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Archive for February 27th, 2008

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The Folks at Monergism has made Dr. Art’s 81 part series on the book of Revelation free you only pay shipping cost which could be as low 3.99 and as high as 17.99. This is an awesome opportunity to hear a different perspective. Frank C. hipped me to this and I thank you greatly bro! The link to the CDs are here.

 artinoffice1.jpg Check out this excerpt

Does the Church Replace Israel?
by Dr. Arturo Azurdia III

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” (Revelation 2:8)

… Poverty as a consequence of slander and accusations …. The source of their persecution: the Romans. Fomenting the Roman persecution was the inciting accusations of ethnic Israelites about whom Jesus here says are not worthy of that ancient and honorable name. “I know the slander [blasphemy] by those who say they are Jews and are not.” My friends that is a profoundly important statement. When we watch the flow of redemptive history, the storyline of the Bible unfold and we move from the epic of promise into the epic of fulfillment, God’s people are no longer defined genealogically, they are defined Christologically … Christocentrically. You say “what do you mean?” True Jews are those who follow Jesus as their Messiah. They are characterized by a birth not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. They are marked out by a circumcision not of the flesh but of the heart. So who then are these people? These people who claim to be Jews by virtue of their bloodline, but according to Jesus himself, they are not. Jesus defines them for us: “They are a synagogue of Satan.” It is like what Jesus says to the unbelieving Pharisees in John chapter 8, who claimed the paternity of Abraham. He says: “You are of your father the devil.” You see beloved, this is why we need to think clearly at this point. This is what is so utterly wrong today when people refer to the Judeo-Christian God. [They say] “Christians and Jews really in the end worship the same God.” NO! …To reject Jesus Christ is to reject the full and final revelation of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The truth is there is no such thing as an orthodox Jew, beloved, unless he is a Christian because if the Jews really believed in the Old Testament they would believe in Jesus Christ. If a person does not believe in Jesus Christ then, according to John chapter 5, then he does not believe in Moses either. “Moses spoke of me,” Jesus said. And so Paul says in Romans chapter 2 “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly nor is circumcision merely outward and physical”, no “a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly and circumcision is circumcision of the heart by the Spirit not the written code.”

Now friends, people often ask me, “Do you believe that the church replaces Israel. The answer is “no of course not!!!” The church does not replace Israel. The fact is, Jewish people who reject Jesus Christ are apostate from Israel. Following Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of true Judaism. Everything in the Old Testament pointed to Him. Israel and the church, then, are not in radical discontinuity, rather, the later is the consummated expression of the former. Beloved, a failure to appreciate that has profoundly determined strange things in our [own] country. By virtue of the influence of American evangelicalism we say silly things like “Always side with Israel, no matter what Israel does always side with Israel. God will take care of America if we always side with Israel. They are God’s people.” [But] Jesus says they are a synagogue of Satan. And is there a reason then why American evangelicals are notoriously ineffective in their evangelism of Arabs?

[Jesus is] The full, final, ultimate expression of Judaism. You are Abraham’s seed. C’mon … Tear those pages out of your study Bibles.

Excerpt from Dr. Arturo Azurdia III’s 81 part series on the Book of Revelation.

Related Resources:
Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land? by John Piper

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This is a very sobering and convicting article by Jim Eliff. This is my co-laborer Tyris’ pastor and is a wonderful man and teacher. Read it and let it penetrate your heart:

What About Your Relatives?

Jim ElliffYou may be willing to cross the ocean to speak for God, but have you remembered your relatives’ need for Christ?

extended family

In the New Testament, we find new believers confronting their own family first with the gospel. One writer calls this “oikos evangelism.” The word “oikos” means “household” in the language of the New Testament.

A model for reaching our families is found in the first encounter Andrew had with Jesus. Read what it motivated him to do:

“He found first his own brother Simon [Peter], and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (John 1:42-42a).

It begins right at home.

What are you doing to introduce Christ to your immediate family? There are many ways to do this. For one, having times of family Bible reading and prayer has a great history in evangelism. When children are young, reading the historical sections can be most easily digested by their immature minds. Reading the lives of great Christians and evangelistic books can also be helpful.

It goes without saying that we should plant our family in a true church where the Bible is believed and where the gospel of free grace is presented clearly. Carefully chosen camps and youth activities may also help. One way to help your children know Christ is to ask them to conduct interviews with godly men and women you respect, finding out all they can about how they came to Christ and how life has gone for them.

What about the extended family?

Some friends of mine have made a long list of all their relatives. They carefully wrote out their testimony and an introductory letter (with a personalized note) and slipped it into a book we provided that explains the gospel. This was sent to parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. The resulting conversations and changes have been remarkable.

Some of you have relatives that may soon die. Do you really want to let them slip into hell without a clear explanation of the gospel? Aren’t you the one to do that?

A friend’s father was old, blind, and grumbling about life. He sent some literature to his brother and asked him to begin reading it to their father in the retirement home. Much to their surprise the man was converted and has become an excited believer, though he is over 90 years old!

Admittedly, some relatives are difficult to talk to. But that should not keep us from trying. One way to deal with such strong “resisters” is to be more forthcoming about arranging a time to talk it out. Instead of waiting for the opportune moment, just state, “Dad (or whoever it is), you know that I am concerned about you having a true relationship with Christ. I need to talk straight with you about it at least once. Let’s plan for this and have nothing to distract us. How about this week on Tuesday night?”

It should be noted that sometimes people resist because they are under conviction about their need for Christ. Avoiding discussion is their only way to keep it at a comfortable distance. God can reach anyone if He wishes, even the person who seems the most incorrigible. Take literature with you and sincerely ask them to read it and talk with you about it. You may also tell them, if appropriate, that you wish to have this conversation about knowing Christ even if they are not interested. You are asking them to listen, even if it is only out of respect for you.

Although conversion is a sovereign act of God, He uses people to sow the seed. Until you try, you do not know what will happen. And you do not know what the gospel seed may do later if it is sown in their lives now. Don’t expect that you will have all the answers for them, or that you will do a great job at speaking the truth. You will likely fumble about a bit. But God has always condescended to our imperfections when doing His work through us.

Copyright © 2006 Jim Elliff. Permission granted for electronic reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission

For evangelistic materials by Jim Elliff, especially Pursuing God-A Seeker’s Guide, and Wasted Faith (a tool to for examining false versus truth faith), visit http://www.CCWonline.org.

www.CCWonline.org

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I would say I have heard some guys who preach very well. I would say I have heard some guys who preach excellently. I would even dare to say that there are some exceptional men out there. But I think I have heard the best in my lifetime. His name is Dr. Arturo Azurdia III and I may be stoned by Piper and MacArthur fans for saying this, but this brother is the coldest I have ever, ever heard. His use of the languages and Christocentric style is unbelievable. I posted this because I didn’t want to keep it to myself. A brother name Cedric Clark gave me the site and put me on to him over the past weekend. I wouldn’t even dare to say, you don’t need an explanation once you have heard him preach. You get up, walk out, go home and employ the clear teaching to your life. This is how concise He is. I have spent the last couple of days putting his sermons on my IPOD and there are hours of available teachings out there. I am currently listening to Family Affairs and have been so convicted that I wanted to turn it off. But I was compelled to listen. I am that much more responsible for responding biblically. Enough said. Listen to some sermons. I would start with the one called “New Covenant” I think you can go anywhere from there. I am going to invite some friends over just to take notes and listen to some other sermons in the coming weeks. Here is the link: Spirit Empowered Preaching. Enjoy

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