“Do You Believe The Bible Or Church Tradition?” Or “Will You Believe The Bible or Church Tradition” or “Does God Love Everyone?”

“…”Thou hatest all workers of iniquity”  (Psalm 5)

“…[D]epart from [M]e, all you workers of iniquity.”   (Luke 13:27)

“…Esau, have I hated.”  (Malachi 1 & Romans 9)

 

 

What frightening words. These words are as true as they are frightening. The Words from Psalm 5 are spoken by none other than King David and the Words spoken in Luke 13 are uttered by Christ Jesus!!!  We learn from both these verses that there are workers of iniquity and both David and Christ have no love for them.  This truth flies in the face any church tradition and current day church teaching.  Church teaching and church tradition state that God loves everyone. But reader, this cannot be.

Before we move on to our explanation, that we believe is unassailable let us tell you why we should open this “can of worms” in the first place.  Some might wonder, doesn’t this writer know that this has the potential of causing trouble and even turning others on him?  Doesn’t he know that it may not be even necessary to bring this up? My answers are yes, yes, and no. My reason for opening this subject up is simple.  By demonstrating that God does not love everyone it will bring into focus the preciousness of the love of God for those that are loved by God.

Years ago I attended an awards banquet for a company I worked for. During the awards ceremony I realized that all the men that were in the same position I was received the exact same award as I did. The only difference was the person’s named.  The award had no value and no one stood out above anyone else.  You see, if God loves everyone His love is not a peculiar love or a precious love. Why are Christ-ians any different from non-Christ-ians. Church tradition states at this point that God’s love is different and that he doesn’t love sinners in the same way as He does Christ-ians.  This beloved, is too easy an answer and has been accepted for far too long.  While God is kind to sinners He does not love them. Scripture tells us that God allows the rain to fall on the gardens of the lost as well as the just. This is not love but kindness. Not all Christ-ians have gardens and they must purchase their foods from the unjust, therefore the rain that falls upon the gardens of the wicked are for the sake of Christ-ians.

Who are the workers of iniquity spoken of in Psalms 5 and Luke 13?  before I can answer this you must know that God knows who will and who will not come to Christ and believe and be saved.  Those who will never come to Christ and will never believe are workers of iniquity. These are those that God is said to hate and will send away into everlasting torment outside of His blessed Presence.  These are the persons that will live all of their lives in rebellion, hating God and His righteous standards.  How can anyone teach and believe that God loves these persons.  Is He kind to them? No doubt. Does He love them? No way.

Does God send those He loves to Hell? The answer should be simple. But this is where church will interject and say, God doesn’t “send” any one to Hell, it is the sinners choice. In Luke 13 is it not apparent that He sends them away? In Matthew 25, He sends them away as well! It is simple, if God loves everyone them He does send those He loves into ever lasting torment. Therefore since it is apporant to believe God will send those He loves to hell, He does not love everyone.

Another difficult doctrine for some to accept is whether or not Christ died on Calvary for everyone. The answer is simply, No, in no way did Christ dies for everyone at Calvary. If Christ bore the sin(s) of all persons at calvary why does He state to those in John 8, “You will die in your sins”?  Why does Stephen plead with God not to lay the charges of his murder against his murders if Christ died for their sins already?  Why does the threat of sin remain through out the New Testament if Christ paid for them at the Cross?

In the Book of Isaiah 53 it is written that Christ would bare the iniquity of “many” and not all? In Matthew and Mark when Christ is speaking of His Blood that will be shed, during the last Supper, He said it is shed for “Many” and not all. Readers, it is clear from Scripture that Christ shed His Blood for “many” and not all.  In John 10 when Christ speaks of laying His Life down He does so for His sheep and never the goats. In Matthew 25 it is clear that the goats are the workers of iniquity that must depart from Him. These goats are the same as Luke 13’s workers of iniquity as well as the workers of iniquity in Psalm 5!!!

Some questions to consider: Did God love Pharoah? For we are told that God hardened the heart of Pharoah and in Romans 9 we are told that God raised up this wicked man for the sole purpose of his destruction. How can anyone believe Pharoah was loved by God?  What about the “ites” of the Old Testament? The death of the “ites” were ordered by God. In many instances God ordered the death of all, including the elderly and the children and everyone in between.  How can these have been loved by God? What about the kings in the New Testament?  What about Herod who was eaten from the inside out by worms? Did God love him? What about Judas who was ordained to destruction in the Old Testament, Did God love him?  What about the angels that were ordained to fall with Lucifer, did God love them?

Reader, the above examples are only a very few that could be given but they should be more than enough to make the point for Scripture’s teaching on the love of God and its preciousness.

What should this accurate and sound teaching do for soul winner? If the above is true how can we say, “God loves you.” when witnessing? The answer is simple.  We cannot tell lost persons that “God loves you.”  No where in Scripture do we find any warrant for this? Scripture says, “Christ died for sinners”  but never for “you” until that “you” has become an “us” or a “we.”  It is true that Christ died for sinners but isn’t it clear from the above that these are sinners that will believe and come to Christ seeking His gift of salvation and not the “workers of iniquity” that will not ever come to Christ in belief?

The promise of eternal life is offered to those that will believe but never to individuals before belief is exercised in the work of Christ on their behalf.

In fact, the argument could be made that those who will come to Christ have always been the sons of God.  In Galatians 4:6 it is clear that the cause of God’s Spirit being sent into the hearts of some is due to their previous and eternal sonship, “and BECAUSE ye ARE [already] SONS, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts…”  In this remarkable passage we read that the “cause” of God sending forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts is because we “are” [present tense] His Sons [already…prior to receiving the Spirit!!!]. It is taught by the church that we receive the Spirit after becoming His Sons or that it is His Spirit that causes us to become His sons but Galatians 4:6 teaching differently.

In Ephesians 1:3-5; we are told that we are chosen and elect in Christ and this choosing and election took place before the foundation of the world. This election took place before the foundation of the world. It is not said that we will become the elect at some future date after making a choice to become elect. If that were true we are then the electors.  This teaching is to be found in Roman 8;  2 Thes. 2;  1 Peter 1; John 1, 6, 10;  Phil 1 and other Scriptures.

What about John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2?  Don’t these passages prove beyond doubt that God loves the world and that God loves the whole world? There are a number of definitions for the word, world.
1. The earth
2. the world system
3. “The World of the ungodly”
4. The World without qualification
5. …[F]or [T]hou wast slain, and hast redeemed US to God by [T]hy [B]lood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation…”

Which of the above fits our meaning?  Earth, itself? The world system, that lies in wickedness? The world of the ungodly?  If there is a world of the ungodly, would there be a “world of the godly?” The world without qualification meaning every person? or the definition given in number 5. This definition is from Revelation 5:9 and best fits out need. Therefore, “For God so loved us out of every kindred, out of every tongue, out of every people and out of every nation…”  In John 15 Christ says, He “called us out of the world.”  In John 17 Christ refuses to pray for the world and only for those that are given Him out of the world by the Father.

In 1 John 2:2, John says to his jewish readers that Christ died not for their sins only but for the sins of the whole [gentile] world.  The key to properly understanding this passage is 1. To whom is John writing and 2. To whom was John an Apostle? In Galatians Paul states that he is an Apostle to the gentiles while Peter, James and John would go to the Jews.  Therefore, in 1 John, the author, John is stating that Christ did not die for the sins of the jews only (as the jews thought) but for the sins of the whole world as in the gentiles.

You see, beloved readers, the truth of God’s Love is not a difficult doctrine to understand. It is most clear from Scripture that God loves those that will believe and does not love, but hates all workers of iniquity and as He hated Esau, “Esau, have I hated.”
What does it mean when we say God hates?  To answer this we must define wrath. God’s wrath is a release of God’s anger and fury upon the wicked.  Hate, however, is God’s opposition to unrighteousness and all iniquity. When God expands upon His hatred for Esau, He says, Esau/Edom will build and I will tear down. They will rebuild and I will destroy. They will build high in the mountains thinking they are beyond Me but I will again, destroy and tear down.

God is said to resist the proud. This could be re-stated as God hates the proud, as well.  The word, resist means to set in array against as in war. While there is certainly anger and emotion in God’s hatred, He is not contolled thereby as humans so often are.  God is not consumed with thoughts of revenge and hatred as we humans are for His ways are not our ways…

How can God tell us to love our enemies if He hates His? Again when we are told to love enemies it is not an emotional love or an affectionate love as one would have for friends and family. When God tells us to love our enemies it is more of a “be kind” to your enemies.  In Matthew 5 we see this love defined. We are to pray for enemies, bless our enemies, and to desire God’s kindness for them. But to have an affectionate love for them, No.  However, by treating our enemies in this fashion we may come to love them affectionately as they might come to love us as well and more importantly they may come to love God.

Reader, you have a choice to make. After reading the above argument concerning the preciousness of God’s love for those that will come to Him seeking His gifts of faith, mercy, grace and salvation, will you believe Scripture or will you stick to the teachings of others?

I have often pondered why it is that the church is so strict upon its teaching of an unqualified love of God for all.  Is this their attempt to “defend God?”  Is it so they can answer the tough questions like, “Why does God allow …”  or are they genuinely convinced of this unqualified love of God? or is it because it is what they have been taught to believe? or is it to make witnessing easier?

The world has fallen for this false teaching. Even unsaved sinners believe “God love everyone.”  Should this not give us reason enough to pause and rethink the current teaching on God’s love?

Is a proper understanding of this doctrine necessary? Yes and no.  Yes it is necessary to understand this doctrine if one is to be sound in their understanding and sound in their teaching and no not if one desires to keep the peace and keep teaching false doctrine. Can a saved person believe God loves everyone? Can a man be a good preacher if he is wrong on this doctrine? The answer to both the above questions is yes. Should this doctrine divide brethren? No.  If this doctrine threatens peace among the brethren shouldn’t it be contained? No! All major doctrine has at one point or another in church history been a divider or the brethren. Did not Christ’s teaching divide a nation and still divide?  Didn’t His blessed truths cost Him His Life at Calvary? The deity of Jesus Christ was a huge divider in the late 200’s. Justification by faith cost hundreds of thousands their lives in the 1500’s. The teaching on God’s requirements for the believer’s holiness has cost many a Bible teacher their ministry. Calvin’s defense (right or wrong) of the Lord’s Supper caused him to be exiled from his home and ministry. The Scriptures being translated into the people’s language caused Tyndale to be burned at the stake. Many, many of God’s beloved lost their lives for Scriptural and divine truth in the past and will again in the near future.

In closing, one other thought to ponder. If we love God because He first loved us, what about those that will never love Him? ( 1 John 4) Can it be said He loves them that love Him not if His love is the cause of love?

Godspeed

“To Whom It May Concern” or “To My Beloved Readers” or ” A Brief Note”

Greetings in the Name of Him that said, “And Esau have I hated” and “God hates all workers of iniquity.”

 

Your friendly neighborhood preature will be off line until Saturday afternoon (DV). While I am off line I would invite you to read my upcoming article that will answer the question, “Does God love everybody?”  I know what the church and very good men of God say about this but I am going to disagree with them. You may ask me like the pope asked his cardinal’s, Does this…this monk, Martin Luther know more than the church?!?!” and obviously Luther thought he did and in fact, he did.  So if any ask,”Does Brian think her knows more than other pastors?  The answer is obviously……….Yes.  This writer does believe he understands this truth more than they else he would not disagree with, right.  However, this writer is prepared to admit freely and humbly and happily these pastors know more than me and have a better understanding on other truths.

I invite you to pose your questions prior to this writer taking up the topic.  If you have questions please ask them in a Christ-ian spirit as I will not address any asked out of spite or anger. Although after saying that methinks we will answer most answers and questions even if none are posed.

In our article (DV) we hope to discuss the diffrences between differnt loves, the meaning of kindness, mercy, and common grace.  We will put forth simple arguements that we trust anyone, even a child would understand.

Another invitation, Please feel free to ask your writer and brother any other questions you may have concerning Scripture and personal difficulties. We understand discretion so all questions will be confidential, IE. No names will be mentioned.  We have been asked the most personal of questions and have been faithful to the questioner and to discretion. One caveat. however, Do not seek to pit me against your pastor or minister. If I am asked a question that is doctrinal we will give the more common points of view and leave the questioner to God to uncover the real meaning. To cause discourse between brethren is one of the things God hates.

I look forward to returning and addressing this long misunderstood topic.  While I understand the nature of a question like this and the cost of answering it according to Scripture, we must be faithful to Scriptural truth. This is not a topic that should cause discourse or dispute between brethren. The misunderstanding of this subject has caused all manner of trouble for the good people of God, the Church, and the faith itself.

Some questions that will be discussed:
1. Does God love everyone.
2. If God loves everyone why have so many gone to hell and why do so many continue to go to hell?  Does God send those He loves to hell?
3. Did Christ die for those that go to hell.  This will have a multifold answer.
4. Does it even matter what we believe on this subject.
5. If this topic stirs up differences, why bring it up?
6. If God tells us to love everyone including enemies, how could He not love everyone.
7. Doesn’t John 3:16 say God loves everybody?

With a topic such as this one will be forced to make a choice between (3) three:
1. Will I believe church tradition and church teaching in spite of Scripture?
2. Will I believe Scripture over what Church tradition says?
3. Will I make the mistake to despise others that disagree with me?

Godspeed, and pose your questions on facebook or message me on facebook if it is to be kept private.

“Brethren, Pray for us.”

“Absolom The Usurper” or “Absolom Might Be Dead, But His Spirit Is Alive, Well, And Active” or “Pastors, Beware”

“Absolom rose up early…”  (2 Samuel 15:2a.)

“…[T]here was none to be praised as Absolom for his beauty…”  (2Samuel 14:25a.)

“And [Joab] …thrust [three darts] through the heart of Absolom…”  (2 Samuel 14b.)

 

Absolom is a very important young man to understand for the Church today. He is a very important young man for Church leaders to understand especially. Absolom is dead but his wicked spirit is alive, well, and very active in the Church today…very active. He is active at some point in EVERY Church’s history at one time or another and if he isn’t the church may be dead and without the Holy Spirit. Absolom is only interested in the Church where he sees value and a pastor that he believes may be easy to take down and we will discuss the types of pastors he puts into his cross hairs. I have seen Absolom in every Church I have been associated and I have heard stories from pastors of whom I am associated with if not their Church. Onto exposing Absolom.

It is said in the Holy Gospels and in the epistles of Paul that both these (M)men arose early in the morning before day braek to pray and to spent time with God. Many ministers follow this method and some do not. We do not suggest that a specific time is better than another. Whatever time works better for an individual is best or the individual for God is listening always. I know pastors that stay up most nights and commune with God as everyone else is asleep. this works best for them. I know some that arise before daybreak and this works best for them and I know pastors that sleep until late in the morning, pre noon and this works for them.

Absolom rose early in the morning as well, however his purpose was not to seek God. Absolom knew not God nor did he retain God in his thoughts. Absolom rose early in the day so that he could stand in the gates. The gates were a place where important men would convene to meet. Job was a man that met at the gates as is the husband of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Persons who would come to the gates in order to seek time with the king and seek his royal and wise, and just counsel.

Absolom did not meet to seek counsel of the king, King Davis, his father. Nor did he seek to give sound cousel out of the goodness of his dark and ambitious heart. Absolom sought to cut off those persons that sought counsel of the king, King David. Absolom’s purpose was to meet these seekers and be a help to them in order to ingratiate himself and to win over their affections and loyalty, thereby robbing it from King David.

We are told that people loved Absolom and praised him for his great beauty. I’m sure they loved him for his appearance but they loved him for his counsel as well as he would seek to come down upon their side of disputes. We know that people then and now love good looking persons. The jews prior to King David desired Saul for their king due to his beauty, even Samuel they great judge and prophet fell for his appearance. Today is the same as persons are drawn to others according to their appearance. This is a fault of human nature and a mark of the fall. Eve took the fruit because it was good to look at. Many persons choose a spouse according to their looks. I am not a viewer or a respector of realities shows that make a farce out of loce and marriage. However I have been unfortunate enough to catch others watching it and I have observed in the fw seconds that I can bear it, all the contestants are attractive. We are a foolish people because of the fall and we never learn from past mistakes.  Absolom was nice to look at and he had winsome traits though they were all for appearance sake. It is said of our Lord that there was nothing that would cause others to look upon him as a standout based upon appearance. Paul certainly was not known for his beauty.

In time, Absolom was successful and won the hearts of the foolish people.  King David, Absolom’s father was exiled from his throne. David was forced to escape in order to avoid being killed. Eventially David regained his kingdom but only after many good persons were killed. Absolom also was killed.  His death came upon this wise. He was riding upon horseback and was caught and was hanged by a thick branch by his long and luxurious hair. He did not die from this however.

Joab, David’s general was informed by a soldier that he saw Absolom hanging in a tree. Joab, the wise general who was very knowledgeable about the nature of war and the nature of the enemy took (3) three darts, found Absolom and thrust them through Absolom’s ambitious, treacherous and loveless heart. This however had been forbidden by the King. He did not want Absolom killed. One can understand this as David was a man after God’s ownheart and loved his children inspite of their foolish actions.

The aftermath saw David broken hearted and lamenting his son. While this is understandable, it caused many of his faithful and loyal soldiers and Joab his loyal general great frustration. Joab confronted to kind and explained to him that he should be lamenting the loss of many good soldiers and not the traitorous Absolom that caused these deaths. David, composing himself spoke to his soldiers and thanked them for their love and loyalty and queched the understandable frustration and anger of his army.

What can be learned frm this event?  As we said before, we have seen and experienced this same scene of betrayal in every church we have ever been associated with.  In one case we saw a few “believers join a church and speak of their past church in negative terms. They won over the elderly pastor, who like many pastors desire to see their ministry and influence expand.  Before one could realize what was happening a large number of other members from that same “bad” church began attending and very soon joined the church, gaining voting rights.

These new member for all intents and purposes were great new members. They joined in and helped, they brought good ideas, they even started a mid week service at their home of which I attended. I really enjoyed these people and valued them. But then they started introducing some of their beliefs and they were very “charismatic.”  Let me be clear, I could enjoy and good charasmatic service and I have. That is until they begin introducing unscriptural teachings.

Before long the elder pastor lost his wife of decades. He was of course lonely. The leader of this new group began to “comfort” him. I am not suggesting there was anything sinful on his part and I do not think there was. However, this woman possessed the Absolom spirit just as John Baptist had the spirit of Elijah and the anti Christ will have the spirit of Judas. The pastor in the ensuing weaks announced his engagement to this Absolom and Absolom began introducing new doctrines, including reading her poems and speaking of Christ in the first Person!!!

Before long the dam had to break and it did. Your writer’s gift of speaking truth was unleashed that day amidst much chaos.  Fists were drawn and curse words flew. Many good hearts were broken that morning and the church lost at least half her members and I believe, if my memory serves me the Absolom was made associate pastor soon thereafter. I was loyal to that elderly pastor and knew his beliefs. abefore the chaos started I asked him in front of all what his posotion on the gifts were…the charasmatic gifts were. Within seconds of his answer I knew he has changed and lined up with the charasmatic witch…err, leader.

This has happened at some point or another in any and all churches that have spiritual life. However, in most that stick to Christ and sound doctrine stand and the spirit of Absolom is cast out.  What kind of astors are subject to these attacks? Typically this will happen to pastors that are older, pastors that lead a smaller church, big hearted and forgiving pastors and pastors that seek, at great expence to grow “their” church.  Not all of these qualities have to be present in a single pastor. I know pastors that did not seek to grow the church at all costs but were still put in Absolom’s cross hairs. The new pastor is also a man that is sought out for destruction as well as a young minister. The absolom spirit seeks for any qualities that he can exploit. Another pastor that is selscted for taking down is the pastor with a younger and spiritually young congregation or does not have many members or helpers that are watching his back.

Counsel to the targeted Pastor:

  1. Simply adhere to the Lord’s Words and beware of the Absolom spirit.
  2. Do not be deceived by every  “well meaning believer”
  3. Never, ever put a novice in any kind of position of leadership. If they want to help out let them scrub the toilets, clean to dishes, put chairs away. Never put them into aposition that needs to be voted on until they have scrubbed to floors to Martin Luther’s satisfaction.
  4. Never ever allow them time alone with the flock…never ever. If you see them talking with someone in a corner, check it out.
  5. Let any new members know, tacyfully, that you are aware of the Absolom spirit and you will not be fooled or put up with any kind of usurping in the church.
  6. Develop a good and faithful group of men of likeming.
  7. Find and engage the services of a Joab that is not one to suffer a fool or an Absolom and give him a reasonable amount of liberty to deal with problems so thay you have plausable deniabilty.
  8. Understand you are a type of David and the church is a type of a kingdom of which, under Christ, you are responsible. You must protect the kingdom at all costs even putting (3) three stakes through the heart of Absolom and all his loyal followers (I speak spiritually and do not suggest physical harm to anyone.”

Counsel to the Usurper Absolom:

  1. Don’t seek to usurp control of a church…simple.
  2. Do not mistake and older or elderly pastor with an easy target. You may have one man in your target but you have put yourself in the cross hairs of an almighty God that is more pleased with the pastor than he is with you.
  3. Beware of the pastor’s Joab, you don’t want him on your trail, especially if the pastor has given him liberty to ask for the church. The pastor may speak love and forgiveness from the pulpit but Joab is able to discern your goals and he may act as he loves the church and the pastor more than he likes a usurper.
  4. Look into the Scriptures. Christ told His enemies to search the Scriptures because they speak of Him. I counsel all usurpers to search the Scripture for they speak of you.
  5. Ask yourself, Is God pleased with my ambition? Is God pleased with my plans? Is God pleased with me and how please will He be if I go forward?
  6. This is probably the most important. Examine yourself to see if you are even in the faith.  Do you even believe in Christ and by believe I mean, love, trust, and obey.  Would a lover of Christ seek to harm one of Christ’s servants?  Didn’t David forbid himself from harming Saul? Are you trusting Christ with your future if you feel the need to act in God’s place? Are you obeying God’s Word(s) or the examples like Absolom and Ditrephes (3 John) or anyone else that sought to hinder God’s servants.
  7. Do not only examine your faith but also your motives and intents.  Ask God to reveal these to you, David did.
  8. What are the traits in your life that speak to you salvation, if saved you be. Do you display the traits of Christ or Absolom, Judas, Diotrephes or the wicked kings that sought to destroy Israel. I suggest if you are a usurper you share traits with the latter (4) four than the Former.
  9. Note, While the pastor is a leader in the Church, Christ Himself is the Head of the Church and the Master of the pastor.
  10. Repeating number (1) don’t do it…just don’t or if you have begun, stop for their are many that stand against thee…The Triune God, the pastor, the church leadership, and atleast (1) one Joab that is willing, ready and able to stick (3) darts in your heart…figuratively speaking.

    In closing, Pastor(s) while the church is a place of love for God and His people, and thhe neighbors and the enemy, it is a place that demands protection for it is (s)atan’s number one target after you.  You can love the usurper at the same time you are putting him outside the church. After this Absolom has been put out, realize that he is the old man with the old nature for he is not one of Christ’s but he is like his father the devil and he is captive to the devil’s will and commands (2 Timothy 2:25-26) for even Christ “was taken” to the pinnacle and the top of a mountain. If we find the devil difficult to battle how much for impossible is it for his agents when they are happily within his control.

    Also remember that Absolom was not the first to be cast from a kingdom, but Christ saw him fall as lightning from the Kingdom of Heaven and John in his (3) third epistle suggested the removal of Diotrephes. Also if Paul commanded the church to put out certain memebrs fro sin how much more must a usurper be cast out?
    There is a scene in a movie called “The Apostle”. This film stars Robert Duvall as a minister on the run for a crime of passion he perpetrated while intoxicated. He was of the Lord to discover his long time wife of adultery with his youth pastor. [Sidenote: Pastors beware of you sinday school teachers and all leaders in your church…Hey, it is what it is].
    the pastor after his crime of passion runs from the law and finds himself in a small southern town without a pastor as the previous pastor was forced to retire due to a heart condition. Anyway…
    The retired pastor joins up with the pastor on the run and they start up the church…I get goosebumps as I type this.  And God blesses mightily.  One service a hateful and Christless man shows up to cause trouble.  He begins to trouble the evening service and inquirer why all the n-word’s are there. After the minister tries to calm the situation down and realizes that due to the troubles intoxication there was only one thing left to do. The preacher took the much larger man out side and pummeled him with his fists. One church member said, “I didn’t know a preacher could hit that hard.”
    As with all films I cannot endorse every little thing in this one but I can endorse some of it especially the ending.  The Gospel message was good and someone comes to faith. Goosebumps and tissues…I can promise.
    After Duvall puts and end (for a season), he returns inside the Church, wiping his hands free of blood and with tears says, “I’m sorry about that bit I will not let anyone hurt this Church…I love this little church and the people began to sing praises to the God of that church.
    I say all of that to say this…sometime the church must be protected. I recall one time many years ago during a service, (3) three punks…err rather young men entered and began to cause trouble. Of course we attempted to ignore them but after a few minutes it became impossible as they grew louder and demanded attention. We were the first to ask them or rather tell them to keep quiet. They hearkened not therefore, I took them out side and began to warn them err, rathet speak gently to them. As it was easy to see things were about to get physical and I was outnumbered or rather they were. As it was (4) against them, the Triune God and myself, (2) two other men came out. One of these men were a large and imtimidating man that wasn’t always the nicest of guys and a (7′ plus) seven foot plus gentleman.
    The boys left promising to return on the following wednesday evening with their father(s)  and I suggested they bring a few more than just themselves and their dadies. Surprisingly they showed up !!!  After the service ended their small army asked to speak to me outside. We didn’t have a pastor at that time and the two men that were with me were not there as they worked evenings. We went out and sugeested we would not put up with any trouble and that we would call the police. They laughed and told me they were friends with the police officers on call. So I suggested we settle it a different way and apparently if “God be for [me] [none] can be against me” and things ended peacefully.

    My point is this, if you have something worth something others will seek to take it from you…even your Church and your ministry for Absolom will seek a ministry prior than seeking to usurp the church. And if some seek to usurp the church they most likely are not under the control of Christ the Head so do not fear putting them out of your misery.
    I am aware of the length of this article but it was necessary and it has been on my heart for sometime now.

Godspeed.

“An Answer To The ‘Why’ Of The Unbeliever” or “An Answer To The Christ-ian That Humbly Wonders Why” or “He’s A Really ‘Big Picture’ God Who Is Also Able To Care About And Tend To All Of The Little Things For All Things Are Little To Him”

“My God is So BIG… so Strong and so Mighty, There’s nothing my GOD cannot do…”  (A Children’s Song)

“Come, ye blessed of [M]y Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  (Says Christ the King in Matthew 25:34)

“…[A]t [T]hy [R]ight [H]and there are pleasures  for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

“For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18)

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  (Our King)

 

Many unbelievers have tough questions (they think) but rarely do they have any good answers. If you have been a Christ-ian for any length of time you have been asked, “Yeah, but, If God is or if God is good, why all the bad?” Some think they really got us with that one. The truth is the scorning unbeliever will not accept any answer you give them nor would they willingly accept any answer God Himself would give them. They are born scorners. Paul tells us not to bother with trick questions and silly discussions because they do not generate anything good.

However…..
Why does He allow all the bad? We can understand bad things happening to bad and evil persons. but why do bad things happen to good people? Why are babies and children allowed to suffer?  Why does God allow His own people to be tortured and killed? Why? Why? Why? Why do good and godly women get cancer? Why does a pastor have a car accident and lose his entire family? Why? Why? Why?

There are different answers to these questions. Some of the answers will not be well received…some will think the answers are cold. Some may accept the answer but find no peace or rest in them. But based on many years studying Scripture, and many years reading the works of godly men and women, and many wonderful years walking with my Great and Good God, and after many years of simply observing people I think we can answer some questions.

Why do bad things happen to good people?
The Scriptures tell us in many places and in many ways that there are no good people. Let me explain. There are (4) Four standards we humans used for estimating others and ourselves. (1). Comparing persons with other persons. (2). Using ourselves as a standard. (3). Judging persons by an accepted moral or social standard. (4). By using God’s standard, which is His son.
The first way is called unwise and foolish by Paul. One cannot make up a standard out of thin air. There must be a bar of standard. The Hollywood awards are in this categorie. The second is an evil standard of judgement that betrays one’s self as full of pride and contentiousness. “Well I’m just say’in” or “I would never do that” or Let me tell you what I would have done.” These types of comments belong to this categorie. The third is social law and order. For society to operate civilly there must be certain moral, ethical, and societal standards and laws. These standard come from God’s law and the conscience He has embedded within most persons on this planet. These standards are legal laws, and social standards such as waiting for one’s turn in line and not throwing someone out of their chair at the table and eating their food. Then there is the standard God has set for righteousness. That Standard is His Own Son, Christ Jesus. If the human laws and standards are required to move abouit in society then Christ Jesus is the Standard all men must meet inorder to please God and live with God forever in Heaven. Therefore, while we might say, “S/He’s a good person” we are using one of the first (3) three methods of estimation. However, where it counts, from God’s point of view, there are no “good persons.” So, bad things do not happen to “good” persons for, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”  “None doeth good, no not one.”   “All have fallen short…”  Even Christ Himself asked a man who thought Christ was just a man, “Why calleth ye [M]e good?”

Meeting God’s Standard is impossible, of course. To be on par with Christ is to be sinless in thought, feeling, and action as well as not being tainted by sin, which is passed down through the blood line of one’s father. Thus the need for a virgin birth and a Second Adam that would live sinlessly so that His merit could be imputed unto those who would/will trust in Him, His death (which was not required as He was sinless and spotless) in their stead, and His resurrection in their stead. This is the manner and foundation upon which God will justify sinners and save them from their sin and all it’s penalties.

“Why does He allow bad things to happen to babies and children?”
These are the facts…the world is a fallen place and humanity is a fallen and depraved world. Fallen man will procreate and some will abuse their young in terrible ways. This is the way of the fallen world…it just is. One cannot give a reason why God allows bad things to happen to the young in every individual case but in general, while many children will endure suffering at the hand of parents, they will grow up and decide to use that bad for good and some will not. Some will use that bad as an excuse to keep the cycle of depravity going. Some will grow and come to God and will use their time of suffering to help a great many persons, see Joyce Meyer. Some times it is the aweful that makes a person truly good. I said not all answers would be helpful.

Why does God allow horrible things to happen to His own people?
There are a few answers to this question.

  1. God allows ungodly men who will remain ungodly to fill up their own cups with sin, thereby earning the wages of God’s great and Holy wrath upon them for all eternity. This is Biblical. The passage that reads, “If God be for you, who can be against you” is a great comfort to a great many, however, if you want to understand this truth better you must look at the negative aspect… If God be against you, who can be for you?
  2. God knows the heart of His people. He knows that His people are honoured to suffer for Him, His sake, and for the sake of righteousness. For we say, “We are led to the slaughter…for [T]hee.
  3. God is a “BIG picture God.”  He knows that the suffering of this life cannot compare to the joys and pleasures that are to come in Eternity and so do those that suffer and so will those that will be called to suffer. Read the accounts of those martyred for the Sake of Christ…instead of fear there is inspiration, hope, and honour to those blessed to suffer and endure pains for the sake of their Christ.
  4. We that believe look forward, like Peter and the other Apostles to suffering in the service of our great Master. In times of persecution the Church has only grown and only grown stronger.
  5. Those who are honoured with the call to suffer are those who have already died to self and sin. They know that to suffer for a short time in this life is to gather a much greater treasure in the world to come.
  6. Undoubtedly to suffer for Him here is to receive there His, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of Thy Lord, which has been prepared for you since the foundation of the earth.”  “and so shall [we] forever be with the Lord.

Godspeed.

“The Word Speaks About Paths A LOT” or “On Not Forgetting The First Works” or “K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid…Oops… I Mean Saint”

“…[A]sk for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk therein.”  (Jeremiah 6:16)

If a preacher stops “grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of [his] Lord and Saviour” or if he stops learning or if he begins to grow lazy in his times with God and in his study or if his attention or priorities get out of order so to will the flock that God has entrusted to him. As goes the pastor, so goes the Church. Not only is that a spiritual principle it is a logical truth and has  been proven by the experience of many.

Often in today’s “Christendom” the preacher’s focus is diverted from prayer and the Word of God and is put on administrative duties or “new ways” of growing the church, or new ideas of “reaching the people.” This is not good and it’s effects can be seen in the Church today.

There are many reasons for this. Pressure from the people to grow the church, pressure put on self to grow the Church (thereby “proving” ones’s self-worth), or pressure to come up with new gimmicks to satisfy the carnal in the Church, etc. This is due to competition with other churches, or other pastors, keeping the deacon board happy, keeping one’s job, pride, etc. Another reason is the set up of Church government. The Word gives the Church a structure for it’s governing of the Body of Christ. There is the pastor, the elders, and then the deacons.

The pastor is to focus upon the Word of God, His time in prayer, (time spent loving God) and the flock that has been entrusted to him. “Peter,…’Feed [M]y sheep.”  The elders are to serve as counsellors for the pastor and not necessarily to the pastor and they should have the pulse of the people. The deacons are to keep up with the day to day responsibilities and needs of the Church and community. Each body (Pastor, Elders, and deacons) is in place so the body above them, in terms of office and not worth, is free to do what God wants them to do. Another idea, I believe, is expansion or progression of all the men in the positions mentioned above.

The elders develop into pastors , evangelists, and missionaries that are sent out to carry the Church’s message, IE. THe Gospel and influence others. The deacons are to grow (spiritually, cognitively and in wisdom and understanding)  into the position of elders. As that dynamic works other good men, that are spiritually young but full of the Holy Ghost, will replace the deacons that have also grown…grown into elders and the cycle of spiritual life and spiritual influence continues.

In most churches this is not the case. The Pastor is doing his job, the job of the elders, and in many cases the job of deacons while the deacons sit as his advisors and in many cases his judges. For this reason the Pastor is not walking the “old path” of study and prayer, nor are there elders among the people, and the deacons are a board, as I said of deciders and judges. The Church is anemic because of this. Why are these things the way they are?

These things are the way they are because little value is put upon the study of God’s Word and the inestimable value of time spent in prayer that a preacher needs as well as the inestimable value of the pastor himself. This comes, undoubtably from the value the members of the Church put upon their own time in reading, study, and alone time with God. If the body of the Church understood the value of time in the Word and time alone with God they would be insistant upon the pastor spending his time in the “old paths.” They are not insistant upon the pastor spending time with the Word and with God, therefore, they betray their lack of understanding on the value of the Word and prayer. Not only is this a diagnosis upon the Church’s self infected-anemia it is also an indictment from a preacher on the outside that sees what is going on on the inside. It is Ezekiel looking through the whole in the wall and it is Daniel translating the writing upon the wall. It is a disciple of the Master that is judging the Church by her juiceless and tasteless fruit. It is a man of God that is heartbroken over the Church’s lack of moral and spiritual authority and her influence in this present evil world that lieth in wickedness, as well as a Church of God, the Body of Christ, the little flock of the great Shepherd that loves the world more than their Lord and Saviour.

Understand me clearly…I am speaking of the Church “at large” and in general and not every individual Church. I know good churches and their pastors and I am thankful for them. I saw an article recently about the Church’s decline in this country and it is a burden upon me and I’m sure many shepherds.

Every preacher has in mind what they would preach if they had only one sermon left. If I had only one sermon left I would speak on a number of things.

  1. The Great Glory of God and the God of Great Glory
  2. How God’s great Glory sustains His people
  3. Walking continuously with this God of Great Glory.
  4. The need to return to the “old paths”

We will (DV) write about number (4) four.
We have been teaching and preaching the Word of God in one manner or another for over (20) twenty years. We have taught through many of the Books of Scripture, expositorally. We have taught on the great men and women of the Bible. We have taught on the great doctrines of God’s grace, we have taught children, teens, adults, and the elderly. We have spoken in different churches and churches “of color”. We have discussed the Truths of God’s Word with people of cults, and of other “faiths” as well as those of no faith and those with faith in science. We have written many articles on many different topics on many sites. We have spoken to countless people about Christ. We at one time taught (6) six times per week. We have never preached the same sermon twice, except on one occasion and that one occasion is why we never preach the same message twice. We have taught thousands of messages.

I say all of that and yes,  I am bragging. I am bragging upon my faithful Lord and Master Who has called me to His servive and entrusted me with His whole counsel. I am boasting with a puffed out chest that He allowed all of this and has given me a spirit to minister His Word to His people. So, yes, I am bragging and I am boastful.
I have experienced things with God that I share with very few people. I have seen His magnificent works and they are marvellous. He has shown Himself mighty on my behalf many time. He has loved me so very well and has given me a joyous and joyful heart that is full of love for Him. I have seen Him humble persons with His goodness even when they doubted Him and I thanked Him for the great faith He has given me because He allows me to trust Him when others are doubtful. I have seen persons sorry for not trusting when they should have only after seeing His faithfulness and I thank Him that that doubt has been mortified through His Spirit and all the tribulations in this life. My God is so Good. MY GOD IS SO BIG, SO STRONG AND SO MIGHTY… THERE IS NOTHING My  God CANNOT DO!!!.

I have written all of the above for (2) two reasons.

  1. Because my heart and mind are filled with the love, the joy and the wonder of my Great God.
  2. Because after saying all of that I would say this:
    After teaching for the years cited above and teaching on the whole counsel of God, I have learned that what is so important in the Christian life are the “old paths.”  I can teach you on supralapsarianism v. sublapsarianism. I can teach on the deep Truths of God’s Word and some of the deep and wonderous Truths of God Himself, for He has shown me His mysteries (Matt. 10) and has shared with me many secrets (Psalms). I can discuss creation v (de)evolution as well as Arminianism v Calvinism, I can speak to the differences between the different faiths of the world and the mild differences within the differing beliefs in our Christian faith. I can even discuss some of the ideas theologians and ministers have that they can not share with their flock. However, it is still the “old paths” that still matter and give foundation to the deep Truths of the Word of God.

So if I would have one message left to preach or if I were asked for my last words on my death bed or the burning stake, after speaking on the Glory of God, I would teach this…………………..Beloved, Prayerfully Read and prayerfully study your Bibles consistently and spend much time with God in prayers of thankfulness, prayers of praise and worship, prayers of petition, prayers of confession, and times of silent, wordless prayer and communion in His Presence and upon thy face. I would further encourage you to, “Be ye Steadfast, Unmoveable, always Abounding in the Work of the Lord; Be ye vigilant; Gird up the loins of thy minds; Keep thyself in the Love of God and enjoy thy salvation that is safely kept by Christ Jesus, Who is both Lord and Saviour, Who gave Himself for me, as He has great love for me.

Remain ye on the old, but  good path of righteousness, never meandering to the right or the left.

“Reaping And Sowing” or “The Backslider: Reasons and Results” or “Do Not Confuse Backsliding With Being Lost”

“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.”  (Proverbs 14:14)

 

There are (6) six main reasons for murder. These reasons are Revenge, Sex-related, Drugs, Money, Anger, and A Man Compelled by pathology. Just as there are reasons to murder there are reasons for backsliding. Backsliding is, spiritually speaking, an attempt to murder a living relationship.”

There are reasons behind a Christ-ian to backslide. These are not good or acceptable reasons but reasons they are.

  1. Spiritial leadership, absent or weak.
    God called Moses to Mt. Sinai. Moses was with God on Sinai for a lengthy period of time. Moses was communing with God and was being given the Law. While Moses was atop Sinai the people called upon Aaron and it was decided that a golden calf would be made for the people to worship. This god was made up of the golden earrings of the people.
    A cause of backsliding is an absent or weak spiritual leader. This can be seen in the contemporary Church. While there are good and faithful undershepherds out there, they must be sought out and they must be proven.  I find sound teaching on radio but to find soundness on television is not an easy task. One must always listen with caution the best of the better teachers and preachers available. My philosophy on preachers and teachers is this….if they are alive there is always time for them to fall. It sounds bad, I know. It seems for every good teacher there are many bad teachers. If the flock is being fed with unsound teaching, they will not be what they are to be.
    However, We cannot put all of the blame upon the weak or absent spiritual leadership. No, not at all. Why does the church suffer such weak leadership? Why does the Church allow unsound teaching in her pulpits? Because they are backslidden.  “What came first, the weak leader or the backslidden saint?”
  2. Associations: If one would be wise, one would walk with wise men.  If one is to serve God faithfully, one would be in the company of those that serve God faithfully. If one is to grow cold in one’s love for God, one will dwell in the company of those who are already cold in their love for God.
    For one to grow cold all one must do is, cease from prayer, cease from reading the Bible, and cease the study of the Bible, cease from thinking upon God and let other things capture your thought-life.
  3. Success in the world: It is a great shame that whenever some believers are in a good place they forget God. This is truly heart-rending. It tends to be a cycle.  When times are hard, run to God.  When times are easy, forget God. It’s similar to children and (s)atan Claws. When do children think about this idol? At X-mas time and only at X-mas time. The immature believer tends to think of God when they need something. This is truly shameful. This may be the reason there are not more wealthy Christ-ians. Christ said we could not serve God and mammon. It seems that it is an either or dynamic. In 2 Chronicles 25:2 we read of King Amaziah who, “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” This is sad commentary. This is “going through the motions”
  4. Love for the world:  How does one know if one has love for the world or is in love with the world?  The answer is heartbreakingly simple. One knows that one loves the world when the world is more attractive than the Church. Are you for excited by your favorite t.v. show or a message from the Scriptures? Do you long to see lost friends or family members than you do your church family?
    Granted, an action adventure film is probably more exciting than a Bible study for some or for most, but if you could only have one or the other for the rest of your life, which would you choose? What about reading? Is the fiction or non-fiction more exciting to you than time in the Book of God?  What if you could only have one or the other for the rest of your life?
    Reader, The Scriptures tell us that friendship or love of the world is to be God’s enemy. Yet! Scripture also states that He has given us richly all things to enjoy. A Christ-ian may enjoy the world and the things therein but the Christ-ian cannot love the world. Whereas, the Christ-ian can both love and enjoy God.

Results of backsliding:
Self centered/Absorbed: Instead of being Christ centered and seeking to please Him in all thy ways, the backslider becomes self centered and self absorbed. Everything becomes about feelings or what’s best “for me.”  A: “I’m not going to Church today.”  B: “Why not?”  A: “I don’t feel like it.”  C: “Hey, A, Wanna go X?”  A: ” Yeah, sure.”

Spiritually Indifferent:  A: “Christ may come today!!!”  B: “Ho-Hum”  C: “Hey, B, Wanna go to Church? B: “Naw.”
Spiritual indifference is similar to Spiritual Depession. There is no excitement at all…anywhere…at anytime.

Loss of [F]irst [L]ove:  Even the Lord Jesus Himself holds no sway or excitement over you. Being Backslidden is like being lost but not.

With that last statement let us be clear. If a backslider is similar to a lost person without being lost, it is easy to mistake a backslider for a lost man and a lost man for a backslider. There are many lost persons in the Church who are thought to be backslidden. How can one tell? What has the general tenor of life been? Has this persons served God faithfully for decades but seems cold? Probably saved.  Has this person confessed Christ and within a year is back to the old life? Probably lost.

“Are You Backslidden” or “What Is It To Be Backslidden” or “Would One Know If One Was Backslidden”

“…I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy [F]irst [L]ove. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly…”  (Revelation 2:4-5)

 

My reader, The quoted text above is a frightful warning. These are words spoken by Christ to a backslidden Church/Christ-ian. This warning defines the backslidden. The backslider is one who has fallen from their first Love.  Who is the Christ-ian’s first Love?  It should be obvious. The believer’s [F]irst [L]ove is Christ Himself. When a believer is backslidden s/he has left that [F]irst [L]ove!  What a fearful charge. There are great warnings associated with this falling away.

The (1st) first warning for leaving thy [F]irst [L]ove is in v.4, “I (Christ) some[thing] against thee.  Beloved, it is never a good thing to have Christ against thee or for him to have something against thee Again, it is a fearful thing.  Else where is Scripture we are told that it is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the living [and angry] God.  In Revelation, God promises to spue the fallen out of His [M]outh. Bibe teachers may differ upon the meaning of this verse but none doubt it is not a positive meaning.
What is it to fall away? Christ said in John’s Gospel that the person who loves Him “will keep His words.” Therefore, to fall away is to cease keeping His Word. What is it to keep His Word?  *If one is to keep His Word one is to guard it as having inestimable value. *One is to obey it as the Word(s) of one’s Beloved Sovereign and Saviour.  *One will guard it from the enemies of Christ at any and all cost.  *One will forsake all for that Word.  *One will look forward with great anticipation to hear it preached. *For one to keep His Word is to love others that keep His Word. *The one who keeps His Word will live or die by that word and *will be sure to understand all His meanings and *will never add to it nor will he take away from it.  Reader, Are you backslidden? Have you fallen from your [f]irst [L]ove?

The (2nd) second warning is, “I will come unto thee quickly…”
John, at the end of the Revelation says, “Even so, Come quickly, Lord.” So one would think that “I will come unto thee quickly” a good and hopeful promise and it is, if we are to be found faithful and watching for Him. However, this is not the case. This coming quickly is a warning for the one to whom He speaks is not to be found faithful ot watching. No, the one to whom Christ speaks has failed to love Him, s/he has failed to endure. Reader this is a fearful warning!!! When I was a boy my mother would use her shoe on my backside and man-o-man was she quick.   During the summers of my youth, my Mom and my Dad  would visit my G-Pa in Mississippi for a month. G-Pa’s kitchen would enter into a utility room and the u. room would enter into the washroom, and the washroom would enter into the front room and the f. room would enter into the kitchen.  I would run circles, I thought it was the greatest but my G-Pa didn’t.  He said, “Stop running around like a maniac!” and that was followed by, “One More Time!!!”  and that was followed by WHACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I didn’t think G-Pas actually hit G-kids but mine did and he was quick with a belt. He could pop my backside in one motion. He would unbuckle the belt and pull it off and whip….all in one motion.  Zorro nor Catwoman, nor Indiana Jones has anything on my G-Pa and his leather belt.
When Christ says, “I will come unto thee quickly” this is what He’s speaking of. He will come quickly to bring discipline in order to bring you back. You might wonder, “Why would discipline make me love Him again?”  It just does. You will realize that you have left Him and His loving discipline is what will bring you back.  Well over (20) twenty years ago I left my [F]irst [L]ove. I did it knowingly and on and with purpose. I was angry with Him and “I will show Him” was my focus in life. No more Church, no more Christ-ianity, no more Christ-ians. I would replace the Church with the bar, I would replace my faith with sin, and I would replace Christ-ians with sinners. I did this for a year or (2) two. I would sin and think, “How’d you like that, God?” I was a mess. Do you want to know how God disciplined me?…………………….He was so good to me and so faithful to me.  He knows His own. If He was harsh in discipline that would have given me more ammo against Him but He knew me and He knew my heart and he knew that His love, goodness, kindness, and His continued blessings would break me and break me He did. That is how He dealt with me. He deals differently with others…see Jonah.  His continued goodness and His continued blessings caused me to and brought me to repentance. Glory to God, I have not left Him since and of course, He has not left me.

Third warning: “[I] will remove thy candlestick out of his place…”
While this speaks to the individual who has fallen from the [F]irst [L]ove, the context is a letter from Christ to the Church of Ephesus. In the Book of Revelation and its (1st) first (3) three chapters we find (7) seven letters being dictated. These [7] seven letters are to be sent to the [7] seven churches. In these letters Christ gives His estimation of the (7) seven churches. The (7) seven churches were real churches and (methinks) each church speaks to a Church age.  Todays Church is in the Laodicean Age.
Having written the above and having given you the proper context, we will (DV) continue speaking as we have been….to the individual.

The (3rd) third warning is having thy candlestick removed. Of course, men differ as to what this means within the context of the Church and the Church age. But for us…the word removed, is a frightening word. Removed, taken away, gone, loss, etc.  These are not good words when being spoken in relation to one’s relationship with thy [F]irst [L]ove. One of my greatest fears is being put on a shelf and of being of no use to my God. My greatest joy is being of service to my God and His people.

By His Grace I shall never ever leave my [F]irst [L]ove again. To be Absent His Presence is Hell.