Tithing: Should We Tithe?

We as Christians SHOULD tithe. It is an investment in God’s Kingdom. If you do not tithe you are directly stealing from God! Read Ephesians 4: 28

28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

The magi tithed to Jesus with the gifts brought to Him expressed in the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Incidentally these gifts brought to Jesus in the house He was living are suggested by a lot of biblical scholars as symbolic to Jesus’ life. The Gold was the metal of royalty. The Frankincense was used by priestly ceremonial worship. The myrrh was used by the ancients to anoint the dead at burial. All symbolic of the life and death of Jesus. A gift for a King, a priest and the last for the death.

Tithing is not about expecting a great reward, as we have more rewards already from the Grace of God. Tithing is an investment in the Kingdom as all we have is given to us by God to begin with! Tithe for the mere enjoyment of it.

Are we required biblically to tithe? Not in the New Testament, however we should give to the church to assist in the spreading of the gospel. The church is not immune to expenses or any of the peripheral expenses that we incur on a day to day basis. Read 1 Corinthians 9: 1-14 (NASB)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

Yes it seems outwardly to tithe 10% (and this should be pre-tax as we pay God before government) read Leviticus 27: 30-33 (NASB)

 ‘Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If, therefore, a man wishes to redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it. 32 For every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33 He is not to be concerned whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; or if he does exchange it, then both it and its substitute shall become holy. It shall not be redeemed.’”

God Bless

Brian Mason

Is “Once Saved Always Saved” Biblical?

Yes it is. That means that a Christian once save cannot lose their salvation. And yes that is direct from the pages of the bible. Here is some scripture that buttresses the position of “once saved”:

Hebrews 13: 5 (NASB)
5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

No one will take us out of God’s hand.

1 John 2: 19 (NASB)
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

Those who are with Him will not be discarded.

If people choose to leave God’s salvation they “chose” to leave. So if they were in fact regenerated Christians they would not have decided to leave, nor could they leave, thus losing their salvation! This is the crux of the matter! A regenerate Christian cannot lose their salvation, simply put.

Beware this is not permission for the regenerate Christian to sin. Read Romans 6: 1-2 (NASB)

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

The regenerate Christian is a changed person aka “born again”. Read 2 Corinthians 5: 16-17 (NASB)

16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

We cannot call Paul a liar, we do if we say that you can lose your salvation.

1 John 2: 3-4 (NASB)
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

As a believer in election (written about in great detail in the biblical pages) I pray that those who are not the elect (as we do not ultimately know) are saved by the Holy Spirit.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Be The Salt Of The Earth

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of one candle. Christians are to pursue the truth because they already have the power and authority to do His will.”

Neil T. Anderson “The Bondage Breaker”

Remember Christian;

Matthew 5:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

God Bless

Brian Mason

A quick thought on the unchanging Word of God and a few headlines

Originally posted on The Isaiah 53:5 Project:

Earlier this morning I saw a somewhat passionate appeal for Christians to adjust their thinking regarding homosexuality.

In part (this is a paraphrase), it went like this.

“If you study the Bible critically, it’s easy to see that we live in a much different world than the world that existed when the Bible was written.”

Of course times are different now than they were when Jesus roamed the Earth, no one will argue that.

What I will argue however, is against the premise that God’s Word is somehow bound to time and is therfore subservient to modern cultural influences.

According to Jesus, the content, the message, and the morality of the Word of God does not change with the times, it never will, and it was never intended to.

God’s Word is always timely, forever timeless, and will not pass away.

Christians cannot and should not, regardless of what the…

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Oneness Pentecostal Theology and Its Problems

Oneness Theology basically does not believe in the Holy Trinity.

The Trinity being one God in three persons. Not three Gods but one God made up of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is monotheist. The Oneness movement in denying the Trinity teaches that God is a single person who was “manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration”.

http://www.upci.org/resources/instructional-devotional-leadership/80-doctrine-60-questions-on-the-godhead

That is problem number one as they twist scripture as such; God revealed himself as Father in the Old Testament, revealed Himself as the Son Jesus during Christ’s ministry on earth, and as the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension to the present day.

Problem number two is that they believe in a works based salvation. If you are not baptized you cannot be saved! They believe that you must be totally immersed and baptized by the phrase/formula “In Jesus’ Name”. Matthew 28: 19 (NASB) is perfectly clear on the phrase to be used;

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

Problem number three is they do not believe in predestination although even though the doctrine of predestination is clear throughout the bible. They believe you can also lose your salvation and it is entirely up to the follower if they want to be saved. Thus taking away God’s sovereignty!

Problem number four is that you cannot be saved unless you speak in tongues. They claim that speaking in tongues is a “necessary manifestation” of the Holy Spirit. In summary you need tongues to be saved!

http://www.upci.org/component/content/article/83-beliefs/91-our-doctrinal-foundation

Please pray for the follower of the Oneness Movement, and for the Light to be seen to blind the twisting of scripture.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Thought For The Week: Mythologization Of The New Testament

We are once again coming to the “Christmas Season” and even though it is only mid-October Disney has already been advertising a “Holly Jolly Christmas” while trying to sell a trip to Disneyland. Not only is the merchandising of Christmas starting, but again right on cue I am hearing from the atheists and general God haters about the “mythology” and copycatting of Jesus and the New Testament from Greek mythology. I have posted before on the so-called “copycatting” of Greek mythology in a past article; https://beaconapologetics.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/christmas-and-the-attack-on-christianity-3/

But as I was reading Dr. RC Sproul’s publication: BE All The More Diligent To Make Your Calling And Election Sure 1-2 PETER, and I must note that he made a great point about the so-called mythologization of the New Testament. He tells a story of a friend who was a friend of his in the English Department of the college he was teaching at. This friend as Dr. Sproul writes “took great pains to try to debunk the New Testament”. This friend apparently taught that the N.T. had “great similarities” to Ovid’s Metamorphosis. So Dr. Sproul asked his friend if he could explain the difference between the Greek and Hebrew view of history? Not only could he not explain it he was knocked backwards!

Dr. Sproul then explains; “I reminded him of grade school education” (how humiliating that must he been) “students had to learn elementary biology and the principles of taxonomy, in which living things are divided into kingdoms, creatures are grouped according to their similarities, but when that is complete, the task of science is only halfway done; these same creatures also must be grouped according to their differences. This is in fact how language emerges.”

Dr. Sproul elaborates; “It is how enterprise was begun in the Garden of Eden. When God called Adam and Eve to name the animals, they were involved in taxonomy.” “When someone has a stomachache, a doctor does not automatically prescribe aspirin or milk of magnesia. A responsible physician will want to get more specific and consider the differences between stomach cancer and indigestion.”

Basically if his professor friend didn’t know the difference between the Greek and Hebrew view of history, he couldn’t teach his students the similarities of Greek mythology and the New Testament! The Hebrew view of history (being linear) and the Greek view of history (being cyclical) have nothing in common! “The Greeks and Romans did not care whether their god’s really existed. They were myths, and they knew they were myths” writes Dr. Sproul.

Christian, we again are going to be bombarded with these fallacies of mithras and other “mythological” god’s. Stand up for the Truth. When questioned about such fallacies, don’t just let it rest, address it. The person is only repeating misinformation they were given. Learn the fallacy errors. Share the gospel. Share the Truth. Do it lovingly. They will likely say you are crazy, but that is only through years of clouding and programming the brain with junk, that is also how cultist’s react. They will bring up “magical sky daddy” and other vitriolic attacks on the Lord, but be the light in the darkness! I think even the atheist can see that time is growing short, they need the Lord!

Matthew 5: 13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
God Bless

Brian Mason

Is A Christian Able To Reach Perfection?

Matthew 5:48 (NASB)
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The answer is a cautious “yes”. When Matthew 5:48 is carefully translated the word “perfect” means “to be complete”. We are to mirror or imitate God the Father in His moral supremacy and “completeness”. Is it possible to mirror the “completeness” of God’s moral supremacy? A great number of Christians believe that to achieve this supremacy is attainable. Those Christians that subscribe to such beliefs are following what is called “perfectionism”.

However the harsh reality is that we Christians live in this world and there are many pitfalls. The majority of Christians fall way short of perfection. Even the Apostle Paul had a wrestling match with sin as he wrote:

Romans 7: 14-25 (NASB)
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

For every sin and temptation God will give us an escape plan. That escape is given to us by God’s grace! In theory we can all achieve perfection, however living in a fallen world it is extremely unlikely! The only person I know that was perfect was Jesus Christ.

Psalm 19:7 (NASB)
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

God Bless
Brian Mason

Is There Really A Devil?

Yes the Devil is real! Some other titles used in the bible are; Lucifer, Man of Sin, Son of Perdition, Tempter, Thief, Ruler of this world, Roaring Lion, Murderer, Little Horn, Father of lies , and the last one I will list is “adversary”, which is translated from the Hebrew meaning “Satan”.

Satan is mentioned primarily in the New Testament however he is written about in the Old Testament as well. Read:

1 Chronicles 21: 1 (NASB)

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

Satan is also written about in the Book of Job and Zechariah. But most of the writings come from the New Testament. Not to mention the Book of Genesis with the temptation of Eve leading to the fall of man.

1 Corinthians 7:5 (NIV)
Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Mark 4: 15 (NIV)
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

With movies such as “The Exorcist”, “The Conjuring” some Christians are fearful of the Devil as to demonic possession, however we as Christians are safe from possession but not demonic oppression. Oppression can come as personal attacks and temptations that are hard to resist. It is not an easy task to resist the Devil but we must don the “Armour of God” for spiritual protection. Read:

Ephesians 6: 10-18 (NIV)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Christian be assured that with resistance we can have victory over the Father of Lies! Read:

James 4: 7 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

With the Holy Spirit we will triumph! Read;

Romans 8: 11 (NIV)

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Christian, do not despair. We are God’s children and time is coming to a close for Satan! He and his minions will be thrown into hell, God has made reservations for them! We have the greatest Daddy anyone could ever have! Read:

1 John 4: 4-6 (NIV)

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Should A Woman Be Put To Death For Not Being A Virgin?

Atheists like to bring up the old covenant laws as fuel for their hatred of the God of the bible. The book of Deuteronomy is a good source for their accusations of an “evil God” without actually taking scripture in context. Read;

Deuteronomy 22: 13-21 (NASB)

13 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

The scripture from Deuteronomy looks very harsh when you compare it to today’s morality. Judging a scripture using today’s morality is problematic. Trying to tie in the morality of 3000 years ago on the same scale as the morality of today will seem difficult to understand. Sexual purity was paramount unlike the culture of today!

When an Israelite had reason to believe that his wife to be was not a virgin he could make a formal protest to the elders of the city. The parents needed to give proof of the daughters virginity. If the proof was satisfactory the husband was not allowed to divorce his wife and had to pay a fine or dowry (proof was likely a blood stain on her garment or sheet). On the other hand if the accusation of the husband to be was correct the woman would be put to death. The death sentence was not because she wasn’t a virgin, it was the woman’s deceptive behavior.
These laws were certainly severe, but the law of that magnitude is not enforced anymore due to the new covenant.

Luke 22: 17-20 (NASB)
17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 

The new covenant does not “approve” of the moral sins, and we are not to be violent to anyone as the old theonomic, system was done away with, read;
Hebrews 8: 13 (NASB)
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

God Bless
Brian Mason

Thought For The Week – Dan Brown Et Al

I thought I would start adding to Beacon Apologetics a “Thought For The Week” bit. No I actually do have more than one thought each week though some critics may not be so quick to agree.

Dan Brown is not the problem by adding his spin on Christianity, it is the people that lap it up. Even though his work is heresy to the Christian Church, that is merely a slight roadblock to clearer thinking. I have met Christians that have profoundly believed that there is truth to his writings. Of course the book is a work of fiction with a whisper of truth, but that has never been an issue to some Christians and a whole lot of atheists! Let’s not let Truth stand in the way of clear thinking.

If the type of literature that Brown puts out had the same formula with Islam as his against Christianity, all hell would certainly break out! Remember not too long ago there was a series of relatively innocuous cartoons that had depicted Mohammad, and sent the Islamic world into a frenzy? That was never made into a Hollywood blockbuster.

When a writer (and many will agree it is just fiction), writes that Jesus was merely a “great moral teacher” instead of the mighty creator of the universe, Christians should not just stand idly by whistling and scratching their collective toes in the sand! We as Christians must clear the air and spread the gospel, and quash this type of nonsense!

We as Christians will have another chance to be defend the Word of God when a movie based on the book by William P. Young “The Shack”. This book depicts God as “God the Father appeared to him as an African American woman (p. 82) named Papa” (p. 86). Mr Young also wrote ” The Father had scars on his wrists – like the crucifixion wounds of Christ (p. 95), any Christian that understands the Triune God knows that the Father was not crucified it was Jesus!
Young’s book promotes many heretical views of God and His Holy Church.

As Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code” was made into a major motion picture, so will Young’s book. Be ready to defend another onslaught of anti-Christian bunk. Do not be timid as to not see the film, but see it (on cheap night) and spot the heresy and get ready to defend! Hollywood will not win in the end!

God Bless

Brian Mason