Hold The Line!

•07/25/2016 • Leave a Comment

I have come to realize, and therefore believe, that the true mark of Christian spirituality is simply this: faithfulness amidst adversity.

These last few years, I find myself hardly ever impressed by the any of the preaching, teaching, singing, dancing, praising, outreaching, ministering, and etc. of anyone in the Apostolic Church (Please take no personal offense, as none was intended. I mean no slight against anyone in particular.).

Rather, what I am impressed with is the saint who gets hit in the mouth everyday by the Adversary, who gets jumped spiritually all the time, wrestling against principalities, who suffers and strains, and digs deep, and doesn’t fall or move.

Give me a saint that is getting beat up and down, inside and out, and doesn’t quit, no matter what, because loyalty to Jesus is more important than having a “blessed day”, and I will show you someone way more like Jesus than almost anyone else out there.

2 Corinthians 4,

1. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Some Early Undeveloped Thoughts On Evangelism

•06/26/2016 • 2 Comments

Many saints preach and witness to family, friends, and co-workers, and rightly so! Good for them. Others also go on outreaches of whatever kind or variety in order to be a light for the Lord in their community. Well and fine.

But there is still something amiss. The goal of nearly all of the evangelism attempted by the saints today, in whatever form it takes, is to get someone to, ultimately, “get saved”, as we like to say, and in doing so, join our version of the local church club we’ve created and become an active member in whatever form of churchianity we embrace.

Now, I realize that might come across as mean-spirited, but I don’t mean to be mean. Churchianity is, admittedly, a negative term, as most often used, but this is what it means:

Churchianity makes our faith as much about the church as about the Lord of the church (A mistake). It attracts members at the local level not just for the sake of their souls (that is, salvation is merely a by-product of what we are really after), but also to be a self-sustaining, self-perpetuating organization, run on “love and money” I once upon a time often heard from the pulpit on a fairly regular basis (Never once said or even intimated in the pages of the Holy Scriptures of the New Covenant).

Let’s face it. When a person joins a local church, it isn’t long before they are expected to get with the program, learn the lingo, conform, and become acculturated into the mores and norms of the local church, most often spoon-fed to the congregation week after week in the form of lectures otherwise called “sermons” or “bible studies”.

I know this seems pessimistic, but please bear with me still!

The Biblical pattern of evangelism is not to create members in a tax-exempt, state recognized entity with officiants, boards, and other trustees, and what have you. Nor is it to create pew-babies who grow up to learn how to be passive spectators while 20% of the saints do 80% of the work (most of which has its place not in actual New Testament writings, but in the tradition of men and the false church).

Biblical evangelism is about making disciples of Jesus Christ, who then make more disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not about generating local church members to pad our numbers and increase our roll call, so whatever denominational organization of ours can announce its total constituency year after year (and also report it to the IRS for legal reasons. Think about that for a moment!).

Not all brainwashing is evil; in fact, the Bible highly recommends a certain kind of brainwashing necessary for Christian living. As a parent I am daily “brainwashing”, if you will, my children. My wife and I tell them what to believe, how to act, what to say and not say, and etc., all the way to table manners and using the potty!

But a group of people constantly and consistently meeting to renew their vows to a program of wash, rinse, and repeat liturgy is not what Jesus had in mind. IT JUST ISN’T!!!

In “church”, people adapt and learn to go with the flow of someone else’s burden, vision, and mission, and are subtlety coerced into agreeing with it, sometimes unintentionally, but sometimes completely intentionally, by those who set the agenda, occasionally, but hopefully never more than that, by threat of rebuke, censure, public humiliation, dispossession of ministry, and/or expulsion.

As they adapt (or die) to the church culture, they begin to sacrifice a portion of themselves and in so doing, they throw away and give up on something God might have wanted them to become, in order to prop up the local “church” in all her typical fashion and display. Few true disciples are ever made this way.

Consider this: Can you right now, drop everything in a moment’s notice to share the Gospel with someone and lead them to Jesus…in your workplace, your corner market, your city park, your living room, and etc.?

(And when I say “lead them to Jesus”, I don’t mean bring them to the clergy at the duly appointed times, i.e. Wednesday P.M. and Sunday A.M. so they, and not you, can lead them to Jesus.)

If the answer is “no”, it’s not because you’re weak of faith, faint of heart, or aren’t anointed, or not called. It’s likely rather that you’ve been trained in a form of evangelism that is centered on the “high-water mark” of bringing people to church, instead of bringing people to Jesus.

Ask yourself a few questions:

Without thinking too hard about it, can you name the following for your next church service:

  • Who’s going to greet you at the door with a flyer, inside of which is a short devotional and other church news and digest
  • Who’s going to lead the pre-service prayer?
  • Who’s going to be the worship leader?
  • Who’s going to be the back-up band/worship “team”?
  • Which songs are likely to be sung?
  • Who’s going to take up the offering?
  • Who’s going to give the announcements?
  • Who’s going to ask for prayer, and for what?
  • Which children are going to go to Sunday school or nursery?
  • Who’s going to teach Sunday School or oversee the nursery?
  • Who’s going to preach or teach? What subject?
  • Whether or not there will be an altar call?
  • Who’s going to go up to the altar, and who’s going to stay in their chair?
  • Who’s doing all the behind the scenes work to make the service happen (i.e. sound booth and a/v team, church cleaners and grounds crew, and etc.)?
  • Where everyone is going to go afterward to get a bite to eat?

Do I have you thinking yet? If you can answer most or even all of these questions, perhaps with barely a thought, you might question whether or not you have been introduced to true Biblical Christianity or a form of it otherwise known as Churchianity.

Look deeply into the Gospels and Acts. Not once will you find such time and again, structured and orchestrated ways of following Jesus and living out the life and calling He has given us.

It’s just not there! Find me one time in Acts where one of the disciples ever “brought a sinner to church”, as we usually mean it today?

Where do we see anyone attempting to acculturate a new convert, not just into the Apostle’s Doctrine, but also into the various peccadilloes and idiosyncrasies of a local church (in some ways, women have it worse then men here)?

Find me one time in the Acts of the Apostles where any saint pawned off an unsaved person on another so that the other could minister to them instead?

I realize these thoughts might be very contrary to your own. I realize that they may come across as radical, perhaps even unseemly to some. But please read them in the tone with which I have hoped to share them: one of passion and zeal tempered by mercy and grace, with love throughout.

If you know me, you know I don’t have it in for anyone, and I’m not interested in scandal or outrage. But I do want what’s best for God’s people, and regardless of these “early” or “undeveloped” thoughts of mine, or what you might think of them overall, there can be no doubt that the way we evangelize compared to the way the 1st century believers fulfilled the Great Commission is vastly different.

And that fact is proven week after week after week after week after week after week (get the idea?) by the fact that all our efforts to create an hour and a half, not too short, not too long, get home in time for the game “church service” produce so little fruit compared to what we read in the Gospels and Acts.

I challenge you to pray and seek God about this. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good. Despise not prophesying.

And if this is “good”, or even “prophetic” to your soul, then next time you feel an urging in the Spirit to evangelize, I challenge you to not invite anyone, not even a single soul, to “church”. Instead invite Jesus to work through you, right then and there, to bring whoever you meet this week, at work, at the corner store, at the park, in your living room, or wherever, to Him, instead.

Peace and God bless,

The Votive Soul

Antagonisms

•05/05/2016 • Leave a Comment

We sing their songs. We read their books. We make use of their devotionals. We quote them often. We use their study tools. We peruse their websites. We teach and preach from their Bible translations. We make use of their scholarship. Sometimes, we attend their universities, seminaries, or Bible schools. We share their blogs on Facebook. We re-tweet their pithy, spiritualized comments and insights to one another.

We completely and incessantly co-opt the entire catalogue of Trinitarian Christianity output, and yet, we completely shun and disregard them as damned to hell.

The Oneness Pentecostal movement, by and large, is highly antagonistic toward those who believe God eternally exists as Three Persons in a Tri-unity. To be fair, some Trinitarians are likewise caustically abusive toward Oneness believers. But for the most part, the hate, and yes, I realize I’m using the word “hate” here, is on the side of Oneness proponents.

To me, this is sheer hypocrisy. We’ve got to come to terms with a few things. If all Trinitarians are lost and condemned to eternal death in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, as so many Oneness believers tend to believe, just for believing in the Trinity, then to what end, or for what purpose, do we so routinely make use of their materials and contributions to Christianity at large?

Are we lazy? Uninspired? Not anointed enough to offer as many and as varied materials and contributions? A case of the outside looking in? An inferiority complex? Just for the fun of it?[1]

I don’t imagine it’s anything like the above. Rather, we see the spiritual benefit and blessing of huge portions of the Trinitarian offering, and so, we rightly claim it for ourselves. Now, admittedly, not everything that is said, written, or done by a Trinitarian is going to go down easy with your average Oneness believer. But then again, there is a whole lot of what Oneness adherents say, write, and do, that doesn’t gel with Trinitarian thinking, either.

But note how one very famous Oneness preacher claimed he couldn’t learn anything from a Trinitarian, as if by virtue of being a Trinitarian, said Trinitarian automatically became disqualified from being able to offer any valuable input regarding the Christian faith, the Christian community, and/or etc.[2]

Of course, this same preacher reads his preaching texts from the King James Version of the Bible, a Bible translation commissioned by a Trinitarian king, and created by a group of Trinitarian scholars, WHO WERE NOT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. In fact, all Bible translations into English, whether then, before then, or now, are created by Trinitarians, usually by committee. This means that there isn’t a Oneness believer alive today who has come to learn anything about God or His Son, or about salvation and faith, through the Word of God, but that he or she learned it, if only indirectly, from a Trinitarian, who helped create the version of the Bible from which the Oneness believer first read when he or she first came to faith in the Messiah.

So what is this? It’s antagonism simply for the sake of.

Here is a Biblical fact:

God gives the Holy Spirit to everyone who obeys Him. See here:

Acts 5:32,

32. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

These are the words of the same man who preached Oneness adherent’s bread and butter verse![3]

So guess what? All those Trinitarian Pentecostals, Charismatics, and various other peoples in whatever denomination or non-denomination, who have all received the Holy Spirit “with the evidence of speaking in other tongues”[4] have, Biblically speaking, and according to Simon Peter, obeyed God. The Holy Spirit bears witness, or else Simon Peter was wrong, or the Word of God as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles is faulty.

Now see this:

Acts 11:18,

18. When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

This is the Biblical conclusion of the elders and apostles in Jerusalem, after Simon Peter explains how the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and his household, and they spoke in tongues.

So, speaking in tongues as evidence of Holy Spirit reception is also called being “granted repentance unto life”. The Holy Spirit bears witness in all those who receive It, including Trinitarians, that receiving It in the first place proves God has accepted their genuine and heartfelt repentance and so, conceded to them His forgiveness by acknowledging their sincere contrition and remorse for unbelief and sin.

This, however, begs a question most Oneness people don’t want to ask:

If God grants Trinitarians repentance unto life, and He gives them His Holy Spirit as proof of that granting, and they, that is, Trinitarians, speak in tongues the same as any Oneness believer, thus indicating that God effectively declares and recognizes their obedience to Him, then does that mean that believing God is a Tri-Unity of Persons is not a sin that will destroy someone eternally?

Let me break it down. In order to receive the Holy Spirit, a person needs must repent of their sins. People who believe God is a Trinity repent before Him of their sins, and He gives them His Holy Spirit as a seal proving He has forgiven them. They speak in tongues, ALL THE WHILE NEVER ONCE REPENTING OF THE FACT THAT THEY BELIEVE GOD IS A TRINITY!!!

Why doesn’t God require Trinitarians, if the Trinity doctrine is so wicked and soul-damning, to repent of their conviction that He is a Trinity? Why would God allow someone to receive the Holy Spirit, when He knows what they believe about Him is wrong (at least according to the Oneness camp)?

Should all Trinitarians have to convert to and adopt a Oneness view of God before they can be granted full repentance and receive the Holy Spirit? It doesn’t make sense, if what so many Oneness people have been saying about Trinitarians over the last 100 years or so is true.

Years ago, I was in a meeting where God administered the charismata through those assembled. There was a diverse tongue, and then an interpretation of that diverse tongue. The person who interpreted the diverse tongue was a visitor, a friend of a member of that Oneness congregation, who happened to be a Trinitarian Pentecostal.

The interpretation of the diverse tongue was valid. It moved hearts as he spoke the words God gave him. Why would God operate His spiritual gifts through a Trinitarian when all Trinitarians are (allegedly) lost, as so many Oneness people believe?

I knew a Oneness pastor who was adamantly opposed to the Trinitarian view of God, proclaiming time and again, that Trinitarians weren’t saved. And yet, this same Oneness pastor played a recording of David Wilkerson’s “Five Calamities” sermon, in which God gave Brother Wilkerson a prophetic vision of what was to come upon the United States of America.

David Wilkerson, prior to his death, was a firmly founded Trinitarian, a licensed minister with the largest Trinitarian Pentecostal group in the world, namely, the Assemblies of God.[5]

The fact is, it’s time for Oneness people to either put up or shut up. Either admit that Spirit-filled Trinitarians are brethren, and begin fellowshipping with them and sharing in the joys of the Lord together, or stop singing their songs, stop reading their books, stop making use of their devotionals, stop quoting them, stop using their study tools, stop perusing their websites, stop teaching and preaching from their Bible translations, stop making use of their scholarship, stop attending their universities, seminaries, and Bible colleges, stop sharing their blogs, and finally, stop re-tweeting their pithy, spiritualized comments and insights to one another.

We can’t have it both ways. We can’t verbally send all these Spirit-filled Trinitarians to the Lake of Fire while at the same time making use of all their materials in order to do so.

A Christian’s mouth is supposed to only have one side!

The fact is, it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation. It is the Gospel that saves, not Theology. It is clear that God will fill any hungry soul, who wants to be saved by Him, with His Holy Spirit, if they but confess and repent of their sins. Whether they think of God in Oneness or Trinitarian terms, or whether their theological understanding of Him will down the road one day change, the fact is, God has filled millions more Trinitarians with His Holy Spirit that He has with Oneness believers. Can the Oneness collective accept that and not cry foul?

I close with this:

A huge number of the people God has filled with His Holy Spirit are children. I’ve personally, more than a few times, seen children as young as five years receive the Holy Spirit. I prayed with some of them as they did so.

Of the ones I personally witnessed receive the Holy Spirit, none of them could give a clear, concise but Biblical statement of faith regarding the nature of the Godhead, the Incarnation, and etc. All they knew is that someone was telling them about Jesus, about how much He loves them, how He died for their sins on the cross, and that He wants them to be saved so they can go to heaven and live with Him forever.

The point is this: Children who can’t make a coherent Theological or Christological statement receive the same Spirit as adults who likewise can’t make coherent Theological or Christological statements. And both these children and adults receive the same Spirit as every Oneness and Trinitarian in the world, who might be able to, in their respective ways, define God accordingly. There aren’t two Holy Spirits, folks.

The litmus test of one’s salvation is Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead, and faith in that. Yes, the Spirit of Truth can and does lead people into all truth, and some, in that process, end up changing their Theology. But that didn’t stop God from saving them first. Believing in the Trinity doctrine does not encumber, inhibit, or restrain God one lick from acknowledging their obedience to Him by granting Trinitarians repentance unto life by filling them with His Holy Spirit. It’s just a fact.

And if our God and Savior is so un-encumbered, so un-inhibited, so un-restrained, as it were, why then are we so encumbered, inhibited, and restrained from embracing all Spirit-filled Trinitarians as brothers in Christ?

The answer should be “There is nothing that encumbers, inhibits, and/or restrains us”. Hopefully some day, Oneness (and Trinitarian) Pentecostals will get there.

Peace and God bless,

The Votive Soul

_________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] In various Oneness circles I have over and again heard the phrase “keep the meat but throw away the bones”, as it pertained to different books, sermons, and etc., especially those that came from Trinitarian sources.

[2] The video was removed from www.youtube.com, unfortunately. The Oneness preacher has the initials L. S. Can you guess who it is?

[3] Namely, Simon Peter in Acts 2:38.

[4] A very popular phrase among Oneness believers.

[5] For more on David Wilkerson, see: https://www.worldchallenge.org/page.aspx?pid=462

Jesus vs. Yeshua: A Phonetic Analysis

•04/13/2016 • Leave a Comment

More and more these days, people within many of the various branches of Christianity are feeling drawn (perhaps “led” is a better word???) to the early Jewish roots of their faith. One of the ways this is taking shape is in the way believers have begun saying the name of the Lord. For many millions, the name Jesus, has so far and will continue to, suffice them in all aspects of their walk with God. Others, however, are seeing a need to divest themselves of the current English transliteration and Anglicization and pronunciation in favor of the Aramaic/Hebrew name Yeshua.

For some, this has caused quite a stir, and if one was so inclined, they could search the internet to see just how divisive the debate has become. Personally, I am not looking to add to the debate by arguing with anyone; rather my contribution is merely one of data. I want people to be informed, so they can decide for themselves which approach to the Savior, or rather, the name of the Savior, to take. As the title suggests, the data I intend to provide below is in regards to phonetics, or the study of the sounds of language.[1] So, without further ado, I give you a phonetic analysis of the name of Jesus versus the name Yeshua…

Phonetically, we pronounce the name Jesus like so:

[GEE-zuss] or, more formally, [dʒiːzəs][2], [3]

Yeshua is pronounced like so:

[ye-SHOO-ah], or more formally, [yēšūă‘] [4]

Every phoneme[5] in each name is completely different from the corresponding one. See the list:

The Letter “J” Versus The Letter “Y”

J = voiced post-alveolar affricate /dʒ/ (i.e. a hard “g” sound, as in jeans)[6]
Y = palatal approximate /j/ (as in yes)

The Letter “E” Versus The Letter “E”

E = close front unrounded vowel /iː/ (as in geese)
E = close-mid front unrounded vowel /e/ (as in trestle)

The Letter “S” Versus The Letters “SH”

S = voiced alveolar fricative /z/ (as in zip)
SH = voiceless post alveolar sibilant /ʃ/ (as in shun)

The Letter “U” Versus The Letter “U”

U = mid central vowel /ə/ (known as “schwa” in English, as in salami)
U = close back rounded vowel /u/ (as in “loose”)

The Letter “S” Versus The Letter “A”

S = voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ (as in confess)
A = open mid-back unrounded vowel /ʌ/ (as in rut)

To simply:

/dʒ/ versus /j/, or “J” versus “Y”

/iː/ versus /e/, or “E” versus “E”

[z] versus /ʃ/, or “S” versus “SH”

/ə/ versus /u/, or “U” versus “U”

/s/ versus /ʌ/, or “S” versus “A”

Phonetically, or in the individual sounds of each name, it is quite clear that Jesus and Yeshua ARE NOT THE SAME NAME AT ALL.

They don’t even bear a passing resemblance, phonetically speaking (not to mention syllabically). Just say them out loud one after the other after the other for awhile. If we took someone else’s name and evolved or changed it as much phonetically speaking, if we tried to address them with the evolved or changed version, they wouldn’t know we were addressing them and would correct us and tell us that the evolved or changed version isn’t their name.

And yet the Son of God seems to respond to either pronunciation, whether in prayer, in the working of miracles, or in baptism, and/or etc.

What then does this suggest?

To me, it suggests the following:

1.) The name of our Lord isn’t a magic charm or incantation dependent upon an exact pronunciation (although we can all agree, I think, that his name isn’t Ted, or Brian, or Henry, or some other non-resembling variation of whatever name).

2.) The name of our Lord is the appellation for an actual, living person who is capable of knowing whether or not we mean or intend to refer to Him whether we say His name just right or not (so long as we aren’t trying to completely rename Him, as in the parenthetical example above).

3.) That Hebrew is not a sacred or divine language; God responds to every tongue. This means no one becomes automatically more spiritual or more invested with divine power from on High because they call the Lord Yeshua instead of Jesus.

4.) That the Sacred Name[7] crowd is picking a fight with everyone else that God didn’t ask them to pick

5.) That it comes down to personal preference

6.) That being the case, no one should judge another for their personal preference

7.) That the Lord would have us unify around Him, as a person, and not dis-unify against Him as if He is merely a name

In conclusion, I hope this analysis has added to the knowledge base of anyone who takes the time to read it. Additionally, I hope that as believers in the Son of the Father, we can all agree that regardless of how we say His name, it is Him, as a Person, and not merely His name, that we trust, honor, love, and obey.

Peace and God bless,

The Votive Soul

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[1] The data I am providing in this blog is being given a technical presentation, according to the standard practices of linguists who study phonetics. In order to not go past the reader who might not be familiar with such a technical presentation, I will be adding various explanatory footnotes as seem required.

[2] When words of any language are written phonetically, as opposed to orthographically (that is, according to how they are actually spelled), they are traditionally placed in brackets, as the reader will see throughout.

[3] When it comes to writing a word phonetically, it should be noted that occasionally, unfamiliar symbols instead of letters are used by linguists, to indicate the sounds typically produced by whichever letter in question, as seen here, with the following: ʒ

[4] In phonetics, when a word is written according to its sound, as opposed to its spelling, often times various diacritical marks are placed into the word, as guides to pronunciation. For example, a short, horizontal line above a vowel indicates the vowel should be pronounced according to its “short” form. For this analysis, it’s not overly important for the reader to be able to make sense of such marks, as they are used sparingly and in this case, don’t have any bearing on the final conclusions.

[5] A phoneme is the total available units of sound any one letter can make; that is, a phoneme is the sum of every available allophone (allophones are all of the smallest possible units of sound any particular letter can make. For example, the letter “s” can sometimes sound like the letter “z” instead of “s”. These two different sounds of the letter “s” are examples of allophones). Additionally, the phonemes of a word are all of the various distinguishable sounds pronounced in the given word so as to separate one word from another. When written phonetically, phonemes are written like so: /a/, that is, with two adjacent forward slashes to the right and left of the phoneme in question.

[6] From here on in, the language becomes quite technical. What is, for example, meant by the phrase “voiced post-alveolar affricate” (and etc.)? Briefly, such words are indicators of where in the mouth any given phoneme is articulated, and how, with the mouth (including, the tongue, lips, and teeth) any given phoneme is made. For an in-depth look, try the following: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_of_articulation

[7] See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Name_Movement

Impatience…

•03/25/2016 • Leave a Comment

I fear many brethren today are or have already become, impatient with God. I’m not talking about the return of the Lord, or waiting on God to answer prayer, or to heal, or to give a miracle, to pour out a blessing, or etc.

What I’m referring to is an impatience with God giving understanding of His Word at the duly appointed times.[1]

Impatience breeds boredom. Instead of waiting on God to reveal the depths of His Word according to His own timetable, men of God become bored with what they’ve already learned, and so, jump in half-cocked into all sorts of weird and silly ideas because they can’t otherwise get God to open His Word to them.

They bang and bang away at God’s Word looking for secret ways to get into God’s private counsel, that is to say, the counsel God takes with Himself after His own will (Ephesians 1:11), hoping to hear, as it were, “some new thing”.[2]

What these brothers (and to some degree, sisters) don’t understand is that God doesn’t budge. He has a process, and He sticks to it. The greatest teacher in the Kingdom of God is experience, the experience God gives a saint when they PATIENTLY sit at the feet of the Messiah, attending Him as a servant.

If the Messiah speaks not, the servant isn’t to presume a meaning in the silence. When the Messiah speaks, the servant isn’t to try and read into His words some esoteric, between the lines, meaning.

It is given to us to understand the parables of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13:11). God will, in His own time (that is, at His divine leisure, so to speak) unravel His Word for those who have the patience to allow Him to create for us unique and lasting experiences which will teach and guide us into all truth.

Take, for instance, a simple, but powerful verse of Holy Scripture, such as Romans 5:9.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

This verse speaks, in such a simple way, of the complexity and depth of God’s love and the atonement made for us at the cross of Jesus Christ. How is it possible, brethren, that we can become bored with being “saved from wrath”?

And yet it happens. And so, in our impatience, in our willingness to forsake the possessing of our souls, we go looking for things in the Word that aren’t there, so we can first, impress ourselves at our own ability to reveal the hidden mysteries of the Word of God, and second, go on to try and impress others with the same in order for them to be awed at our spirituality. We wash, rinse, and repeat, ad nauseum.

Give it up, man!

The most powerful truths of God’s Word are the simplest. God is love. Meditate on that for a few years! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Mull that over in your mind for the rest of your life.

The hidden, wonderful depths of God’s Word are available to us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10). But sometimes, we just need to wait on the Lord. So wait, I say, on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).

Stop trying to get into God’s private counsel some other way.[3] Only a reverential fear of God, coupled with patience and a continued attendance at the feet of God’s Son through the Holy Spirit, will cause or allow us to really learn anything of great consequence.

The fact is, the difference is evident. God can and does forgive all sorts of human folly. It’s in our nature to be foolish, at times, with our words. But that’s what the rod of correction is for, to drive such foolishness out of us.[4]

How many strips across the proverbial back do you want, before you realize God’s not going to let you have what you are too impatient to wait for?

When I was a child, I convinced myself that because once, in the past, my mom let my brothers and I open one Christmas gift a day early, that I could do so again, without her permission. Knowing I had been purchased a particular video-game, after my mom went to bed, I opened the game and played it throughout the night. I had lots of fun. When my mom woke up and saw me still awake, playing the game, knowing I had opened it without permission, she was very disappointed. I tried to explain and justify my actions, but deep down, I knew the truth. I made a big assumption against her wishes to satisfy my own impatience.

She took the game away from me for a week. I never tried to open a Christmas present a day early again.

Brethren, we are co-heirs with Christ. We get to partake in and share all that the Father has given to Him. Be satisfied with what we have been given, by grace. Stop trying to drum up new insights and revelations that God has not given us to understand at this present time. You can still be spiritual, just by being full of the Holy Spirit, and walking in It, as God, through His Spirit, takes you by the hand, to lead and guide you into all truth.

But you must stop running on ahead. The privilege is not yours. You are to obey. Abide in Him, patiently. Abide in the shadow of God’s wings (that is, stay close to the hem of His garment). The riches of God’s Word aren’t out and away from Him. They are nestled deep within Him, the folds and recesses of His royal robes. There is plenty to see, hear, and learn, there, in the shadows of His wings.

Anything learned anywhere else is just useless, strife-inducing debate.

The Lord bless and keep you,

Aaron

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[1] Meat in due season, right?

[2] Acts 17:21.

[3] Compare Psalm 25:14 with John 10:1.

[4] See Proverbs 22:15. If we become impatient with God and go about trying to get special revelation and understanding of His Word, but not according to His timetable and according to the methods His prescribes, we stay immature, or like children. And as the proverb indicates, the rod of correction is the only thing that will get us back on track.

 
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