- Glossary of Symbolic Words in the Bible
- Meditations on His Word, April, 2018
- 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.
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Meditations on His Word, December, 2015
Philippians 3:2&3 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
To some, these verses seem to be some of the most confusing verses in the Bible. It should not be so. We, as followers of Christ, just as Paul, should take comfort in the warnings to beware of those who are not followers (dogs), evil workers and those demanding rituals as a way to salvation, such as circumcision.
As verse three says, we are the circumcision who worship God in spirit and rejoice in Jesus Christ and do not abide by any doctrine created by man’s (flesh) misunderstanding of the scriptures. We have our own rituals today created by church doctrines and requirements to join those churches. These often become more important to us than worshipping in the spirit. It would seem that it is much easier to obey doctrinal, ritualistic commandments of a church or denomination for so many, than to conform to the spiritual maturing process being performed on us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We must not put any confidence in the fleshly actions that we do to show that we are Christians; Church attendance, Tithing, Baptism with literal water, speaking in tongues, manners of dress and other denominational doctrines or rules. We seem to prefer having our walk with God laid out as things we can perform as opposed to the spiritual correction, chastisement and trials we must go through to transform into our Savior’s likeness. Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
The dogs and evil workers talked about in verse two are those who are teaching and demanding things from us that are not conducive to our spiritual maturing or perfecting. They may be doing this in ignorance or they may be in defiance of our Lord’s instructions. Either way, we are to recognize them and shake the dust from our feet to escape them. As Paul stated, he had been circumcised on the eighth day of the lineage of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin and he had followed the law of the Pharisees, but gave them all up for the Excellency of Christ Jesus our Lord and His Truth. We, also, must be willing to give up the approval and acceptance of those caught in earthly doctrines so that we may be conformable unto the likeness of our Lord.
We must not have “mine own righteousness, which is of the law”, but desire the righteousness that is revealed in us through faith in our Savior; faith in knowing Him, fellowship in His sufferings and representing His Love.
Meditations on His Word, November, 2015
Matthew 18:4-7 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Who are these "little ones which believe in me" or who are the children of God? We may think that it’s pretty obvious who the children of God are: They are those who profess Jesus Christ as their Savior, go to church every week, study the Bible, pay their tithes, do good deeds and judge who are not the children of God. We must humbly meditate on how many times Jesus demonstrated to us in His Scriptures that ALL are His Father’s children in need of love and salvation. How He offered love and forgiveness to those we might have determined were not worthy: Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, the thief on the cross, publicans, tax collectors and other sinners.
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." How do we offend one of these little ones? Why would it be better that we have a millstone around our neck and drowned in the sea?
Strong’s Exhaustive concordance gives the definition of offences as: a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness, a sin, a trespass. Now we may think, “I would never intentionally offend a child of God by causing them to deviate from the Truth!” Intentionally, maybe not, but unintentionally, possibly. We can only teach what we have been taught and if those teachings have deviated from the Truth than we are offending other children of God and causing them to fall, sin or trespass.
"Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
Woe means: An exclamation of judgment upon God’s enemies or of misfortune on oneself, or, in the ministry of Jesus Christ, of sadness over those who fail to recognize the true misery of their condition.
Offences affecting children of God must come in this world as God’s children mature, but in our ignorance of Truth we are seen by our Lord as sad, lost and mislead creatures, who would be better off dead than teaching falsehoods. This symbolism is to make us aware that as we mature we have been offended and we have caused offense. Repent, and continue on in learning the Truth so that we may not be guilty of offending/ leading astray any of God’s little ones; as well as ourselves.
Meditations on His Word, October, 2015
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Since Jesus did not come to destroy the law, what did He change about the law by His coming?
In the world today too many are trying to justify their abominations and sins as having been excused because Jesus didn’t specifically say anything about their abominations in the scriptures. Jesus refers to the scriptures and never negated them in any instance. With scoffing mockery they cite Leviticus chapter 20 as their confirmation and validation that the punishments for the listed abominations are not followed today, therefore; their abominations and sins are now absolved and exempted from any disciplining or penalty. Jude 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the teachings of the prophets, but He came to change the punishments for all transgressions of our Father’s laws, commandments and instructions of His children. It is true we do not stone those caught in the acts listed in Leviticus 20. That is because our Lord and Savior took our punishments for our sins to the cross with Him and bore them and died for them, for all of us! But just because we no longer require the same penalties for these sins and abominations does not make them any less offensive or abhorrent to our Father or any less destructive to our spiritual lives here on earth.
When Jesus stopped the stoning of the woman caught in adultery, He didn’t say, “Adultery is no longer a sin, but is now something to be paraded and celebrated.” He said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) We are not to condemn anyone. We are not to carry out punishments that Christ fulfilled on the cross to someone for their sins. Why? Because we are not without sin ourselves. John 8:7….He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Christ showed by writing in the dirt that not one person who was ready to stone this woman caught in sin was worthy of carrying out the punishment. Only He was worthy and He did not condemn her to death by stoning, but disciplined/chastised her and sent her on her way. We, as His representatives today, are to discipline/chastise by teaching and telling the truth, but not by condemning to death.
Some think it is loving to lie and deceive others about the abominations and sins that our Father directed against. There is great love in sharing the Truth of God’s love, His commandments and instructions for His children here on earth. We may choose to disobey our Father’s instructions, but we will never change the fact of what those instructions are for us. It is an act of rebellion and must be repented of, IF we are seeking to be in union with our Father and His only begotten Son.
Meditations on His Word, September, 2015
I Corinthians 13:9-11 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When 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.
The word perfect in the Bible means to mature. Our Father calls us to come out of childhood knowledge and to desire His perfect/mature knowledge. To do so we may have to accept that we may unknowingly be stuck in childish thinking and believing. We must examine ourselves to see if we are stubbornly and rebelliously hanging on to our juvenile knowledge. We must listen to the Holy Spirit as He guides us in all wisdom and knowledge and not ignore His pricking of our minds to hear Him. Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads (pricks), and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd (the Holy Spirit of our Master, Jesus).
In today’s world we have been conditioned to remain loyal (no matter what) to denominations, pastors, churches, political parties, celebrities and friends even when they are not maturing and are on the wrong path. We must be strong enough to take our Lord’s path and then pray for those remaining on the immature path to have their spiritual eyes and ears open and join us on the path of Holy maturity/perfection. The joy and peace that is felt when one leaves the bondage of misguided loyalty to mature knowledge is glorious! It is a freedom that we have never experienced before! It is surely the freedom our Lord was speaking of in Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Part of that maturity is having understanding and patience for those still on the wrong path. Maturity does not gloat or condemn. Maturity does not argue or intimidate. Maturity exhibits the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 & 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
We must follow the path of maturity. The disciples had to change their paths as our Lord called them to follow Him. Once the Lord opened their spiritual eyes and ears with Truth they willingly left their former paths and became His Twelve Disciples. Well, today, He is calling all His Father’s children to come and become perfect or mature in His wisdom. I Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In evil unrighteous things we are to be as innocent as babes, but in wisdom, knowledge and understanding gain maturity so that our Lord may use us as a follower and disciple of His Truth. We are always being taught by our Master new and maturing knowledge. We must make sure our spiritual eyes and ears or open and eager to receive. Keep asking for His maturing wisdom and He has promised to give it. Proverbs 2:3-5 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
James 1:5 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.
Meditations on His Word, August, 2015
I Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
Too many who call themselves children of God seem to be having quite a big problem with showing pity, empathy, sympathy, understanding, love and compassion today. There seems to be an ever widening spread of reprehensible attitudes that are anything but Godly and Christ-like toward our fellow man.
We have no empathy for people who are going through hard times in their lives. Instead we have attitudes such as, “Well, if they had worked harder and longer they wouldn’t be struggling to make ends meet.” “If they had eaten better and exercised more they wouldn’t be in need of healthcare, which they can’t afford.” “Why didn’t they save more for their retirement years?” “Why should I have to pay for their weaknesses and failures?” “I’ve got mine, they should have gotten theirs!” “Surely, God would have blessed them like me, if they had been as good a Christian as I have been.”
The attitude that seems to be propagating the most is, “This world is about survival of the fittest, others are an embarrassment and should just go away or die.” Well, as sad as it is to think that some may adhere to this thinking, we know that we have been instructed to be in this world but not of this world. Romans 12:2 And 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. We must desire to be Christ’s disciples today as He was speaking of His twelve in the following verse. John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. When you stand up for those less fortunate and ask for compassion, empathy and sympathy, you most certainly will be attacked with accusations of being stupid, irrelevant and gullible (synonym for gullible: unworldly). What more can we expect from those living and worshipping the world instead of worshipping our Father and His Son?
How can we claim to be like Christ or have the love of Christ dwelling in us if we have no compassion or pity for those who are struggling with lack of jobs, finances or healthcare? How can we turn our backs on those who need someone to show them love and stand up for them when they cannot? How can we play politics with their very existence? Loyalty and obedience to worldly political parties or worldly attitudes rather than what our Father commands from us are something we should search our hearts and minds for and repent (to turn away from, to be ashamed, to desire the will of God over your own will,)
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Meditations on His Word, July, 2015
Psalms 23:6 Surely “goodness and mercy shall follow me” all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Heard a televangelist telling a conference center crowd of thousands how this phrase in this verse means God will always follow us around bestowing goodness and mercy to us. But, maybe instead of looking for what we want God to give us we should be desiring to see what He is instructing us to leave behind us when we touch others' lives; goodness and mercy.
How loving would it be to know that every day of our lives was spent sharing goodness and mercy with our fellow man. To know that whenever we leave the presence of another person we have been as good and as merciful as we can. We all are searching and in need of goodness and mercy. We are not perfect and will always need and desire the goodness and mercy of others. When we exhibit these spiritual traits we truly promote the Holy Spirit of our Lord to others and ourselves. Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: Now, who is our brother? Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Well, that would mean that those who profess to be Christians and those who go to church with us must be the brothers we are supposed to show goodness and mercy, wouldn’t it? Before we make that kind of judgment call on who deserves our goodness and mercy, let us remember what we are told in the book of Romans that some are made for dishonor and some for honor, but are all not doing the will of our Father? Therefore; ALL MANKIND is deserving of goodness and mercy. Romans 9:21-24 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
We must be careful that we have no goodness and mercy for those who are in great need of it. We must be careful that we are not unrighteously judging to whom we give our goodness and mercy. If we are to hope that our Father would give us His Goodness and Mercy, (As He has through His Son’s sacrifice), then may we give goodness and mercy to ALL we encounter.
James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
Meditations on His Word, June, 2015
Luke 8:30-33 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
We want to study the symbolism that is in these verses and be filled with the beauty and peace our Master imparts to us through his symbolic teachings (parables). However; first, we would like to reflect upon the fact that the evil spirits/devils/demons could do nothing on their own, but had to ask the permission of the Son of God. Doesn’t this remind us of Satan not being able to touch Job, except as our Heavenly Father allowed, The Book of Job? We take comfort in knowing that nothing happens to us that our Father does not allow and that He will see us through.
Matthew 8:29-32 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Don’t you just love the way they knew who He was and there was a time coming when they would be defeated by Him? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. (Luke 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.) Lake symbolizes the Lake of Fire that destroys/kills evil ignorance and rebellion to purify us for the glory of our Father.
Swine symbolizes those who are unclean or an abomination (unfit to be used in their condition). We are as those swine until we accept the cleansing blood of our Savior’s sacrifice on the cross. Christ did not command those evil spirits to go into the swine, but evil spirits chose to enter into whatever vessel was not clean and able to be used by our Heavenly Father in His Kingdom here on earth.
Remember, we are always being cleansed/matured, therefore; we are all able to house evil spirits and must listen to the instruction of our Master. By our Father’s plan we are transformed into the likeness of His Son, our Savior Jesus, with each purifying experience and chastising lesson. II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We are matured/perfected by our realizations that we are as those swine and must have our own demons, rebellious natures and evil spirits drowned or destroyed from within us to enter the Kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17. We must be ever-listening to the Holy Spirit of our Master’s guidance and correction when we are allowing ourselves to become as swine by allowing evil to come into our hearts and minds.
Meditations on His Word, May, 2015
Chapters 24 & 25 of the Book of Matthew
The 24th and 25th chapters of the book of Matthew are taught by most religious people as terrifying and misunderstood as the book of Revelation is taught. Well-meaning teachers try to literally teach something that, as with Revelation, is symbolically taught by our Master, Jesus.
These well-meaning teachers are only teaching what they have been taught by their highly credentialed leaders in our religious society. We are to have patience and understanding while we allow the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Master to comfort us with His Truth. John 14:16 & 17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Truth comforts us with peace from confusion caused by misconceived teachings.
In understanding the symbolism of these two chapters, peace; His Glorious Peace He gives to us, will help us to share these verses with love. Jesus is teaching that as His time draws near this is what is to become of His followers. Temples had been (and are still being) built by false teachers of God’s Holy Word. These temples were and will be destroyed by His completion of our Father’s plan of salvation for all mankind and by Truth. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Truth will always destroy false teachings in those whose eyes and ears are spiritually opened by our Father. We must remember that ONLY our Father can open spiritual eyes and ears, not the best educated or credentialed teacher, preacher, apostle or prophet.
How can we hope to spread the gospel (Good news) and help others to enter the Kingdom of God within them, if we confuse and terrify them with teaching symbolism as literal? The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. People can hardly have joy, peace and do what is truly righteous when they are confused and frightened to death.
In chapter 23 Christ is telling us to be aware that many false teachers shall arise out of misunderstood teachings and take many into bondage with them. Many will deceive and be deceived with false teachings. Sorrow, pain, wars, betrayals, accusations and hatred will thrive on the deceptions taught by false teachings. This is the Abomination of Desolation that is referred to in the book of Daniel. So many attack and try to kill the teachings of Truth because they have been taken in by falsehoods and the world is desolate of Truth. John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. In verses 48-51 of chapter 24 we are given the description of those teaching falsely who will tire of their teachings not coming to fruition and their greed and hypocrisy will be exposed.
In chapter 25 of Matthew Christ is telling us to continue our instruction to gain/seek/ask for Truth and share it with all diligence and faithfulness. Oil, talents, meat, drink, bread and clothing symbolize Truth and Faith in our Lord and Savior. Those who are sick, hungered, thirsty and in prison/bondage are to receive the comfort and peace that only the Truth of our Lord can give. And we must be willing to give it as His followers. As we do it for others we are doing it as unto our Lord. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Meditations on His Word, April, 2015
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
We all can be joyful and at peace that our Father has promised to chastise and correct us according to His will, ALL of us. Now some may look around and think that some are not being corrected or chastised, therefore; they must not be children of God, but as the verse says they must be bastards and not sons. This thinking would contradict the fact that He just said ALL would partake of chastisement. Therefore; ALL are being corrected by our Father.
As any parent knows, some corrections and styles of chastisement work better on some children than others. We must acknowledge that some respond to correction and chastisement quicker than others. Some rebel against discipline and take much longer to understand and appreciate the love that is being shown them by our Heavenly Father. However; we should never make the judgment that someone is not being corrected or chastised and therefore is not a “son” of God.
We must hear what our Father is saying about His form of chastisement in the following verses in Chapter 12. Hebrews 12:9 & 10 Furthermore 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? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. For ALL to be chastened for our profit, that we might become more holy in His sight and more in His likeness, is the proof of our Father’s love for ALL mankind.
Be thankful that He is the One who does the chastening because He knows exactly what each of His children requires. Let us rejoice in the certainty that we are His children and never take that fact for granted. Hebrews 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
We did not experience what Moses and the Israelites did, but what we do experience is the loving fulfillment of our Father’s plan for ALL mankind through His only begotten Son’s sacrifice on the cross for us. That love is shown by His chastening and correction unto us as we accept His Son as our Savior.
Hebrews 12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Our Father’s chastening is the shaking of things that keep us from becoming the perfect (mature) children He wants us to be. He will shake (correct, chasten) us until all that remains is what He desires us to be.
Hebrews 12:27-29 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (our consuming fire, Father, Disciplinarian and our Refiner!)
Meditations on His Word, March 2015
Free will or No Free Will
So many argue and debate the idea of whether mankind has free will or not. Some discussions are so un-Christian like that it tells us something is terribly wrong in our mindsets on this theological issue. A synonym for theological is scriptural; therefore, we will adhere to the scriptures inspired by our Lord to discern this matter to our peaceful conclusion.
II Timothy 3:16 & 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect (mature), throughly furnished unto all good works.
Since the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, and if we are to mature into the Kingdom of God here on earth, then we should desire peace about this issue with our fellow believers. Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Pride, anger, offense and accusations that are expressed by those on opposite sides of this issue can in no way be of God. We must ask ourselves why some need to make such an issue of this disagreement. Is it just possible that both sides of the issue are correct? Some adamantly say there is no way both sides are correct and the contentious debate lives on to bring about strife to all who witness this discourse. I Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
This is what is written in the scriptures: James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
These are only a couple of verses that teach us of our Father’s sovereignty over man’s puny will. We are shown in the example of Pharaoh that his will may have been to let God’s people go the first time he was asked, but God hardened his heart and Pharaoh was used by God to teach His people of God’s power through signs and wonders. It was our Father’s will carried out in every step of His people leaving Egypt, not Pharaoh’s. Of course, man has no free will when his will would interfere with our Father’s Holy plan for all mankind. This example should bring to mind our instruction that some of God’s vessels are made for honor and some for dishonor.
II Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
Now to the other side of the debate, I Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. Paul is discussing his ability to do his will, but NEVER would his will supersede our Father’s.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, This verse teaches us that it may be possible for us to think of doing our own will, but our Father has promised us that if we are His children He will chastise, lead, guide and correct us. Would we want it any other way?
Be at peace and do not get caught up in other’s contentious debates about free will. II Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Meditations on His Word, February, 2015
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
This verse applies to many situations in our day to day lives on this earth. We should always remember it to give us guidance and peace in decisions that we all encounter and must make. In His instruction our Lord is telling us that we will experience wolves and serpents in our lifetimes. As we try to follow in His footsteps of sharing His Truth there will be those who will by many means try to shut us up or stop us from sharing what our Teacher has imparted to us. Some will accuse us of being evil spirits. Let us not forget that Christ was accused of being of Beelzebub. Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Others may try to manipulate us to say and do as they desire with flatteries or insincere praise and compliments.
As we are told in the Holy Word the serpent is cunning, crafty, scheming and deceitful. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? We must learn and practice wisdom to recognize when we are being deceived or manipulated by anyone who has their own agenda to take advantage of us. Many will use the fact that you are a Christian to try to capitalize on your desire to please our Father. They may use lies and deception to try to fleece you of what they want from you.
To be wise as serpents does not mean that we are to emulate a serpent, but that we are to recognize a serpent and his intentions and not allow them to take advantage of us. Many good people think that it is somehow Godly to allow a serpent to delude you. Our Lord is telling us clearly to be aware that we may be in the midst of wolves in this world, but that we are to use Godly wisdom or common sense to not be their willing victims in some misguided sense of godliness. We know from our Father’s Holy Word how treasured wisdom is, i.e. Proverbs expounds magnificently on it. We are told to seek wisdom and to hold it dear as we walk in this life. Wisdom of Truth, wisdom of correction and discipline and also wisdom of serpents are what our Lord is commanding us to seek and obtain in our lives.
Proverbs 4:5,6 & 7 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Now as to the second admonition in the verse, ..and harmless as doves, our Lord is instructing us to be gentle, patient and loving with those who would try to manipulate or abuse us. We must exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit of our Lord as we encounter these situations in our lives. Galatians 5:22 & 23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. We must understand that something in these peoples’ lives have made them this way. We must never respond without temperance and meekness.
Matthew 10:16 is very comforting and peaceful as we understand that our Lord wants us to discern when someone is trying to harm, manipulate or even destroy us. He knows what we face and has given His instruction on how to handle each serpent or wolf that comes into our lives.
Meditations on His Word, January, 2015
John 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
The world in which we live today is very much determined that teachers, preachers and sowers of God’s Word must never offend anyone. We are expected to embrace anyone’s sinful lifestyle or we are not tolerant. We are not to teach them in love that the lives they are leading is offensive to our Heavenly Father. Well, we know from our own Holy Master, Jesus our Christ, that that is not possible. To even try to open someone’s mind from what they have already been taught and believed to be true cannot be done without carnal offense to be raised in another’s emotional mindset. That’s because our Father is the only one who can increase knowledge of Truth into one of His children’s minds. And when He does they will not be offended (indignant), but will be filled with peace and joy at the understanding of His Truth. John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has this definition for offend: to scandalize, cause to stumble, cause to sin, shock and to become indignant.
When Christ taught he offended many people, including His own disciples, as shown in verse 61 above. They could not wrap their minds around what Christ was saying. Many of the disciples left and did not follow Him after that day. Verse 66 of chapter 6 says, From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. They did not believe in what Christ was teaching. We cannot con God by our insincere worship, He knows our hearts and He knows whom he has called unto the belief in His Son, our Savior. When Jesus asked the twelve that He had chosen if they, too, would go they replied,” Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” They had just witnessed Him feed the five thousand with five barley loaves and two small fishes and had seen Him walk on water to get to them in their boat, how could they not believe Him? Unfortunately, others also witnessed His healings and miracles, but chose to betray Him. The disciples then and the disciples of Christ today may not understand everything that Christ taught, but they have the love and desire to seek His Truth. They may be offended (confused) by some points (as the twelve disciples were in the verse above), but are willing to keep seeking until they come into the maturity of understanding that our Master wishes for all. True disciples of Christ do not arrogantly believe they have been imparted all Truth at one time, but that it is a maturing, seeking, desiring and studying process that must take place. This is the process of gaining deep roots of knowledge and understanding of Truth that cannot be shaken by condemning accusations of those who would have us not offend anyone by sharing that Truth.
We are told that we are sent out as sheep among wolves. We are also told to be wiser than serpents (cunning, accusing), but harmless as doves. We are to understand that we are being attacked in ignorance of the Truth and therefore; be gentle and patient with our attackers. Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. In the following verses of Matthew chapter 12 Christ is informing us that if we are His followers, then we will be treated by others as He was treated here on earth. In the gentleness of the Holy Spirit and Comforter we should share to any who ask, but accept that their response may be to become offended.