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Can You Imagine?

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by murjahel, May 2, 2013.

  1. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran

    CAN YOU IMAGINE a Bible book store that would
    put up advertising on its bill boards,
    for brothels, pornographic books, places to buy drugs,

    Why would a Bible book store advertise for sinful businesses? Why would one want to shop for Bibles amidst sinful trash and temptations to do evil?

    Some have been saved from pornography. Some have had deliverance from drugs and alcohol. These should not be presented with temptation, and to allow oneself to be tempted is the sin of lasciviousness.

    Churches should not give a food stand to Budweiser at the church picnic.

    Bible book stores should not sell pornography.

    These things ought not to be even considered.

    Can you imagine if suddenly they did do these things? What would you tell your pastor if the church did?

    What would you ask the Bible book store if they started such practices?

    What excuse would be adequate for such things?

    What if they needed the money, and the offerings were not big enough?
    What if the advertising department of the church wanted more money to build the new gymnasium?
    What if the Bible book store was wanting to lower the price of their Bibles?
    What if they were just ignorant of what advertisers were putting on their bill boards?

    What excuses would be adequate to satisfy your upset at having dancing girls encouraging attendance at the next x rated movie at the theatre downtown this week?

    John’s second epistle deals with the condoning, accepting, validating of false messages, and the messengers of such.

    II John 10-11
    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive them not into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

    People would be ‘partakers’ of the evil of the drugs, perversions, lusts, and crimes of the sins promoted, if they promote, or even wish ‘God speed’ to such things and people. If we advertise the local bar, we would be partakers in the sins generated or encouraged by such places. If we sell pornography, we would be partaker of the sins generated by that trash.

    Would churches and Bible book stores want to partake in the sins of drugs, alcohol, sex magazines, etc.? If their reason was to raise money, for good purposes, would the partaking in sin, partaking in the wrath of God on sin, make that a wise way to raise money?

    Churches, Bible book stores, should want to present truth, lead mankind to Jesus, save souls, make disciples. The truth of the gospel, the revelation of God through Christ, as revealed now through the Spirit of Truth, should be in all the saints, and we should never give aid and comfort to our enemy the devil.

    Truth and righteousness is vital to Christianity. Jesus said that those who worship God must do it "in Spirit and in truth..."

    We need a fresh awareness of truth.

    We need to preach the truth, advertise the truth, and show forth truth to the world.

    Our churches and businesses should be showing forth the message of truth that Jesus taught the disciples.

    Loving one another is a commandment, and encouraging alcoholism, sexual sins, lust, and drugs, is not a demonstration of agape love.

    If a Bible book store, or a church, is wanting to be a blessing to a lost and dying world, and wanting to win souls to Jesus, to disciple those who are already saved, we must beware lest our reward for those good works becomes nul and void due to sins which accompany good works.

    II John 8
    "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, that we receive a full reward."

    If the good works we do are un-done, nullified, and cancelled by sinful encouragements, we will lose reward.

    We are to be hinderers to the sinful temptations of the devil, not condoners of such. Jesus saw the money changers in the temple and chased them out, for the Temple was to be a place of prayer, not a place of sinful cheating, deceit, and encouragement of sin.

    Can you imagine if churches began advertising sinful things, to pay the bills?
  2. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran



    When Jesus was upon earth in His first coming, many followed Him from place to place. Hence Christians are called "FOLLOWERS".

    In Revelation 14:4, some saints are described as "they that follow the Lamb." Revelation 14:4 (KJV)
    4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

    Generally, most Christians understand that we are to follow Him, but sometimes, in reality, many are attempting to get God to follow them. We are mandated to forsake our own agenda in life, when we come to Jesus and to make Him to be our ‘Lord’. Therefore, we are not to expect Him to follow us in life, but to let Him lead us.

    Matthew 4:18-22 (KJV)
    18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
    19 And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
    20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him
    21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
    22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him.

    Jesus did not ask Peter for a job. He did not start helping them in their fishing business. The main task of Peter from that day forward was to follow Jesus. He failed at times, but he came back to the real mission of following Jesus, not attempting to hand Jesus a net and telling Jesus how to fish.

    Yet, in many of today’s ministries, we find ministers trying to get Jesus involved in their agendas, not yielding to the Lord, and saying ‘where do you want to lead me, Jesus?’

    Many, imagine that the Lord is following them, and try to set the agenda for each day. Can you imagine if Jesus did follow our agenda, go where we would choose?

    Certainly, He is always with us, but in a different way, when we try to lead. When He is leading, there is ministry, miracles, signs and wonders in our lives, for He is taking us to victories and blessings. When we try to get Him to follow us, He is there to pick us up from our falls, dust off the dirt of sin and shame when we finally repent. He is there, but the blessings are not on the roads of our choice in this walk. The victories are on His path.

    Trying to have Jesus follow us, is a life of looking for ‘things’, for carnal mammon, for worldly popularity.

    Following Jesus though looks like a life of SACRIFICE,
    SACRIFICING OUR OWN DESIRES AND OUR OWN NEEDS TO HIS DESIRES, AND TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS FOR WHOM HE CARES. This does not look appealing with the natural eyes, so many have tried to get Jesus follow them down the roads of self seeking, self glorifying, and self determining.

    Matthew 8:20-22 (KJV)
    20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
    21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
    22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

    Foxes even build holes to live in, seek to have safety and comfort. Yet, Jesus contrasts our way to be different, and we may not, at times, have the comforts of life in this walk following Jesus.

    Matthew had to choose, and he chose to follow Jesus. Some of his friends chose that too, with the example of Matthew encouraging them.

    Matthew 9:9-13 (KJV)
    9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed Him.
    10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
    11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
    12 But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
    13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


    Matthew 16:24-26 (KJV)
    24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
    25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Pride makes many to think that they have the wisdom to know what is best for themselves. They set a course, and try to get Jesus to follow them.

    If I had gone my course, and expected Jesus to follow me, I might have been an architect. I might have made more money. I might have had a luxurious home, retired and living well financially.

    Yet, the many miracles and blessings that the Lord led me to, I would have missed. Souls were saved on His path. I saw bodies healed, including my own. Death may have already taken me, for many times on His path, I came close to death, but was on a path of miracles, so God spared me, to finish my walk with Him here on earth. I fell many times in my walk, but He not only picked me up, He forgave me, and blessed me with more miraculous things. I was not a sorrowful, miserable, architect without the miracles that Jesus showed me. I had a good life, I had many blessed times in conversation with a loving Lord, Whom I was following. The cross He had me carry was not so heavy, the hill of the golgothas was worth the walk, for I was talking to Jesus on this walk, and I know the end place of this walk is the streets of glory, where I will dwell with Jesus forever.

    Can I imagine having had Jesus follow me? Yes, I can imagine it, but it would not have been blessed, like my life of trying to follow Him has been.
    There is an example in the Bible of one who wanted Jesus to follow him, and who refused to let Jesus be the One to be followed.

    Matthew 19:16-22 (KJV)
    16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.
    22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    Our choice of paths may seem to be more comforting, more financially blessed, and more popular to our friends, but any other leader than Jesus is going to lead to sorrow, pain, suffering, and defeat. The only victorious life is on the pathway that Jesus leads us on.

    We may follow to what the world calls suffering, but their way of ease, their walk toward gain and worldly acclaim is leading to a place of eternal pain. The walk of following Jesus is leading to heaven.

    Luke 9:22-26 (KJV)
    22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
    23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
    24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
    26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

    The path of following Jesus leads us to glorification, to honor of God, to eternal life.

    John 12:23-26 (KJV)
    23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
    24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
    25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
    26 If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.

    We carry a cross as we follow Him. We may carry a money bag, may be pulling a yacht, may be holding deeds to properties, while trying to get Jesus to follow us. Yet, the ‘cross’ we carry when we follow Him, is soon to be exchanged for a crown. The temptation is always there to lay down the cross, and seek to have Jesus follow us. Some invite Jesus often to come their way, and some try to convince themselves and Jesus that this other way is easier, more productive, less hazardous, more popular, politically correct, and prosperous. He does not listen to us, He walks on His way, and sees if we will FOLLOW.
    Our path is supposed to be marked by the footprints of Jesus. The bloody nail prints still flow out blood for us, to cleanse us, to empower us, and those bloody foot prints are to lead us, to show us the way that He went, and we are to follow.

    The cross we must carry on this walk of ‘following’ is not heavy, for His burden is light. We are not carrying it alone, He is there, lifting for us, comforting us, explaining to us why we walk this path. Christ Jesus carries the heavy end of the cross.

    Following Jesus may involve seeing others walk away, hoping Jesus will follow them on their own paths. It may seem like we are going to be awfully lonely on this walk with Jesus. Yet the ‘friends’ we encounter along the way, are others who are following Jesus too.

    "Choose you this day whom ye shall serve" (Josh. 24:15), can be reworded for us of today, to ‘choose Whom you will follow.’ We must not imagine or attempt to get Him to follow us. We should follow Jesus, unhesitatingly as sheep follow a shepherd. Jesus has the right to lead us wherever He chooses. A soldier follows the captain, a servant obeys the lord, and so should we follow the Redeemer, the King of kings, the Savior.

    The journey may seem long, but, in eternity, we will marvel at how short a time it actually was. His everlasting arms carry us to a blessed end. There may not be many smooth paths, there may be hard trials, but they lead to the "city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God."
    Jesus’ calling came with a ‘follow Me’. The key to success in life is to obey that call, and to follow Jesus.

    So, can you imagine Jesus following your way?

    I hope you don’t want to even try to imagine that...

    Some who did, lost so much on their own path.

    I want to see where Jesus is leading me, I trust the One I follow.
  3. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran

    if we all spoke the same language?

    At one time, all of mankind spoke the same language. It was a heavenly endowment of language given to Adam and Eve, untaught, but already known by them. That language was spoken by God to man, by men to God, by mankind to mankind. Easy time of understanding one another.

    Since the tower of Babel confusion of languages, we have all been confused by what others mean that speak other languages. Even now, in the same language, there is confusion for one has one idea of a meaning of a word, another person as a variant meaning.

    In trying to understand one another, we are at a loss. What one has been taught and experienced with a word or a phrase may give them one understanding of it.

    Another may be taught far differently, or the word or phrase may be totally foreign to them.

    Words change meaning in different generations. What was ‘cool’ in one generation is totally a foreign concept in another. What is ‘sin’ changes in the minds of different churches, different ages, and still what God Who is unchangeable, meant by sin when He first defined it, is still the same.

    Yet, we are different in understanding.

    God has spoken. A God Who can create us, can also talk to us. We should desire to know what He has to say. He understands our languages, He sees our heart and knows what we mean in every word we speak. Yet, we seem to not understand His language sometimes.

    Hebrews 1:1-2
    "God, Who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son..."

    The Bible is the revelation of God’s will. The Bible is not man’s attempt to find God, but God’s attempt to speak to mankind. There is ample proof that the Bible is God’s Word.

    There is unity of the 66 books over a span of 2000 years in the writing. There are miracles that came in confirmation of the preached Word. There is irrefutable fulfillment of Bible prophecies. The grand scope of the Book sets it apart from all other books. The influence of the Bible during the centuries is awesome. The scientific and historical accuracy is flawless. There is an excellent moral tone, that exceeds any manmade moral goals.

    II Peter 1:21
    "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit..."

    I Corinthians 14:37
    "If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."

    Yet, for all of us today, the ancient Greek, and ancient Hebrew, in which the Bible is written is a foreign language. We depend on study, translation, Bible dictionaries, and need to study and find the harmony of the correct understanding of the Word.

    The bulk of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the bulk of the New Testament was written in Greek. There are no errors in copyists, or omission that affect any doctrine. The most ancient copies found (amidst the Dead Sea Scrolls, for instance) are shown to be the same as those copies of later origin, so that the translations we have, can be trusted to have been done from valid copies.

    The Bible is infallible. Some translations have errors of translation, or misconceptions due to changing connotations of words. Yet, when going to the original language to verify the message of translations, we find the original to be the infallible Word of God. So, the Bible is intelligible. We can understand it. The Bible is a ‘revelation’, meant to reveal, not conceal.

    Romans 15:4
    "...whatsoever things were written afore time, were written for our learning..."

    The mysteries of God are no longer to be mysteries. There are things and concepts that our finite minds may not yet be able to comprehend, but that is not what the Bible is speaking. The Bible is God’s attempt to tell mankind what mankind is able to receive. God’s Word does not surpass mankind’s reason. God did not have the Bible written to tease mankind with ‘non-understandable’ truths.

    Ephesians 3:4
    "Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ."

    II Timothy 2:7, 15
    "Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things... study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God..."

    The Bible (rightly understood) is authoritative. We need to beware error, for some things do require a bit of study. But when we correctly have studied and harmonized the message of one part with the totality of the Bible’s truths, then we can trust this authoritative passage.


    II Peter 3:16
    "...some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction."

    Some people due to their false doctrines chosen to uplift their pride, or salve their guilty soul, wrestle with passages of the Word. They could have grown in understanding and learned what God has wanted to say, but sin, pride, anger, bias, etc blind them to truth.

    They then misunderstand some words, and ignore some passages. The taking of verses out of context, the changing the meaning of some words, the misapplication of God’s message leads to arguments, splitting of churches, variance in the congregations.

    Can you imagine if we all had the same language, the same meaning for words, the same application of the Word of God to our lives as intended by God when He had it written?

    Can you imagine the harmony that would create?

    Can you imagine the love that could be between denominations, instead of the jealous arguing and back-biting now done?

    Yet, as we try to discuss with others, the Biblical truths, we find that there is great divergence of ideas, and others are as adamantly sure they are teaching it right, even when it greatly is divergent from our understanding of the same passage and doctrine.

    The language of the debaters is often due to the variance of meaning in the words of their argument.

    They mean different things with the same words.

    So, there is confusion on how the other can think this, or that, when it is so plain to us.

    We speak different languages, even though we think we both speak English.

    The Bible did warn us that some who do not shun error, are ‘ever learning, but never able to come to knowledge of the truth’ (II Timothy 3:7).

    Some others do ‘corrupt the Word’ (II Corinthians 2:17).

    There are even some who knowingly ‘pervert the gospel’ (Galatians 1:6-8) and then ‘lie in wait to deceive’ (Ephesians 4:14).

    We worry rightly so, that some will try to ‘beguile... with enticing words" (Colossians 2:4).

    Others will not want to hear our explanation of the meaning of the Word, and they will ‘consent not to wholesome words... doting about questions and strifes of words’ (I Timothy 6:3-5).

    Many will ‘strive about words to no profit" (II Timothy 2:14-16).

    Some ‘teach things which they ought not’ (Titus 1:10-14).
    More and more in these last days, some ‘bring in damnable heresies" (II Peter 2:1-3)

    God allows people to do any of those things, if they persist. He has sent some prophets, apostles, teachers, etc... to attempt to persuade them from error, but often mankind resist the conviction of the Spirit through their words, and the end result is damnation.

    II Thessalonians 2:10-12
    "...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

    God knew this would happen. He knew His plainly revealed Scriptures would be twisted, misunderstood, misapplied, and mistranslated.

    So, God has given His message to many prophets, in many books of our canon, and in various ways has taught over and over the vital truths that He wants us to know. God uses parables, proverbs, similes, etc. to show us concepts that help us understand higher concepts of the Spirit.

    Figurative and symbolic illustrations are meant to guide us toward the truth, not to veil the truth.

    Erroneous concepts are identified, condemned and we are oft warned of them.

    The foolishness of the world is shown in the light of the truth to be foolish (I Corinthians 1:20).

    The writers of this God-breathed Word, were ‘moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:21).

    This literally means that they were ‘borne along’, as a current of a river bears along a boat.

    The boat is moving, with no need for the oars when the desired direction is the direction of the current.

    Therefore, to misunderstand the Word, to have different meanings for words than God intended, one must row vigorously, for the Spirit is trying yet to inspire mankind to understand His message through the writers.

    Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would ‘guide you into all truth." (John 16:13).

    The Holy Spirit is trying to get our definitions of words, our translations of His message, to be what He actually said and meant.

    Can you imagine if He could succeed?

    Yet, the heart of man, the sinful nature our beings, keeps wanting to hang onto our own ‘language’.
  4. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran

    if we all spoke the same language?​

    Part 2

    We all have different connotations and understandings of various words. We have different backgrounds, and are at different levels of spiritual development. With that background, we often try to teach, debate, and challenge the ideas of another. Their background and maturity in the Lord can vary so much from ours, the language we use can seem like a foreign language to them.

    The words we hear from others, may mean differently than the way we would use some of those same words. We want ‘sound words’ to be understood.

    Paul referred to his ‘sound words’, and he mentions that his words were given in the ‘faith and love’ of Jesus.

    II Timothy 1:13 NAS
    "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."

    Mankind uses tongues, lips, teeth, throat and lungs to issue sounds that are symbols of his thoughts. Words are simply symbols of things. Morse code is meaningless to me, for though I have studied some other languages, morse code is foreign to me, and its sounds are just ‘noise’. To some, the language of the Bible is almost as meaningless.

    We need to study the language, the words, the expressions of the Bible to fully know the thoughts of its Author.
    God chose certain words to express His thoughts.

    In II Timothy 1:13, we are told to retain the ‘standard, form, pattern, model’ of the words. It is important that the words of the Bible be carefully and accurately defined into the definition meant by the Author. Paul used words that the Lord established in meaning and in attitude, and he tried to use those ‘rhema’ words from God with which to base his teaching.

    When someone says something, and it is not understood, it may be a conflict of understanding, a conflict of word meaning, or phraseology unfamiliar to the hearer. Since God authored the Bible, but used secretaries of different ages and cultures, and meanings of words can change from the time written, to the time read, and cultural phraseology can be understood by the secretary who wrote, but not familiar to the reader now.

    We need to define words as God, the Author, did, to know the same thought. We need to therefore seek the original meaning of the word, for words evolve, and alter in meaning, with the age. It is not Webster’s dictionary that would indicate the meaning, though it could still be correct, in many cases, words originally had variants of meaning.

    The ideal thing would be for all of us to be proficient in Hebrew and Greek, and have also an understanding of the original meaning of the words of those languages. Without such, we need a reliable Bible dictionary, extended translations, and commentaries of scholars who do have such knowledge.

    I have seen argument after argument, using words from translations, with connotations of such that vary from the original words of the Greek and Hebrew. The argument can go on and on, and sometimes both debaters are missing the real point of what God said, for they are arguing for what their connotation of the translation words say.

    When the Bible was originally written, it was written in the common language of the day, not the classical form of a few highly educated ones, but the everyday language of the times.

    We have no right to attach our own ideas to words, or to look at all the possibilities of translation of the ages, and choose the one that fits our desires. NO! We need to study carefully to find which meaning and concept was meant by the Author. This can be tedious, time consuming, but in the end, we find it rewarding beyond expectations.

    For the most part, in many translations, scholars have done a good job. We still need to verify each verse. Some passages have variants, confusions, and need clarification.

    Time changes many meanings of words, and what was an accurate translation at the time, has become faulty due to age.

    For instance, ‘let’ in the KJV time, meant ‘hinder’, and now means ‘allow’. That word has completely reversed in meaning.

    ‘Baptism’ now can have variant meanings from times past when it meant ‘immersion’.

    The word ‘power’ can mean ‘authority’ or ‘mighty strength’.
    There are two Greek words, dunamis, and exousia, each meaning one of those two meanings. Yet, they are both usually translated ‘power’, so as to require we look to the original word to accurately understand the passage.

    In the mind of the author, each word had but one meaning. But in languages, some words can be translated several ways. Which meaning had the Author???

    It was once popular to look for more than one meaning, and then advocates of various doctrines would choose the one that most backed their chosen theology. But, God did not mean to be ambiguous, nor to create hostility in translations.

    If we were to need to leave, unexpectantly, and someone would be wondering where we went, and why we left, would we want to leave a note that would be a ‘riddle’??? Nor did God want to confuse us, our confusion is not due to His purpose, but to flaws in our understanding, our connotations.

    The Author’s definition is always best. For instance, the verse of Romans 14:23: "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin..." Says to some, ‘unbelief in God is sin’. But, though that statement is truth, this is not the verse to prove it.

    The verse, when read in context, shows that it means that ‘if we think something is sin, and still do it, then for us, it is a sin.’ We need to check the Author’s whole discussion, to know what the Author meant by the words.

    Many words have more than one meaning.

    In English, the word ‘flesh’ has 15 meanings.

    "Life’ has 12 meanings.

    ‘Cross’ has 31 meanings (you may ‘cross him, cross a street, speak in a cross way, or die on a cross’, etc.).

    In Greek and Hebrew, it is the same, many words can be translated in a variety of ways, but in each passage, only one way is correct.

    The meanings of the word in the time when written need to be checked. The context then needs to be studied, the purpose of the Author needs ascertained, and then we can decide which meaning fits best.

    In Revelation 10, it says that ‘time shall be no more’. Yet, there are three and a half years of tribulation to yet come, then a 1000 year millennium, and then ‘ages’ of eternity. What does it mean? The word translated ‘time’ means ‘delay’. And the verse is saying that God decides there to ‘delay no longer’, and continues to the next step of His plan.

    It should be recognized that some words have a specific Biblical meaning.

    It is the same in other things.

    For instance, golf has its own special meanings for words. One hits his ball onto the ‘green’, yet he was on green grass when he hit the ball... But ‘green’ has a special meaning in golf. So do the words, ‘bogie,’ ‘fairways,’ ‘birdie,’ and ‘eagle’.

    In math, we have special meanings for some words, as ‘carry’, ‘dividend’, and others.

    In religion, we have special meanings for words like ‘salvation’, ‘save’, ‘conversion’, ‘faith’, ‘gospel’.

    Sentences are groups of words that express a complete thought. Many people have misunderstandings because of not following the rules of grammar. For instance, in I Corinthians 11:27, we are warned that we not ‘partake unworthily’. ‘Unworthily’ is an adverb, not an adjective, so it is not the person who is unworthy, but the manner of taking. So, there we are told to examine the manner of taking... In another part, we are told to examine the person, and so, two parts of the situation needs to be addressed, not one.

    Matthew 16:18 is interpreted by some that Peter is the rock upon which the church is built. But "Peter" is from the word, ‘petros’ meaning ‘stone’, and the word for ‘rock’ means a solid block of rock. Jesus was not making a comparison, but a contrast. The church needs something stronger than a man to be built upon. It is the confession of Peter, the truth of it, that is the ‘rock’ upon which the church is built.

    Can you imagine the possible harmony amidst we Christians, if we just all spoke the same language, with the same meanings for words?

    Can you imagine how many arguments would be settled if we spoke the same meaning for our words as God meant when He spoke them to the ones who wrote the books of the Bible?

    Can you imagine?


    Interesting stuff!
  6. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran

    if we all spoke the same language?

    Part 3​
    We all experience ‘language’ difficulties in this life. What one person means with words, varies so greatly from what another may mean.

    For instance, some will say ‘I apologized’, and the recipient may counter, ‘No, you did not’. In a way they are both right sometimes. The first may have said ‘I am sorry that what I did bothers you.’ The second does not call that an apology, for the person never said they were sorry they did it, only sorry that what they did upset the person.

    God is likewise disturbed by what some call ‘prophesying.’

    There will come a day when some will say:
    Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.

    Obviously, if God never knew them, they were never saved.

    So, even the meaning of God for ‘repentance’ and for ‘salvation’ were different. They thought they were saved, but their language was not what God meant when He speaks of salvation.

    Perhaps when they read ‘repent’ they thought that meant a ‘cursory’ apology that God did not like their sins.

    God meant by ‘repent’ to have a ‘change of mind toward sins’.

    Following that debacle of a so called ‘salvation’, they continued in the church, and claimed to be ‘prophesying’ when in actuality God never called it that, for their words and predictions were not given by God for them to speak.

    So, in not speaking the same language, they were never truly saved, and God never gave them words to prophesy, though they defined their ‘words’ to be ‘prophecy’.

    Some speak words that to them are not ‘offensive’, and yet to God are offensive words. The meanings of words to us may mean differently to God.

    We need to study ‘words’ more, and be careful not to offend our loving God with words we do not have the same meaning for, as does God.

    Malachi 3:13 (KJV)
    13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

    The language we speak differs in meaning from the language that God speaks, and often varies much from the language others in the church, and others of the unsaved mean by the same words.

    Our first duty is to find out what God has said in His Word, and what His meaning is for those words. We read many ‘thus saith the Lord’. Just what is God trying to tell us?

    The Bible, as God’s message to mankind, is the most important book possible. His message must be properly interpreted, and submitted to.

    II Timothy 3:15-17
    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works... to make man wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

    No doctrine can be considered Biblical, unless it harmonizes with all Scriptures about it. So, to take one passage, and get a different message from it, than the other passages that relate to the same concept, is poor hermeneutics.

    So, we need to study the whole of the verses on the subject, and be sure your interpretation harmonizes all of the passages. For only if it harmonizes with all the passages of God’s Words, are we correctly interpreting His words.

    The words of Greek and of Hebrew, when translated into English, often can give confusing messages. We need to correctly interpret words. For instance, one may say ‘that tie is cool’, and in the next sentence say ‘the milk is cool’. One speaks of opinion of style, the other of temperature.

    We find similar speaking in the Bible.


    The word ‘salvation’ in Romans 13:11 ‘Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed...’ refers to the ‘coming of Christ.’

    In Hebrews 2:3, ‘how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?’, shows that it means ‘revelation of the gospel.’


    ‘Grace’ ordinarily means ‘unmerited favor’, as shown in Ephesians 2:8, ‘by grace are ye saved through faith...’
    Yet, in Acts 14:3, ‘the Lord gave testimony of the word of grace’ shows it means ‘preaching the gospel’.

    In I Peter 1:13, ‘hope to the end, for the grace that is brought unto you’ shows it is a ‘blessedness’.

    In Hebrews 13:9, Titus 2:1, ‘it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace, and not with meats...’ shows that it is speaking of the ‘doctrine of the gospel.’


    The word ‘flesh’ has many meanings. In Romans 3:20, ‘by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified...’ shows there is means ‘a person’.

    In Ezekiel 36:26, ‘I will give you a heart of flesh’ shows there it means a ‘disposition yielded and teachable.’

    In Ephesians 2:3, ‘we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh’, shows there is means ‘sensual desire’.

    In I Timothy 3:16, ‘God was manifest in the flesh’, shows it means ‘human form’.

    Finally, if we look at Galatians 3:3, ‘having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?’, shows there it refers to ‘ceremonies like circumcision.’


    The word ‘blood’ can be used in various senses. In Matthew 27:25, ‘His blood be on us..." shows that the word ‘blood’ means ‘guilt and its consequences.’

    Yet, in Ephesians 1:7, ‘we have redemption through His blood’, showing blood to mean the sacrificial offering of Jesus.

    Therefore, we need to study the context of words. Context often is a great help to determine the right interpretation.

    It is necessary to take the words in the sense in which the context indicates. The preceding and following words of what is being studied, must also be checked to see if we can determine what is meant.

    At times, only by context can one determine whether an expression should be taken literally or figuratively. For instance, Jesus calls wine to be the ‘blood of the new covenant’. The context shows that this is figurative, for the context shows that He also calls it to be the ‘fruit of the vine’. (Matthew 26:27-29).

    When Jesus says ‘whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood hath eternal life... My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed..." (John 6:48-63). This is figurative, not literal, and means we should appropriate the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

    It is necessary to consult parallel passages. Some passages elsewhere in the Bible deal with the same subject. The Bible is written not by different men, but different men wrote what the ONE Author had them write.

    Therefore, it should all harmonize. The parallel words, parallel ideas, and parallel teachings should be consulted to make each passage understandable.

    Galatians 6:17 says ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus"...

    What are these ‘marks’?

    In II Corinthians 4:10, we read "bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.’

    This is further understood by reading II Corinthians 11:23-25, where we see that Paul was beaten five times with a whip, and three times with rods. The marks were made by such instruments, were similar to the wounds of Jesus, and Paul had received them due to His commitment to Jesus.

    Can you imagine if we could all read the Bible and give the same meaning of words that all others do? If we could all see what God truly meant by His words, and all of us were in harmony on that meaning being the correct one, then having the same language would resolve many of the conflicts we see in Christianity today.

    Can you imagine having the same language as God, and as all other saints?

    I guess, we have to await heaven for everyone to get to that place.

    For each of us though, it is high time for us to start working on getting our language and meanings of words to be the same as God’s.

    If we all do that, the harmony will soon be astounding between Christians.
  7. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran


    not having to feel ashamed for sin anymore?

    Many today, in pulpits, in Christian writings, on Christian message boards, are preaching a ‘blushless’ religion. The preach that they are saved, but their sins do not count against them. They may be void of the sins of murder, violent crimes, etc... but the sins of pride, lying, greed, etc are condoned and accepted as good.

    Jeremiah 8:12
    "were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush."

    Many cannot blush, cannot feel guilty. Doctrines of devils have infiltrated the church, and removed guilt from sin, removed shame for sin. Homosexuality, abortions, altering doctrines to let other religions think their god is the same as our God, are doctrines being allowed in a ‘blushless’ manner. Some have no shame having perverted the Scriptures to allow sins.

    Many teach doctrines that add pillows to elbows of sinners.

    The doctrines salve guilt, not show atonement for it. The demonic doctrines remove the idea that there will someday be a judgment seat before which each one will have to pass.

    Ezekiel 13:20
    "Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye entice souls..."

    Some doctrines are like pillows, to ease pain of guilt, to soften the message of truth. Some teach sin is ‘all right’, or that there is no punishment, no hell, no judgment for sin.

    So the guilty rest better upon those pillow doctrines.

    Ezekiel 13:18
    "Woe to those who apply pillows to all elbows."

    God is angry at the "pillow doctrine preachers". Their messages are inspired of seducing spirits, who have convinced many of such preachers, that they are speaking truth. Yet, their doctrines are allowing many saints to be ignorant of the truth.

    Jeremiah 8:7
    "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the Lord."

    People have been untaught about judgment. Some have lost this teaching due to the neglect to preach it, by some ministers who are intimidated by the current ‘political correctness’. And the ‘political correctness’ ideas come from the ones preaching the demon doctrines that denigrate the idea of judgment, sin, and evil.

    Many saints prefer the devil’s lullabies to the truth of God’s Word. The ten virgins, in the parable of Jesus, all slumbered and slept. The tendency to listen to lullaby doctrines is so great. We need to beware.

    Mark 4:22
    "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad."

    The hidden, ignored, well-salved sins of people will come out. The Holy Spirit testifies to this to all. But the devilish demons keep preaching a different doctrine, and it has been listened to more than the Holy Spirit’s truth.

    Hebrews 10:31
    "The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

    Isaiah 29:15
    "Woe to them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? And Who knoweth us?"

    The doctrine that God does not see, nor know... is taught in subtle ways.

    Joel 2:1
    "Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand."

    Sin should make people tremble. People take their foot immediately off the gas, when they see a traffic cop. People lock the doors to prevent burglary. People buy insurance. People own a handgun. All due to concern, fear.

    What about ‘sin’??? Do they prepare against it? Do they seek remedy for it??? Do they try to prevent it??? or Do they condone it, feel unashamed about it, and say God does not consider it wrong anymore?

    Repentance is not a one time event when we became a Christian.

    Repentance is change of mind toward sin, and the realization that what was once allowed, committed, justified, is truly an abomination, and separates us from God.

    When our mind acknowledges that, it results in a permanent change of thinking that allows us to be washed clean in the blood of Jesus.

    We continue in that change of thinking, as we live for Jesus, and our godly sorrow for past sins keeps us from going back into justifying what God calls sin.

    The blushless crowd who justify sin, and think that a past event makes their current sins all right, are totally wrong...

    Can you imagine if we all sinned and sinned, and still came to church expecting all there, including God, to pat us on the back???

    Sorry, but church is not meant to be that way, nor will heaven be that way.
  8. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran


    being blind?​

    Blindness robs some of the beauty of God’s creation. It also hinders so much that guide dogs, walking sticks, and various aids are required to make one functional in this world.

    Spiritual blindness is even worse than physical blindness, for it hinders one’s sight in the beauties and mercies of God, and can continue for eternity. Physical blindness is horrible, but temporary.

    The words ‘blind’ and ‘blindness’, in the Greek, come from ‘tuphloo’ and ‘poroo’.

    Tuphloo, is from the root word ‘tuph’ meaning ‘to burn, to smoke’, and speaks of the way smoke could be so heavy it would obscure and make it almost impossible to see.

    It speaks metaphorically of dulling of the intellect, making it difficult or impossible to discern

    Poroo, is from the root word ‘poros’, meaning ‘a thick skin,’ or ‘a hardening’. It is sometimes translated ‘hardening’. It is like the scales of hard matter that can cover the eye area, and make it impossible to see.

    There is much blindness in Christianity today, as in all ages. In this age, it is especially prevalent, for the devil knows that his time is very limited, and he seeks to deceive even the elect, if he can.

    Can you imagine not being able to see spiritual truths, blessed revelations from God?

    There are some who are living in that kind of spiritual conditions. They do not see truth, they do not comprehend God’s awesome plan for redeeming the soul.

    Spiritual blindness is prevalent, and it has horrible repercussions. It leads to further sin, further alienation from God.

    Ephesians 4:17-19
    "...walk not as other gentiles walk, in the vanity of mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart... who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness."

    Note there, in that passage, that those with spiritual blindness, have a ‘vanity of mind’. That means that their thoughts are totally worthless. They do not have thoughts that are productive to their spirit, they do not accomplish any spiritual good with their minds.

    There, in that passage, we also see that their ‘understanding is darkened’. The understanding they could have easily had, is not found, for it is like being in a dark room, and what is apparent, if the lights had been on, are totally missed due to the darkness fo their minds.

    They also are said to be ‘alienated from the life of God...’ This means that they the blindness means separation, alienation, estrangement from God. God is light, and in Him is no darkness, so if some walk in darkness, cannot see, then, God is not walking with them, and the life and strength, the wisdom and discernment, that would come with a walking with God is absent from those who are spiritually blind.

    The passage above also speaks of the ‘ignorance’ that is ‘in them’. There is a worldly knowledge, that some brag upon, with degrees, and doctorates, and proof of much study. Yet, if one is spiritually blind, they are void of real knowledge of the eternal, and they are ‘ignorant’ despite the degrees and titles.

    The passage speaks also of being ‘past feeling’. This refers to an emotional breakdown in the person. They do not feel compassion for the sinner, for the weak, for the hurting.

    They can do immense harm and hurt to people, be insulting and abusive with ease, for there is not the emotion of guilt, shame, and remorse, as there is in people who walk in the light of God’s grace and mercy.

    The passage mentions, that spiritually blind people, also have ‘given themselves over unto ‘lasciviousness’.
    Lasciviousness is not always a thing that is sin of itself, but it is the deed that makes one weaker, and leads to sin. So to purposely do things that make one too weak to avoid sins, is lasciviousness. The spiritually blind do not realize that this deed or action, may not be sin, but if they do it, their weakness being increased by such, is going to lead them into things that are definitely sinful. Therefore, willful lasciviousness is sinful. The spiritually blind, not seeing the danger in the path, travel it and then wonder how they were so weak they sinned.

    The spiritually blind, finally get to the place where they ‘work all uncleanness’. This refers to the things that all of us know are sinful., The spiritually blind, in this final stage of the blindness, have become so depraved due to the long time of darkness, that they sin horrible, shameful sins, not realizing that they are the ones in darkness, and others see the shame of such sins, in better detail, for they are in the light.

    These shameful, unclean sins, are done ‘with greediness’, weare told. The desire to gain, the desire for carnal mammon, the desire to prosper in earthly things, becomes their motivation, instead of the desire for heavenly approval and reward.

    I John 2:11
    "He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes...’

    The one who is spiritually blind, finds a ‘hatred’ for the family of God. The lack of kinship is in sharp contrast to what Jesus meant for the family of God to have. This hatred takes one even further into darkness, and the hatred makes one wander to destinations not even suspected by the spiritually blind. Horrible abuse, horrible sins against the saints occur by those who are in darkness of spiritual blindness.

    Matthew 15:14
    "Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch.’

    Those that are spiritually blind, are so unaware of their ‘darkness’, that often they try to be leaders of others.

    They lead one another to more and more stumbling blocks, to more and more ditches into which they both fall. The spiritually blind do not seek help to discover truth and sight... but they lead others to places of falsehoods, heresies, and false doctrines.

    Romans 11:7-11
    "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the elect hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded... God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see...’

    When one is spiritually blind, the spirits can obsess them with an apathy, a spiritual drowsiness, a sleeping of mind.

    Therefore, they do not see spiritual truths, they do not see dangers ahead, they do not even know where they are headed.

    Rejection of God’s truths leads to spiritual blindness. God tires of having people reject the truths He proclaims, and after much rejection, He allows a veil of darkness to cover their spiritual eyes.

    II Corinthians 3:14
    "But their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which veil, is done away in Christ.’

    After that blinding, there is only one way to receive spiritual sight again. That is in Jesus. That is why we are told to go to this blind world, and not argue and debate to remove blindness of all, but we are to preach Jesus, and in Him, the veil of darkness will be removed, and finally with Him, they will receive their sight once again.

    The veil of darkness in this world keeps many from seeing the truths of the evil of abortion, of homosexuality, of murder, of hatred of others, of greed, of avarice, etc.

    Many will proclaim they do not see evil in those things, and will vehemently oppose those who do. They are blind spiritually to the evils of those things. We can argue a blue streak, and the argument will not remove spiritual blindness.

    Only Jesus, and the healing reception of Him into their hearts, will remove the veil of blindness.

    This veil of darkness is blinding many, and only Jesus can take away this blindness. It has a tendency to remain, and remain. Those spiritually blind do not seek sight easily, they become content in blindness, are unaware of the need of sight, for they think that their darkness is light.




  9. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran




    Can you imagine, if you realized you had displeased God, had sinned and were due judgment, and needed a hiding place. Where would you go? Where could you flee?

    One day, God came to the garden, and called out: Adam, where are you? (Genesis 3:8) Adam and Eve were making fig leaves, to cover themselves, and still, with those, they had a desire to hide from God. So, man’s existence on this planet, began early with a hiding from God.

    In Revelation 6:16, we see some cry out: "said to the mountains, Rocks, fall on us, and hide us from...’ So, in the end days, we find mankind is still often looking for a hiding place.

    Criminals hide from the authorities. Escaped convicts hide, change appearance to not be recognized. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid had a hideout called the ‘hole in the wall’.

    Some today sin greatly, sin with the tongue, sin with the keyboard, sin with their actions, sin with their attitudes.

    They hide in some way, for inside, in their soul there is definite awareness, though they will deny it, that they are due to judgment.

    Teens want locks on their bedroom doors. Troubled saints hide in the back row of the church. Trouble makers of the church hide their criticisms of the church and the leadership with whispers and insinuations.

    Preachers sometimes feel the need to hide behind the pulpit from fear of tomatoes being thrown if they read a verse that has the word ‘repent’ in it.

    The scary sermons that say ‘Jesus is coming soon’ petrify some parishioners, and make some angry and verbally violent.

    Preachers can try to hide from those who make trouble, but in so doing, they are not able to do their job for the Lord.

    The preaching ministry requires one speaks God’s messages to those who then try to crucify (figuratively) the one speaking the words of Jesus. Preachers cannot hide from God.

    So, the sinful need not seek to hide, for God will find them. The preachers cannot hide from God either, when He says ‘go preach’ and they wish they could hide.

    Jeremiah 23:24

    Moses hid in the desert. God called him, and he tried to lead the people out, but it ended in the murder of an Egyptian, and the people were too fearful to plan an exodus. Many like Moses, meet troubles along the way of doing God’s will, and decide to hide. The people are rebellious that we are sent to lead, the leaders of the area are anxious to eliminate us, and so, many in the army of prophets are hiding.

    Saul hid in the baggage. He was afraid of a call to lead. Pew sitters in churches find someone of good size to hide behind. Saul did not want the responsibility of the calling. Some preachers do not want the responsibility of the calling. God gave Saul a chance, he failed miserably.

    Elijah hid beneath a juniper tree. He felt discouraged, alone, feared being killed by Jezebel, and was weary and tired. God knows when we are physically and mentally drained. He is merciful in those times. God sent an angel to Elijah, provided food, and had Elijah rest. then Elijah was sent to a cave, and there he heard the ‘still small voice’ of God. Elijah, despite his inclination to hide and pout then, was still chosen to return to finish his ministry during the tribulation.

    Jonah hid in a ship. God had called him to go to Nineveh. Jonah hated the Ninevehites, and only wanted to see them judged. Often, God calls some to take a message of love, forgiveness, mercy, etc. Sometimes the unloving do not want to preach love. They have been vulnerable for so long, they reject preaching love for those who have hurt them and their loved ones. The unforgiving do not want to offer forgiveness from God. The unmerciful do not want to offer mercy. God will still call and commission, even knowing the reluctance of those called. He wants to teach, to encourage us to His love, mercy and forgiveness.

    John Mark

    John Mark went home to his mother. He was immature, and the hardships and trials of ministry intimidated him. He wanted to hide near to his mother’s care. This world can be intimidating, especially to a preacher. God sent Barnabas, the son of consolation, to help and encourage John Mark.

    Sometimes, preachers today need a strong, and forgiving person, to help them with the intimidation of the world against the young saints.

    Peter hid by the fire, ‘afar’ off from the trials and beatings of Jesus. He was fearful of ridicule, and of the same fate that Jesus was suffering to come upon him. Many try to blend in with the devil’s crowd today also. Some can say a few curse words, tell a dirty joke or two, and no one will suspect that they are religious. The crowd will be more comfortable, if they think one is as hell bound as are they.

    The Lord forgave Peter. He ceased from his hiding ways, and began to stand up for Jesus, even if it meant prison and crucifixion.

    Disciples after the crucifixion
    The disciples hid in a room, the doors and windows being locked, afraid of suffering the same death as did Jesus. The hatred of the world can be so intense upon preachers, that they will seek to hide from it. The disciples locked the door, locked the windows, and still Jesus paid them a visit. The fear and hiding were unnecessary, but they let their rebellion against the truths that Jesus had told them about the reality of the crucifixion, to blind their hearts from faith.

    They thought denial of the facts that we suffer if we are Christian from attacks from the devil would save them. It did not, so then they hid.

    All but one of the disciples were martyred. Even that one, John, suffered, for he was put in boiling oil, and did not die, and he was exiled to Patmos, a prison island, and still survived. So, the wrath of the devil and the world can come upon preachers. Yet, it is not a possibility to hide, for even on the isle of Patmos, God found John, and gave him ministry to do.


    Anna and Simeon did not hide. They were at the temple daily watching and waiting for revelation, so that they could see the Christ when He would be brought to the Temple for dedication.

    John the Baptist did not hide. He gathered a crowd wherever he was, and preached repentance, and mentioned by name the sins that needed repentance, even the sins of Herod. It cost him his head, but it gained him the title of the ‘greatest’ of all the Old Testament prophets.

    If some would quit hiding, and begin searching for God, they would find Him, and all the power and answers that they need. They may be afraid to preach truth, to offend those who may then seek to hurt them, but if they do, the Lord will do miracles to save them, or welcome them to heaven. How bad is that?

    Jeremiah 29:13
    "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.’

    If some preachers do not quit hiding, they will suffer the consequences of the desiring to hide. They will miss victories they could have had. Jonah would have missed being the preacher to the biggest revival of the Old Testament period.

    Can you imagine finding anywhere in this world, where you could hide from God?

    If you have sinned, God will find you at judgment time.

    If you have a calling from God from which you want to hide, He will seek you out.

    It is wise to realize there is NO HIDING PLACE.

    So, you might as well say... ‘HERE AM I, LORD.’
  10. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran




    Certain beliefs, whether major doctrine or minor details, become the subject of debates on message boards, or in other gatherings of Christians. We all do have our own emphasis of Scripture, some taught by denominations, some learned in our walk with the Lord.

    These points, minor and major, often are debated vehemently, and constantly on message boards. Surely, if someone is straying from truth, we are to exhort, encourage, and help lift them up. Yet, some debates go further than that, by far.

    We are to walk in the faith which we have been given by the Lord. Sometimes that walk is long, and the wait for fulfillment of the promises we cling to, seems never ending.

    Hebrews 11:13-16
    "But these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned, But now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city."

    God is proud and not ashamed to be called our God, if we take the revelations we have and cling to them, even unto death. We want Him to be proud of us, we want to cling to the revealed truths in the Word. Often though, some have interpreted that to mean we become belligerent with the truths, and shove them down the throats of others.

    If we, like the heroes of faith mentioned in the preceding verses, would look into God's Word, and be "persuaded" of them, and then "embrace" them, and finally "confess" them before others... then God will not be "ashamed" to be called our God.

    Our sharing of those revelations is good, but constant debate, angry attack on all other ideas is not God’s way.

    Jesus told the disciples to go from city to city, and if not accepted in one city, leave and go to the next.

    Adamant resistant to truth makes one unworthy to have it presented over and over, to the neglect of others who would gladly accept it.

    Yet, some on message boards are adamantly arguing with those who will never accept it, not even if a gun was held to their heads. So, why the constant attack on them... why not find hungry hearts?

    God wants the correct living in our lives, and the correct understanding of the true Word of God in our minds. Our lives will exhibit what we truly believe.

    Present the gospel to hungry hearts, preach the truth to hearers that have ears wanting to hear.

    Let the Holy Spirit work on those hard hearted ones who reject truth.

    Even He will give up on some, so let that decision be His, and find some who want to hear what God has shown you.

    Can you imagine what the Holy Spirit thinks of some of the petty, yet constant, arguments on message boards?

    Because God is vitally concerned with the correctness of our understanding of His message, the devil is at work to attack, pollute, and pervert the true Word of God.

    The incorrect teaching and living of God's message is called HERESY.

    Galatians 5:19-21
    "Now the works of the flesh are manifest... adultery, fornication...etc... heresies... they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

    II Peter 2:1
    "There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies..."

    The Bible clearly warns that in the last days [especially] there shall be many false teachers and heretics who teach a perverted gospel. They pervert and distort what the Bible is teaching, and create doctrines that are able to bring damnation to their believers. We are to preach the truth, the vital truths that will bring salvation to hearers if they believe.

    While arguing over the correct version, the size of the altar, the wardrobe to wear in church, the length of hair, the size of our offering, how to get a mercedes in your driveway, what food is best to eat, etc... we are neglecting teaching the truths that keep heretics from leading people astray.

    The Holy Spirit may share with you how to get a mercedes (don’t bet on it though)... Yet, the Holy Spirit’s greatest concern is leading souls to Jesus, and we are to be sharing in that work.

    We need not debate every item of difference between us and other saints. Not all error is "heresy." Some may believe the rapture will occur in the middle of the tribulation, some may believe it will come at the end of the tribulation, and some will believe it will be at the beginning. They can all go to heaven when it does occur, and the two groups that are wrong are not heretics. The incorrect understanding of that doctrine will not damn the soul.

    Yet, there are other teachings that will damn the soul if believed. These are the ones we call "heresy." "Heresy" is a doctrinal difference that if believed will damn the soul.
    Minor disagreements amidst Christians are nothing to stumble over... We need to get into the Word of God, and study to resolve which doctrines are truly taught in the Word. Paul and Barnabas disputed an idea for a while.

    Peter and Paul had a difference of opinion on a doctrinal issue for a time. The disciples disputed at Antioch on the need for circumcision for a time. These types of issues can still come between Christians. The ideal thing is to get into God's Word and establish what God is teaching. Too often men want to check their denomination's interpretation and accept it, without regard to whether it is Scriptural or not.

    The debates on non-salvation issues has so distracted some that they never get around to winning anyone to Jesus, for they are debating with some Christian some minor point of doctrine. Even if they win those arguments, when they stand before the Lord having not ever gotten into a salvation proclamation to sinners, they will be ashamed.

    Paul was even called a "heretic" in his time. Yet, he argued that he based all of his doctrines on what was written in the "law and the prophets."

    Acts 24:14
    "But this I confess unto thee, that, after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets."

    We may be called heretics for some minor infraction of another’s ideas. That is no big deal... that puts us there in the same boat with Paul.

    Forget if some ‘debaters’ want to debate and debate on the correct version of the Bible, the denomination that is best, the best style of gospel music, etc...

    Those debates, even if won, do not bring us a crown for best in debate class.

    In fact, the Holy Spirit is not the teacher in that class. He is too busy trying to teach us how to win souls, and how to identify the ‘heresies’ that doom souls, not the minor debate-able minor details.

    Even some who believe the Word of God correctly [as Paul] will be called "heretics." It is not what you are called that is important, it is whether you are believing and living the Word of God properly. Even some of the Christians in Jerusalem could not accept Paul and his teachings...

    Acts 9:24
    "...he assayed to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him and believed not that he was a disciple."

    Winning arguments, making converts to your minor doctrinal points, will not make you successful in God’s eyes.

    He is still concerned on the vital truths, we are to be preaching. Some in Jerusalem never accepted Paul, but he then went out, and started churches elsewhere, while some stayed in Jerusalem and argued whether he should be allowed.

    The vital thing for all new converts to know when they begin to study the Word, is that when you do get the correct understanding of the Word, some Christians with misconceptions will oppose you.

    Don't have your mind set on having everyone applaud your life and ministry.

    Just be sure to have the proper understanding of the Word of God, and live it!

    What God thinks of the minor debates, the judgmental attitudes found on message boards, church vestibules, and fellowship gatherings, is probably not too hard to imagine. Imagine therefore, what God thinks of the debates, never ending debates, that occupy most of the time of some.

    There will be some who will never understand it as you find it revealed in God's Word. Paul addresses that problem.

    Romans 14:1
    "Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations."

    Wait, did that tell us not to argue with the ‘weak’ in faith? I think it did.

    The petty arguments with those who are not as ‘taught’ as you or me, are not to just be argued with...

    The Holy Spirit has them in His class of maturing, and He will get around to taking them from glory to glory. Arguing with them is not the Spirit’s choice of training methods.

    The ‘doubtful disputations’ is not the name on any message board I have seen, but I find that many arguments on message boards could be called ‘doubtful disputations’.

    Don't do as the early church did. They argued over what meats they should eat or not eat. They argued over what day was the correct one on which to worship the Lord. They argued over whether they should be vegetarians or not.

    They argued over who was the best teacher of the Word. The list could go on and on. Today, it is the same.

    Christians are arguing over many doctrines, and concepts.

    Don't get into those debates. Study the Word, and find what it teaches. Believe that, and live it! Then get out and do the work that God wants done today. Win Souls to the Lord.

    Many others will argue and debate the color of the carpet for the church till the rapture happens... and never get to the work that God has saved us to do.

    What we do with our lives is going to be judged by the Lord someday.

    Romans 14:10-12
    "But why dost thou judge thy brother? and why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ... everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God..."

    What about the ones who are teaching a perverted gospel that is truly "heresy"???

    We are to try to teach the heretic twice the correct truth. Then, if the truth is rejected, we are to "reject" the heretic.

    Titus 3:10
    "A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition reject."

    The word "reject" is from the Greek word "paraiteomai" which means to "beg off." It does not mean to be angry and battle... it means to get away from that person and keep a distance from him and his teaching.

    Can you imagine if the Lord came to the message boards?

    What debate would He join? The one on ‘which version is best’?, or the one on is pork as good as beef? Or the one on ‘whether you are the best saint on the board, or not? I think, no... I know... His concern would be on some more vital subjects.

    Fellowship, sharing the Word, discussions of import, are fine... Debating constantly on minor issues is not. Constant attack on heretics personally is not Scriptural. Two explanations of truth to such heretics, is to be followed by turning them over to the work of the Holy Spirit.
  11. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran



    The church is in darkness, for the most part. Events are happening, prophecies are being fulfilled, and many are slumbering spiritually, eyes closed, ears full of other facts.

    The threat of the soon coming antichrist, the threat of renewed persecution coming toward the believers is unseen by many.

    The revival that God wants to give is not seen, not comprehended, not even noticed in its beginnings.

    The spiritual eyesight of the church is almost totally blindness by definition.

    Matthew 6:22-24 (KJV)
    22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
    23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
    24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    We need to get our eyes on Jesus. We may be in physical darkness and bound. Yet, if we have our eyes of faith on Jesus, and that light is shining alone into our eyes, there will be faith for the miracles we have not
    yet even imagined.

    Matthew 13:15 (KJV)
    15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing,
    and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    Many have closed their eyes, to truths that the false doctrines they have accepted in the past, will not let them see.

    Mark 8:18-21 (KJV)
    18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
    19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto Him, Twelve.
    20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
    21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

    Spiritual eyes are needed by all of us, for when the Bread of life is being shared with us, if we do not ‘see’, we will lose.

    Romans 10:17 (KJV)
    17 So then faith cometh by hearing,
    and hearing by the Word of God.

    Many heard Jesus preach, they saw His miracles. Their faith did not grow. Yet, faith comes by hearing. The Word of God is the conduit through which faith flows. We know that faith is not possible without God giving faith to us. We need to accept the flow of faith to us, from His Word. When we come to Jesus, with hope in Him, looking to Him for salvation, looking to repent of our sins, and make Him our Lord, God will then give us the ‘gift of faith’ to believe for salvation.

    Faith’s source is God. The Word of God that gave us hope, is the conduit through which God lets faith flow to us. We turn our eyes on Jesus, and look to Him in hope. We claim His Word that He has spoken in the Bible, we hear His words of love to us in our hearts. Faith grows.

    It is like asking ‘what is electricity?’ Many likewise ask ‘what is faith?’

    Some answer the question about ‘electricity’ with answers like, ‘electricity makes the lightbulb burn brightly’, or ‘electricity makes the mixer mix’ or ‘electricity makes the lightning powerful enough to split that tree’.

    Those are definitions of electricity that tell us what it does, not what it is.

    The same way, we find many defining ‘faith’. They say it is ‘that which heals’. Or that it is ‘faith that saves’. ‘Faith does miracles’. ‘Faith makes us joyful.’

    Those define faith by what it does. But what is it?

    Electricity is a flow of electrons creating power. Faith is the flow of God’s rhema Words creating power. We get faith from the Word of God. ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’. We get faith from God on the conduit of His Word. It is a power that does many things.

    When we put our ‘eyes on Him’ and listen with our spiritual ears’ faith flows to us and through us.

    The power is not us, it is ‘faith in God’. Paul learned that, for he had faith flowing through him when he was weak, beaten, imprisoned. The circumstances of his, nor of our, body can take away faith. In fact, the weaker we are, the more we look to Jesus, and there, in His sight, we find faith flows.

    Faith is the flowing of God’s power, into us, through us, as we gaze upon Jesus. Jesus is therefore the Author of our faith.

    Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
    2 Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Jesus, authors faith in us. With His faith, He endured the cross, despising the shame of it, but still strong enough to conquer sin, death, and the devil.

    We need Jesus to Author faith in us. We need ‘eyes of faith to be ‘looking unto Jesus’. Eyes of faith are eyes that are looking to Jesus, letting His Word speak to us, and with that ‘faith’ that flows to us, we can let it flow through us, for miracles.

    Without faith, ‘no man will see God.’ For faith is the ‘seeing of God.’ The blind man was healed, trusting Jesus. When he saw Jesus, he had a faith that made him able to stand up to the sceptics.

    We may be ‘weak’ like Paul. We need to ‘glory in our infirmities’, for ‘when weak, then we are strong’, for then the faith can flow unhindered by pride, unstopped by doubt. For in looking at Jesus, we find He is ‘Authoring’ our faith.

    Like the blind man, sometimes, Jesus needs to mix the dirt with His spittle, and rub it on the eyes of doubt, and sickness.

    The washing of our eyes, then, will bring healing and faith.

    These zealots needed their spiritual eyes washed, for they had physically seen Jesus, yet had missed seeing Him as He truly is.

    Can you imagine if the church suddenly washed their spiritual eyes, and then gazed upon Jesus? The power that this world would sense and see would be beyond our comprehension. A person blind from birth has no idea what that first moment of sight would be like... they never saw a sunrise, a sunset, a beautiful flower, a butterfly...

    Can you imagine the glory if we could get all the church to remove their blindness with a vision of Jesus before them?
  12. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran

    that agape love
    would be called
    hatred, bigotry

    1 John 2:9 (KJV)
    9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

    We are commanded not to hate, hatred is not to be part of our lives, it is a work of the flesh, not a fruit of the Spirit.

    Yet, some will look at our love and call it ‘hatred’.

    If we do not say ‘homosexuality’ is righteousness, we are called ‘haters’. Yet, we love the homosexual so much that pray for their souls, we want to see them get to heaven, and the sadness of homosexuality results from a life wrecked by the devil. While we love them enough to pray for them, some insist that we are ‘haters, a bigots, a homophobes.’

    Those accusations are falsehoods, for agape love is not ‘hatred’.

    We call racism sinful. We love people of all colors. It is an agape love and skin color does not affect agape love. This kind of love does not depend on personality, but a love that values the soul of the person, and sees the value that God places on all of mankind.

    We love murderers, thieves, atheists, terrorists, and other sinners. Yet, if we try to tell them that Jesus loves them, and they can find forgiveness, they are likely to hate us, accuse us of dastardly motives, and could get violent toward us.

    They did to Jesus, and He forewarned us that they would to us also. We have agape love for those that sin, but they call it hatred and bigotry.

    Agape love is a part of the ‘fruit of the Holy Spirit.’

    This fruit is to be evident in all Christians, and if it is absent, there is good reason to doubt any claim of being a Christian.

    We are told we ‘know’ others by their fruit. Therefore, if there is no ‘fruit of the Spirit’, there is no Christianity in them.

    Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 Meekness, temperance
    : against such there is no law.

    There is one fruit, made up of nine ingredients. We cannot pick and choose to have one or two of them, we have all of them, or none of them.
    The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit:

    1. Love.
    This is the Greek word: agape (G26), meaning divine love. It is a strong devotion to the well-being of someone. It is a love that sees the worth of the human person, perhaps despite their wretched self that is controlling them. This love gives us an intense desire to please God, and to do good to those created by God, their soul and spirit that He can redeem and make into a new creation in Him. This love is the fulfilling of the law.

    2. Joy.
    This is the Greek word: chara (G5479), meaning the gladness, delight over blessings received or expected for self and for others. It is the exultation that arises from a sense of God's mercy upon us. It is the joy of the knowledge we soon will have eternal glory.

    Romans 5:2 (KJV)
    2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    3. Peace.
    This is the Greek word: eirene (G1515), meaning a condition of quietness of harmony and security in God despite any turmoil or strife about us. This peace replaces doubts, fears, and dreadful forebodings. This peace results from the witness of the Holy Spirit to us regarding the assurance of pardon from our sins.

    4. Longsuffering.
    This is the Greek word: makrothumia (G3115), meaning the patient endurance, bearing long under human frailties; bearing long from the offenses, injuries, and provocations of others. This longsuffering refuses to murmur or to resent the perpetrator of wrongs against us. Knowing God has been longsuffering of our many sins, and that has continued to love us amidst our most cruel of wrongs against Him, we choose to learn from Him, and refuse to hold a grudge, or retaliate against others.

    5. Gentleness.
    This is the Greek word: chrestotes (G5544), meaning a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, in character and conduct.

    2 Timothy 2:24 (KJV)
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

    6. Goodness.
    This is the Greek word: agathosune (G19), meaning the state of being good, kind, and generous, in conduct. It is constant desire do good to the bodies and souls of others. This goodness springs from a heart purified by the Lord Jesus. The ‘tree’ being good, being saved by the blood, being brought into the family of God, will therefore bear ‘goodness’ as its fruit.

    7. Faithfulness.
    This is the Greek word: pistis (G4102), meaning the principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust, punctuality in performing promises. It is a carefulness in preserving what is committed to us in trust, to restore it to its Owner.

    8. Meekness.
    This is the Greek word: praotes (G4240), meaning the disposition to be accepting of tempers, passions, and wrongs. It is a patience in suffering injuries without feeling a need for revenge.

    Psalm 25:9 (KJV)
    9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

    9. Temperance.
    This is the Greek word: engkrateia (G1466), meaning a control of self, of its appetites, passions, and needs. It is a self government, bringing carnal desires under the control of spiritual desires.

    against such there is no law

    We will recognize those that are truly the children of God by the existence of these ‘fruit.’

    These are the renderings of the fact that the Spirit abides within us. No law can condemn the presence of the fruit of the Spirit. Law condemns sin; it does not condemn righteousness.

    Those who have these fruit, cannot be condemned by any law of God, for the purpose and design of the moral law of God is fulfilled possession of the fruit of the Spirit.

    The sinful dispositions of mankind are purified by the Spirit of God, transforming our minds from carnality to these fruit of the Holy Spirit. Bad seed would produce a bad tree, yielding bad fruit. The Good Seed, the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, brings forth good fruits.

    Yet, as a Christian, and having the fruit of the Spirit, there are some who define Christians as being ‘hateful’, ‘bigoted’, and ‘homophobic’ because we believe the Bible as it teaches that homosexuality is unrighteous.

    We also teach the love, mercy, and willing sacrifice of Jesus for all sins. The true Christian believes that homosexuality is a sin, and still loves the homosexual. There is no hatred in God for them, nor in the true Christian for them. How can our agape love be then called hatred?
    1 John 3:10-19 (KJV)
    10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
    11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
    12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
    13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
    14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
    17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
    18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
    19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

    Christians see the walk of the homosexual, as seeing someone walk in the dark toward a cliff that they do not realize is there. Some think our calling out to them is hatred, when in actuality, we call out to them the gospel, that they need not walk on toward the cliff, but there is a far better way, and Jesus will walk with them to heaven, and take them off the path to the cliff-edge. That is love to warn them. That is not hatred. The ones who charge Christians who have agape love, that the love is really hatred, are totally wrong.
    Jesus came and loved the sinners of this world so much that He died for them. Some treated Jesus as though He was a person full of hate. They sought to entrap Him, they tried to turn others against Him. We see that He loved all of the world so much that He laid down His life for us. Yet, some use His name as a cuss word. Some will talk of praying to ‘God’, but never speak of praying to ‘Jesus’. Some will celebrate Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, but never thank God for sending Jesus to become a man for us, so that He could die on a cross for our sins. And even if they claim to believe those things, they do not want others to know. Nativity scenes, crucifixion scenes will not replace the Santas and Easter bunnies.

    Can you imagine that those who do love Jesus so much that they are not ashamed of His name, not ashamed to be speaking the gospel message, and want to be loving as He was, so they love the homosexual, even though their sin is still a sin?

    Can you imagine how anyone, no matter how sinful they are themselves, could define that love as ‘hatred’? It is hard to imagine, for we cannot understand that reasoning. Yet, we do not need to imagine it, it is happening every day.
  13. Messy

    Messy Well-Known Member

    Yes I can. I've just had it myself. David Wagner said: Don't wait for revival to fall out of the air. You are a revival.
    It's started already, yes, in the West. God's people are starting to wake up.
    Revival is all believers wake up because the Bridegroom is coming and it's time to go in His power and demonstration and get the harvest in. You no longer live, He lives in you.
    Please listen to the prophecy of John Kilpatrick I posted somewhere here.
  14. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran


    The ‘antichrist’ is soon to come. We know this from many of the prophets’ words in the Bible. John is the only one who calls this person ‘antichrist’, and many other names are used for him.

    The one with the title ‘antichrist’ has many, then and still now, acting in ways similar to him. John says they are ‘antichrists’.

    I John 2:18
    "Little children, it is the last time, and as ye have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."

    What does John mean with "last time"?

    John meant the time immediately preceding the end of the world? For if you note in verse 28, John mentions the coming of Christ Jesus. The "last days" began at the cross, and still continue on. Peter's explanation on the day of Pentecost link Joel's description of the last days with the events of those days in which Peter lived.

    So if those were the last days, on the Day of Pentecost, then when John writes this a few years later, it would still be the last days. In these last days, we can be assured that these words of John in his epistle are pertinent and relevant to us. John is announcing here that this is a crisis time to which he speaks, and that we need to be alert and aware of some important things.

    John calls them "antichrists".

    Someday soon, after the rapture of the church, the real Antichrist shall come. Antiochus Epiphanes prefigured him long ago, and so did Nero, Hitler, and Mussolini. Just as God wants us to live as Christ, having His mind, His nature, His works, so the devil seeks to have many of his cohorts among mankind to be like the Antichrist.

    John tells us that "many antichrists...
    have already arisen."

    There are still many today. These people embody the anti-Christian spirit, and are like forerunners of the eschatological antichrist. The falsehoods of these ‘many antichrists’ are prevalent in our time. John is the only one in the New Testament to use the word "Antichrist". (I John 2:18, 22, 4:3, II John 7) John who was the one most close to the Lord, and is also the one who is most concerned with warning us against those who are farthest from this Jesus that John loved so much.

    "Antichrist" comes from two words, "anti" which when used with another word, means "opposition to", and "opposition in the guise of similarity."

    The "antichrists" of all ages are people who have assumed the guise of Christ, tried to assume the authority of the Lord, counterfeited Christ, tried to rival Christ, have usurped the position of Christ, and have been adversarial to Christ. Jesus warned of such "false christs".

    Mark 13:22-23 (ESV)
    22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
    23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

    Yet the fact of these ‘false christs’, these ‘antichrists’ have slipped the attention of many. I have to call this ‘can you imagine’, for many have not seen them, noticed them, been wary of them, as directed by John, and Jesus in the passages above. The epistles of Peter describes them in detail, the book of Jude also defines their characteristics. The epistles of John were mostly directed against teachings these antichrists were telling the church.

    And yet today, we find that many Christians are shocked at the idea that there are ‘antichrists’ already in the church, in the world.

    In John's day, these ones who had such incentive to counter the Lord’s teachings themselves, that they spread heretical doctrines that threatened Christianity.

    John was adamantly opposed to not only their doctrine but also to their presence. The Antichrist himself cannot be revealed until we, the saints, have been removed from this earth by the rapture. Yet, too often, unlike John, we have not hindered the other "antichrist" personalities within the congregations of today. John did not warn us of their presence for us just to watch them work, we are to hinder their work, preach the truth, wake up the church.

    John not only taught the truth, he attacked the error and the heresy, and he warned strongly against these "antichrists".

    These "antichrists" "went out from us", according to I John 2:19. This indicates that they had before claimed to be Christians, were pretending to be part of the faith. John says that "they were not of us", indicating that their membership in the congregations was outward, and they were Christians in name only. There are many who the devil has placed within the Christian circles, and have made great play-acting imitation of saints.

    When the Word of God is preached in uncompromising, rhema filled fashion, the Spirit of Truth begins to work. Then these hypocrites begin to be uneasy, and will depart.

    They depart from the midst of the revival. John says that "if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us" (2:19)

    Continuance, in the presence of the revival of the Spirit of Truth is a mark of true discipleship.

    John 8:31
    "...If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free..."

    The reason the Holy Spirit of Truth drives out such "antichrists" is that He is manifesting truth, and His work of manifesting truth, and uncovering deceit and falsehood.

    There are many congregations that need such a move of the Spirit of Truth. These congregations have unrecognized "antichrists" who offend and cause harm.

    The revelation of truth from the mouths of the Lord’s disciples make these ‘antichrists’ very unsettled. They squirm, yell ouch, attack the preachers of the Word, try to counter with false doctrine, and if revival continues anyhow, they depart.

    God has always desired to make manifest the ones who are fake, false, and hypocritical. Somehow, someway, God seeks to unmask these ones, but the sleeping , apathetic saints hinder such attempts of the Lord. Here in the time of John, the group was exposed and left the revival congregation.
    "they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us..." (2:19)

    These "antichrists" have distinctive persuasions.

    They are LIARS.

    Some teach that Jesus was a mere human Who had the "spirit of the Christ" come upon Him at His baptism, and left Him before the crucifixion. To deny the Lord, is the same as denying the Father.

    I John 2:23
    "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father..."

    Some want to assume the authority of Jesus. They want to be the mediator between God and men. They want to speak what God wants you to know, and not want it tested by the Word, or confirmed personally by the Holy Spirit. Christ Jesus is the only access to the Father, and those who deny Him, denigrate Him, or seek to down-grade His Person, will lose the Father.

    John 14:6
    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

    I John 2:23 b
    "He that confesses the Son hath the Father also."

    They have an evil purpose.

    The intention of these "antichrists" is to seduce the people of God from the truth. They intend to mislead.

    I John 2:26
    "These things have I written unto you, concerning them that seduce you."

    Their intention is to deceive, and they enjoy such deceptions. Their joy is increased if they can frustrate, aggravate, and disturb the saints. They start debates, create hassles, and split friendships, and enjoy it. Most saints in congregations have seen such events often, and our desire to believe that these "antichrists" are "Christian" allow us to be deceived.

    Yet, we, the believers, have security.

    I John 2:26-28
    "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."

    This "anointing" is the same word as "unction" in verse 20.

    It is from the Greek word "chrisma". The term signifies not the act of anointing, but the balm that has not just been poured upon and dripped from, but as a remaining cream that continues to affect the one anointed.

    This anointing is the abiding Lord within us. We are to have this anointing "upon us."

    John is saying that the true anointing is upon the saints, not the "antichrists" who may claim some great anointing.

    Many claim anointing. But there are many who are deceptive, and may not even know the One they claim abides within and upon them.

    The true Holy Spirit, the abiding presence of the Lord are not temporary.

    Since the Holy Spirit is so present, and so abiding, we constantly have with us the teaching of all we need to know.

    When John says that "ye have not need that any man teach you" does not mean we do not have the ministry of teaching still in effect today, but it means that our real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and He may use some with the gift of teaching to aid His work, but it is His work, not the human teachers.

    All teaching from human teaching should be tested by the Spirit and by His written Word.

    We can know "all" the things we need to know, via this Great Teacher, the Spirit, Who abides within and upon us.

    We, as saints, need to hold to, adhere to, and continue in the true Christian message. We are told to "let that abide in you, which ye heard from the beginning."

    Hold the teaching of the Word, dig to find the true message, and do not easily relent when another tries to claim you are in error.

    Search the Word, and keep the Word as the authority.

    Maintain a union and a fellowship relationship with the Lord.

    We are told many times in Scripture to "abide in Him." It is an imperative.

    The truth will flow from the mouths, from the pens, from the keyboards, of the ones following the Lord.

    The lies and heresies of the devil will come from others.

    We are to preach the Truth, His name is Jesus, His Word is written for us to study, and to then preach.

    The Spirit of Truth will anoint our efforts, and give us spiritual gifts with which to do our ministries.

    So, can you imagine a world today full of antichrists?

    Well, you don’t really need to ‘imagine’... open your eyes, they are literally in many places.
  15. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran




    For many years, Paul Harvey would tell a well known story, but then add ‘the rest of the story.’

    Sometimes, the untold part of the story can be very interesting.

    We have all heard and know the story of Gideon’s 300. They passed the tests given by God, and chose to go to war against the enemy, even though offered the right to leave. They were anxious enough to resist the lingering drink at the stream, and just scooped up a handful of water, as they continued rushing toward their coming victory.

    Despite being greatly outnumbered, the 300 were trusting in God, certain of His victory to come.
    But, what of the rest of the 32,000? They missed that great event, they were distracted, sidelined, preoccupied and missed that great victory.

    The 31,700 missed the victory of the 300. What could have been a day they would throughout eternity tell their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc etc... instead they will be trying to justify their apathy, their weariness, their fear on that day.

    Twenty two thousand were sitting home safe, scared too much to even want to see if God could have the victory.

    Did they all go to hell for that one choice? Probably not. But they were certainly ashamed of that choice.

    Can you imagine having a day God has designed to give great victory and blessing for you, and yet, it was a day you were too tired, too fearful, too busy attacking another Christian, and you miss that great day.

    Most probably they repented later, and our merciful God certainly forgives the repentant. Yet, 9700 were ready and trusting in God to give them victory, but were not anxious enough. Are we anxious enough to make it to the great victory day that God wants to give us?

    These 9700 were not anxious enough to hurry at the site they chose to rest and refresh. Did God see that they got to heaven? I feel most of them probably did, if not all. Yet, they still missed the great victory given the 300.

    These are the last days. Are there great victory times for us to be present for?? Certainly there are.

    Hundreds saw Jesus after His resurrection. Yet, only 120 were in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. If you had lived back then, and had left the day before to take care of your pressing work, would you have been glad you let other things be more important? Can you imagine being distracted so much that you missed the day the Holy Spirit arrived?

    The Lord is doing mighty things, and soon to give victories that the church has only dreamed to be possible. The startling victories to come, are going to be given to those who are anxious and ready as the 300 were. The outpourings of new anointings are going to be given to those who are as anxious as the 120 in the upper room.

    The Bible tells us that in the last days,‘many shall depart from the faith’. There are some, who in these last days, after being in the church for decades, may choose to ‘depart from the faith’ and miss great victories.

    Some of the ones who do not totally depart from the faith, some of whom will just depart from the choices given them by the Lord to direct them toward the victories, will miss the greatest of victories, and just be part of the ones who make it, rejoicing in the victories given others.

    The parable of the ten virgins relates to us what it will be like in the last days. The ten ‘all’ slumbered, slept, and were totally unaware of the nearness of the bridegroom’s arrival. Five of the ten awoke and were able to trim their lamps and be ready for the marriage feast. The other five were awakened too. Yet, they were not able to trim their lamps in time. They were unready, unknowing that they would need to trim their lamps quickly.
    We are in the last days, God is asking for the church to be readied, the call is going out, for a cleansing, for a lamp trimming. Some are responding to the call.

    Some are finding that they are not ready for lamp trimming. It was possible for all ten to be in the same group, and still some were prepared, some were not. Can you imagine how you would have felt if you were one of the ten, but one of the five foolish enough to not be ready?

    Judas was in the same group as the other 11 disciples. Yet, greed made him unready for the last days of Jesus’ first coming.

    Ananias and Sapphira were part of the early church, and yet, they lied and found that being part of the group did not make God overlook their sin.
    Demas forsook Paul, and followed after the pleasures of this world. He missed some great victories that he could have had.

    The church of Laodicea, like many today, have Jesus on the outside, and are deaf to His knockings. Some may hear the knocking, but are ignoring it. Can you imagine being on the inside of the Laodicean church, and finding out later that while you debated some stupid subject inside, the Lord was knocking on your church door, wanting to come in and bless.
    Like the good Samaritan, the Lord expects saints today to be loving, caring, and intercessory. Some in churches of today are traveling with those like the priests and Levites in that story of the good Samaritan. Some are even joining hands in their walk
    with the thieves and bandits that had beaten and robbed the victim in that story. They expect the Lord to be in their churches, and still they are far from good Samaritans.

    When some today travel with the thieves, the greedy, the judgmental, the unclean, the abusers of others, the liars, and the ones who do not have hearts of love, forgiveness, healing, and mercy... well, they are not

    traveling with Jesus. They are having Jesus outside, knocking. Can you imagine being shown someday by Jesus that you had a chance to do as the good Samaritan did, but you were like the priest, the Levite, or maybe were one of the thieves in your event. Can you imagine spending eternity knowing you could have been like the good Samaritan, but did not.

    The Lord inspires some of the words in posts on this forum. Jesus also inspires some sermons we hear. He has inspired writers of some of the books we read. Sometimes the messages all harmonize to tell us that the Lord want us to clean up our language, to fill our mind with His Word, to trust Him for victory, but... we decided to be carnal and flesh pleasing instead. Therefore we miss the great victories that God wanted to give us, and defeat, sorrow, and pain result from our missing the event that would have been the greatest of our lives.

    I have seen some directed by the Lord to clean up their life, to cleanse their tongue, to start to witness, to study the Word, and yet, they did not...

    What happened instead?
    Some missed their healing, some missed leading a loved one to Jesus, some missed the ministry they could have had.

    Can you imagine if they had done as the Lord directed?

    Can you imagine what will happen if there is still time enough for you to work at correcting the failure to be prepared and ready for another coming event?
  16. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran




    The stars, the heavens do declare the glory of God, the gospel message, and just looking at the stars, that alone, would make us be in awe of the majesty and power of God. God loves to illustrate His truths.

    Mark 16:17
    "And these signs shall follow them that believe.’

    God wants His saints to be shown to be truly in God’s power.

    Therefore, signs and wonders will illustrate the life of the saints of God. The casting out of devils, the speaking with tongues, healing of the sick, are some of the illustrations that God bestows upon the saints.

    The word ‘sign’ is from the Greek word ‘seimeion’ meaning a sign, or mark, an illustration.’ God gave Moses a message of God’s displeasure of Egyptian mistreatment of Israel. God illustrated it with the plagues upon Egypt. Those plagues were signs to Egypt, that they had better let His people leave. (Exodus 4:8, Joshua 24:7) The miracles of Jesus were signs, illustrated lessons, demonstrating the relationship with God. (Matthew 12:38, John 2:8, Acts 2:22)

    The word for ‘wonders’ is the Greek word ‘teras’, meaning a miraculous display or illustration of God’s power and wisdom.

    There are other words used in the Word, to refer to the illustrations of God.

    God, Who in His foreknowledge, has always known the plan and revelation of the new covenant with all its details. So, in the Old Testament, He shows in picture form, in types and figures, what would soon come to pass in reality.

    Just as a picture of an absent loved one, is treasured and often viewed, while awaiting that one’s return, so a type in the Old Testament, showed the image of what was to someday come in reality. These ‘types’ were illustrated lessons from God to mankind.

    The reality is the truly valuable and loved, as a lamb on the altar of burnt offering showed in type the sacrificial nature of Jesus. When Jesus came, the lamb, though a beautiful picture, is not preferred to the reality of Jesus.

    Yet, the picture of the lamb, is a beautiful way to teach the reality of Jesus’ nature and work for us. We can view in clearness, His way and manner of approaching the sacrifice He gave for us. Typology should not replace the reality, but should make the reality more clear, more understood. Types are an illustration of God’s message. God has always illustrated His truths.

    We miss much if we do not get the groundwork of typology correct. It can also be related to the foundation of a building, and to have a good foundation in typology, strengthens the beauty and reality of the structure upon such foundation.

    Moses was called by God, and God had him find a bush, burning, but not consumed. God spoke to him from that bush, taught him by the illustration of that bush, that God is a holy One, that is not consumed, or weakened by the times or troubles. The illustrated lesson of that burning bush was a teaching by God, to teach us a great lesson.

    Moses had a ‘rod’ and with it God illustrated His power. He had the rod become a serpent, and then back to a rod. God was illustrating again, His power.

    Moses was told to put his hand in his garment, and when he withdrew it, it was leprous. Doing the same thing again, the hand became well again. God illustrated that He is an awesome God. The event was an illustrated lesson by God.

    The rainbow, is an overarching beauty, that assures us of God’s overarching love. (Genesis 9:13) It was and still is an illustrated lesson of God to teach us of God’s love.

    The brazen serpent upon the rod, illustrates the Lord bearing sin upon the cross for us. That was an illustrated lesson that still teaches us about God’s plan.

    Communion has the illustrated lesson of the body (bread) and blood (wine) of the Lord being assimilated into us, bringing us into righteousness and fellowship with other believers. (Luke 22:14-20, I Corinthians 11:23-28)
    God loves to illustrate His teachings with things of this creation. Christians are also illustrations of lessons from God.

    People look at Christians, and should see an illustration of God’s Word, God’s power.

    We claim the name ‘Christian’ and that means ‘Christ-like’, so we are to illustrate to this world the love of Jesus, the holiness of Jesus, the mercy of Jesus.

    We are to be, at least, that much of an illustration.

    The events of those in the Old Testament, the people of the Old Testament, especially the Jewish people in the wilderness were illustrated lessons for us.
    1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (ESV)
    1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
    2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
    3 and all ate the same spiritual food,
    4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
    5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
    6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
    7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play."
    8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
    9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,
    10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
    11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

    They became an illustration of what we should not be. They were bad illustrated lessons. The Bible tells us to look at them, and see from their sins, what we should not do.

    I Corinthians 10:11
    "these things, written for our admonition’

    Hebrews 8:4-5
    "Who serve as an example and shadow of heavenly things"

    Hebrews 9:8-9
    "which was a figure for the time present"

    Paul taught that his words were a picture, an illustration of the kind of words we all should be speaking. His ministry is an illustration we should follow.

    The Greek word ‘hupotuposis’ refers to a sketch, outline, picture, that illustrates a truth.
    II Timothy 1:13
    ‘Hold fast the form (hupotuposis) of sound words, which he have heard of me.’

    Paul had his rhema words be an illustration of God, given to show how, and what we should speak.

    Jesus was the supreme Illustration for us.
    The Greek word ‘hupgrammas’ means a under-writing, an copy made by tracing. The illustrated lesson of the life of Jesus, His words, His actions, His love, His prayer life, His cross bearing willingness, was all an illustration for us to follow.
    I Peter 2:21
    ‘Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example (hupogrammas), that ye should follow His steps.’

    The sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah were an illustration of God’s judgment for sin is eternal fire. The Greek word ‘deigma’ means a specimen, showing an illustration, often used as a warning.
    Jude 7
    "Sodom and Gomorrah.. Are set forth for an example (deigma) suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.’

    Israel in the wilderness were an illustration of how we can miss the ‘rest’ in the Lord, if we sin. The word ‘hupodeigma’ is Greek for ‘to show under, or to illustrate with a copy’.
    Hebrews 4:11
    "Let us labor therefore to tenter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example (hupodeigma) of unbelief.’
    This unbelief and losing of the ‘rest’, was an illustrated lesson for the church age, of how we too could fail to find the promises of God, if we are unbelieving.

    God is using all the afore mentioned illustrated lessons of the Word, to teach this last age.

    The Lord is coming soon, and right now, for those who do not read the Bible, but look at Christians, and see in them an illustrated lesson of something.

    We have seen some in ministry fall into sin, and shame the name ‘Christian’ they carried. They became an illustrated lesson of ‘your sins shall find you out...’ The Christians who later witnessed some repent, and ask forgiveness, were then to be illustrated lessons of the forgiveness available to sinners.

    The attacks that some gave, and still give to repented sinners, are illustrations of the fact there are still Jezebels who want to control and contaminate the true faith. There are illustrations of Elijah’s who do not bow to Jezebels, but push on speaking God’s message to a world polluted by evil leadership.

    Yes, we are all illustrating something to this world.

    God has some good illustrations, and the devil tries to inspire some horrible illustrations.

    God counters all the evil, and shows forth how good overcomes evil.

    We are in the midst right now, of many illustrated lessons in this world.

    Can you imagine your part in those illustrated lessons?

    Have you been an illustration of faith? Love? Gospel preaching? Mercy?

    Are you an illustration of Apathy? Lukewarmness? Judgmentalism? Unforgiveness?

    If you are being one of the wrong illustrations, God will take you through life events that will show to the world watching that you are not going to be blessed by being that bad illustration.

    Ananias and Sapphira were bad illustrations lessons by lying to the Spirit. Their death made them an illustration of God’s intolerance for sin in the midst of revival.

    Illustrated lessons are all about us. What are you illustrating? How is God going to work in your illustrated lesson? Will He be blessing it? CAN YOU IMAGINE?
  17. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran



    Examples of bad illustrated lessons given by some in the Bible...

    Jude 1:11-13 (KJV)
    11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
    12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
    13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

    Some to whom Jude was writing were following the illustrated lessons of Cain, of Balaam, and of Core (Korah)... They, by doing such illustrated lessons in the early church were 'spots', blemishes, upon the early church.

    Can you imagine God having some in this day, say... 'you are a blemish on the church, you are illustrating the same sins as Cain, Balaam, Korah'??

    Of course, that person would be attacked, mocked, and berated to suggest that anyone should find fault in the midst of the perfect church of today... ...

    Can you imagine God hanging a sign on each of us, identifying who we are an illustration of??? Would you be Peter, or Cain? Would you be Dorcas or Jezebel? The Spirit of Truth would be honest.. and each of us is an illustrated lesson of some sort... who do we illustrate to be like them in the Bible?

    Some in the early church illustrated those three mentioned in Jude. One woman mentioned in Revelation best illustrated Jezebel.

    Paul speaks of some who best illustrated Jannes and Jambres, two opposers of Moses.

    At one time, Peter best illustrated satan, and Jesus spoke bluntly to him.

    We should illustrate, as Hebrews tell us, some of the heroes of faith, like Abraham, Abel, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Gideon, Sarah, etc...

    Those would be nice signs to be wearing... some of the former ones, like Jezebel, would be one we would not want to wear (I Hope)...
  18. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran



    A book called "The Acts of Paul and Thecla" describes the physical appearance of Paul as:
    "baldheaded, bowlegged, strongly built, a man small in size, with meeting eyebrows, with a rather large nose, full of grace, for at times he looked like a man and at times he had the face of an angel."

    The enemies at Corinth used the appearance of Paul as part of their attack, for they saw in this man, a short, ordinary, weak man, and they thought "How can such a person speak so boldly, so strongly, and adamantly, in his letters?!" (II Cor. 10:9)

    The terrible sufferings of his ministry caused him to have physical marks (stigmata, Galatians 6:17). These scars disfigured him, and left him frail in body, groaning, weak in eyesight (ophthalmia).

    The unsaved people in one city, after seeing Paul make a cripple to walk. thought Paul was Hermes, "because he was the chief speaker." (Acts 14:12). These people thought Barnabas was Jupiter for he had the more impressive appearance.

    In fact, since "Saul, of Tarsus" was seen so often in his early ministry with a very tall Barnabas, and an also very tall Peter, Saul was called by many to be "Paul", meaning "the short one", or "shorty". Paul was extremely short seen standing next to two who could have played basketball in the N.B.A.

    So, this man was not an imposing figure, but short, balding, scarred to the max.

    His wardrobe was not extensive, for he preferred carrying books and not clothes in his travels. In one place he had to call for someone to bring his one coat, for he had left it in a previous town, and now it was getting cold.

    So, for many churches who look for someone imposing, well dressed, official and businesslike in appearance, this is not their likely choice.

    His sermons, manners, conversations seem to upset people. No one called Paul "crazy" when he was persecuting Christians, but when he became a "real" Christian, now every thing about Paul seemed "crazy" to his friends and enemies. Paul was considered to be "mad", crazy, "beside himself" by Festus. When Paul was killing Christians, he was not considered to be crazy.

    It is like the ones today, who: have and/or condone killing unborn children, condone and practice perverted sex with the same gender, cuss at the Almighty God Who sent Jesus to die for us to have the possibility of having eternal life... and then call Christians to be "fanatical", "crazy", or "mad" for going to church frequently, reading the Bible often, and talking about heaven and God. The world considers a real Christians to be crazy. Someone like Paul who did not worry about political correctness, did not fear the stoners, and ones who would beat him if he said something they did not like, was thought to be ‘crazy’.

    If he were your pastor, you might be tempted to stay close in unfriendly, hostile groups, just to caution him from time to time, to bite his lip, and not say what he is thinking about the sin all around. That might be a bit scary for the one trying to calm him, for the next beating or stoning might have them included for being in his company.

    As hard as it is to comprehend, many ministers of the gospel are mistreated, abused, neglected, taken for granted, misunderstood, and finally discarded. We have assumed that if Paul, the great apostle, were the pastor of our church, it would have been different. Well, it probably would be worse than we can imagine, certainly worse than the most outspoken pastor you ever met was. Paul was noted for being blunt, straightforward, brash, and honest in his words. That often got him into trouble. If he were your pastor, you might want to check the headlines in the local newspaper daily, to see what your pastor had done and said the day before.

    Paul was unpopular with many in the churches that he did pastor back then. In our churches today, I am sure that there would be weekly conversations on how to get rid of him as a pastor.

    The leaders of Christianity, i.e. the disciples in Jerusalem, had some unforgiveness, some fear, and some reluctance to accept Paul as even being a Christian. Some would not listen to him preach. Some did not want him to be considered a minister of the gospel. They finally decided to send him to his home town of Tarsus, and wait there till they called him. He waited 8 years in Tarsus, and they never did call him. So, if you can imagine Paul as your pastor, you would need to think of him as a pastor not popular at all with the denominational leaders.

    Finally, a soft hearted man named Barnabas decided to take Paul along to Antioch, and work together with him.

    Paul still had a hard time gaining acceptance. Paul, your new pastor, was driven away from many places where he entered to preach.

    Many tried to kill him, one time he was stoned to death, requiring a resurrection to bring him back to minister.

    Some imprisoned him, to keep him off their streets where he insisted on preaching.

    Some just chased him from town.

    Everywhere Paul preached, there came dissension, debate, arguing, and strife. In one town, the chief law enforcement officer had to imprison Paul for his own safety, for the religious strife caused by Paul's sermons had so aroused the people that they were about to pull Paul into pieces.

    By the way, in your imagining of Paul being your new pastor, remember, this man is an ex-convict. He was imprisoned at least seven times, and finally died as a convict, accused of burning down a city (Rome). So, what he did to get imprisoned was never changed. He kept the same attitude, the same criminal behavior all through his Christian life.

    Paul disputed with many over religious doctrines. Paul was called a "heretic."

    Acts 24:5
    "For we have found this man, a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews of the world, and a ringleader of the sect (heresy) of the Nazarenes."

    Your new pastor, i.e. Paul, was stubborn, dogmatic, and uncompromising, impetuous, strenuous, and impassioned.

    People feared facing Paul, if he were angry.

    Paul opposed even his friends, if they strayed from the truth of the gospel.

    He spoke boldly to rebuke Peter, and confronted Barnabas when in disagreement with him.

    Your new pastor, if you chose Paul, does not quit preaching by noon on Sunday. Paul was a long-winded preacher. He began to preach in Troas, about supper time, 6 p.m., and preached until the sun came up the next morning. Imagine a preacher today, preaching for 12 hours!!! Yet, he did raise from the dead one who fell asleep in the middle of that sermon, so if you sit on a window ledge, during his sermons, you don’t need to fear.

    Acts 20:7-12
    "when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them... and continued his speech until midnight...
    (then Eutychus falls out a second story window, while Paul preached, and Paul goes down and resurrects him)... When he therefore was come up again... talked a long while, even till the break of day."

    Paul was a fanatic in some of his pastoral decisions. He had the converts in one town bring in two hundred thousand dollars worth of books to the worship service and burn them.

    This he did to get them from the books of the world, and into the holy Scriptures.

    Imagine a preacher today having his church bring in the television guides, the Reader's Digest, the Sports Illustrated, the Newsweek magazine, and burn them, so that the only book left in the house was Scripture???

    There are likely some books in your home, from some whose doctrines did not match Paul’s that he would insist you bring in to burn in that great bonfire.

    It would be a good time for a weiner roast picnic of the church.

    This new pastor of yours, made a man blind in a former church. It would be wise to warn the trustees in your church to be careful.

    Paul sometimes would suddenly fall into trances and have visions and dreams from God, he spake in tongues more than anyone you know, and he had a mannerism of if troubled by someone, he would finally turn around to them and cast out their devils.

    Finally, the government passed a law forbidding ones to preach Jesus. We see in our time their trying to get us to stop talking pro life, their calling of preaching that homosexuality is homophobia and hate speech. But though Nero them made it illegal to preach Jesus, Paul could not stop talking about Jesus, just because the ruler of the known world said it was wrong, crazy, and illegal.

    No, Paul kept preaching Jesus, and was put into a Roman prison. There in a cold, unheated prison, Paul spent the winter, without a coat. Since it was a crime to be a Christian, and it would be "crazy" for anyone to associate with this criminal, Paul and Luke, his companion in ministry, spent a lonely year, deserted by their more "sane" and scared friends, forgotten.

    Paul's Christian friends discarded him. Seeing Paul in disgrace, they lost their interest in his ministry. Many today lose interest in a minister, and cease to help. Paul felt this desertion, and one especially close comrade, named Demas, who was a minister also, a fellow laborer with Paul, grew cold, began to look elsewhere for fellowship and friendship, and discarded his friendship with Paul.

    Politically incorrect, socially treated like a leper, too fanatical for many others to try to defend him, Paul waited in this cell, writing to churches far away.

    Yes, in a way, he was CRAZY!, according to what most in the church would consider today. Most "saints" would not want him as their pastor, would avoid him if they could, and would speak against him at their Sunday dinner table. Paul was crazy enough to believe that Jesus was right, when He taught "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you."

    So, if miraculously, God sent Paul back for a temporary assignment to your church, would you be glad to have him as pastor? Can you imagine it? Can you imagine what the trustees would be saying? What about the church gossips in the vestibule next Sunday? What would be the result of Paul becoming your pastor? Can you imagine?
  19. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran



    Jesus said that He came here to do the Father’s will. He had a job to do, and He came to do it.
    "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of Him who sent me." John 6:38

    We have earthly jobs while here on earth. Often we get ‘reviews’ and ‘evaluations’ from our bosses on how we are doing. They have standards of dress, performance, attitude, and success at their mission.

    What if God called each of us up to heaven yearly for a review. We will someday have an ‘end of mission’ time review at the bema throne of Jesus. When we finish this race, we will be given rewards and crowns. But what of an earlier review, say ‘right now’, how would that review be?

    We each have a ministry of some sort. We are not to bury our talents as did the unfaithful servant, we are to be doing something. Some in Christianity seem to be like an employee brought into a factory, and has for ten years wandering around the factory, showing up for lunch, using the facilities, taking a pay check, but never knowing what to do, or never choosing to do any work.

    There are five words in the Greek language that have been translated "ministry" in the Bible. We need to see if we are doing any of these.

    1) Douleuo - this word means "to serve as a slave."
    It emphasizes the subjection to a master. To be a slave, one must be under the authority of someone else. So, this word stresses the fact that you must be completely under the will of God. Paul used this word referring to himself
    in almost all his letters.

    If you are a slave to the Lord, have you gone to your Master and gotten any direction of what He wants you to do? Have you done it. At this review, all the slaves would be asked that question.

    2) Therapeuo - this word means "willingness to serve." It emphasizes the fact that one must be willing to do what God wants them to do.

    Have you been willing to do whatever asked, or have you been avoiding, shunning your work? The review will ask those questions. Have your answer ready.

    3) Latreuo - this word means "to serve for wages."
    It was usually used to refer to priestly services. The Lord promises to reward us for our work. Have you been collecting the rewards, the pay checks, but not showing up for work? The Lord is going to verify that what He has offered wages for doing, is being done.

    4) Hupereteo - this word means "to steer." It was used of the under-rowers who assisted the oarsmen of ancient Greek ships, and signifies unquestioning allegiance. Has all your work been for God’s company, or have you been sneaking off and working some for the competition? In whose factory are you on work days? The Lord has good works for you to accomplish. The other company has bad works for you to do. Whose workplace are you in right now, when the review is called?

    5) Diakoneo - this word means "service given in love." It is the most used word for "ministry" in the New Testament. Has your service been given in love? Would you do the same work, the same way, if there were no pay checks? Is your slavery to the Lord only due out of love of blessings, or has the fact that you are in the King of kings workplace enough reward that you would serve Him even if there was never another reward other than being called His slave?

    According to these words and their translations, "ministry" means "to willingly serve as a slave and guide others in love". Now that we know better what a ministry is, we will look at what the tasks of a minister are. Don't let the word "minister" scare you though. We are all "ministers," it does not refer just to the person who preaches every Sunday morning.

    The Lord has not called us to heaven for a yearly review, He does not have to do that. He knows the hairs on your head, and that varies daily. He knows where you are, He knows what you are thinking. There is no corner of the workplace in which to hide for a nap or a time of avoiding your mission. He is seeing, evaluating, measuring our service every moment.

    We are not working alone, in fact. We are "Labourers together with God."

    "For we are labourers together with God, you are God's husbandry, you are God's building."
    1 Cor. 3:9

    So, the Lord is with us, in every work we are given. We cannot hide from Him, He came to work with us.

    We are called to all be "Ministers of Christ".
    "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."
    1 Cor. 4:1

    We have a mission to build His church, His spiritual church.

    We are "Messengers of the churches".
    "... they are the messengers of the churches..." 2 Cor. 8:23

    In this heathen world we are given the mission of being "Ambassadors for Christ".

    "Now then, we are ambassadors to Christ..."
    2 Cor. 5:20

    In the world, ambassadors are to represent their government. In the same way, we are to represent Christ.

    Have we represented Him as He has directed us? Do we try to be as much like Him as we can?

    We have been commanded to "Preach".

    "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel..."
    1 Cor. 1:17

    The Greek word that was used here means "to present the good news." Another Greek word translated "preach" means "to proclaim widely." (2 Cor. 4:5)

    We have received salvation, and many blessings and gifts from God. We are to "Deliver" these to others.
    "For I delivered unto you that which I also received..."
    1 Cor. 15:3

    Those with a ministry are to deliver a message unto the world. Usually, when a mailman comes to your house to deliver the mail to you, he or she will put it in your mailbox, or gently hand it to you. In the same way, we should deliver the message in a gentle manner. I don't mean that we shouldn't be bold, I just mean we shouldn't try to shove the gospel down people's throats, just try to hand it to them as Jesus did.

    We have been commanded to "Teach".
    "And he continued there... teaching the word of God among them."
    Acts 18:11

    When someone teaches, they try to lead the other person(s) to a clear understanding of what is being taught. The teacher shouldn't just deliver the message, he or she should try to make the message clear enough for the student(s) to understand.

    We are also commanded to "Warn".
    "... but as my beloved sons, I warn you."
    1 Cor. 4:14

    Just as a lifeguard will warn someone of the consequences of going into certain areas of a pool, we sometimes need to warn people of coming judgment or consequences to sin.

    We often need to "Reason" in this ministry.
    "And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath..."
    Acts 18:4

    When reasoning with someone, you try to gently guide them into the truth. You need to be open-minded and listen to what the other person has to say, even if you know what they're saying is wrong. This needs to be a two way conversation. Many unsaved people have a bad outlook on Christianity, partly because they've met a lot of "close minded" Christians who wouldn't ever listen to them when they would speak. Please don't be one of those Christians, it just chases the sinner away. Be loving and understanding, and just remember that many people have been fed lies to them most of their lives. Sometimes you need to listen to those lies so that you can correct them, and so you know with what you're dealing.

    Well, are you ready for the review?

    Can you imagine how you will fare before the Lord, if the review were called for today?
  20. murjahel

    murjahel Senior Veteran




    Corinth was a troubled church. They were troubled in spiritual gifts, were a shame to other churches, and Paul had to speak sternly to them in letters and in person.

    They had party strife that centered about the different personalities of preachers. Some liked Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Some preferred Apollos, and he had not even known of the Holy Spirit, (must have been a Baptist, lol). Some claimed higher superiority to all the others, and claimed to listen only to Christ. Some must have preferred Paul, but three of the four groups did not. So, Paul had a lot of opposition in that church.

    They were not extremely holy, for one church member who was living in incestuous sin with his stepmother, some members were taking each other to court, some were abusing of the spiritual gifts of the Spirit, some had a lack of love for each other, and their services lacked order.

    So, in the vestibule, or foyer of that church, the conversations must have been quite livid and eye opening.

    Paul had written to the Corinthian church previous to the epistle we call I Corinthians. This letter was not included in the Bible, though I am sure it was inspired by God. Perhaps its message was meant only for the Corinthians of that day, and was not meant for the whole of the church age.

    I Corinthians 5:9
    "I wrote unto you in an epistle, not to company with fornicators..."

    They had written back asking Paul about several of the doctrines that he had mentioned in that earlier epistle.

    I Corinthians 7:1
    "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me..."
    Paul had also heard reports from many others, about the church in Corinth, as he ministered.

    I Corinthians 5:1
    "It is commonly reported..."

    The subjects discussed in this letter to the Corinthians are:
    (chapters 1-4)
    incorrect tolerance of an incestuous marriage
    (chapter 5)
    excommunication of heretics and unrepentant sinners
    (chapter 5)
    incorrectly going to the world's law to settle the disputes amidst church members
    (chapter 6)
    marriage, divorce, and remarriage
    (chapter 7)
    the workings of the conscience
    (chapters 8-10)
    abuses of worship
    (chapter 11)
    the proper exercise of spiritual gifts
    (chapter 12-14)
    the resurrection
    (chapter 15)
    church finance
    (chapter 16)

    The church at Corinth needed correction with all these areas. Paul’s writings were answering their problems. And Paul was stern, blunt, and demanding. Yet, they were proud, and thought they were a spiritual congregation.

    Since the city was full of sin and debauchery, they felt that, in comparison, they were holy and righteous.
    However, we are not to compare ourselves with the wicked, vile, sin-laden pagans to determine our spirituality. No, we must rather compare ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paul said they were ‘babes’, and needed milk, i.e. pablum meals... He said they could not tolerate meat...

    1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (KJV)
    1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    2 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.

    So, as that letter was read to the church, and as they broke to go into the foyer, they were likely saying things like:
    ‘he was speaking condescending to us...
    he called us ‘babies, infants’, does he not know I have been a Christian a long time, and am well versed in the Scriptures?

    I imagine some unkind words were added here and there in their adamant hatred of the truth that Paul spoke to them.

    Not only did Paul call them ‘babes’ but he called them ‘carnal’.
    I Corinthians 3:3
    "For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

    The word "carnal" is from the Greek word - "sarkinos". This word is often translated with our religious connotations. We have engendered the word "carnal" with these religious connotations, and thereby have lost the real idea behind what is being said.

    The translators of the Bible made up the word ‘carnal’ for they did not want to translate the word as it really meant. The word for "carnal" meant in that day what the word "meathead" means in our day.

    Paul bluntly told these "saints" in Corinth... that they were "MEATHEADS."

    Paul was not always as "statesman"-ly as we like to think. He could be blunt, and to the point. The church at Corinth had become foolish and stupid, and were acting as "meatheads".

    Can you imagine the talk in the foyer that day?

    What nerve this preacher named Paul had, to call these Christians in Corinth to be ‘meatheads’. That would not have been taken well by the proud, thinking they are all spiritual and humble, to be ‘meatheads’!!!

    Today, we find similar types of problems in churches. Human nature does not change. We have all seen the bitterness of sectarianism, the immoral behavior amidst saints, excesses of liberty, and a lack of love in churches. As in Corinth, there are "envying... strife... and divisions..." in many congregations.

    There are two kinds of people in the church congregations of that day, and of our own day. There are those ruled by the NATURAL MAN, and are therefore "carnal." There are also those who are ruled by the SPIRITUAL MAN.

    I Corinthians 2:14-15
    "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man..."

    The "natural" person lives under the control of the fleshly passions and human desires. This person has no sense of spiritual values. Spiritual things are foolishness to this type of person in the church.

    Those who are ruled by the "natural" person, give themselves credit for their good works, and spiritual accomplishments. Pride builds within them, and many sins result from this pride.

    The "spiritual" person lives under the control of the Holy Spirit, minds the things of the Spirit, and is a new creation in Christ Jesus. This person seeks to daily be more and more like Jesus Christ. The spiritual condition of the church, the salvation of souls in the community, and their relationship with the Lord are their vital concerns.

    The "spiritual" person remembers that they themselves were saved only by grace. All glory to God, and a humble life of worship emanates from their being.

    Many of the ones in the congregation at Corinth were "natural" persons, and their thoughts and actions betrayed their "carnal", or "meathead" tendencies.

    Paul therefore counseled them, rather than ordering them. He gave broad principles to help them govern. He was content to outline a basis for the exercise of private judgment. He did not name names of who were the carnal ones, the babes on milk.

    It may have been most of them, it may have had a few exceptions. The ones who fit the description knew who they were, and they were probably the ones red-faced in the foyer, complaining the loudest.

    Paul knew that he could not ever answer every crisis that might arise. If he could take these "meatheads" and instill some general rules for guidance and decision making... he could help them govern their future actions and be known as "spiritual" persons" and not any longer carnal meatheads.

    Therefore, in the letter from Paul we see I Corinthians 13 on love, what it is, how it is defined. Those principles alone are pablum, and answer therefore for many crisis that may come. His description on how to ‘give’, how to have a loving and orderly service gave simple principles, likewise being pablum lessons.

    We must beware of the pessimism that would make us imagine a troubled church ready to perish. Sometimes it is easy to think that a church is beyond hope. There are faults and crisis in every congregation. Even the Lord Jesus had frequent crisis with His congregation. Corinth had its faults, but Paul had no spirit of alarm or despondency. He counseled, warned, admonished, exhorted, and scolded, but he did not give up on those in Corinth.

    Paul was no moral coward. He sternly rebuked, criticized and counseled. He loved these people as a father loves his children. He would not give up on them, and leave the Lord to worry about these wayward, foolish, and proud saints who were thinking and acting as "meatheads." No... rather, Paul attacked their initial problem first... the sin of pride.

    The Corinthians had begun to feel holy, deserving of their blessings. They divided themselves into cliques, and each debated that their clique was the most holy. Paul frankly tells them: "You're acting like meatheads!" Unfortunately, that message needs to be preached to many congregations today.

    We find in many churches, on many forums, the debates often become fanatical, and brazen in attacks on persons, rather than discussions on doctrines.

    Paul also said that the church had been blessed by God with the spiritual gifts of utterance (tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy), and the gifts of knowledge (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discernment of spirits). In fact, Paul added that they had every gift of the Spirit in operation within the church. The church at Corinth was also eagerly anticipating and desiring the return of Jesus.

    I Corinthians 1:5-7
    "That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; ...so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus."

    So though they had divisions, moral problems, doctrinal problems, finance problems, and disorderly services. Paul found much good in the church. Only by the Spirit of God can such a group become children of God. The pagan background, the old habits, the wicked acquaintances influenced this church, but Paul saw in the Spirit, what good things that God could do with them.

    We might have walked out the door of this church, and written "ICHABOD" on the door.
    Yet, Paul loved and desired to help this church. He begins with the praise of their good points, and then quickly begins to deal with the many problems in the church.

    Paul was concerned with the "black spots", but he did not ignore the good he saw. They, in Corinth, lacked wisdom and morality, but had much zeal. Paul was not ready to bury this church. He rebuked, and reprimanded them sternly. Paul had greatly toiled and labored over this church, and greatly loved this congregation.

    The fact that he used the word ‘babes’ and ‘milk’ and ‘meatheads’ shows that the ones who refused to mature and act Christ-like, bothered him. His words were likely dissected, ground up, and spit out by some in that church.

    Can you imagine the words of the guilty ones in the foyer of that church?