October 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Just What IS a REAL Christian?

(Editor's note: As you study this article, please get out YOUR OWN BIBLE and check ALL the biblical references given, as the Bereans did after the Apostle Paul had preached to them.)

What is your "faith"? Are you Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Methodist, or any one of the other denominations of this earth? For that matter, ARE you part of a "denomination" at all? Are your beliefs active? Do you force your beliefs upon others, as those of the Islamic faith do?

According to statistics, there are millions upon millions of people in this world who call themselves Christian. They are a huge segment of the total population of this earth of 6 billion.

With various and sundry churches on the street corners of our cities, why will someone drive completely across town to attend a particular Christian church when there is one within a block or two of their home?

Why is there so much confusion, bickering and fighting among those who call themselves Christian but seem to despise someone of another "denomination?"

Why differences anyway when all those professing followers of Christ claim to take their beliefs from the SAME BOOK? Should not everyone believe at least the same fundamental things?

Just what DO you believe about Jesus the Christ? Do you care? Have you even thought about it?

There IS an answer, you know!!

It is in the pages of that book you profess to believe!!

I think a big part of the problem lies in the fact that, as a collective whole, NOBODY reads the book they claim to base their lives upon!! In fact one author, I believe his name was Bruce Barton, called it "the book that nobody knows."

What about you? Do YOU READ THE BOOK you profess to base your life upon?

Can you quote scripture and verse when someone asks you a question about why you believe what you believe? Do you actually take time out from your daily lives to PRAY and SPEND TIME WITH God? Do you take time from your daily schedule to just SIT AND THINK about God and His Word?

Probably not, I am sad to say. Statistical studies don't bear out that fact.

A large percentage of people in this "Christian Nation" HAVE NEVER READ THE BIBLE!!! (according to a Gallop poll, only 59% of people polled even claimed to read the Bible "some", and we know people don't necessarily give truthful answers to pollsters when it might make the person appear unfavorably).

Even some of those who are attending Seminaries of particular denominations don't really believe what the Bible says, AND THEY ARE GOING TO BE TEACHERS OF THE BIBLE!!

I read a poll some months ago where a large percentage (seems like I remember the figure 68%) of seminary participants (training to be preachers) said they didn't believe Jesus would come again!!!

That, to me, is absolutely amazing since scripture is filled with prophecies of Jesus' return to this earth, and especially the Book of Revelation!!

What about you?

Do YOU believe the Bible is God's infallible Word? Do you live your life as an example of how Jesus would want everyone to live? OR do you believe all a person has to do is "believe" and they are Christian?

Yes, I know that is what most traditional church leaders preach, but IS IT TRUE? Is there NOTHING a person needs to do to be a Christian except "believe?"

Hopefully, I am going to answer some of the questions I have presented here.

As you can all probably surmise, I am in God's Word every day checking references, reading, studying, writing articles, or searching for ideas of articles and waiting on God to inspire me as to what HE wants written.

I know a few people who probably read some in His Word each day. (At least they say they do.) How deeply they study is a question in my mind, of course, but I realize not every body needs to be, nor is called to be, a "scholar".

Basic Christianity truly IS simple. However, it ISN'T a "just believe" concept, since the Bible doesn't preach that at all. We are told that we will be JUDGED by Jesus the Christ, and rewarded ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS when He returns to this earth!!!

Psalms 58:11 "So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
1 Corinthians 3:14 If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

James even talked about 'works' and 'faith', that it goes hand-in-hand.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Yes, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS A DEAD FAITH!! Of course it is! Faith is an ACTIVE word.

The foundation of faith is what a person does in their life. Will works save you? Not by themselves. They MUST be coupled with faith.

And where do we get faith?

1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (faith is) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Yes, we receive that GIFT of faith when we receive God's Holy Spirit, after we have repented of our sins and have been baptized into the Name of the Father and of the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit!!

Then as we grow in faith, we grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! That "growing" is a command, by the way! (2 Pet. 3:18)

Through faith our fore-fathers of old did many wonderous WORKS. Read about those in Hebrews 11. It is a magnificent study!

WHAT THEN IS A CHRISTIAN?

It is one who has been called by the Father to Christ (John 6:44, 65), has repented of all sins, been baptized into the Name of the Father and the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and who subsequently receives God's Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) which will lead into all paths of Righteousness (Ps. 23:3). And remember what righteousness is? (Ps. 119:172).

Yes, ALL God's Commandments ARE righteousness.

When we begin to KEEP God's Commandments, we BECOME righteous!! For more on this subject, please read our articles about faith and commandments. These articles are listed in the Archives.

A TRUE Christian, then, is one who has repented, been baptized, receives God's Holy Spirit and begins to actually FOLLOW CHRIST.

That person begins to keep the days Christ kept, and do as Christ did!!

That person will be a SHINING LIGHT (an example) of God's Way of Life, and will be ALWAYS READY to give an answer of the TRUTH which they hold and the lives they live, to those who ask. (1 Pet. 3:15)

As I mentioned in the article "The Faith Which Was Once Delivered", those who try to worship God using PAGAN symbols and rituals, who try to worship God keeping holidays based upon pagan thoughts and worship, will NOT BE ACCEPTED BY JESUS at His return!!! (Mat. 7:23)

This doctrine is stated all throughout the Old Testament as well as the New. God WILL NOT ACCEPT WORSHIP BASED UPON PAGAN BELIEFS!!

Deut. 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE LORD THY GOD!!!

How much plainer can it be? What part of "thou shalt not" does most professing Christianity not understand?

And of course, verse 32 and Rev. 22:18-19 puts the final nail in the coffin of those who continue to DO SO!!

What about YOU?

Do you keep the holidays of this world such as Christmas, Easter, and Hallowe'en, and IGNORE the Holy Days of God? NO, THEY ARE NOT JEWISH!!! God's Holy Days existed before ANY ONE of the Jewish faith even existed!!

Read them in Leviticus 23! THEY ARE GOD'S HOLY DAYS, NOT JEWISH HOLY DAYS and even though the Jewish people keep the days shown there, they have ADDED things which God did not add, and have required observance in THEIR (Jewish) ways.

We must keep them the way God commands, don't you see, for they truly are GOD'S HOLY DAYS!!

If you read the scriptures that I noted above in Lev. 23, you should have noticed that the very FIRST Holy Day that ALL people are supposed to keep is the weekly seventh day Sabbath!!

It is a sign between God and man that those who have received His Holy Spirit belong to Him. IT IS THE VERY MARK OF A TRUE CHRISTIAN!!

It is the FRUIT of one who is obeying God!!

And of course, I must note here that God ONLY GIVES HIS SPIRIT to those who OBEY Him!! (Acts 5:32)

HOW, THEN, CAN WE KNOW WHO IS A TRUE CHRISTIAN?

Matthew 7:20 "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

This scripture is in red in a red-letter version of the Bible and shows that these are Christ's OWN WORDS!

The word "know" here means "to know, or to recognize, upon some MARK!"

And of course, the weekly Sabbath IS that MARK whereby we can discern some of the FRUITS of those who are TRUE CHRISTIANS!!

Of course, the weekly Sabbath is NOT the only days that must be kept as I noted about Leviticus 23.

IF a person has God's Holy Spirit, they will be LED by that Spirit to begin (in obedience to God) to keep the weekly Seventh Day Sabbath and ALL God's Holy Days as shown in Leviticus 23.

You don't know how to do all that?

That is what we're here for. We can help if you need a church to attend whose members keep all those days, and who teach according to God's Holy Word.

You can contact me, the Editor, if you need information as to where you could attend and the times of services.

Do you need to be baptized into the Name of The Father and The Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit? I can help with that too!

Do you just need to TALK about God's truth and begin to learn more of God's Wonderful Truth?

Write me using the Letter to the Editor panel in the menu bar.

We are here TO SERVE you, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.

That is the only way we know to serve.

Let us help you in your walk with Christ.

We can, you know.

Your friend,

Ken Browder, Editor

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