Daily Devotional, Year 2 – February 15 (Who Lowered the Bar? Part 4)

By admin On December 9th, 2014

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“Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Today’s Devotional, Year 2 – February 15

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Who Lowered the Bar? Part 4

To read Part 1, click here… “March 3rd (Who Lowered the Bar? Pt. 1)“

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Most of us, when back in school, took part in sports of one kind or another.

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But of all the sports, the one sport that didn’t get many takers was the sport of pole-vaulting. Most of us instinctively knew that there was no future in pole-vaulting, at least, no future for most of us!

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Now of course, if someone would have lowered the bar, then just about any one of us could have been a pole-vaulter.

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Men decathlon French Championships_2013 Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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BAR HAS BEEN LOWERED

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgAnd so what has this got to do with Christianity?

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Simple! Somebody has lowered the bar in Christianity!

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Yes, an unseen foe has crept in unawares and has stealthfully and silently lowered the bar of Salvation, until it is so low, that the Spirit of Holiness has vacated Himself, as is written… “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now lets (allows) will let (allow), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” 2nd Thessalonians 2:7, 8.

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This above passage appears to be saying that God’s Spirit will allow the apostasy within the church-world to continue, until the day that God’s Spirit is finally taken out of the way (midst) of the church-world.

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Then, when the Spirit has been removed, that Wicked One shall be revealed within the church-world, but will eventually be destroyed with the brightness of the Coming of Christ.

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2nd “AWAKENING” VERY FLAWED!

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Hamilton Portrait of John Wesley-1703-1791

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgThere were at least two “Awakenings” in the Americas, in which the Church seemed to be brought to revival.

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The reason why the word “seemed” is used here, is because in the so-called, “Second Great Awakening”, there were a number of false doctrines introduced.

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And many of those false ideas are still being propagated in today’s church-world!

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Hamilton Portrait of John Wesley-1703-1791

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CARNAL CHRISTIANS

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgOne such false doctrine is that a “carnal Christian” is in a saved condition.

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In other words, there are many church-goers who are still living in the flesh, thinking that because they are church members and have made a confession of Christ, that they are saved.

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And yet they are still worldly!

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And there is no shortage of ministers and Bible teachers, both on Christian television, and on the radio, and in the pulpits, who teach this great heresy.

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Evangelist Preaching – Church – Audience hands – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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SOME BIBLICAL SUPPORT FOR THIS IDEA

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgAnd the reason for this great error is found in a statement by Paul, the Apostle… “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1st Corinthians 3:1-3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Infant_with_baby_bottle.jpg

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Well, if this was all the Bible had to say on the subject, we could close our Bibles, and say, “Amen. Carnal Christians can indeed be saved!”

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But though there are many theologians and Bible teachers who come up with doctrines based on only a few verses, the fact is, Bible truth must be discovered by a careful and prayerful balancing of ALL the related verses on any one particular subject!

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Spiritual things must be compared with spiritual!

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Infant with baby bottle – © Michael Jastremski for Wikipedia -Share-alike License

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Magnifying_glass_on_book_icons

So let’s explore this idea for a few moments, and try to find some balance on just where the bar should be placed concerning Salvation!

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Magnifying Glass – Wikimedia – Share-alike License

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WORKS OF THE FLESH

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgListen to this list of the sins of the flesh… “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.” Galatians 5:19-21

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PS_Kr%C3%B8yer_-_Hip_hip_hurra!_Kunstnerfest_p%C3%A5_Skagen_1888.jpg

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So here we go! This above passage gives us a completely different perspective on this subject!

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Those who are still slaves of the flesh, are not yet children of the kingdom of Heaven!

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PS Krøyer – Hip hip hurra! – Kunstnerfest på Skagen – 1888 – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpg

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgBut this above passage about the works of the flesh continues by saying… 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.” Galatians 5:22-24

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So here it says that those who are truly Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts!

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Braet von Überfeldt – Woman with Bible – 1866 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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OVERCOMING THE WORLD & FLESH

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgNow, there are many other passages that could be offered as further corroboration on this subject…

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_Moses_and_the_Ten_Commandments.jpgListen again… “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:5, 6

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Now this above passage is very interesting, because it is just one admonition among many in the letters to the seven churches (which are found at the beginning of the Book of Revelation!)

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Transfiguration – Bloch – Wikimedia Commons – US Public Domain

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READ CAREFULLY ALL 7 LETTERS

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In other words, those seven letters to the seven churches are all about overcoming the world.

.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_100326-N-4774B-066_Chaplain_Lt._Jason_Gregory_reads_bible_verses_on_the_weather_deck_aboard_the_guided-missile_cruiser_USS_Bunker_Hill_(CG_52).jpg

And so, if a Bible student wishes to carefully define just what Jesus had in mind when He speaks of overcoming, then a careful and prayerful reading of those seven letters will give great insight!

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And sufficed to say, this notion that carnal Christians are saved Christians can quickly be dispelled by a mere reading of those letters!

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US Navy – Chaplain Lt. Jason Gregory reads Bible on weather deck – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain

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Well, time does not permit a thorough study into this question.

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“RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH”Baby-in-diaper-learning-to-walk-wikimedia-share-alike-license

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgNow before closing this devotional, let’s see if we can strike a proper balance between these seemingly conflicting verses!

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Let’s just say this: when Paul was speaking to the Corinthians, saying, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” 1st Corinthians 3:1, he was saying that “babes in Christ” may indeed be carnal. Nobody is disputing that when we first come into the body of Christ, we are yet carnal creatures! 

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But babies are supposed to grow into mature men and women. And so it is in the  spiritual life!

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Baby-in-diaper-learning-to-walk-wikimedia-share-alike-license

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PURIFYING THE HEART

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgAnd perhaps the big difference between a saved carnal Christian and an unsaved carnal church-goer is this…

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Listen… “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

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So here Paul delineates between the true Christian and the false: those who begin their Christian sojourn, by seeking to overcome the flesh, and seeking to overcome the world, and continue to do so, are giving evidence that God is truly bringing them to the completion of their Salvation. 

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Jesus Disciples – James Tissot – Brooklyn Museum – US Public Domain

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CHRISTIANITY, A 24/7/365 ENDEAVOR

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Men_decathlon_PV_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t142927.jpgSo, in other words, those who allow themselves to be deceived into thinking that they can live for Jesus one day a week, and pursue the pleasures and treasures of the world the other six days, are giving proof to the world, that they are mere pretenders!

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-06831.jpg

But dear truth-seeker, let’s continue to search the Scriptures daily, with the intent of getting to know our God and Savior.

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And then, let’s allow those Words of life to sink way down into our ears, so that they become an integral part of our substance and being! 

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USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – public domain

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Oh yes, just one more passage to consider…

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“For if ye live after the flesh,

ye shall die:

but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,

ye shall live.”

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Romans 8:13

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Help my heart to search out the true standard for God’s people to live by, and help me to live by that standard…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read…“August 26th (End-Time Exodus, Part 2: Overcoming The World!)”, or you can also read… “March 3rd (Who Lowered the Bar? Pt. 1)“

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THE END

.Soldiers of the Cross - Armor-Up!

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

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WHY IS THIS WOMAN RUNNING SO FAST?

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 (The Fleeing Woman of Revelation 12 sketch above can be seen in winter in the northern sky. It is Ursa Major, AKA The Great Bear, and her right leg and her torso is commonly known as the The Big Dipper . She appears like this in the early fall in the pre-dawn hours, and is running westward. The pathway with Bible books of course, are the artist’s embellishment)

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Running The Christian Race (Part 1: Paul & John: Our Role Models)”

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TOMORROW:

“FEBRUARY 16 (Christians in the Hands of an Angry God!)”

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20 MINUTE+ AUDIO STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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THIS STUDY #411 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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above picture: Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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