- Glossary of Symbolic Words in the Bible
- Meditations on His Word, February, 2019
- Meditations on His Word, 2018, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2017, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word,2016,Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2015, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2014, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2013, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2012, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2011, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2010, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2009, Jan.-Dec.
- Meditations on His Word, 2008, Jan.-Dec.
- Parables, Symbolism and Numbers
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Meditations on His Word, 2009, Jan.-Dec.
“Jesus taught plainly”
Sadly, it seems we have lost the plainness and simplicity with which our Teacher, Jesus Christ taught. II Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve (Rev. 3:6, “to make one wise”) through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Mankind has created its own religious system (the Beast, Revelation chapter 13) and has puffed itself up with knowledge (I Corinthians 8:1) to the point that it is intimidating and inhibiting the Truth.
The Beast has convinced God’s children that they could not possibly understand the Word of God without at least a Divinity degree. The Beast tells them that they need the thousands of books written to supplement their getting understanding of God’s Truth. Ecclesiastes 12:12. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
It’s as if the Truth is being held hostage or being kept in bondage so as to keep God’s children in ignorance and in submission to the world’s religiously-credentialed teachers and preachers, instead of to God and His Holy Truth.
Let’s face it, the religious system/Beast has become big business and only the ones with the highest degrees, the title “Doctor” in front of their names, largest churches and the most book sales are respected as knowledgeable servants of God. Our Father is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:), but we sure are!
It is no wonder so many are in ignorance of the Truth. They think that it takes a Biblical “self-proclaimed Dr. Scholar” to understand our Father’s Word and therefore; they give up their own studying.
II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ironically, these scholars are often not even teaching Truth, but God’s children think, “Well, they’ve read and studied more than I have, so they must be right!” Reading, studying, writing books and teaching something that is not correct will never make it Truth. God’s children need to stop being so lazy and irresponsible and do their own “meditating on His Word”. Psalms 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
Words and terms such as eschatology, hermeneutics, amillennialists, pre-millennialism, post-millennialism, exegesis, preterism, theology, Reformed Christianity, chiliasm, apologetics, soteriology, canonics, dispensationalism, Calvinists, Bereans, etc. only serve to intimidate God’s children into believing that they need someone of higher education and credentials to teach them Truth. God’s Word explicitly tells us differently. I Corinthians 1:27-29 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
When our Savior called His first twelve disciples, whom did He call…religious self-proclaimed scholars? No. (They would have been much harder to teach because they thought they already knew everything.) I Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Christ called fishermen, publicans and other hardworking common people. He never told them to have degrees from seminaries before they became His disciples. He never told them to acquire the thousands of religious books written by “scholars” to help them to understand His Word. Our Savior only told us to study and read His Word ourselves and to ask our Heavenly Father to give us understanding and wisdom as He sees fit. James 1:5 & 6 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Our Savior taught us with plain and simplistic parables (symbolic stories) so that all which seek Jesus Christ/Truth with open spiritual eyes and ears could understand. We must stop allowing some to complicate and intellectualize His teachings to the point that they are hindering the spreading of the Truth and God’s people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Meditations on His Word, Nov. ‘09
“The Road to Damascus Experience”
As servants of our Heavenly Father we want to learn every nuance of the knowledge and wisdom that our Father and Teacher, Jesus Christ, wishes to bestow upon us. As we open our spiritual eyes and ears for His instruction we are elated to see how much He wants to share with us, as He changes our nature (new name, Revelation 2:17) into His likeness.
Saul/Paul’s experience with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on the road to Damascus is a teaching example for all of God’s disciples today. Like Saul/Paul, we may love our Heavenly Father with all our hearts and sincerely want to serve Him, but if we are not teaching and upholding His Truth, then He will have to give each of us our own “Road to Damascus” blinding/awakening experience to get us on the right path.
We must trust in our Teacher, Jesus Christ, to be the author and finisher of our faith as we desire to serve Him. Hebrews 12:2 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. We must be willing to hear His voice and to do His will in teaching Truth. We must allow Him to tear down false teachings, even when we may lose social contacts from our churches and we may lose our credibility as a teacher, for the time being among those who do not spiritually see or hear, yet.
John 12:42 & 43
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Our Lord has promised to correct and chasten us as needed and we should praise Him for it. Hebrews 12:5-8 And 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: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
When our Lord said to Saul/Paul, “Why do you kick against the pricks?” Acts 9:5, it shows us that there had been other pricks to get Saul/Paul’s attention. We must examine ourselves closely to see where we are being pricked by our Teacher, Jesus Christ, but we are not listening to Him. We must also remember there are only so many times that our Father chastens and corrects us before He is forced to turn us over to a reprobate mind. Reprobate means disqualified. We will be disqualified as His servants if we refuse to hear and obey His correction and chastening and then He cannot use us in His kingdom. We must obey and stop teaching falsely so that Truth may prevail! If Saul/Paul had risen from the road and refused to obey the voice of the Lord, the Lord would have had to turn him over to a reprobate mind and he obviously would have remained spiritually and physically blind.
We also must remember Christ’s words, John 8:43 & 44 “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father (one who produces) the devil, and the lusts (desires of your own hearts) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer (Genesis 3:4, "Ye shall not surely die") from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father (producer) of it.
We must seek and ask our Lord for truth and wisdom and be taught by His HolySpirit. We must abide only in the Truth and not as the devil, which chose not to abide in Truth because of pride, rebellion and disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We must always stay open to our Father, our Teacher and the Holy Spirit and not "kick against the pricks" when He is trying to get our attention to get on THE correct path of teaching Truth.
Meditations on His Word, Oct. ‘09
Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled (distracted) about many things:
It never ceases to amaze us how our Father and our Teacher, Jesus Christ, has covered EVERYTHING in His Holy Word that we need to be peaceful, loving and knowledgeable children of God. Could our Lord have been any clearer with His message to all the "Marthas” (male and female) in the world?
In this verse Christ is teaching us that Martha was distracted, worried and troubled by many things that she thought were important in her relationship and service concerning our Lord. Her sister, Mary, simply wanted to learn at the feet of our Master all that He had to teach and this caused Martha great resentment.
Does this sound familiar in our own Christian lives? So many times those entering church doors just want to learn of our Father’s Holy Word and about our Savior, Jesus Christ, but they are soon met with the “Marthas” of the church (males and females) resentfully telling them, “You are not participating in enough potluck dinners, outings, performances, study groups, fundraisers, recruitment of members, etc.!” These “Marthas” are so distracted with what they mistakenly think is serving and fellowshipping that they are missing the reason we have been instructed to assemble. They are being robbed of their peace and joy as they rob others of their peace and joy.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Exhorting: to call near for understanding, comfort and encouragement with the Truth of God’s Word.
We are not to drive people out of the churches with distracting requirements that are not what they were looking for when they drew near to, hopefully, a house of God. Churches and ministries have competed and operated this way for so long they cannot fathom changing. Changing the way we assemble is one of the ways we burn up the Beast (religious manmade system, Revelation 19:20) in the lake of fire (God’s glory and His Truth)! (See our page “Beast, False Prophet, Devil…Lake of Fire)
We need to get our assemblies back to what Christ intended them to be! The teaching of His Truth is enough of a draw to those seeking Him. John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up (exalted by Truth) from the earth, will draw all men unto me. It is so sad that churches don't seem to believe that this is possible.
As our Lord tells Martha in Luke 10:42, But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her., we should choose that one needful thing and that good part which shall not be taken away from us, nor should we allow it to be taken from us. That needful and good part is to learn at our Savior’s feet His Truth and to accept His Peace and His love that He offers to us. Then we can exhort (encourage) each other as we assemble. If every assembly place was truly a place of sitting at our Master’s feet with peace and joy to learn His Truth, can we imagine how many more would be called or drawn to come in and partake? We need to welcome to our assemblies more “Marys” and we need to help the “Marthas” to find their peace and joy by resting (the meaning of Sabbath) from their distractions at the feet of Jesus.
Meditations on His Word, Sept. ‘09
“Feet of Brass, Revelation 1:15”
“Feet of Iron and Clay, Daniel 2:33”
Feet are needed for anything or anyone to be able to stand upright.
In this teaching, the feet of something or someone represent the base or foundation upon which is built the Truth or a false teaching or image in the religious world.
In Daniel 2:33, the image that the King saw in his dream, which was the World’s governmental and religious system, had feet of iron and clay. The iron represents the strength and power that this system has. The clay represents the fragility of this system because it is not built on Truth. The image was then and is now seemingly bright and awesome in how it has grown and prospered and how it appears so mighty and indestructible. However; we are told in our Father’s Word, Daniel 2:34, that a stone (The Rock, Jesus Christ) smote this image “upon its feet of iron and clay”, (which is the best way to topple anything) with His birth, death and resurrection. He became a great mountain and filled the whole earth with His Truth and His followers.
Although Christ toppled the false religious system, it recovered from its deadly wound, Revelation 13:3, and now it is up to His followers, (servants, witnesses, olive trees, candlesticks, temple and those within His kingdom) to smite the recovered religious system again. “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!” Philippians 4:13
In I Corinthians 15:25 we are told that our Lord must reign, till he hath put all enemies (of Truth) under his feet (submission to Truth).
In Revelation 11:11, the two witnesses (all of those in union with our Father) stood up on their feet and were told to “come up hither” in their knowledge and wisdom of God. Then they are prepared to serve the Lord in His plan for all mankind.
In Revelation 1:15, our Savior’s feet are described as fine brass as if they burned (refined and purified) in a furnace (Our Father’s Glory and Truth). These are the feet (our foundation) that we, as Jesus Christ’s followers, should desire to have also, refined and purified with the Truth. We must be willing and able to smite and topple the iron and clay feet of today’s false images and false teachings with Truth. Then we can exalt our Lord, exhort one another and celebrate as we witness the image of the Beast (man’s religious system) come crashing down. Jesus Christ did it and He expects His servants to do it!
We live in a wonderful time and have been blessed to be a part of carrying out our Father’s and Redeemer’s plan for all mankind. Therefore, let’s work hard to destroy the false religious worldly system of today by smiting it at its feet, base or foundation (built on misconceptions, deceptions and lies) with the Truth of God’s Holy Word. Hallelujah!
Meditations on His Word, August ‘09
"Husband of one Wife"
I Timothy 3:1, 2 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
I Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Titus 1:5, 6 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
These verses have been used for so long to tell women that they may not hold these positions because of the phrase, “husband of one wife”. As in all of God’s Word we must always keep in mind to whom Paul was speaking. Paul was instructing Timothy and Titus on how to set up the churches or assemblies among the new converts to Christianity. There were pagan practices and old Jewish ways going on that some were trying to incorporate into the Church/Body of Christ. Paul was addressing the men who wished to be servants of Christ and His Church about the qualities and practices that it entails to be an acceptable and productive servant. The phrase “husband of one wife” applied only to a man desiring to serve because women were not practicing multiple husbands! The practice of multiple wives was going on at that time among some of the men.
Let us try to be rational and realistic about this understanding of God’s Word. If Paul stated that it would be better or easier for a man not to marry (like himself, I Corinthians 7:6-9, & 33), while he served God, then it stands to reason that he would say if you are going to marry then it should be to only one woman (less responsibilities and distractions from God’s work). The other qualities Paul speaks of are also addressed to all women who desire to serve God. In I Timothy 3:11 the words “must their” have been added. Even so (must their) wives (women) be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. In Greek there are no words “husbands” and “wives” only the words “man” and “woman”.
We believe that the words: deacons, bishops, elders (those who are not novice believers), shepherds, pastors, prophets, priests, ministers, overseers, teachers, disciples, evangelists and apostles are simply interchangeable terms for SERVANTS. Male and Female servants of our Heavenly Father should desire the office of a servant, but not a title.
There has been great abuse of these terms to keep half of God’s children (women) from serving and who benefits from that? What are some afraid of? That women will teach and lead men astray? Are we not instructed to test every spirit and fruit of anyone that is claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ? If we do as we have been instructed then we can spiritually be at peace, no matter the gender of the servant of God.
A very important lesson to learn from this, also, is that some have made the titles of pastors, reverends, prophets, priests, deacons, bishops, elders, etc. something to take pride in and to hold over others as superiority in the body of Christ. Well, this problem was addressed perfectly in Job 32:21, 22 when Elihu addressed the older men after listening for Godly wisdom from them. May we learn from his words.
Job 32:21, 22 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
Meditations on His Word, July ‘09
I Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
When we are told in our Father’s Word that “we are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, how are we destroyed? Spiritually! When we do not understand what certain verses mean we can cause much spiritual destruction to ourselves and to the very believers who should have the peace and joy that the Truth of God’s Word and His kingdom offers us.
The above verse has caused much broken-heartedness and confusion to women who have never married or who are infertile. Our Father is not the author of confusion and so we may conclude that we are misunderstanding the context and true meaning of this verse. Jesus taught with simplicity. With that simplicity and the peace and joy that it brings, let us gain knowledge and understanding of this verse.
Paul is instructing Timothy in how to conduct the assemblies without the new converts to Christianity bringing in old religious traditions of men. We know that much turmoil was going on in Ephesus and Corinth as doctrines, other than that of our Lord Jesus Christ, were being taught and many were trying to teach without understanding of the Truth. This is still going on today as we learn and grow in the Truth.
Some unruly and overbearing women (not all womankind) were guilty of this lack of discipline and understanding. (If it pertained to all women we would not be told of prophetesses such as Miriam, Huldah, Deborah, Anna, Priscilla and many more in God’s Word.) Paul is disciplining the unruly and obnoxious women to remain quiet and learn at home from their husbands (assuming they have husbands who are believers and have knowledge, I Cor. 7:13) before they speak in assemblies (prophesy). As an example, he warns them that as Eve was deceived into desiring knowledge to arrogantly and self-righteously “make one wise” (which is the wrong motive for desiring knowledge, for males or females). These women were doing the same. These women (and some men for their own personal wealth) were trying to incorporate “Goddess worship” (Diana) into the assemblies. Acts 19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. These women were acting as if they were spiritually, righteously superior to men, but we know that we are all equal and seen as one by our Father and His Son. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul goes on to instruct, in this specific circumstance, that notwithstanding these women can be saved by THE (left out in most translations) childbearing. Whose childbearing? Mary’s! These women can be saved by the birth of Jesus Christ ….If they follow Him with faith, charity (love), holiness with sobriety (decorum and self discipline). These are the same qualifications for everyone to obtain salvation.
Let us have the wonderful peace and joy that wisdom from above gives us in the understanding of this teaching. May we cause no more confusion and spiritual pain to any, women or men, who are seeking salvation and the Truth of God’s Word. Amen
Meditations on His Word, June ‘09
Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour
When we read in this verse the phrase, “the potter power over the clay”, the most important thing we need to accept is that our Father God is the potter and we are His clay. He is our creator and our God! As such, He decides what entity He will mold from His clay and for what purpose. If we cannot submit (to place oneself under subjection to the authority of God) to our Creator in this fact, then we are rebellious, stiff-necked and stubborn and will never experience peace with God while we walk upon this earth in the flesh.
When we refuse to submit to God, James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you., then we are wide open to the beguiling of Satan (evil thoughts and actions, disobedience to God, seduction to do unrighteousness). Too many quote the part in this verse about “resisting the devil and he will flee” but they leave out the part about submitting to God first; therefore, exposing their distaste for submission. When we truly submit to the will of our Creator we show our love for Him by that submission.
Another important lesson for us in this verse is that we definitely should not pass judgment nor condemn anyone, because only our Father knows which entities He is using for dishonor to bring about the fulfillment of His plans and His kingdom for all mankind. We do not get to say who is “so dishonorable or whose sins are so horrible that they must have gone to hell!”
Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Cain, Pharaoh, Esau, Delilah, Jezebel, King Saul, Judas Iscariot, the Jewish leaders who wanted Christ crucified, King Herod, Pilate and all the other “bad guys” in the Bible were formed from the same clay as the “good guys” of the Bible. These "dishonorable vessels" were used to bring about our Father's plan and to teach the "honorable vessels" by example. This unnerves many people because they are afraid that they, too, may be being used in a dishonorable way and that breaks their hearts. This is why we leave the judgment of those we perceive as “dishonorable vessels” to our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We, all, do go through times of dishonor in our lives. We are vessels of dishonor when we participate in false teachings and misconceptions, or with ministries and organizations that show where their hearts are…Money and notoriety! As we grow and mature (the molding process) into Truth, wisdom and knowledge, we surely have, hopefully unintentionally, brought dishonor to our Father. But because of His great love and patience for us He chastens, directs and guides us into being better or “honorable” vessels for His own use. If we will submit to His voice, His Truth and His will!
Meditations on His Word, May ‘09
I Corinthians 1:10-13
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
How sad that we have not obeyed our Lord’s instructions and we are divided today. We call that division…denominations, churches and religious organizations.
In our religious world today it is not enough to profess that one is a Christian when asked. The immediate follow up query is, “To what denomination or church do you belong?” Now this is a loaded question! If you say a denomination or church to which this person does not belong or hold with any esteem, then all chance of unity in edification by sharing wisdom and knowledge go out the window. Paul spoke through the inspiration of our Teacher, Jesus Christ, when he admonished the brethren about this in the above verses. It seems they did not listen and today we have the same problem. For example, a funeral director is helping a family to write the obituary for their mother. He asks, “What denomination was your mother?” A daughter replies, “She was a Christian.” The funeral director goes into dumbfounded shock, thinks for a full two minutes and then replies, “I guess we could just put ‘she was of the Christian faith’!”
Why are we more interested in belonging to the subcategories called denominations, churches and organizations than in being one church and one body of Christ? We seem to be so prideful and complacent (the Laodiceans, Rev. 3:14-16) about the fact that we have divided Christ into so many pieces. We should be heartbroken and convicted that we are not unified as one body. We certainly should be able to see the evil mindset behind this plan to keep the Body of Christ/His Church in pieces. A house divided cannot stand and therefore, cannot be as strong as it should be to battle for Truth, Jesus Christ! Our disobedience to God’s Word is making this division possible and we have allowed it far too long! How sad that we can drive by 10 to 15 assembly places for Christians, but if they are not of our denomination we keep going. We should truly work for the unity that our Father and His Son, our Saviour commands from us.
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:13 & 14 Till 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: That 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;
Doctrines, false teachings and misconceptions based on lack of knowledge of God’s Truth have brought about these divisions (denominations). Pride, arrogance, superiority and fear of admitting error in our doctrinal stances have kept us in these divisions. Only Truth can break the shackles of our denominational bondage and bring us into the unity that our hearts should desire for our Father’s kingdom.
I Corinthians 11:18, 19 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved (those teaching Truth) may be made manifest among you.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Slaying this “denominational Goliath” (and what a Goliath it is!) can be done! Our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ will strengthen, instruct and protect the “Davids” of this world as they stand and fight for the unity of the Body of Christ/the Church with Truth.
Meditations on His Word, April ‘09
“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”
I Corinthians 8:1
This verse is very instructional for our perfecting, maturing, refining and purifying as our Father’s servants in His Kingdom here on earth.
Knowledge is not a negative thing, when we put it in the Godly perspective that our Father intends for us. We are warned in Hosea 4:6 that we are destroyed for lack of knowledge and in Proverbs 15:14 we are told to seek knowledge. In II Peter 1:5&6 we are told for us to become partakers of the divine nature (a new name Rev. 2:17) of God we must add knowledgeto other attributes such as faith, virtue, patience, temperance, godliness, brotherly love and charity. Charity is love, compassion, empathy, sympathy, patience and peace. Without charity we cannot even hope to edify (encourage, instruct or improve morally) any one. If we become puffed up (proud, haughty, inflated, without compassion, impatient, self-righteous) we will never be able to reach any one. What do we have to be proud or haughty about anyway? All true wisdom and knowledge comes from God and is not of our own intellectual achievements. I Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. Wisdom from above is lovingly instructional and peaceable, not prideful and judgmental. We are merely servants and vessels for our Father’s use.
We must be careful to not partake of the fruit (unGodly teachings and characteristics in this instance) of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as Eve and then Adam did in the Garden of Eden. When we find ourselves worshipping a teacher and his/her teachings rather than the truth of the Word of God, then we have been beguiled by a sly, crafty and cunning serpent also. A serpent's teaching appeals to our carnal nature, not our spiritual Godly nature, James 3:15. Just as Eve disobeyed God’s commandment and desired to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil to “make one wise”, Genesis 3:6, we must be careful to not worship knowledge and we must examine why we wish to obtain knowledge. Is it for our own self-importance or is it to become better servants for our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in their kingdom here on earth?
All of God’s children should want to edify each other with knowledge of the Truth and with Godly love for the foundation, strength, faithfulness and maturity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.
Meditations on His Word, March '09
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
This verse brings up a wonderful self-examination lesson for our refining and purification, IF we will hear the instruction and conviction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We have heard it taught that this was an exception and not the rule for being with our Savior in paradise, but we see it as another beautiful example of the abundant love that our Lord has for us.
Why would we want to see this amazing example of salvation as an exception? How could the thief possibly be holy and pure enough to enter paradise? Perhaps, because we believe that everyone must follow the same Pharisaical rules that we have been told must be endured to obtain the prize of salvation and heaven. If we have to sit on pews for years and years, join denominations, listen to boring misinformed sermons and try to live by every rule organized religion deems fit, “then by golly, so should everyone!” “How dare anyone get into heaven by just believing and confessing that Jesus Christ was an innocent sacrifice and that He is the only way to our Father and paradise?!”
Luke 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
This brings to mind the story of the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32. We need to examine our hearts to see if we are like the elder brother who resented that his wayward brother received the rewards of forgiveness and glory when he repented and returned home. The elder brother obviously thought that he was the only one pure and holy enough who had earned such rewards. Where are our love and compassion for others who stray from God’s path and are outside the kingdom of God? Do you think they do not know that they are outside the kingdom of God?
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
They know that they have no joy and peace about the unrighteous lives that they are living. The thief on the cross asked for the Lord to remember him in paradise, because he didn’t think he was worthy to ask to be in paradise. Now that’s humility that we all need to learn! Do we not hope and pray that faith, repentance and confession will lead all to salvation? Let us remember that ONLY the Father and Son judge who shall enter the kingdom of Heaven/Paradise.
We have heard it discussed that there must be different levels of Heaven because surely a sinner on his deathbed crying out to the Lord cannot receive the same reward, as say a servant like Billy Graham. Well, there truly “isn’t anything new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9, because Jesus knew the hearts and minds of mankind when He taught the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. We all receive the same reward! If there is something within us that is not joyful, content, and peaceful with that fact, then obviously we need some more refining and purifying in this area.
Matthew 20:1-15 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Let no one think that we are encouraging anyone that they can wait until the last minute of their lives to repent and ask for salvation. WE cannot con God! He knows the hearts and minds of all His souls. Repent today and enter into and represent His Kingdom here on earth, by sowing seeds of truth and harvesting believers in His vineyard.
Meditations on His Word, Feb.‘09
I Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
The definition of a gift is a gratuity or something given in gratitude. It is most humbling to think that our Father loves us so much that He gives us gifts and that He gave us His greatest gift, His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we accept and appreciate His gift of His Son then He also gives us spiritual gifts, as He sees fit, such as those listed in the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians.
A couple of these spiritual gifts are the ones we wish to address in this teaching. When the Holy Spirit bestows these gifts upon us we want to appreciate and perfect (mature) them to profit all. I Cor. 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
The only way to perfect a gift is to learn to use it, through study, experience and trial and error. For example, someone gives you a guitar as a gift, but you have never played before, now you can study all you want but until you pick up the guitar and start to experience playing it you can never perfect it. The same is true of spiritual gifts, we can read of them in the Bible, but until we are put in situations of using them we cannot mature in them.
Let’s take the gift of discernment of (1) truth and error, (2) Godly and ungodly dreams and visions, (3) divine, human or satanic spirits manifested in people and (4) pure or impure motives. We cannot mature in whatever gifts our Father decides to entrust to us until we have: (a) experienced dreams that we thought were Godly and shared them with others in error; (Because we had brushed over mocking, dark, sinister or upsetting parts of these dreams. Evil cannot hide or disguise itself for long; therefore, we must stay on guard to learn discernment of good or evil dreams.) or (b) experienced visions or voices of future events, that never came to pass, that we told others were messages from God or (c) experienced encounters with Christians who have impure motives for their desiring of your knowledge or company and then lead others in attacking you or (d) experienced studying under Bible teachers who are not consistent in their teachings of truth, intentionally or unintentionally, that you have to break from and stand for truth.
Another example is the gift of faith. We can think or hope that we have sufficient faith, but until we are tried by tribulations to trust in our Father to deliver us we could never see how much more our faith can be strengthened and multiplied. As others observe our trials and tribulations we become witnesses for our Father and His Son in how we deal with our experiences.
A beautiful and humbling example of our need for stronger and more mature faith is in the example of a father crying out “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief!” (Faithlessness) Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
As painful, embarrassing and humiliating as it is to go through these spiritual lessons, as we mature we realize there is no better way for us to learn than to experience things firsthand. We must let patience and experience have their perfect work in our spiritual lives.
So, we dust ourselves off, wipe our tears and step out of our frozen fear of discerning erroneously or not having enough faith and trust in our Father God for our perfecting or maturing. Then we go forward in our service to our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Meditations on His Word, Jan. 09
I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation (test, trial or tribulation) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tried or tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
With all the economic turmoil in our world today, it is so easy to become scared, depressed and to become disillusioned about our futures. We, too, have been hit by the unemployment disaster for over four months and are being tested to lean on and trust our Father God for deliverance. The above verse is our favorite consolation and comfort in our Father’s Word.
Sometimes it is so easy to think, “why is God allowing this to happen to me?” or “what have I done to deserve this?”, but our Father’s Word tells us that nothing happens to us that is not common to all men, therefore; we have not been singled out to go through a unique time of tribulation or trial; just look around.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those losing their jobs, homes and retirement savings that we hear about almost daily. Our Father promises us He will not allow us to be tried above what we are able to bear, but will show us a way out of our situations so that we may endure and come out more purified, mature and strengthened as His servants.
People have a tendency to judge other people’s tribulations as punishment for some unrepented sin, but, of course, without doing self-examination to ask where their punishments for their own sins are. Jesus taught about this in His examples about the tower of Siloam falling and the Galileans blood being mingled with sacrifices by Pilate.
Luke 13:1-5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
This is not to say that our Heavenly Father does not use times of tribulation to teach, chasten, correct and to make us do some reflecting on that “boulder in our own eye”, rather than looking outward at the “mote in our neighbor’s eye”. We must be very careful to leave the judgment, correction and dispensing of punishments to our Father God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We must remember that as we go through trials and temptations, our Father and His son, Jesus Christ, are rooting for us and are faithful to never leave or forsake us. They are our strongholds, our fortresses, our bucklers and our high towers! Hallelujah!!! Thank you, Father!
Proverbs 3:5 and 6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!