Monday, June 26, 2006

The Power and Danger of Deception

In order to understand the full force of this message, a brief introduction is necessary:

This sermon was preached at a church that had been falling into a deceptive doctrine called the "Third Day". The problem with the Third Day doctrine was detected when I attended several classes on the subject, learning that the direction of this particular teaching stressed the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ not in bodily form, but rather in the Church, the body of Christ. The teaching further stated that the beginning of the Third Day, or the third millenium, had begun some time in the late 20th century, ushering in the thousand year reign of Christ here on the earth, where the saints of God (those who believe in the Third Day and rise up in their new resurrected bodies) will rule and reign in the world, as if God is ruling through them. This teaching blatantly overlooks all Scriptures pertaining to the great and terrible Day of the Lord, the coming anti-Christ and the great tribulation, the covenant God has with His people Israel, the resurrection of those who are dead and the physical coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of these, they say, have symbolically already happened, except for the coming of the Lord, which they say will happen once the Kingdom is established upon the earth by the Church. However, the teaching uses up all Scriptures referring to Christ's coming and places them upon the Church, and therefore has no grounds to support this claim. It is rather a way to appease observant critics in this early stage of the doctrine.

The worst thing about this teaching is that those who teach it admit they do not even know how to defend such allegations. This doctrine takes a strictly postmillenial view toward Scripture, which is an unusual and modernistic idea that arose in the later part of the 20th century; yet teachers of the Third Day have confessed they do not know anything about postmillenialism, showing that they themselves do not know what they are getting into. It is a doctrine in it's infancy stages, making it sound quite safe and innocent right now, but if you follow it's pattern of thinking you will find the teaching of the Third Day leads to severe consequences.

I love dearly all those who have so far been teaching this mistaken doctrine. I love dearly the pastor of the church in which this sermon was preached and only pray that by way of this humble and inadequate admonition, men and women within the body of Christ would stir themselves to watching and prayer, becoming vigorous students of the Word of God, quick to discern truth from error, and that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and His eternal gospel would advance throughout our lifetime. Download "The Power and Danger of Deception" below:

Eli Brayley - The Power and Danger of Deception

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CITA Radio Interview

Last Saturday proved to be a blessed time in Moncton, with a sizeable crowd attentive to the preaching, a few strange phenomenons on the street, a time of prayer right out in public, and the sharing of God's truths to group of drug dealers. Most notably, however, was that a local Christian radio manager heard the sermon I was preaching and afterwards approached me with the intent of going on the air live for a spur-of-the-moment radio interview. The interview went remarkably well, and was recorded and is now available online. You won't want to miss this exciting interview with Moncton's Jeff Lutes, as we talk about evangelism, revival and salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I strongly encourage everyone to give this file a listen. Download this excellent interview below:

Eli Brayley - CITA Radio Interview

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Timothy Ministry Articles

I've decided to put up this resource as an easy access menu to all the old articles on this site. The page will be updated as new articles are posted. A link to this page can be found on the main side menu. This list does not include non-article posts (ex. outreach reports), which can be found by exploring the archives. All articles are posted by topic.

Isaiah 59:20 - The Banishing of Ungodliness from Jacob
"Light" in the Gospel of John
James and Paul on Justification: An Introduction
What Does "Jesus is Lord" Mean?
Righteousness
Faith or Faithfulness?
Moses vs. Christ?
Is Baptism Essential for Salvation?
Go and Sin No More
Beware of Charles Finney
A New Heart Will I Give Them
The Supreme Problem of Guilt
Evangelism and Hell
Dennis or Jesus: How Do You Understand Your Relationship with the Father?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - The Unrighteous Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
My Experience in Revivalism
The True Nature of the Law
Look Not to Yourself, But to God
The Power of the Son of Man
The Great Meaning of Metanoia
The Concept of Sinning in 1 John
Antinomianism
The Trouble with "Lordship Salvation"
Thoughts on 1 John: Doing Righteousness
A Letter to a Limited Atonement Brother
A Critique of Limited Atonement and the Problem of Double Jeopardy
The Mediator: Part 1 and Part 2
True Christianity
Christology 101
Repentance and the Covenants
Counterfeit Grace
Penance vs. Grace
Parallels Between Romans and Galatians
Acts 8:26-38 - A Baptism Message
The God of All Grace
Does Baptism Wash Away Our Sins?
Come Unto Me, All Ye That Labor
Justice and Mercy
What is the Gospel?
The Law of God
John 3:16 - God So Loved
Is Faith a Work?
Cheap Grace
Short Meditations on Faith, Repentance and the Will
A Question on Punishment
Missing the Mark
Evidence that "the Law" Includes the Moral Law
Repentance
Jesus, the Shepherd and Door of His People
Justification and Resurrection
Repentance from Dead Works
The Blessed Gift of Repentance
The Incarnation of Christ

CHRISTIAN LIVING

2 Peter 3:10-14 - Two Exhortations in Light of the Day of the Lord
How Should Christians View Alcohol?
Sanctification: What and How
Martin Luther on Assurance of Salvation
The Third Use of the Law
Free to Do Whatever You Want
Mind, Will and Ability
No Longer a Slave to Sin
Homosexuality: What Does God Have to Say?
The Mortification of Sin
How Grace and Works Fit Together
Grace to Live By
Romans 8:12-13 - Living By the Spirit
Thoughts on Christian Unity in the Theological Realm
Spiritual Service
Thinking About Hell
Ye Shall Know Them By Their Fruits
Mormonism is Not Just Not Christian, It is the Opposite of Christianity
The Protestant Principle of Sola Scriptura
Why is Outer Space So Big?
Thoughts on Atheism and on Being Raised Religious
The Origin of the Book of Mormon
What's a Christian to Do with Christmas?
David Hume and the Problem of Evil
The Reason for Hell
The Importance of Understanding Sin
Annihilating the Canaanites: Was that Right?
Letter to a Mormon Friend
Do Mormons and Christians Really Agree?
Socrates on the Existence and Goodness of the Divine
Some Thoughts on the Veracity of the New Testament
The Bible and Homosexuality: A Reply to Matthew Vines
Is the Exodus Story Historical?
A Braggadocious Culture
Letter to the Editor: Blood Atonement
Catholics and Protestants: Can There Be Unity? (Part Three)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Person of the Holy Spirit

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" - Amos 3:3


Many Christians today haven't a clue who the Holy Spirit is. This is simply because they have never been introduced. I am not suggesting they have never come in contact with the Holy Spirit, or else they would surely not be Christians at all! But, just as you have never met the maker and designer of the shirt you wear, so many believers, though having come to Christ by the working of the Spirit of God, have never had a personal aquaintance. It is my goal in this article to arrange a meeting in the most simplest way.

The first thing to understand is the fact that just as you had need to receive the Son of God, so you have need to receive the Spirit of God. "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" A common reason for having not received is their reply: "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." (Acts 19:2) Believers as they were, they had experienced the working of the Spirit in the their lives but not the Worker Himself.


WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT

Though not said outright, many people have a misconstrued idea of this Third Person of the Trinity. He is more often than not confused with emotion. Soft music, cushy prayer, liquid sermons... it's no wonder so many people are overcome with feeling during these services. There are many times I am filled with emotion when I sing "Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me!" This is not wrong, and even encouraged (for worship very well leads to be filled; see Acts 16:25 and Ephesians 5:18-20), but confusing emotion for the power of the Spirit is certainly an error that must be corrected. Because of the lack of the Spirit in our lives, we actually try and conjure up emotion to make up for the deficit. This is a sad thing to behold.

Another misconception which is not uncommon is the fault of thinking the Holy Spirit to be a mere influence or intuition. A person may say to another: "I believe the Holy Spirit is telling me to get more sleep." Now this may very well be the voice of God stirring this word in a person, but we cannot and should not deny the natural features placed in us by our good and wise Creator: conscience, instinct, reason and sensibility. The Lord may very well want you to sleep, dear brother or sister, and in such cases He usually speaks clearly to us through these institutions of our design, though I am not eliminating this possibility! What I am getting at is this: the business of the Holy Spirit is to make witnesses for Jesus: teaching us and bringing to remembrance all things pertaining to the Word of God (John 14:26), enabling us to speak before men (Mark 13:11), convicting the world of righteousness, sin and judgment (John 16:8), comforting us in our persecutions (John 14:6), and empowering us to do the impossible (Luke 24:49). But I am getting ahead of myself.


WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS

All of that being said, the Holy Spirit is a PERSON; an actual Being who is the Third member of God. And this is the most important truth about Him that I can relate to you: that He is the most sensitive Person in all the universe; that there is no one else more fastidious than He in Heaven and Earth combined. The Bible teaches us that "anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matthew 12:32) Any sin against the Son of God can be forgiven, but to sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. The Bible does not say, "grieve not the Father"; for the Father is daily grieved and yet is patient to forbear. Nor does the Bible say, "quench not the Son"; for our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, constantly intercedes for His people regardless of difficulty, and His gracious gospel is violently advancing even among the heathen. But of the Spirit the Bible declares: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (Ephesians 4:30) and "Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19), two undeniable admonishments toward a tender and delicate Deity.

As mentioned before, the work of the Spirit is to bear witness before the world of the truth that is in Christ. This is His every intent. If you want to meet the Holy Spirit of God then make this business your own. As you begin purposing yourself to save souls and spread the gospel you will find instantly the presence of the Spirit at work in your life. Too many Christians are not filled with the promise of the Spirit because too many Christians are uninterested in soulwinning. Unless you repent of this He will never come to you; He will only walk with those who are walking the same direction.

The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16), and this is confirmed in 2 Peter 1:21: "...but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." The Word of God and the Spirit of God are one, they cannot be separated. What I mean is this: the Spirit will never say anything contrary to the Word and the Word will never say anything contrary to the Spirit. Thus comes the simple truth: If you want to be filled with the Spirit you must get your life in line with the Word of God. This is the way you test the spirits as the Bible commands us to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. I am continually amazed at the amount of Christians who claim to be Spirit-filled yet do not abide in the teachings of the Word. Now I do not mean to suppose a person must be perfect (in understanding and maturity) in order to be filled, but I do mean that a life must be in order with the knowledge of truth attained. In this point the Spirit of God is extremely sensitive. The inspired Word of God is unmistakably clear on the believers relationship with the world and will not compromise to satisfy your fleshly appetites. It is either death to self or death to the Spirit in your life. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" (James 4:4-5) You can only walk with Him if you walk in His ways.

The Holy Spirit is gentle and humble. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." (Matthew 3:16) Just as a dove is easily frightened and will fly away at any quick or boisterous movement, so the Spirit will depart at any haughty or brash personality. There is NO place for pride in Heaven, neither is there any place for it in the Christian, the heavenly pilgrim. God has always resisted the proud but given grace to the humble. When a man lowers himself in humility, becoming a servant to all as Jesus, the King of Glory did, having put on the mind of Christ, then he has made a comfortable dwelling for the Spirit to abide. When a man cultivates gentleness in his life, and puts aside carnal anger, wrath, arrogance and aggressiveness, then the Spirit is happy to reside in the person, not being grieved by an offensive environment. He will not walk with a contentious traveller.

Lastly, the Holy Spirit loves prayer. He desires to do it as much as He can through us: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Ephesians 6:18) He helps us pray and intercedes for us and for all the saints: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27) It is the will of God that we pray! A prayerless person is incompatible with the Spirit.

It is interesting to note that when God's people pray the Holy Spirit comes. The disciples at Pentecost (Acts 1:14), the apostles evangelistic prayer (Acts 4:31), prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 8:15), and even Jesus' baptism: "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:21-22) If you desire to walk with the Spirit you must resolve to be a person of prayer, "...praying in the Holy Ghost." (Jude 1:20)


THE END OF THE MATTER

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:16-26)