7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:)
Do you remember the lullabies you were sang when you were in diapers? No? Well, to tell you the truth neither do I. But though I don't remember those songs being sung to me, I do recall a few I've heard since I've learned to change my own diapers.
Lullabies are sung to children still on the bottle. Did you know there are senior citizens who are still on the bottle? I didn't either, but according to the Bible there are. Let's take a look at the Bible and see what God considers to be a babe in arms:
11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:)
Children are unskillful in the Word. Children, from the time they're able to reach the door nob (and even before) think they know it all. You can't tell them anything, they have all the answers. Oddly enough we never seem to outgrow that stage of development, forever believing that if anyone wants to know the truth of a matter, they have to agree with us.
Children, like Adam and Eve, are unable to discern the difference between good and evil. They think good is evil and evil is good. Of course Paul isn't talking about you or me, he's talking about..., well..., everyone else, all those people who disagree with us.... right?
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2Tim 3:)
"In the last days." I wonder when the last days will be? What are the signs of the last days? Do you recognize any of the signs Paul lists as the last days? Do you see yourself in the list of warnings that indicate these might be the last days Paul is referring to? I hate to admit it but I see myself in that list too many times. Does this mean I'm still a babe? I'm afraid it does. However there's one difference between a baby and someone who has matured beyond the bottle stage. A baby doesn't want to admit he's still a baby without understanding and with problems he has to work through and rid himself of. He likes to think he's ok just the way he is and should be accepted in spite of his shortcomings and foibles.
"Having a form of godliness." Can you point your finger at any such person? I have no doubt you can, and that you probably do. There are people out there risking their life for what they believe, their form of godliness, while we sit back and laugh at their mistaken zeal. Don't they know all their work is only going to get them a seat on the 'road to hell express'? But us, we know better and we're riding the couch-potato train to never-never land.
"Ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." I know lots of people like that, lots of book learning but all that learning never seems to filter into their daily life. They know the truth, they just don't think they have to do what they know. I think of a gardener who is an expert in horticulture, but his lawn is the ugliest in town. Or how about the mechanic who's car is covered with antique rust and can't make it out of the driveway? Knowledge is a good thing, but only if it's applied. Adam learned the difference between good and evil. I don't suppose that knowledge was as bad as the choice he made once he acquired that knowledge. Many of our finest and most zealous Christians are those who have gone steeply down the wrong road before they discovered their misdirection. Meanwhile we have tons of those bearing the Christian name who are ho-hum about the whole Christian experience because they grew up under the banner of Christianity and haven't veered from the right road.
17Behold, thou art called a Jew [Or a Baptist, a Mormon, a Pentecostal, etc adnauseam], and restest in the law [Or church doctrine, or articles of faith, or tradition, adnauseam], and makest thy boast of God, 18And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 21Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? (Rom 2:)
To us as a baby our corner of the sand box is the only part of the world that's the right place to be. Our scribbles in the sand carry the truth and anything that looks different than our scribbles has got to be wrong. If someone disagrees with our view, we throw sand in their face and say they're either a fool, or going to hell, or most likely we do both.
When I was very young (more than a year ago) I would make some scribbles on a piece of paper and take it to my mother and say "Momma, what did I write?" To me at that age what I saw of books and other writings looked no different nor made any more sense than what I wrote, so therefore I must have written something profound.
We can grow up (physically) and know nothing whatever about the Bible or God. Then we walk into a church, take a bath, read the little leaflet they hand us of the things we now know nothing about but totally "believe," and we become instant experts on the ways of God. And if anyone says anything that does not agree with what we supposedly believe, they are on that express train to you-know-where mentioned in a previous paragraph.
1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1Cor 3:)
Today we belittle the term carnal Christian because it fits almost everyone, certainly us. We like to enjoy the things of the world yet feel we're above and beyond those of the world who do the same things we do.
What does carnal mean:
CARNAL - "Pertaining to the flesh, unregenerate."
Momma's child can do nothing wrong, especially if the child is doing the same thing momma does. Our child steals a candy bar, that's just a childish prank. He knows better now. Someone else's child steals a candy bar, he's a thief and will grow up to be a vicious killer. Our child steals a car. Well, that's different. We go plead with the judge to get him out of the punishment awaiting him. Our neighbor's child steals a car, we go to court to tell the judge what miserable parents they are and how the child is incorrigible and should be locked up and the key thrown away. And how about if it's our car that was stolen?
Our child can do no wrong, other children can do no right. Our church members are merely "carnal Christians," and will receive the same reward the most faithful of the Apostles will receive. Those carnal Christiana of some other denomination are unregenerate and will have to suffer the well-deserved fate of their misguided ways.
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:)
When baby gets an owie, a hurt finger, he goes to momma who kisses it and makes it feel better. Momma is there to lend comfort to the child, even when the child gets an owie from doing something he's not supposed to do.
The Bible tells us the flesh, carnality, is in opposition to God, that God will not allow carnality in His presence. Yet when we're carnal, when we behave as all the other children are behaving who are behaving badly, we're told it's ok because after all, we're a child of God and God loves us and wants us to be happy even when we're being bad.
48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1Cor 15:)
REGENERATE - "To give new life or vigor to; to reform spiritually or morally."
In the Greek definition of carnal we saw that one of the terms used for the word is to be unregenerate. As shown above to be regenerate means to have new life. This tells me that a regenerated person is born of the Spirit.
If then I understand this correctly, an unregenerated person, a carnal Christian, is not a Christian at all. How can a person be carnal, which is synonymous with unregenerated, which means to be not born again, which means to be not in possession of the Holy Spirit, be seen as a child of God destined for Eternal life?
3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:)
It seems to me Jesus is saying an unregenerate person can't enter the Kingdom of God. Is Jesus unaware of the truth of the matter? Or is it possible some "mothers" have misread the instructions as God has written them?
1Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1Peter 2:)
Babies desire milk. They live on milk. If they don't get milk when they want it they let everyone know about it. But if you give a baby anything with substance they don't know what to do with it, they can't chew it, and in all likelihood they'll chock on meat if they try to consume it. Babies have to be given milk. But as we've seen earlier, babies are not supposed to remain babies all their life. They're to grow teeth and learn to desire substantial meat. And along with receiving meat, the child is to learn to not only hear the words meat provides, but to do what they've learned (James 1:22).
25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (Mat 11:)
Babies listen. They're ears are attuned to every sound, trying hard to define what the sound is they're hearing. Babies see, they watch whatever comes within their vision. A very young baby has no discernment as to what they're seeing and hearing. But they try not to let anything go unnoticed.
17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? (Mark 8:)
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? (John 14:)
It seems as if every time the disciples turned around they were being reprimanded for saying something foolish or asking a question that either didn't fit the conversation or that Jesus had already answered. They were indeed babes, but they were trying hard to learn. What Jesus had to teach them, that the educated wise men refused to learn, is everything they thought they already knew was wrong. It wasn't until Pentecost they were able to perceive the truth. The carnal mind is at enmity with God, it's an enemy of the Spiritual. The two can't coexist. We know this because it's in Scripture, yet we continue to cling to the notion that there is such a thing as a carnal Christian. Isn't this like saying he's a good bad man? Or maybe when we say he's a mature baby? We say these things, but we know such things do not, nor can they exist.
When a child is two years old he thinks he's so mature and learned when he sees his baby brother get scolded for doing something he's not supposed to do. He has the ability to look back on his own mistakes in judgement. Yet that two year old is far from where he should be as a mature individual. We look at the disciples and we laugh at their lack of understanding. Sure, we can laugh now, but had we been with Jesus at the time we would have made the same blunders they did. It's easy to criticize others, but in doing so we actually criticize ourself unless we realize we're no different than those we criticize.
17Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18:)
When a child is scared he runs to his parents for safety. A child is full of questions about things he doesn't understand. He trusts his parents to have his best interest at heart. It's these qualities of childhood that will gain us entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven:
11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (Luke 13:)
Unlike the two year old or the teenager, we don't have all the answers. Unless we see that the glass we're looking through is dark rather than clear, we will remain in the dark. If we think we have all the answers because daddy told us the stork brought us while all the others in our sand box believe we were born in a pumpkin patch, we will continue in our ignorance.
As we grow we should be sprouting teeth that hunger for more than potato chips and other forms of junk food. But as we can tell by the shelves of our local store and the ads on TV, it's junk food we crave. When was the last time you saw an ad trying to sell you an apple or an orange? Now, when was the last time you saw an ad about a candy bar or a can of soda?
What we see on the screen and in the store reflects not only the life of the unbeliever, but also the believer, the Christian who is fed their own brand of commercialism, something to appeal to their carnal appetite.
1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (Heb 6:)
Who would have ever thought faith toward God and repentance was baby food? Are we supposed to forget about those things Paul lists as milk, as basic fundamentals?
What are fundamentals? Why are there so many fundamental churches in existence, and why do they call themselves Fundamentalist? Have you ever wondered about this? Neither had I until I stopped long enough to question some of my fundamental beliefs.
My dictionary (which of course never lies to me) says fundamental means: "A basis or a foundation, serving as a starting point." When we claim to be a Fundamentalist we're bragging about being at the start, at the very beginning, in other words a babe in diapers just starting their life as a Christian. And we can easily see where in the Fundamentalist churches that is where they remain. As soon as a baby walks into a church they're treated and taught they are now become a full-fledged Christian ready to be raptured and to go out into the world to preach the Word and to demonstrate what a Christian is like. They're also told they need not change their life in order to be a more secure Christian, and any effort in that direction is seen as cause to lose that unlosable salvation they now have.
What then does Paul mean when he says to not lay again the foundation of repentance and faith toward God?
When we're in the early years of elementary school we learn the basics of arithmetic such as addition and subtraction. When we enter High School they teach us such things as algebra and trigonometry. Then in college we move into calculus and other higher forms of math. When we learn algebra we're not expected to forget our time tables we learned in third grade. We're to add to what we learned. Each step in our learning process assumes we already know and understand, and are doing what we learned previously. If we haven't learned and are not practicing what we've learned, we're sent back to that place we're deficient (remedial) until we can do what's needed for advancement. Those who remain in the fundamentals are like a race horse who's stalled in his gate. The gate is where we begin the race, it's not the finish line.
When I ran track I discovered the finish line was the same as the starting line. But I can't stand on the finish line and think I have completed the race. To do so would be foolishness. How much more foolish is it to believe that the entry into the fence surrounding the Tabernacle is the same as the door to the Holy of Holies where God resides? Yet this is precisely what we're taught by mother church.
17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2Peter 3:)
What we learned in the beginning should have become a part of us shortly (or longly as in my case) after we become a Christian. We no longer have to count on our fingers to discover that five plus five is eleven (or twelve, or something). We know these things already. We've survived our milk stage and we've moved into the pablum stage of our life. We can now change our own diapers, and we should be learning to button our pants so we can go outside and play, to make use of the liberty we've been given through grace.
Perfection then is our goal. But I'm sure you're taught this essential fact every Sunday, are you not? Or is it a diet of grace, faith and other basics your being taught on a regular basis?
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Mat 23:)
Jesus spent a great deal of time and effort putting down the Scribes and the Pharisees and calling them names I wouldn't call my worst enemy. He also said at another time to avoid the doctrine of the Pharisees. How then can He turn around and contradict Himself telling those who trust in Him to do what these wicked people say to do?
Church, their's and ours, is essentially made up of two parts. There's the sermon that supposedly is a reading of God's Word. Then there's the teaching of doctrine and tradition that varies from church to church and from teacher to teacher. Today we do the same except instead of there being a Bible reading in the churches, the sermons consist entirely of a piece of a verse read here and there while explanations are given as to what the verses mean. Rather than use the Bible as the main theme, the pastors are using the Bible to support their theory, leaving out or ignoring (or at least playing down) whatever counters the point they're trying to make. Today we don't have the Bible taught to us, but instead we have doctrine taught with a smattering of Bible verses to support the faulted doctrines. If you want to see this process in action, attend all the various churches including those referred to as cults. Hear all the various and conflicting sermons that are presented, and notice that it's the very same Bible each of them are using to support what they preach (and often the very same verses).
In Jesus' day the Pharisees were trying their best to live up to the high standards they taught in their doctrines and traditions. We see this in such people as Paul. As misguided as they were, and as failed in their beliefs as they were, they put everything into doing what they believed. And as is shown in the passage above, they were placing heavy burdens (traditions) on the backs of the people.
Today in the Traditional churches there is no burden. In fact it's the goal of the churches to lift every burden off the people in the pews. And it's for this reason the Christian is held in such low esteem by the world. The Christian (as is supposed) can do everything the world does and be rewarded with Heaven. Meanwhile those in the world who are trying to be all they should be, living the life Jesus taught, will go to hell for their efforts.
4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (Heb 12:)
"You just wait til your father comes home!" Have ever heard these words before? It was my mother's favorite song.
Father is the disciplinarian of the family. He's the one who trains up a child the way he should grow. When a child asks something of his father he can expect to hear 'no' for a reply. Father is the one who advises the child, who makes sure the child knows what he's to do and what will happen to him if he violates the instructions given.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:)
12For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. 13As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:)
The mother's duty is to comfort the child. Mother is there to correct all wrongs. She is the one who applies the bandage, who soothes the injured spirit, who feeds and nourishes the child. When a child comes to momma he expects to hear "yes" for a reply.
1Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 2Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; (Hosea 2:)
9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. (Rev 21:)
Under the Old Covenant Israel was God's wife, the mother the people of God went to in order learn what the Father wanted them to do. And as we've seen in the New Testament the mother was a stricter disciplinarian than was the Father. Mother wouldn't allow the children to heal or to be healed on the Sabbath. No one was allowed to cast out demons or raise the dead whenever the occasion arose.
Israel, the nation has been replaced by the Church, the body of Christ. Has the Church then become the mother we are to go to in order to learn the will of the Father? If not, where do we go? Who is it that instructs us in the ways of God? Who is it that lets us know when we've gone astray of God's law?
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, (Eph 4:)
Does this sound like a parent to you? Who else has the job of raising a child with the goal of making him or her perfect, in the image of the Father (Mat 5:48).
It's interesting that along with these parenting instructions Paul includes some warnings as to what the children are to watch out for. Apparently not everyone who claims to represent the mother, the Church, is concerned with the good of the child.
28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:)
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (1Cor 11:)
Come on now Paul, I can see this happening in the cults and those other churches that's gone astray. But my church is different. We're all baptized, converted and Holy Ghost filled Christians in my church. No one can lead us astray. We go by the Book, no deviation or shadow of turning to be found in us. We're the upper crust of Christian society and above reproach. But what you say is true of those other churches, so go on, let'm have it right between the eyes.
God the Father is the disciplinarian. And as we see here, the mother, the one who comforts us God's children, is to teach us the ways of God the Father and make sure we remain on the straight and narrow. Isn't that the job of the mother? Is mother fulfilling her duties?
1And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. (Rev 8:)
When I was in the Army a trumpet was blown loud and furiously when it was time for us to get up and start our day. In the olden days the trumpet was blown when the soldiers were to charge toward the enemy. Trumpets were not something intended to create calm, but to get us moving, usually in a direction we don't want to go. John speaks of the voice of Jesus sounding like a trumpet. A trumpet is used to announce as well as a call to duty. For instance there were various trumpet calls for beginning and ending the Sabbath, calls to war and assembly, and to announce the beginning of the yearly feasts.
23And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (1Sam 16:)
At evening the same trumpet that caused us to awake so abruptly was played nice and softly, a lullaby if you please, intending to put us at rest for the night. While the trumpet blown in the morning can be likened to the father getting us up and moving, the evening lullaby can be seen as mother singing us to sleep, causing our spirits to be set at rest.
It's the mother's job to quiet the child and make him feel at ease. However a parent can take their job too seriously in that the father pushes the child unmercifully, and the mother causes the child to be at peace with himself when he is not all he should be. When both situations exist at the same time the child caught in the middle of the tension is likely to become confused and unsure what is right and what is wrong.
13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.14They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? (Jer 6:)
In Old Testament times and up until the time of Jesus it was well known that God would not tolerate the breaking of His law. And any step to the side would lead to devastation. They had a history of such side steps and the consequences those steps out of the way brought upon them. For this reason the mother church was careful to make sure the children were in harmony with what God the Father demanded of them. Mother and Father were both strict disciplinarians. There was no one to go to in order to find a little sympathy. However neither was there anywhere to find mercy. Jesus worked to bring about a balance of the two, mercy where mercy was due, and discipline where discipline was needed.
Today we have mother church who provides much mercy, and much sympathy, but at the expense of the commandments the Father has given. Therefore when Father comes home, He will find the children have not been brought up in the way they should grow.
47Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (John 11:)
Those in charge of the church, like mothers have different reasons for wanting to quiet the child and put him to sleep. It may be the child was screaming his lungs out and the mother was unable to sleep. Or it might be the mother wants the child to grow up strong and healthy. And it may be that the same mother will have one reason to quiet the child one night and another reason the night to follow.
The church of Jesus' day wanted to quiet their "child" for reasons other than would be supposed. It was their own peace and quiet they were concerned with rather than the good of the children.
13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Mat 23:)
How can a bunch of men block the way to Heaven? Well, let's look at the question from a different angle. It would be difficult if not impossible to actually stand in front of the door to Heaven, but there are ways a person might misdirect another person's search for Heaven or to cause them to stop looking altogether. Let's look at some of the things God tells us and see if there's a lullaby that effectively keeps someone from entering the Pearly Gates:
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The Father through His Son tells us the way to Heaven is difficult to find, has many obstacles in the way (to distract us or cause us to go the wrong direction perhaps?), and very few people will find it. We as children don't like to hear that we have to work hard to get what we want. We want what we want right now and with no effort on our part. We don't like what Daddy tells us, so we go to momma church, and here's what we're told:
"Enter in at the broad, brightly lit gate everyone is going through: for narrow is the gate, and hard is the way that leads to destruction, and those who don't follow us will go there." Now doesn't that sound a lot more palatable to our tender, itchy ears? For myself I like that. A mother who told me bedtime stories like this I'd enjoy hanging around. How about you?
Jesus didn't conclude His warning with the above. He goes on to say:
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus would add this to His warning against taking the wrong road? And He's not through yet. He goes on to say:
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many 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? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Did you see all the things this "many" has done in the name of the Lord? How much fruit do you think the Father expects of those who serve Him? I certainly don't exhibit all the fruit described here.
There's something else we find mentioned above, something that was the cause of these "many" on the wrong road to be rejected. They were "workers of iniquity." I find it interesting that in church momma tells me it doesn't matter if I work iniquity as long as I'm "under the blood." Somehow Jesus must have regained His eyesight because in spite of these people's good works for the purpose of the Lord He was able to peer through the blood and see that they were working iniquity in spite of His sacrifice for them.
[A thought just came to me I wonder if you had considered: We're told that God the Father can't see the sins we commit because of the blood shed by the Son. Is that the way you heard it? This might be so, or it might not, but how about the Son? Isn't it the Son, the One who's blood was shed, who gave His life so we may partake of His inheritance, who will be doing the judging? The Father might not be able to see, but I suspect the Son is keeping a close eye out for those who are obeying His commandments and those who are not. The above parable being a prime examples of this very thing.
Back to our story.]
And still yet Jesus isn't through
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Mat 7:)
Jesus seems to stress works a lot in His sermons. Have you noticed that? I wonder why? He also stresses the importance of our doing what He tells us to do, not just listen while the words go in one itchy ear and out the other. Who wants to listen to words that tell us to do what we least want to do? No wonder Momma has to spend so much more time explaining what the Bible means instead of reading the Bible to us. If people had to listen to what the Bible was really saying the churches would empty out like a theater on fire.
66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (John 6:)
When Jesus begin to get down to the nitty-gritty of His message His disciples left Him, perhaps looking for a church that would tell them there's another way to the same place Jesus preached, but without all the requirements.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:)
34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (John 4:)
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:)
Work is a funny thing. As for myself, I don't like work. That's why most of my life I didn't work. Of course neither did I get paid because I couldn't find anyone willing to pay me for not working. That is, I couldn't until I became a Christian. Momma Church tells me I can get the ultimate pay for not working. In fact she said if I do work I'll go to that other place where people have to spend eternity shoveling coal in order to keep the devil warm. I don't like to shovel coal or anything else, so naturally I disregarded Daddy's advise and followed momma's.
Funny thing about momma's advise though, not everyone respect what she says. For instance when I was in the Army I told my sergeant that Momma told me that God said not to work, and if I did work I'd be in biiiiig trouble. You know what? My attempt to get out of work didn't work. I hope it works better when I have to stand before the judge. I don't like fire, did I tell you that?
Also I find it strange that I'm not supposed to work, but Jesus said He works, and that God the Father works, and I see where the Apostles dedicated their life to doing God's work. But I'm not supposed to work. Hmm.
Work is a funny thing. Did I tell you that?
9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Prov 9:) (see Psalm 111:19)
6A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. (Mal 1:)
4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:)
22Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (Col 3:)
1There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. (Acts 10:)
12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil 2:)
I don't like work, did I tell you that? There's something else I don't like and that's to be afraid. I don't like to be afraid. I have some flea bites on my leg. No, I don't have a dog, but I do have his fleas. I, for about a week, feared they were the beginnings of cancer. But they're going away now so you don't have to be afraid for me.
If you haven't caught my drift, I'm a hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs are afraid a lot. I'm afraid a lot.
In the Army they don't care that I've got a disease called hypochondria. They want me to do things I don't like to do, like stabbing people with a bayonet and running at a nest of enemy soldiers who are shooting big guns with bullets in them. I'm funny that way, things like that scare me. Did I tell you I don't like to be scared?
When I was in the Army there were guys who don't like to be scared, just like me. They called their mommy and told them to tell the big bad General to let them go home. In those days things like that didn't work. They had to stay there and be afraid. I would have tried the same thing as they did only I knew my mother (my real mother, not Momma Church) would just laugh and tell the General to make me more afraid.
Solomon was a very wise man. He said the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. He learned that bit of wisdom from his pappa who was also known to be a wise man. But there are some people who don't want to be wise, they just want to not be scared. And you know what? They have a momma who tells them they don't have to be scared. They especially say they don't have to be scared of Pappa because Pappa loves them and only wants them to be happy and content even when they've been bad and unrepentant to boot:
31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:)
0But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 11Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. (Jer 10:)
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Rom 1:19)
21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (Rom 9:)
13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:)
4For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. (Psalm 5:)
16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Prov 6:)
6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. (Rev 6:)
When my father came home my mother would say "Take that boy (meaning me) in that room and whip him good!" (Another of my mother's favorite songs.) My father would oblige, telling me to bend over his knee. I never liked bending over someone's knee because it hurts. No one seemed to care what I liked because I had to bend over a lot of knees, usually that of my father.
I don't like pain. Did I tell you that? Pain hurts.
My father would say as he withdrew his belt "this is going to hurt me more than does you." You know what? I don't believe it did. I did a lot of bawling and howling because of the experience, and he never shed even one single tear.
My father was usually rather gentle with me when my mother would have him do her dirty work, meaning punishing me her oldest son. My father said since my mother didn't tell him what I did wrong (she never told me either) he didn't know what he was punishing me for (nor did I most of the time). I think my father, like me, was afraid of my mother's wrath. I think you would be to if you knew her when she was angry.
God is love. There's no doubt about that, it's all through the New Testament. But look at the Old Testament and see how He punished those He loves. Then turn to the end of the New Testament and take a gander at how He's going to treat His unfaithful Church at the end of time.
My parents loved me. But I still got a lot of whippings.
Parents are funny people, funny peculiar, not funny ha, ha. When you do what you're told they love you to pieces. But when you cross them and don't do what they tell you to do, watch out! I discovered the hard way that wood sheds are for more than storing wood, and razor straps are for more than shaving. And as for belts....?
12And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. (John 19:)
As a child there are two manipulations we learn to be effective early in life, after that of whining and screaming that is. When all else fails, we appeal to a higher power.
A child uses much the same method to get his way with his parents as did the Jews in the verse above. When daddy says no, go to a higher power, momma. But be careful not to tell her daddy already said no.
21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before (Mat 24:)
8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (Mat 24:)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Eph 6:)
Are you following the conversation in the passages above? Then tell me, who is it Jesus is talking to? Who is Paul warning to be prepared? What is it Jesus and Paul is warning their listeners about?
Children like to play one parent against the other. Have you ever noticed that about children? And have you ever seen this same ploy used by children who have passed their teen years by many decades? I have too. We like to get our own way. And we'll go to any measures to get what we want.
The Bible tells us to be prepared for the Tribulation, that the world will be out to get us because of our faith in Jesus. I suspect you did notice that Jesus was talking to His disciples, not the nation of the Jews who paid no attention to what He said anyway. He warned them there was a persecution and a tribulation like has never been seen before nor will be after. Unless I blinked, that day has not befallen us as yet. This means, as I read this, we are the disciples Jesus was warning, not those of two thousand years ago.
Did you notice how even the elect is liable to be taken in by the powers that be in that dreadful day? If for some odd and unexpected reason I should happen to be around when the Tribulation begins, will I be prepared for the day? Am I striving to be one of the elect who will recognize thing for what they are? I suspect everyone thinks that of themselves. Do you?
Paul was sent to the Gentiles, not to the Jews. Such a mission was established way back when he was confronted by the Lord on his way to Damascus. If this is so, then wouldn't it be us in the last days who should be preparing to do battle with the Spiritual forces that will be making war with the saints at the time of the end?
But that's Daddy talking, and as usual I don't like what Daddy has to say about the Tribulation. Maybe if I go talk to Momma Church I'll get an answer more to my liking. Let's see what my church says:
God is love; (John 4:16)
For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son. (John 3:16)
There it is, plain and simple. The essence and the foundation upon which Momma's comforting words are based. Now I can go to sleep and forget the pressure put on me earlier. How about that? Expecting us to put on our armor and to get ready for persecution. God so loved the world that He will come and rapture His loved ones out of the world before the action begins. I should have known that, it only makes sense.
It does make sense, doesn't it?
11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1Cor 13:)
There are certain things we expect from children we don't expect to find in an adult. Children by nature try to get what they want without having to fulfill their obligations in order to receive the highest reward. Children will look for the easiest route to their destination without consideration of the long term risks of that road.
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:)
Ever since I was a teenager I've had myopia. Myopia in case you're wondering is the lack of ability to see at a distance. What is close to me is very clear, but everything beyond arm's reach is a blur. In the natural this condition is corrected with spectacles. As long as I wear my glasses I can see well at a distance, but only if I choose to put my glasses on.
Some people like to wear dark glasses that cause the entire world to appear darker than it is. Other people like to wear rose-colored glasses so the world appears more lovely than it is in reality. Few of us want to see life for what it truly is because life in reality is not within our control and often not what we want it to be.
I like to create my own reality. I do this in several ways. I write, which is a form of creation. I paint, another creative and controlled endeavor. Unlike most of the world that allows others to control their reality through the media, the news, music and such, I avoid these distractions and mind-altering influences. To me the Bible is reality, and in search of God's reality I spend my time in the Word, looking for what God actually says rather than what I want Him to say.
They say age brings wisdom. That isn't necessarily so. While a baby is unable to define what it sees, as we age our eyes form what is called in the medical profession cataracts. Cataracts are like a film that covers the eye and doesn't allow light to enter the pupil. Over time the film can become so predominate that the eye is unable to see at all.
People with cataracts have said they were unaware of their having their vision altered by cataracts until they were removed, and then the world became suddenly much brighter and colorful. The cataracts had caused the world to fade ever so slowly, like the proverbial frog in a kettle of boiling water.
Sin is like cataracts. It rarely smacks us in the face, it creeps up on us slowly without our noticing its presence. By the time we become aware of it and its influence, if we ever do become aware, it's often too late to do anything about it. Like alcoholism, the alcoholic by the time he can admit he's an alcoholic, he's hooked and often his life is ruined by his past ignoring of his problem.
Children begin forming habits, including and especially sinful habits, long before they're able to talk coherently. It's Momma's job to insure that the habits he child forms are positive ones and not those which will cause the child problems in later years. If the mother does not do your job properly, all Daddy's efforts to direct the child to functioning adulthood will be for naught. Mother has to work in unison with the Father if their parenting obligations are to be realized.
When baby cries for his bottle or for affection or whatever his perceived needs of the moment, mother will supply, not necessarily what the baby wants, but an alternative to his cravings. This substitute is known as a "pacifier." The pacifier is intended to quiet the child and cause him to be satisfied with his deficient condition. Baby doesn't realize the nipple he's chewing on is not supplying the nourishment he craves. Nor does he realize the computer game, the TV he's sat before from the time he's able to sit upright, the room full of goodies he takes but a moment's interest in is not the love and the attention he needs. These are merely a way momma has of shutting the child up so she doesn't have to deal with him and his needs. Meanwhile the child is forming habits from his infancy that will have a strong impact on him for the rest of his life. The Simpsons and the Roadrunner, and the violent and sensuous programs take the place of the parent. The child's immediate wants may have been pacified, but the child's needs are ignored.
11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil 4:)
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (1Tim 6:)
Mother floods the child with whatever the child wants from the beginning of his life. Things mean love to the child. And things are the comfort the child clings to. How many people do you know that when they're feeling lonely, depressed or unsatisfied go on a shopping spree, buying things they have to dispose of (and figure out how to pay for) later? What brings on such an endeavor? Where did that problem stem from? How about the person who spends days before the TV watching nothing while the important things of life are ignored? Or the person who eats to obesity when life doesn't go the way they want it to? Can we trace such behaviour to a time when their needs were merely pacified rather than dealt with?
Childhood doesn't end with the disposing of diapers and the putting on of long pants. Many of us remain a child in one form of another for their entire life. It's those ways we have failed to mature we have to take a close look at, admit, and deal with. It's those who deal with their problems who are in the process of maturing, not those who have learned to effectively cover up their problem.
17And 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. 18He 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, 19Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Mat 19:)
33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, (Luke 10:)
As a child we expect everything to come our way. Sacrificing for the good of others is not a concept we understand. Nor is such a concept taught to us in this modern civilization. It's "me first, and the heck with the rest of the world." Life hasn't always been this way, even in my time the change has come about as a social policy. In the Bible from the beginning of God's instructions to us we have been given examples and lectures as to how we are to be. Then as if to punctuate His message, God sacrificed His Only Begotten Son to show us to what extreme we're to sacrifice for others at the expense of ourselves. Is this message being taught and demonstrated by Mother Church? If it is in your church then you don't attend any of the churches I've attended. That's not to say there aren't some churches that have an altruistic program or people in their midst. But as a policy I don't see such an attitude expressed in the people's lives nor do I hear it in sermons. Momma Church says if God has given to you abundantly, hang on to it and enjoy it; whereas I hear the Father saying to sacrifice what we have acquired and help those in need.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:)
How many Christians do you know that have separated themselves from the world and don't partake in the junk food of modern life? How many in your church have sacrificed more than lip service? And, more to the point, what is sacrifice in your mind?
What if I have ten loaves of bread (dollars, cars or whatever)? If I see one person who has nothing to eat and I give one of my loaves of bread to him, am I sacrificing? Now, I see eight other people without food, and I supply their immediate needs, have I sacrificed?
Now, I have one loaf of bread, and I'm hungry, and I give half a loaf of bread to someone who is hungry as well, have I sacrificed? One step farther, I have a half a loaf of bread and I see a family of hungry people, and I give them all the bread I have left, have a sacrificed?
1And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:)
21Jesus 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. (Mat 19:)
This is the Father's instructions to His people, His children. This is the sacrifice He offered to us through the death of His Son, and that He expects of us. Is this the sacrifice Mother Church is teaching and demonstrating?
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:)
1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation. (Heb 6:)
Fathers want their children to make something of themselves. They press the children to be all they can possibly be. They don't want to bring up sluggards, lazy children who will live at home and sponge off of them the rest of their life. Less than their best is not enough. Father's job is to see that the child strives to reach the finish line first, is president of the country, is someone who will live up to the high standards he the father has set for himself, and may have possibly never attained to. Fathers want more for their children than they had as a child. It's only the best and the most for the child of his loins, at any cost to himself or the child.
It's a father's job to push, to encourage, and to chastise if the child shows any signs of slacking.
24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor 9:)
When we read about the life of the Apostles, of the prophets, of Jesus Himself, we see people who have completely dedicated their life to the job at hand,. It's the ministry they were concerned with, even to the expense of their own life and comfort. As illustrated in Paul's description of his own life, it's all or nothing. This is what God the Father calls for in those who are His children. It's everything, or it's nothing at all.
5For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. (Heb 2:)
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2Peter 1:)
God the Father has called us to be far more than mere human beings partaking of the foolishness the world offers. He wants us to have the most He has to offer, but it's not to those who want to dangle their toes in the pool of the Spiritual while lounging in the world He desires to give His riches to. It's those who will follow Jesus to the cross, who will sacrifice everything for the purposes of God He has prepared His finest blessings.
10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Rev 5:)
5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 2:)
26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (Rev 2:)
11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:)
God the Father has great plans for those of His children who overcome as Jesus overcame the world. But He doesn't intend to turn His world, His creation over to those who are more concerned with their own position, their own status, their own wealth than they are of the rest of God's creation. He has such people running the governments of the world right now and for the past several thousand years. He could use any of them, but we, you and I, know how we feel about those in control now. Would we want them running our lives throughout eternity? Neither does God.
Those who humble themselves will God exalt, and those who exalt themselves will God cast down.
19Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it. 20My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jer 10:)
20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! (Isaiah 5:)
The child by nature seeks the easiest and most pleasant road for himself. He will go to any lengths to acquire what he wants. It's Father's job to push the child to the maximum of his ability, and it's the mother's job to lend aid and comfort to the child. But why are we experiencing today a Mother, a Church that is in every way trying to lend aid and support to the sluggard child, those who least wanting to seek the most for themselves and for God's plans? Why is the Church singing lullabies to the weak and beggarly and totally ignoring those who seek the highest will of the Lord?
Why are the churches trying their best to remain at the bottom and deny those who are struggling to be all God the Father calls them to be? Why are we hearing pretty speeches and songs in church rather than the challenge to move forward into battle? Why are the churches striving to undermine God's purposes?
Why are the churches blowing taps, the sweet melody of slumber at daybreak, rather than Revellie, the call to duty as is commanded by God the Father?
6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Prov 6
1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5For every man shall bear his own burden. 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:)
19Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it. 20My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jer 10:)
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