One more small bunny trail before
we get on to the possibly 'tough' conclusions dealing with our flesh and
the understandings that we all need to have in order for us to exhibit
some 'godly wisdom' in a few matters of importance - matters that most
Christian folks do not understand and then fault God later when they think
"He didn't come through for me!"
Over the many years of this website
ministry, a number of folks have written questions, comments & thoughts.
They have sent me devotions and misc. quotes they have found, etc. and
thankfully, continue to do so to this day. While I have not been
responding to them as often and as quickly as I used to over the years,
I still have a 'burden' about them. Don't misunderstand me... I do
enjoy receiving them as many of them make me think and rethink what they
wrote; they make me check my Scriptures to make sure what I said to either
prompt their email or if and how I should respond, of course making sure
what I say is correct, according to the Scriptures, not according to my
opinion or religious training, etc.
My recent 'burden' is that I don't
want to offend or shut them down - or anger them, etc. Now, I know
what the common response to that comment will be for many of the tough
crowd - they will say to me... "Don't worry about what people think
- ya have to say what you have to say - so say it!"
Well, to me, it isn't that easy anymore.
When I first got into the "Paul Thing" as I call it, it was with a bit
of concern - I mean, it wasn't the typical baptist line that I had learned
over the years. I could see that where I was going was going to probably
go against almost all we had been taught - AND - against all that I had
been teaching and preaching.
But as I promised the church folks
at the time, I said I would teach whatever I would learn from the Scriptures
- the KJB!
So I did!
At first, it opened our eyes more
and more! The growth in understanding, assurance, joy and peace was
more than spectacular. But as we got into Paul's manner of life,
things quickly began to deteriorate.. The men who had previously told me
to 'go ahead and preach, we can take it' suddenly didn't quite mean
what they had been saying. Those 'amens' became more and more silent
and for the remaining ones I continued to hear, I KNEW were not meant from
the heart. But I also knew we had to do the "T's", meaning I
and II Timothy and Titus,
the books from Paul where one finds most of the 'walk' commandments that
are written TO us today.
man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual,
him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments
of the Lord.
then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God,
would abound more and more.
ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
Well, being the one in the pulpit,
I was able to 'preach it' - 'park there' - etc. for a little
while at first. But knowing then what I knew about their families
and the goings on in their lives, it became harder and harder to speak
the truth about what Paul would teach us - and how to teach people how
to... 'turn to God from idols to serve the
living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised
from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
(I Thessalonians 1:9,10).
So, eventually, following a bunch of
hateful rumors, doubts and anger and growing financial withholdings - because
of the nature of the preaching, I ended up leaving and moving back to the
Midwest. Well, first I tried Ohio - and then after even more hateful
rumors and other challenges (brought on from a baptist pastor in town who
knew I was coming and had laid the destructive roadblocks to stop me -
even before I arrived), I also quickly realized one more serious issue:
I found myself preaching and teaching to 'keep' the financial support coming
in. In other words, while I had excellent financial promises and
monthly support, as I continued to preach what I saw needed to be preached
and taught, I saw financial support falling away, little by little, all
with 'decent' excuses, of course.
I was ashamed with myself that I
was becoming like all the others out there in America's pulpits - letting
the dangers of the love of money become my number one concern.. I just
knew I could not continue to prepare those sermons always wondering about
that support, etc., so I shut that ministry down within 3 months and found
'normal' employment back in my home state of SD doing what I had been trained
to do - teach music to kids. So, I found a job and here I am... but
yay, the website ministry still exists - as a work of evangelism, not church
building (or 'planting' as the bible believers call it)
My point is that
Paul says to do the work of an evangelist and I am convinced that evangelists
don't build churches! Now, as much as I believe and teach that a
local church can come out of Paul's preaching and teaching, I also am aware...
1) how deep we are in the falling away today; 2) just ow much folks hatefully
disagree with KJB Only, Paul Only, Rightly Dividing according to Paul and
the people that believe KJB, etc. l; 3) of their seemingly unbreakable
fleshly desire and addictive need for membership at a local church; 4)
their insecure need for fellowship, etc.; 5) their lack of willingness
to suffer persecution as Paul states will happen; 6) how the flesh tends
to win most battles today (thus the reason for this 'flesh series')...
and 7) how hard it is to reject and forget what one had learned from their
previous denominational religion and start over fresh with a rightly divided
KJB and Paul's writings only (learning what is TO them and what is FOR
In some of the
'breaks' to come, some designed on my own observations on the need for
something to be taught and others based on emails from other folks who
have sent great questions as well as on my observation that what some folks
will say will go contrary to Paul's teachings - with most of those folks
just not realizing it, of course. I find myself still wanting to
treading lightly - often not doing any break sermons because, 1) I know
what I need to say keeping it simple, and 2) I know I need to do the complete
study for that subject, even it is for just a short break or two and the
time or energy is not always there. I often lie awake at night wondering
how to say what needs to be said so it will be accepted and not rejected
- thus pushing folks over the cliff of fellowship and eventually shooing
people away from the Risen Saviour instead of bringing them closer...
is very clear about Paul and his concerns for the 'body of Christ' when
he says: But speaking the truth in love, may
grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ...
and then 14 verses later stating we should speak ...that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the
hearers. Paul is very clear that to those who will listen,
...be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
In fact, I would strongly suggest that you read Ephesians
4:11-32 to see the details in just how deep and concerned Paul
was with his goals and objectives for those who would listen to him.
Those verses are to be the goals and objectives of the local church today
- NOT Acts 2:41-47 and/or Mark
16:16-20 - which I guarantee are the goals for every church
who rejects the KJB and Paul as their only apostle.
If you are willing to be 'part of
that kind of body,' then you will hear what I have to say, knowing it is
from the Scriptures because you can check it for yourself - and will hear
it well and will act on it the best way you can. According
to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I
have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man
take heed how he buildeth thereupon. I
However, if you are NOT willing,
then I figure we should look at what Paul says about speaking sound words
and sound doctrine to people who just don't believe the preaching from
Paul and a KJB. (II Timothy 1:13; 4:2-4)
The key word is 'endure'.
It isn't that folks just don't want to hear the truth, nor is it that they
can not actually 'take it.' Paul's teachings are NOT hard to do..
But what the Scriptures say is that they will not ENDURE sound doctrine!
They will find teachers, pastors, websites, devotional books from all sorts
of loving and caring authors and preachers who, with their kind words and
fair speeches, will turn people AWAY from the truth and will turn them
unto fables. These people will then, 'after
their own lusts shall they help to themselves teachers, having itching
that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly;
by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Thus Paul concludes that little dissertation
by telling us to do the work of an evangelist - watch
in all things, endure afflictions - make full proof of thy ministry.
Paul kept the faith - he fought a good fight - he finished his course!
Now it is up to us to not only tell others but to be willing to be told
ourselves what the truth is and be willing to throw away our former teachings
and look to the Scriptures ONLY - and follow Paul ONLY, the ONLY apostle
and minister we are to follow - NOT the twelve from the gospels, etc..
People say they think it is hard
learning what the risen Saviour teaches to us today. They should
try preaching and teaching it to those whom they care about and love!
It didn't take me long
to understand Paul's words when he said:
out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many
that ye should be grieved,
that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
will very gladly spend and be spent for you;
the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
Now, back onto the trail and the series on our flesh!