When teaching his disciples, Jesus made a statement that was blunt, honest, and cut through all the intentions of men:
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Here the Lord verbalizes a solemn truth, and his own observations during his ministry. Earlier on his approach in dealing with people is given to us in these verses:
Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
An excerpt from the Expositor's bible commentary gives further insight into these passages:
The first visit of Jesus to Jerusalem was not without considerable effect on the popular mind. Many who saw the miracles He did believed that He was a messenger from God. They saw that His miracles were not the clever tricks of an impostor, and they were prepared to listen to His teaching and enroll themselves as members of the kingdom He came to found. Yet our Lord did not encourage them. He saw that they misunderstood Him. He recognized their worldliness of heart and of aim, and did not admit them to the intimacy He had established with the five simple-minded Galileans. The Jerusalem Jews were glad to fall in with one who seemed likely to do honour to their nation, and their belief in Him was the belief men give to a statesman whose policy they approve. The difference between them and those who rejected Christ was not a difference of disposition such as exists between godly and ungodly men, but consisted merely in the circumstance that they were convinced that His miracles were genuine. Had our Lord encouraged these men they would ultimately have been disappointed in Him. It was better that from the first they should be stimulated to reflect on the whole matter by being coldly received by the Lord.
It is always a point that calls for reflection: we have to consider not only whether we have faith in Christ, but whether He has faith in us-not only whether we have committed ourselves to Him, but whether that committal is so genuine that He can build upon and trust it. Can He count upon us for all service, for fidelity in times when much is needed? Thoroughgoing confidence must always be reciprocal. The person you believe in so utterly that you are entirely his, believes in you and trusts himself to you-his reputation, his interests are safe in your keeping. So is it with Christ. Faith cannot be one-sided here any more than elsewhere. He gives Himself to those who give themselves to Him. They who so trust Him that He is sure they will follow Him even when they cannot see where He is going; they who trust Him, not in one or two matters which they see He can manage, but absolutely and in all things,-to these He will give Himself freely, sharing with them His work, His Spirit, His reward.
I've gone through the discourse above to come to this point;
The question has been asked at times, which I'm going to answer here: " Why do you do this, it seems to be a waste of time, and you seem to be getting no financial benefit from it."
When God calls somebody to do something, they are given the free choice to say yes, and obey-or not. He never promises an easy time of getting it done. I don't care what anybody else is teaching on this matter, the word of God and Jesus himself makes it clear that a servant is not given a promise of prosperity and multitudes of people following them. Many years ago, when I knew God called me, and confirmed it by several encounters with people whom I didn't even know, I went through a time of serious evaluation and counting the cost- and then said yes.
Now, in this service to God, I do two things consistently-pray and seek His guidance for every specific decision. Then, to the best of my ability and resources I've got, I go about doing what He's given me to do.
No, I do not link myself with any denominations, organizations, or put myself in a situation where I have to answer to them, or change my approach. Simply because I know God has asked me to not get into a situation where I can be bribed, blackmailed, or forced to do or say something I know is not of God. His word is the final authority in my decision making, without compromise. Right now, I can make the unpopular moral and ethical stands and say what God says in His word about it, and no one can force me to lower my standards or moral integrity in order to stay in line with some denomination or organization that's making their decisions swayed by religious politics and money. The situation of Nicodemus coming to speak with Jesus at night is an example. He was afraid of losing his position, what people thought, and what would happen to him. I'm not, and don't intend to ever get into that position.
I've had all the accusations you can imagine spoken of me, disobedient, rebellious, unwilling to submit to authority, mentally ill, unbalanced, I've heard it all. I've also sat in churches years at a time and listened to error, apostasy, and outright rebellion from the pulpit. So, I took my bible and spent several years studying scripture, especially the life and teachings of Christ, and the epistles of Paul. I've come away freed from the bondage of man's interpretations. I'm no longer willing to receive accusations or attacks from people who don't even know me, don't care anything about me, and only have the desire to throw their stones. They are wasting their time.
I know who I am in Christ, forgiven and saved from my sins, free from every curse of the law, and covered by His blood, standing in His righteousness, and called to be a servant by Him, and answerable to only Him on Judgment day. End of story.
Over the years I've seen and heard some things from these denominations and big ministers that cause me to make sure I never get trapped into having to answer to them. I've heard some of them use scripture to "curse" other's they don't agree with, and twist them to get people to follow them. If I see somebody not willing to stand on the word of God, and becoming apostate-I may call them out about it, and post their error, but then leave them to God. I pray for them, and leave them alone. God will take care of them, in His way, in His time.
I have family members I don't agree with, and have had to do the same with them. People in the body of Christ are at different levels, different places of understanding, and don't always agree. To live at peace sometimes it means separating and going different ways. Paul and Mark went through this, and came back to fellowship later, but sometimes this is the only way to deal with problems between believer's-say "shalom", and separate.
I'm very aware that these posts are read by a lot of people who choose to remain anonymous, that's fine with me. If they don't want to be associated with me, it doesn't matter to me in the least. I am known by God-that's enough. One day, when I see Him face to face, all I hope to hear is "Well done, good and faithful servant."
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
The Victory of Our Faith
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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