Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Christ IS the Fulfillment of the Promises to Abraham!

This is the final summary we're going to make of our position regarding the promises to Abraham and his seed. We believe we've  made the case from the Bible alone, while those who attempt to say God has not fulfilled His promises to Abraham or his physical seed, need to go outside the Bible to try to prove theirs. One scripture says it all, once again:

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Promises, plural, more than one, not just salvation, and seed as in one, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many like to say that some, or all of the promises were unconditional, but that is easily refuted. God called Abram out of his homeland and made promises to him, if Abram had refused to leave per God's instruction, would he have been blessed? Of course not! Abraham believed God and obeyed Him. Isaac and Jacob also obeyed God and trusted in His promises, these are the natural branches of the Olive tree referred to by Paul in Romans 11, which represents the Israel of God. Read Hebrews 11 and see the others who trusted and obeyed before Christ's coming, these also are the natural branches. There are a few mentioned, but most of Abraham's physical seed fell away from God, didn't trust Him, didn't obey Him, and that is why they are no longer eligible for any promises made to their forefathers, they all died in their sins. That's why a new Covenant had to be made, as promised by God:

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Heb 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Heb 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Heb 12:22 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,
Heb 12:23 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,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27 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.
Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Because most of Abraham's physical seed had failed to trust and obey God, and lost their inheritance, a new way was made to bring the natural branches back in, and at the same time to fulfill the promise to Abraham that all the people's of the earth would be blessed also:

Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God through Jesus Christ, as the seed of Abraham, as the mediator of the new and better Covenant, has and will continue to fulfill His promises to Abraham, through His only begotten Son, not through the physical descendants of Abraham:

Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

In other words those that didn't obey and trust God, didn't follow the law, those that “refused him that spake on earth“, died in their sins, and can no longer be partakers of the promises to Abraham. And the same fate awaits those that refuse to listen to and obey Jesus Christ:

Deu 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Act 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

As the scripture says if they reject Christ, they die in their sins, unable to participate in the promises:

Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

The scriptures say all the prophets foretold this from Samuel to the greatest prophet born of women:

Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist …

And what did that great prophet say to his fellow kinsmen of the flesh? Don't worry, you are saved by race? Fear not, you're God's chosen people? It doesn't matter how you behave, don't worry about the law or God's commandments, trust in your race, your flesh, not God? No, of course not! He said:

Luk 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Luk 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

So much for the salvation by race theology, and to die without salvation is to die in your sins, and that means without inheritance to any of the promises to Abraham.

How then can the promises be fulfilled, who can be an heir? Both the natural and spiritual heirs of Abraham, through faith and obedience, through the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ! The natural branches torn out of the Israel of God because of unbelief, can be grafted back in if they come to believe, and the gentiles become branches also, through faith in Christ.

All things were made through Him, by Him, and some claim He can't fulfill all the promises made to Abraham? He is the Word made flesh, the lamb of God sent to redeem the earth. To fulfill the promises to Abraham, and to David. He, in the flesh, was a descendant from Adam through Abraham through David to his birth of the virgin Mary. Christ reigns in the hearts of believers now and in the future, as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, He'll return to rule and reign over all with His saints forever! All promises have and will be fulfilled through Him, and Him alone.

Remember, the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the Word and was there from the beginning:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

A final point of contention is why the mention of the 12 Tribes in the 7th chapter of the Book of Revelation? God's prophet Elijah said:

1Ki 19:9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
1Ki 19:10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away …

1Ki 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

And Paul speaking of this exchange says:

Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Paul was Saul, an unbeliever of the tribe of Benjamin, torn out of the Olive tree, which represents the Israel of God, and then grafted back in by faith and obedience to Christ. The disobedient and unbelieving physical seed of Abraham were indeed torn out of the Israel of God, but they aren't cast away permanently, unless they remain in unbelief.

Read again what God says about the 7,000:

I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Bowing a knee to an image is idolatry, or more specifically a form of spiritual fornication. Now read what is said about the 144,000, or 12 Tribes of 12,000 each:

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Rev 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
Rev 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

The key here is “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. “ In Revelation's symbolic or spiritual language, not defiled from women is another way of saying that they have not spiritually fornicated or committed idolatry with the whore, the end times fallen “church”, always referred to as a woman. They have heard and obeyed God calling them out of the great Harlot.

Now let's put the two together: The point is they are free from the idolatry that caused so many of Abraham's physical seed to perish. After Christ paid the price for sinful man to be reconciled to God, both the natural branches, like Paul, and the gentiles, who believed on Christ became branches in the Olive tree representing the Israel of God, along with the natural branches never torn out. Somehow the gentiles are translated into the 12 Tribes, they must be if they are also the seed of Abraham through Christ. The number 144,000 is used in the book of Revelation, but this could be just symbolic, and many more hopefully will be sealed and protected before the Lord's wrath. In any case, the use of the 12 tribes of Israel in no way infers the necessity of a physical continuance of the seed of Abraham for any promise to be fulfilled. The genealogies in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3 are only there to show that Jesus Christ, in the flesh, is definitely a direct descendant of Abraham, through David, thus as the seed of Abraham, He and He alone is the fulfillment of God's promises to His called out servant Abraham. And we, as His called out of the conformed to the world “church” are Abraham's spiritual descendants, and we live by faith also.

There are many theories about a continuance of Abraham's physical seed to this day, being blessed and still considered His (God's) chosen people. I think we've disproven these in a satisfactory manor. To say these theories are dangerous is an understatement, look at what many so-called “christians” believe is Israel today: A nation of unbelievers that came to being by slaughtering the rightful inhabitants of the land, and continuing an ethnic cleansing of the land to this very day. Some believe a royal line of descendants continues to this day, and that they have to have a person “physically” on the “throne of David” until Shiloh comes. Shiloh has come, and He is Jesus Christ! How much more royal can you get than the King of Kings?? All of these theories are myths created to at the very least diminish the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the finished work of the cross. They all say yes, Jesus, plus something else to fulfill God's promises. To that we say a rousing No! Jesus Christ is all in all!

Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

And we give warning right from the Bible to those who continue on in their myths and fables, and continuing on past Christ in the genealogies, there is no need for it and that is why they stop at Jesus in the Bible:

1Ti_1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1Ti_4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
2Ti_4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Tit_1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Tit_3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
2Pe_1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

And finally, we close where we started, with the verses proceeding Paul's proclamation that Christ IS the seed of Abraham, may the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gal 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

D Mark

Thursday, April 14, 2011

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Today's “Christians” are broken down into thousands of different denominations, divisions within divisions, separate buildings, and some even use their own versions of the Bible! How did things ever get this way? It didn't happen by loving one another as Jesus commanded. Most often it happens because people operate by the flesh and not by the Spirit.

Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Groups split up into smaller groups, perhaps one of the group has a strong personality and draws others to follow, and then of course, there's the natural inclination to laziness: “why should I study if so and so will do it for me?”

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Other reasons are more appropriate sounding, a division over interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, a refusal of one or more to heed the warnings of the elders, and on and on it goes. Generally speaking, the lusts of the flesh draw away brothers and sisters from one another. Of course there are valid reasons for casting out former brethren, or for leaving a group of believers that won't heed a call to repent. But I assert here, and I've been guilty of it, that most division comes from fleshly behavior, acting like the Pagans we're called out of, and refusing to reason through the scriptures in love and mutual respect for each other, and with proper humility, e.g. it's possible for even the most learned among us to be wrong occasionally!

In the current times we live in, most of us agree we are in what the Bible refers to as the end times, but that's about where the agreements end. Some groups believe that they'll be raptured out before the “Great day of his wrath” is come (Rev 6:17). I don't agree with that belief, but for anyone who wants to reason through the Bible regarding it, I will. The Lord help me to act in love as He has called me to do. If we come together as humble and loving disciples of Jesus Christ, and pray for understanding, for unity, and for truth, the Holy Spirit will guide us “into all truth” (Joh 16:13). Keep in mind, if we are still in disagreement, or inconclusive, after praying and reasoning , we are all still on a need to know basis, it may be the Lord chooses not to reveal certain things yet:

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

This doesn't mean we should stop seeking truth, but it's the Lord's way of telling us, stop, regroup, gather together what you've been shown, and be sure you understand, all of you, and soon He'll reveal more as needed. If we don't act this way, again, divisions will occur, our part of the body of Christ will splinter apart, some will go in opposite directions, one leading this group and another that group, before you know it we're a dozen groups, each sure the others are wrong, and some convinced the rest are on there way to Hell!

This reminds me of a thought, or a dream I had, can't remember which now. I'll have to quickly give you some background so you'll understand. My in-laws and I met a little over 10 years ago, our first meeting was memorable for the fact that it quickly established the rest of our relationship. We had a disagreement on what it means to be a “Christian”, and who might be a good example. They were still jubilant at George W. Bush's “election” and quite pleased that a real “Christian” would now occupy the White house. When I informed them of my opinion of Bush Jr, that pretty much set the stage for the rest of our relationship. Was I wrong to inform them? No. Did I do it from love? No. If I had taken the time to get to know them better, to build on the things we shared, then later in mutual respect and love we could have possibly come to the obvious conclusion about Bush, as now we (almost) all see the bad fruit he bore.

Instead we went from possibly being part of the body of Christ, being more than a family, but actually being brothers and sisters in Christ, to adversaries. Looking back at it, what does it matter really? I was right, they were wrong, they rejected the truth, I tore down their idol Bush Jr., they don't love the truth, they're probably going to Hell anyways, whatever! Right!? Wrong.

Back to that dream, I was in a new place, wasn't sure where, but I knew it had something to with the afterlife. I was dead and was trying to figure out where and what was happening. I looked around and saw people I knew vaguely, not well, then I saw my father-in-law … my heart sank, I had to be in Hell if he was there too! I looked at him, he looked at me, from the way the blood had run out of his face, white as a ghost, he obviously had the same thought!

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I've tried really hard to turn things around, to show them the true Gospel, but it may be that they will never receive from me that which God has given me, because of my error in our first meeting. I've forgiven them, shouldn't they have forgiven me too? Yes. But the fact is I played a part in their continued deception by the great Whore AKA the “Church”. I was, and am apparently still, a stumbling block to them. That hurts. The message here is to think before you speak, be careful to not offend if it can be avoided. Act in love and gently correct and reproof, you'll probably get better results than to attack their idols right off.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Look at the groups on the Internet, listen to the podcasts, the message I'm hearing the loudest is we have received the hidden knowledge of the Lord, we're the Remnant, the 144,000, the Chosen ones whom God has revealed this to, listen to us, don't question us, if you disagree you're obviously not one of us, you don't love the truth, and numerous other unpleasant implications, etc.. Groups of people formed into little cliques, usually led by dominant personalities, that mock and/or predict terrible things for those that disagree with their interpretations. This isn't my idea of fellowship.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

The wisest among us must remain humble, must remember that without the Holy Spirit guiding us we would all be deceived. Furthermore, we were all deceived by false doctrines at some point weren't we? It would do us all well to remember the Lord's Words concerning how we want to be treated:

Luk 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

If you are in error you would want someone to gently correct you, not make you feel like an idiot, or an unsaved wretch.

Surely there are circumstances where reasoning through the scriptures, no matter how gently and lovingly, will be of any use. You'll know when you're dealing with unreasonable people, whose aim is not to learn, but to confuse the truth, or to continue the merchandizing of the people. The Pharisees at the time of Jesus' first coming were good examples. Look how our Lord dealt with them, He knew their hearts were evil, but He still spoke the true Gospel to them, and when they refused it He harshly condemned them:

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

He wasn't gentle, He wasn't loving, their actions had proven they weren't seeking truth, but ways to trick Him and to get rid of Him. But, when Nicodemus, also a Pharisee, came to Him, He was gentle and patiently explained the Gospel to him (see John CH 3). And when the rich young ruler came to Him and sincerely sought of Him, Jesus replied:

Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

The Lord knows the hearts of men, we don't, so we'll have to exercise extreme caution before we brand someone as an enemy of the Gospel and unworthy to hear the truth. We are not alone in this world though, we have the Holy Spirit of God to aid us in our work:

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

There are many things that the Lord will reveal to us, in His time, and we have to be patiently studying our Bibles and earnestly and faithfully seeking the truth. Along the way we'll encounter those whom we're counseled to not “cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Mat 7:6)” And we'll meet our brethren, who also seek the truth, as we do. To honestly know the difference we'll have to continually seek God the Father through His Holy Spirit:

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

If we find ourselves becoming unloving towards others, extraordinarily harsh in our responses, or too pious and haughty in our responses to the honest truth seeker, then it is time for us to repent and begin again. If we no longer have the patience to defend our beliefs in a fair and respectful manner, then it's time to judge ourselves and seek the Lord, not for new and exciting revelations, but for to create again within us a true love for our brethren, a pure heart and for a renewing of a right Spirit within us (Psa 51:10). In this condition, no matter how much we know or think we know, we are of little use to anyone, because we are such bad examples of the love of Christ that we'll turn away far more than we'll turn to Him:

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Daniel Mark


Skype: dmark2012@gmail.com