and the angels dwell. It does not necessarily speak of salvation for the devil to be there. The devil's not saved when he goes there. We find in Revelation chapter 12 that when Jesus died and rose again, Satan was cast out of heaven, that he was accusing the brethren before our God day and night up to that point. So the devil has always had access to heaven to accuse the brethren as he accused Job or as he accused Joshua in the book of Zechariah chapter 3. So, you know, the Bible has never suggested the devil can't go to heaven. And I think the problem you're having is that you think of going to heaven as something that only good people or saved people do, because we've been led to believe that salvation essentially means going to heaven. Actually, salvation doesn't mean that, but in the Bible, it doesn't.

But heaven is simply a location where God is and that Satan can come and bring accusations before God is affirmed in the Old Testament a number of times. Okay, well, thank you for taking my call. Sure. Thanks for your call. Michael from Texas, welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hey, Steve. Good to talk to you.

Thank you. Hey, I got two questions today. The first one has to do with the use of vulgarity amongst Christians. I've encountered two camps around this issue. One camp is kind of what I'd say is a puritanical camp that just totally rejects any use of vulgarity at all. And the other camp is, on the other side, totally rejects that view as kind of straining out a gnat and not being concerned with more important issues or sins. And then the second question I have is, you know, this issue of women's dress, especially in church, and, you know, the issue of maybe like skimpy dresses and provocative clothing and things like that.

And just a personal experience that I've been in church where a family has come in and presumably the young teenage daughter is part of this family and, you know, the mother and father are very well dressed and the girl is in, you know, very skimpy miniskirt and revealing type of dress and the parents seem to, you know, give their okay to that. So could you comment on those two things? Okay.

Yeah. As far as using vulgarity or profanity or whatever words that are, you know, considered to be rude or unclean, the Bible gives no list of words that are unclean. And if it did, it would be in Hebrew or Greek. So we wouldn't have them in our language anyway. Every society has its own words in its own language in its own times that are considered to be rude or improper. Now, the question is whether Christians should avoid using words like that that are improper. Well, you mentioned two groups. One group is the Puritans who are maybe shocked and appalled by such language. Others are people who don't think much of it.

They just think, well, I mean, it's only words. There's much bigger fish to fry than that. So who cares?

Yes. Well, I'm not if either camp I'm somewhat in the middle, which is where I think the Bible is. The Bible does not indicate that the use of whatever word you use is the biggest imaginable sin. But it is not.

It's not nothing. And as a Christian, I don't make a list of a hierarchy of sins. These ones are really bad.

These ones are not very bad. And therefore I'll I'll avoid the big ones and I'll go ahead and allow myself the small ones. If a sin is even a little bit offensive to God, I want to avoid it. And I can't imagine anyone making excuses unless they just want to do what they want to do. And they don't care what God wants. If they think that God doesn't care. Excuse me.

I want to continue. If they feel that God doesn't care at all about what comes out of your mouth, then they're they're quite wrong about that. I mean, one of the Ten Commandments has to do with speech.

Take in the name of the Lord. And it's not you know, it's not really referring to using cuss words like we use or whatever, but it is a it has to do with the purity of your speech. And also there's another commandment about your speech, and that is not to bear false witness, which is another verbal sin. So apparently what you say may have very profound implications. Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 12 that out of the abundance of the mouth, the heart speaks.

I'm sorry, it's the other way. The heart, the mouth speaks. And and that therefore every idle word that proceeds out of our mouth will be judged because it reflects what comes out of our heart. Now, by saying every idle word will be judged doesn't mean that every idle word we speak is bad. Hopefully very few or no words we speak will be bad. But every careless word we speak will show what's in our heart. Now, if somebody knows that certain words are just plain offensive to all decent people, including most Christians, and they say, I don't care. It's a small matter.

It's just sounds coming out of my mouth. Why should I care what they think? Well, that person is showing something exists in their heart. And that is that they're self-centered, selfish, narcissistic people who don't care who they offend. And they don't they don't bother.

They don't mind who they bother by their language. But Paul addressed this matter. He said in verse in Ephesians five, verse four, he said, well, let me give you three, three and four. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not be named among you as is fitting for saints, neither filthiness nor foolish talking nor course jesting, which is not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Now, that doesn't mention particularly using vulgarity.

Well, it does. Course jesting and so forth is vulgar, but doesn't talk about let's just say cuss words per se. But he does say that certain things should not be coming out of the mouth of the Christian. What should be is the giving of thanks. Now, if you look back at Ephesians four, he's more specific. In Ephesians four twenty ninety says let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. But what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. Now, when you speak, he says there's one thing it shouldn't be and one thing it should it should not be corrupt, but it should be such language as edifies the people who hear you and ministers grace to them.

That's the standard. Now, I'm not saying that everything a Christian says meets that standard, but it should. I mean, we don't we don't live perfectly and we don't speak perfectly, but we should not make excuses for not doing so.

If we are true disciples, that means our total commitment in life is to do what is pleasing to God in whatever thing he reveals to be his desire. Well, he makes it very clear his desires for us to speak nothing corrupt and to speak only things that are edifying and that minister grace. We can say that there are many words in our language which have the opposite effect. They speak.

They're just corrupt. It's a strange thing because it's not the words themselves that are corrupt. It's the intention of the heart that speaks them. You know, if somebody comes to our country and doesn't know our language well and one of the first words he learns is the S.H. word and he uses it to speak of fecal material. And that's what he thinks is our our word for it.

And he uses it. Well, there's you know, he's not doing anything offensive. He doesn't know it.

There's nothing wrong with his heart in the matter. He doesn't know our language well. He doesn't know our culture well. He doesn't know yet that that's an extremely foul word in the English language.

And I think I've done the same thing even going to places like Australia or England. I mean, here in our in our culture, the word bum is not a dirty word. But when I was in Australia, I was told it is a dirty word there.

So, you know, it's innocent. You know, if it comes out of your heart because you don't know it's objectionable, then there's no sin in it. But if you but there's certainly nothing desirable about living in a culture where you don't know when you're offending people. We should if we know that certain words are considered foul, we should in every case try to avoid them because at the very least, we cannot claim that they edify or minister grace to the hearers, which is the goal. So I am I'm not puritanical, but I am interested in being obedient to Christ. Now, if people think that being obedient to Christ and being obedient to what the apostles say is puritanical, then they don't know very much about the normal use of the term puritanical. But there's certainly nothing wrong with obeying Christ. Jesus said he that hears these words of mine and does them that means obeys them is like a wise man that builds his house on a rock. But he hears these words of mine and doesn't do them means doesn't obey him, builds his house on sand.

And when the floods come, he's going down. So I think that, you know, obedience to Christ is the goal of the Christian and pleasing God in all things, especially all things that we say, because out of abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and God's going to judge every idle word we speak. So I would, you know, I generally speaking, I don't really have bad words slip out of my mouth because they've never really been part of my vocabulary, except when I was in junior high. But I outgrew that because they seem so stupid. And, you know, by the time I was a freshman high school, I just I mean, it wasn't my Christian convictions. It was just the words. Just it just seems stupid to use that language.

And it still does. So they're not really they don't slip out of my mouth accidentally. But if somebody who's always spoken with bad words, occasionally it slips out of their mouth and they realize that's not something they want to do and they want to try harder not to do that. I'm not going to be all puritanical and shocked. But on the other hand, I do believe that if we're going to let the scriptures guide us and the will of God guide us, we're going to want to eliminate that kind of language from our mouths. Also, you asked about a modest women's dress in the church. It gets tricky when you've got a Christian family and the parents are well dressed as modestly dressed, but their teenage daughters are not because, frankly, they probably their teenage daughter might not even be a Christian. And the only reason she's in the church at all may well be that her family's making her go to church.

Maybe this she's on her own. She won't even come to church anymore. And, you know, when a person is not a Christian, we can't place the same standards upon them as we should upon those who are trying to please Christ. Christians have a heart to please God.

He gives us a soft heart and takes her to the heart of stone. Non Christians don't have that, and it would be entirely legalistic to tell somebody who has no interest in pleasing God that they have to dress a certain way because there's I mean, they've got bigger problems than the way they dress if they don't love God. And I think the church has to be gracious toward people who, for whatever reason, slip in there who aren't really part of the body of Christ, but our visitors and frankly, the teen, the unsaved teenage Children of Christian couples in the church. Those unsaved teenage Children are visitors, and they're not part of the church, really. I mean, they may think they are, but if they're not followers of Christ, they're not. Now, if somebody is a follower of Christ, they may have a blind spot. Many young people do not realize how the choices they're making in their clothing and so forth are impacting people, in which case someone should speak to them and tell them that the way you dress sends a message.

And if you're trying to please Christ, the way you're dressed right now is sending the wrong message. Listen, I need to take a break here. I should have heard the music by now, but I don't.

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Remember the narrow path dot com. Welcome back to the narrow path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Greg and we're live for another half hour and we are taking calls during that half hour. As usual, our lines appear to be full, which means if you call right now, you will not find an open line, but you might later before the show is over. If you take this number down and call later, the number is 844-484-5737. That's 844-484-5737. Our next caller is Mike from New Hampshire. Mike, welcome to the narrow path. Thanks for calling.

Hi Steve. I'm a fairly new listener to your show and I grew up in Southern California and attended several Calvary Chapel churches and whether it was Calvary Chapel or a different one, they kind of had the same belief system. And I once recently heard you say that you also grew up becoming a Christian in those churches, but there are some beliefs that you have now that they would find a bit heresy and I wasn't sure what you meant by that.

I think it may have something to do with revelation, but I just wanted to know your thoughts. Yeah, well I wasn't actually saved at Calvary Chapel. I was saved very young in a Baptist church growing up, but I did transfer or start going to Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa in 1970 when I was 16 years old, about 50 years ago actually. At that time, the Jesus movement was just starting and there was only one Calvary Chapel pastor by Chuck Smith and I got in on the ground floor of that movement and I was there for many years. When I say that my views have changed or are different than I learned at Calvary Chapel, you're right that the book of revelation has a lot to do with it. Calvary Chapel movement is very strongly what we call dispensationalist in their view, especially of the end times and the dispensationalist view I held.

Also, I was taught it and I taught it myself, but I was fortunate at some point to be able to hear some teaching from outside Calvary Chapel because they don't really encourage in Calvary Chapel more than one view for you to be exposed to. The view of almost all Calvary Chapel pastors that I've talked to is that they don't want the sheep to be confused, which is what they believe would happen if they let the sheep know there's more than one view of any given thing. Now, my impression is that's kind of insulting the sheep. The pastor allegedly knows there's more than one view and he's doing okay, but the sheep are too stupid. The sheep just can't process it. Well, I'd say any good teacher should be able to present different views in a way that the sheep can understand and can process. In fact, the sheep are not real sheep, they're people and they have rational minds. I think that it's very, very fair, and I have to say when I came out of Calvary Chapel and discovered some of their views, they taught me were certainly not the majority view of the body of Christ, that I was a little, briefly, I was a little upset, that they didn't trust me with that information.

I mean, they must have thought I was very, very stupid. Of course, one way of looking at it is that they think the sheep are much stupider than the pastor because he professes to know, but what I found out was that most of the pastors don't know either. I mean, you talk to a pastor about any view of revelation different from his own, from the Calvary Chapel view, and the truth is he hardly knows anything about it. He knows the words, he knows the word preterism, he knows the word amillennial, he knows, he might know the word postmillennial, and he certainly knows the word replacement theology, and those are views different than Calvary Chapel's, but they are the majority view of the church throughout history for the most part, most of them are.

I won't say preterism is the majority view of the church throughout history, but amillennialism certainly was, and what they're calling replacement theology certainly was, and there's a good reason that it was. It's because of what the Bible teaches, but it was in the 1830s that the dispensational view was created out of nothing by John Nelson Darby, and it became so popular that many denominations adopted it as their official doctrine, and Calvary Chapel is one of those. It's just that many denominations at least allow that their view is not the only one that can conceivably be considered, but that's where I would differ. My difference with Calvary Chapel, the reason I can't really be a part of Calvary Chapel is not because I disagree with them, at least not from my side. I always attend churches happily that believe certain things I don't agree with, and certainly their views of the end times are not a problem to me, not something I'd break fellowship over certainly, but it is something they would break fellowship over, and so that's the difference. The fact that they don't want other views than their own to exist within the sphere of their congregations being exposed to them, it means that I would be persona non grata. Even though I'm a Calvary Chapel preacher from the past, and even though there are some Calvary Chapel pastors that I led to the Lord many decades ago, but some people keep growing, and some get stuck. In my opinion, the movement got stuck. I have great respect for Chuck Smith very much, and for some of the other Calvary Chapel pastors, but I certainly don't agree with the Calvary Chapel philosophy that human beings in their church are too stupid to be trusted with the information that there's more than one view out there, especially if the view they're concealing from them is the one held by the most Christians throughout history, and the only view they're letting them here is the newest kid on the block that arose around the same time as Mormonism did.

It's interesting too that Mormonism and dispensationalism both were started by men who claimed that the apostles taught their doctrines, but that the church lost those doctrines for about 1,800 years until they were revealed in the case of Mormonism to Joseph Smith in the case of dispensationalism to Darby. They've got their ducks in a row. They certainly know how to make their arguments. I know all the arguments. I used to use them, but I also know the flaws in the arguments.

That's where I would differ. I love Calvary Chapel people. I'm very indebted to Chuck Smith. He's my hero, very much my mentor in many respects, but as far as the eschatology goes, it's not I that separated from them, but just by changing my mind, I unfortunately became unwelcome.

One more quick question. If Satan was in fact a fallen angel, that would mean that angels have the ability to change. My question is what would stop an angel in the future from doing the same thing the devil has done? Could that even happen? You mean after Jesus comes back and there's the new earth and all that? Or even before then.

Or even tomorrow. I hadn't really even thought about whether it was before or after Jesus came back, just the thought that it could happen again. We know from 2 Peter 2 verse 4 and Jude verse 6 that there are angels that fell. We know that angels have free will.

They can choose to disobey God, but we don't read of it happening on any occasion more than once. It may well be that only one group of angels was stupid enough to consider it, and then what happened to them became well known among the angels and everyone else realized that that's a dumb thing to even consider. I don't know.

I really don't know. Even whether the fallen angels could repent is not really discussed in scripture. We usually assume they can't, but as far as we know, angels must have free will or else they couldn't have rebelled.

Now, I'm pretty sure there won't be any more angels rebelling in the future, but I couldn't say why or how, but it's not presented in the Bible as something that we need to be worried about. Great. Well, thanks for the answer. I appreciate the call. Okay. I appreciate your call too. God bless you. All right. Let's see. We're going to talk to Boyd from Marysville, Washington.

Boyd, welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hi, Steve.

Thank you for taking my call. I have two questions today that are related to each other. The first one is to get your opinion about the teaching on soul ties, and the second one is about teachings about removing objects at your house to spiritually cleanse it.

Okay. So these are things that are related often to the deliverance ministry movement or to inner healing movements. The removal of objects from the house, I think would be more often tied with deliverance ministries where people are trying to, you know, there's deliverance ministries are focused on casting demons out of people and sometimes out of houses too. And they, uh, they'd point out that God told Israel that they should not bring any abominable thing into their house and that what some people have there in their house are occult objects or Buddhas or things from other religions and so forth, and that these things are, uh, in the ultimate spiritual realm. These are associated with the demonic. And so people who do these deliverance ministries often will indicate that if you have these kinds of things in your house, you're in essence welcoming, uh, the demonic forces that attach themselves to them. In which case, if you're trying to deliver yourself from demons or have somebody deliver you from demons or your house, eradicate them from your house, uh, keeping those things in your house is only going to be counterproductive and you're going to have to get rid of those. Just like it would also be argued that if you became demon possessed through getting involved in the occult, that in order to be delivered, they often would say you have to renounce the occult of things of your past. Um, the idea is that demons can't really get a foothold in your life unless you somehow have opened a door for that and given them grounds for it. And if you've been involved in the occult, they say, well, that that's invited the demons in. If you've got these occult objects in your house, that invites them in. Therefore you need to read yourself of that so that it can be rid of the demons.

That's, that's the view. Now I can't tell you whether that's true or not. The Bible doesn't tell us that the Bible does say we shouldn't have any abominable thing in our house. And because I'm a lover of God, I wouldn't want one in my house anyway.

Um, so if I found one, I'd probably want to be rid of it, but, uh, I'm not really afraid of demons. I, if you're walking with Jesus, um, if you're filled with the spirit, I don't think you have to worry about being demonized, but, uh, I'm, I'm not persuaded. And the caller before asked another issue, I disagree with Calvary Chapel. I'm not persuaded as the Calvary Chapel book is that Christians are entirely exempt from demonization.

Uh, the Bible does not teach whether that is so or not. And I have heard of Christians who and known Christians who were seemingly delivered of demons. I, I won't make any absolute statements on it because the Bible is silent, but I, um, I'm, I'm not persuaded that Christians cannot have demons. And I'm also not persuaded that if a Christian does have demons, that those who have these deliverance mysteries are, are incorrect. They might be correct.

These things might be, uh, useful things. I think probably some of the experimentation with this kind of thing, uh, occurred initially on the mission field, you know, dealing with witch doctors and voodoo cultures and, you know, other demonic cultures that they found that having a cursed object in their house, um, was actually something the demons attached themselves to. This is extra biblical. What I mean is it's not found in the Bible and therefore one can take it with as many grains of salt as you may wish. I would take it somewhat seriously only because the Bible tells us so little about this mysterious matter and, um, and that missionaries have had certain experiences with it that I have not had.

And therefore I would think, well, maybe they did learn something by their experience. Now, now when I was in Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith, who, who believed that Christians can never have demons, he said, well, I know there's cases, I used to hear him say this all the time. I know there's cases where seemingly Christians seemingly have demons cast out of them.

And you may ask me what I, how I explain those. He said, well, I don't have to explain them because they're unscriptural and they're based on people's experiences, not on the Bible. So I think a lot of, a lot of people think, well, even though the Bible doesn't, uh, teach very clearly on it, uh, all these things, these deliverance mysteries do are based on experience, not scripture.

Yeah. Well, but the thing is the Bible doesn't give a teaching, a thorough teaching about demonization, how it happens and why it doesn't always, why it's hard to be delivered and so forth. It doesn't give a complete teaching on that anywhere. And just like it doesn't give a complete teaching on epilepsy, the Bible mentions epileptics.

Uh, but it doesn't say anything about, uh, you know, the brain wiring of an epileptic or anything like that. I mean, that, those are things are discovered by experience, by doctors and so forth. So I mean that the Bible mentions a phenomenon, but doesn't tell much about it. It does not rule out that people who do have experience with it might learn genuinely valid things about it. And so I, I, I'm not going to rule out everything that missionaries and others have discovered, uh, in their experience with demons. I have had very limited experience with demons, so I don't consider myself an expert.

I'm, I'm pretty expert on the things of the Bible says about it, but I, I know enough about that to know the Bible tells me relatively little about some of the questions we have. Uh, now as far as soul ties, soul ties are usually associated, uh, I guess with deliverance ministries and inner healing ministries. These are suggestive of a mystical bond that exists and an unclean one between you and somebody that you shouldn't have a bond with.

Maybe somebody you had an affair with, maybe somebody that you had an unhealthy dependency on or something like that. And, and that although they're not in your life, perhaps anymore, you have a soul tie to them and that in order for you to be healed or whatever they're trying to do with you, uh, you need to, uh, you need to break that soul tie. Now the Bible says nothing in at all about this. While the Bible does talk about demon possession, it doesn't tell us as much as I'd like to know about it, but it does, it does, uh, it does mention it as a phenomenon. The whole issue of soul ties are not mentioned as a phenomenon in the Bible at all. And, uh, so do they exist or not?

I honestly, I don't know. I suppose I'm sure it's a psychological phenomenon that some people probably have an unhealthy attachment to people in their past that they'd be good to get rid of. But, um, to make it a special mystical kind of an issue that we have to deal with in some kind of spiritual way, especially whenever I think, whenever I hear people say things about those things, I think, okay, if this really is true, why didn't Jesus mention it?

Why didn't Paul or Peter or anyone, why didn't the prophets mention it? If soul ties exist as a phenomenon that has to be specifically broken in order for us to be spiritually healthy, how did Jesus and Paul and the apostles get people to be spiritually healthy without ever dealing with such things? Uh, and, and I have to say it raises my suspicion level rather high that these are not, uh, genuinely biblical issues.

So when people talk about soul ties, I'm not usually listening too carefully. Thank you. All right. Thank you for your call. Uh, Everett from San Diego.

Welcome to the narrow path. Thanks for calling. Yeah.

Hi Steve. Lord bless you. Uh, I'm wondering about, uh, is Jesus the king of the earth now? Right? Yes.

Okay. In other words, because there was a brother that had a couple, there was a teacher that said that he wasn't the king of the earth now, but he would be like, he talked about something in revelation about setting up his kingdom and then he would be king of the earth. So I'll just go in Jesus' position right now.

Right? The person who said that is almost certainly a premillennialist and, uh, and almost certainly a dispensational premillennialist because they believe that Jesus came to establish his kingdom. Uh, but the Jews rejected him and because the Jews rejected him, the whole program was put on hold. Uh, it was postponed. The kingdom was taken away.

It was a valid, uh, bona fide offer. Jesus made Israel, but they didn't, they didn't pick up on it. And so he just took the kingdom away with him when he went and he'll bring it back and set it up for a thousand years when he comes back. And so they would identify the millennium after Jesus comes back with the kingdom and they would say, then he'll be on earth and he'll be raining on the earth from Jerusalem.

He's going to be the king of the earth. However, I don't believe the Bible teaches any of those things. Um, the Bible does not ever say that the, the kingdom was postponed just because most of the Jews rejected it. A lot of Jews accepted it. His disciples were Jews and on the day of Pentecost, there were 3000 more Jews who accepted it and a growing number growing into the hundreds of thousands. Uh, yeah, some Jews rejected it, but a lot of Jews did not reject it.

So, uh, I mean, to say that the Jews rejected Christ as king is, uh, is frankly not very agreeable with what anything the Bible says. And even if they did, there's nothing that says, and therefore they thwarted his plan and he was not able to set the kingdom. Uh, no, Jesus at the end of his life was praying in, in John 17, four and he said, father, I have finished the work you sent me to do.

Okay. What was he sent to do? He was sent to, to set up the kingdom of God and he finished it. He did it at the end of his life.

He had done that very thing. He did not fail. Um, so I mean, I don't see, I think it's overly simplistic to say the Jews rejected his kingdom.

Some did, some didn't. Uh, but even if, even if they all had, that doesn't mean he couldn't continue. You know, the Bible says when he rose from the dead, Jesus said all authority. Now authority means the right to rule.

Okay. Authority is what's held by a ruler, a King or someone like that. All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me. He is called the King of Kings and most of the Kings are here on earth. Uh, so he's ruling over the Kings of the earth. He's the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, all authority in heaven and earth is given him. He's raining from heaven at the right hand of God. He's raining over us on earth and now, correct? Of course.

Oh, absolutely. And that's why, uh, on the day of Pentecost after Jesus had ascended at a time when the dispensations think that the kingdom should have been, uh, you know, taken away or something. Peter said in his final words of his sermon on Pentecost, he says, therefore let the house of Israel is surely know that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ or Messiah. I mean the King, the word Messiah means King, the anointed King. And so Peter's announcement on the day of Pentecost is that Christ is in fact been made the Lord. That means the ruler and the Messiah, he said, which is the anointed one who's the King. So if God has made Jesus the ruler, the Lord, the King, why would anyone say he's not the King and over what and over what realm does he rule? Well, he said all authority in heaven and earth belonged to him. So I'd say that the suggestion that the kingdom was postponed, um, and won't be here till the millennium and that Jesus won't run over the earth. So then is, uh, to my mind, a totally, uh, mistaken notion.

And again, it belongs to the dispensational paradigm. I have one other question. Okay. Yeah. If you're done explaining, uh, very quickly though, what authority does an ambassador have?

Yeah. An ambassador has as much authority as is given to him. He represents the country of origin in a country that's a domicile country for him. So an ambassador is sent, let's just say, let's just say U S ambassador is appointed by the United States president to go and represent the United States interests in France or England or somewhere. Well, that person speaks with the authority of the, of the president. Um, now it may be that doesn't mean the ambassador makes it up as he goes along and the president has to put a rubber stamp on it.

If it may be that some, uh, some policy is being considered, uh, that that's a very important policy. No doubt the ambassador contacts the president, I would assume and says, no, what do you think about this? And once he knows the mind, he would then go ahead. I understand that point, uh, about ambassadors in that respect. Uh, does an ambassador have authority over demons? Well, um, all people who are Christians potentially have the authority over demons, uh, casting out demons, casting out demons is part of the authority of Christ that's invested in his name. Uh, I don't believe that all Christians are involved in casting out demons very often. Uh, and no doubt some Christians never do it ever, but, uh, I do believe that the authority over demons is something that Christ gave to the church as a whole. Would that be a special anointing or special calling?

I couldn't answer that. The Bible doesn't tell us whether that is so or not. Um, I know that there are people who were, uh, certainly the apostles cast out demons, but they're also people who are not apostles like Phillip and uh, who did so. Uh, so, you know, I, I wouldn't be surprised if there are certain people whose special gifting is more in that area than, than, than other peoples would be because God does kind of have, what should we say?

Specialists. That's what the gifts are for. Each person has a gift of some kind and certainly not all the gifts are listed in scripture, but, um, but for example, teaching is said to be a gift, which some people have, but all Christians can teach in some, at some level, it's just that not all are, that that's not the main thing they do. Uh, so I think probably same thing with casting out demons. I think all Christians might do so in a situation that puts them in, in the name of Jesus.

But, uh, I don't think that all Christians are going to be equally involved, um, or equally, you know, encountering the demon possess. I appreciate your call, but I'm almost out of time. I've got some people waiting. I need to talk to Paul from Massachusetts.

Welcome to the narrow path. Thanks for calling. Yes. How are you doing? Good.

Uh, I got a couple of quick questions. One is Isaiah 45 seven where some Bible say disaster and some say that God created evil. What do you say about that?

It's disaster. I mean, the King James says evil. Uh, for those who don't know, for those who don't know, the verse says, I, God says, I formed the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. The King James says, I am the Lord.

I do all these things. Now, every modern translation I know of probably translates the word evil as calamity because he's contrasting it. He's not contrasting it with good. We can think of evil as the opposite of good, but in the Bible, evil is often the opposite of peace. He says, I make peace and I create evil. And the word evil in the Hebrew often does mean disaster or calamity or something like that. So, uh, if a city is facing calamity, it's the opposite of being at peace and he's saying, I, I create both circumstances. He's not saying he created moral evil. That's a totally different concept. Uh, and, and certainly God didn't create moral evil.

He, uh, moral evil isn't a created thing at all. In fact. Right. Well, that's what I thought. I had a guy at work who stumbled by that picture, uh, by that scripture. And he's, he's a, doesn't believe in God or doesn't want him.

He made that. That's one, that's one of the disadvantages of the King James version. I liked, I liked the King James version for many years.

It was my favorite. And I would say it's still still very precious to me. I love the King James, but, uh, it is a, it's problematic because it's an old translation, uh, that uses English words, uh, that are not always, uh, you know, English changes and it was translated 1611 in those 500 years or 400 years. Um, you know, English language words, nuances have changed and so forth. And so to use a Bible that old is to invite confusion from someone who doesn't know much like an unbeliever, who's just reading and sees a verse like that. But right. And that's where a more modern translation may be helpful.

Oh, okay. On, on John 10 34, you just say you are God therapy. And how do I explain that? Well, first of all, Jesus didn't say your gods. He said it is written in your law. I said, you are God's. He's quoting something. He's quoting, uh, Psalm 82 six, which says, I said, you are God's. It's just a single line from the Psalm.

He's quoting. Jesus is not telling anybody that they are gods. He's saying you'll find it in your Bible. This statement, I said, you are God's. Now that is not really affirming that humans are gods because the next line in the Psalm says, but you will die like men. So gods don't die like men. And God often makes a huge distinction between gods and men. For example, in Ezekiel, God tells the king of Tyre, you think you're a God, but you're not God.

You're a man. Um, so Jesus is making a point that I don't have time to explain right now. Uh, I have on the air many times and, uh, and I can sometime in the future, but I'm, the music is playing them off in 30 seconds, so I can't go into it, but Jesus did not say, Jesus did not say you are God's. He said, he reminded the Pharisees that their Bible has that line in it.

And he was making a point about it, which has nothing to do with people being gods. Unfortunately, I'll talk about that another time. You've been listening to The Narrow Path. My name is Steve Gregg. We're on Monday through Friday at the same time. Become a regular listener. If you haven't already, you can also become a supporter. We are listeners supported. If you want to go to our website,, you can see how to support us and keep us on the air. Thanks for joining us. Let's talk again tomorrow. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-25 11:20:57 / 2024-03-25 11:44:30 / 24

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