3 John, Verse 12-14

3 John 1:12-14, “Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.”

Here we see the close of John’s third letter and the similarities to the closing of the second. He has more to say, which he would rather do in a face to face, more personal way. As to the man Demetrius, it is common legend that he was most likely the one entrusted to carry this letter, written by the Beloved Apostle to John’s dear friend Gaius.

What is interesting is all that John implies in this simple verse. Remember, going back to the last lesson, he had a lot of negative and warning, to say about the self-proclaimed and corrupt leader Diotrephes. By contrast, he has little to say about Demetrius but what positives he DID have to say certainly outshone the negatives of the corruption of Diotrephes.

“Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself.” This man, unlike the former has a GOOD testimony AND from the truth itself. Now don’t just read that statement, think about it. Other people, his fellow man have great things to say about Demetrius and in stating that others have given this testimony of this man, John more or less personifies truth by adding the end of his sentence by saying “and from truth itself.” Other people and truth itself testify to the goodness of this man. I read somewhere where it stated, “if truth could speak, if it had a voice, it would speak on behalf of this man, Demetrius.” Now think of it, that is a pretty high compliment and especially in light of such an utter warning concerning the self-appointed leader, Diotrephes. John has a real tendency to contrast light and darkness, truth and falsehood and he does so in truly practical ways. He doesn’t just teach a Spiritual Principle or concept, but when readily available also gives a practical example as in this case.

This kind of example just elevates his instruction to his friend Gaius when he told him what we discussed in last lesson; “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” – 3 John 1:11. It truly is one thing to relay a Spiritual Principle but quite another to actually give a real-world example of one that exemplifies what he is teaching.

Now concerning Gaius, you can also imagine, with a recommendation like was given to Demetrius that, if he was the bearer of the letter, Gaius would have most definitely opened his home to him, given Gaius’ penchant for hospitality anyway.

Now one final thought concerning Demetrius in regard to John’s personification of the truth. The late evangelist and teacher, Frank Binford Hole (1874-1964) has been attributed to saying this about this passage:

“Note, it is not that he (Demetrius) bore witness to the truth, but that the truth bore witness to him. Demetrius was not the standard by which truth was tested. The truth was the standard by which HE was tested; and having been so tested, he stood approved.” [1] (bold emphasis, mine).

Now I want to make one final comparison; in as much as 2 John towards the end emphasizes the need to refuse hospitality to those teaching false doctrines (2 John verses 10-11), the Beloved Apostle, in this letter, is urging continued hospitality to those who are carrying the message of truth. Again, remember one of the main themes of this letter was the NEED for hospitality given to those servants who endeavor to carry the good news to others.

Today, we may NOT be able to open our homes to traveling ministries (not every one can, and it may not be the most comfortable for them), but we CAN consider creative ways in which to make their stay in our towns and cities more comfortable and less stressful when it comes to them having to be concerned about finances, meals, traveling about and such.

These last two letters may seem short and to a degree, inconsequential, but when you look beyond the text at what the Beloved Apostle is teaching in each one, and you recognize the implications of the Spiritual Principles he is teaching, we are blessed beyond measure to have them included into the Biblical Canon.

These are letters of practicality that have transcended time and are still relevant even in today’s age. Fellowship, face to face, greeting one another in love and meeting the needs of those who are willing to follow a calling that all of us do not have is an important part of keeping the fabric, the sinew and all the other things that keep the overall Body of Christ strong and functioning.

I believe that soon, very soon indeed, the Body of Christ will have to start stretching its spiritual muscles as it were, for the last day’s push to win souls to Christ before His feet touch the clouds and calls His children home, is very, very close indeed.

In closing the last of these wonderful letters to the True Church of God, I want to say this again from the Gospel of Luke, “Then they (WE) will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” – Luke 21:27-28. (bold emphasis, mine).

[1] https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbh/3-john.html (further documentation unavailable).

Thus ends the Expository teachings on the Epistles of John.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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If My People . . .

I was going to sit down here at the keyboard and finish up my expository teaching on the Letters of John, but I have a “pet-peeve!” Oh, oh, here we go again. Brother Roland has something he’s gonna take out on us and all we want is a teaching from the Lord!

I’m sorry; and here again I have to preface, I truly DO love my Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. This is why I DO what I do and it is why the Lord called me. He knows my heart and my love for His people. But I have to ask, what is wrong with His preachers and teachers who are spreading misinformation using Scripture; and then thinking it is going to cure America’s (or other nations of the world) ills and the things that have beset it. Yes, America is going through bad times, but a BIG yes, God IS in control and always has been!

Here goes. I’m AM going to give you a lesson in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant; something today’s preachers and teachers should be doing from behind the pulpit!

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14. Taken directly from the New King James Version of the Bible. And now for you die-hard King James supporters who believe any other version is sacrilege (I’ve done that lesson so many times already), here’s directly from that; “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14. ALMOST identical in the wording, but you tell me if the Spirit of that Scripture is the same! I’m here to tell you it is, so now can we move ahead with our lesson?

In the NKJV, the verse starts of with a small (i) showing it is a continuation of an ongoing thought. In the KJV they ended the previous thought and started the verse with a capital (I) as if it is another thought. Here’s the rub, you have to take it in either version in the context with which it was given! I’m sorry for those of you who don’t like Scriptures repeated in a lesson, but here is the WHOLE context (sorry, but in the NKJV) as found in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22:

Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house; and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the LORD and in his own house.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’ “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ “Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.'”

Yes, I combined the verses with the appropriate paragraphs for ease of reading, AND I boldened and italicized the verse that everyone is using out of context! So tell me, did it change the Spirit of the text in anyway? I’ll take that as a rhetorical NO!

Do you preachers and teachers and you members of the Body of Christ, all, remember the difference between the Old and New Covenant? Do you remember that historically and spiritually speaking, God, our Father took the Jewish people to be His chosen people and set them within a land He promised to them? A land by the way that He has planned all along to use as the place of His earthly Throne during the Millennial Reign when Jesus Christ sits upon that very Throne?

I hope that you realize that the ONLY nation that God, our Father associates with His chosen people is that nation that is known today as Israel. Remember, Israel has not recognized Jesus as their true Messiah yet, so they are still TRYING to live under the Old Covenant Law! Yet, they are STILL God’s chosen people; it is just that due to the Messiah’s sacrifice and the faith of Abraham that us Gentiles share, that we have been ADOPTED through faith into that branch of God’s chosen people. BUT, it is that very faith that has given rise to the New Covenant of which we now belong as God’s people. It does not make the Jewish people any less God’s chosen people still, it just means that if they live by the Law, that is how they will be judged! AND, Jesus is coming again to Redeem those born-again spiritually, but also the remnant of God’s chosen people who will THEN recognize Him as the TRUE Messiah.

God’s spiritual children, adopted into the house of Abraham by faith and by being spiritually born-again are found all over the world in every nation and country. America is NOT the only place. Yes, America (and I mean the United States) was founded on Biblical principles, but even then, though we were known for our “Christianity” in the past, we were never God’s chosen people associated with the land. God’s chose (spiritual) children, as stated live in every country.

Now, let’s delve into some other interesting aspects. We live in under a New Covenant, a dispensation or era established by Grace through faith in the gift and sacrifice of Christ Jesus. How does this sound in light of that: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,”

In ancient Israel, the Prophets were CONSTANTLY sent to give a message, from the Lord, to HIS people, to turn from their wickedness and idolatry and back to the LAW, the Covenant, established between Him and them! Their plight and the plight of their “promised” land was always tied to their obedience.

Today, those of us born-again, are NOT under the Covenant of the Law but under the Covenant of Grace! Our plight is not tied to the land, but to our individual and spiritual liberties in the Lord! We now live in an age when many within our nation have rejected God outright and have taken the very Biblical principles with which this nation was founded and have discarded them. It is NOT God’s PEOPLE that are doing that, but unregenerate, unrepentant and CARNAL man that is doing the wickedness!

Now hear this and remember it; if people are living wickedly, they are NOT God’s people! Not today, where our sins have been washed by the Blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus! When we do sin, and we still do (it is a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit) we KNOW with full assurance we have an ADVOCATE, an Intercessor with the Father, Whom we can go too and repent because we ARE recognized as His NO MATTER WHAT LAND WE LIVE IN!!

The Old Covenant is not non-essential either, but the Law has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus! Jesus stated this: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” – Matthew 5:17-18. That Law, WAS and is fulfilled in Christ Jesus! Now we are not bound to it naturally, but rather spiritually for we have been spiritually renewed through Christ and that is why the Spirit of the Word gives life and the letter still breeds death!

So then, since we are NOT under the Old Covenant there is a new and better way to pray and THAT is what we should be teaching the Body of Christ, and believe me, I am having a hard time in believing this has to be taught again. Before I tell you, I’m going to give you another Scripture and if you ARE a child of God, I hope you take it to heart; “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:12-14.

I’m sorry if a Scripture like that is hard, but come on, we are way past the time when the Church, the TRUE Church, the Body of Christ should be leading! But now for that BETTER and more effectual way of praying as taught by Jesus:

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” – Matthew 6:9-13.

Now again, understand this; this is NOT the prayer though tradition has made it one, but rather it is the MODEL, the pattern of how we should be praying and I want to accentuate what is most effectual and important under this New Covenant in which we are living:

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” When it comes to the ills and problems of our nations, ANY nation, we should be praying to God, our Heavenly Father in Jesus Name, in Jesus’ authority and we should be praying for God’s perfect will to be fulfilled!! We know that according to the Word of God, our Lord HAS a perfect plan for mankind and He has graciously forewarned us of what MUST happen and to what end it will lead. God is and ALWAYS has been in total control. If our eyes are constantly on what we see around us, and not on the Father above, it is no wonder there are Christians, who should know better, I might add, who are panicking and doing so needlessly and with a lack of faith!

When we KNOW that God IS in control and when we believe His Word and realize He has given us the secrets of His plans for mankind and for His Kingdom, we should be praying in that direction and NOT that things go back to normal or go back to the way we have been accustomed!

Let me tell you how you should be directing your prayers, and especially with all the wickedness add evil “coming out of the woodwork” as it were. Where fires and destruction of property and vandalism and anarchy reign, we SHOULD be praying for the leaders of those areas and we should be praying that God will save their souls and that God would bring TRUE revival fires through the Holy Spirit! I guarantee you, that if revival fires get hold of peoples hearts, then natural fires of property and such will have no place to take root and grow! But we have to PRAY for that in mind and we have to be in agreement that no matter how it looks, God’s perfect will for our nation and the nations of the world will go forward!

In closing; if you are more interested in getting back to the comfort and peace and tranquility of past times, then you are not looking forward with spiritual eyes to what God wants. He WANTS Christ Jesus to be on the Throne while the enemy is chained and bound until He gathers ALL who will accept His will and He can make a brand NEW heaven and earth! That IS God’s will and that is what we should be praying for!

So please, as a preacher/teacher of the Word, I implore you that before you start spreading a teaching that no longer applies to our dispensation or situation in the world, read AND study your Word and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten, which He will do most readily!

Pray for our leaders, pray for the people of this nation and most definitely pray for salvation of the lost and those who ARE walking in wickedness, through the anointed fires of true spiritual revival! Amen and AMEN!

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One World Order

Believe it or not, I have a lot of Christian Brothers and Sisters, whom I love dearly who for some reason are in panic mode, with all that is going on! Oh for the most part, they might say the right things, but some of their actions and posts on social media, belie much of what they are saying.

Yes, I DO know the Scriptures relating to those weaker in the faith and those of a faith not quite mature yet, but some of those I am talking about SHOULD know better. It’s easy to have faith when everything is going the way you want it and life is routine and comfortable and you can watch the world go by without concerns of it touching you, but when it “LOOKS” like it might affect you, then it’s a different story altogether.

The wisest man in the world once wrote this: “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9-11.

The point in referring to that Scripture is to let you know that here it is 2020 A.D. and we are not yet destroyed. Why, because God Almighty, the Creator of All that ever was or ever will be is STILL on His Throne and in control. And despite what some believe, He didn’t create everything and the laws that govern all things (scientific laws) and then sit back as if watching a favorite soap-opera to see which way His new creation will go!

There was and is a purpose to His creating all that is and putting us right smack in the middle of it and He has not withdrawn His Hand once from the events of human-kind. The reason is, He is letting mankind decide for themselves if they want a relationship with the One Who created them and the choice is totally that of the individual. But, and here’s the catch, there is a time limit on when you can check the box marked YES, I want to be a part! We don’t know the time. Even Jesus said to His disciples that He and the angels don’t know the time, only the Father in Heaven. Yet He DID tell us to look out for certain things to take place and then we would know that those who check the box YES, would be aware their redemption was very, very close. (Luke 21:28).

So many love to remember their Bible stories from childhood as if they were nothing more than a myth, yet forgetting the moral or significance of the tale. Take for instance the story of the Tower of Babel. Chapter 10 in the Book of Genesis tells us what became of Noah and his sons and the generations after the flood, all this leading into chapter 11 and the story of what has become known as the “Tower of Babel.” By the way, the term Babel has nothing to do with Babylon but rather what happened to man’s language and speech in this story.

Here is the gist of that story from the Bible’s own words:

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” – Genesis 11:1-9.

Now before you start to think that God was just mean and vindictive, let me explain to you what the problem was. It’s right there in the text. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Let’s make a name for ourselves, and let’s make something that will reach into the heavens.

Mankind has just been recently saved through a flood that wiped out all but eight people and though we have no idea the population at the time of Babel, we do know many generations had passed. It would have had to be for enough people to come together and state this purpose.

But what was the problem? Surely God isn’t adverse to people building structures or cities! When you just READ the Bible, it is so easy to miss things, but when you ask questions and then try to find the answer in the text, you are delving into the SPIRIT of the matter and not just reading the letter! So what was the problem?

It was the pride and arrogance. Instead of retaining in their hearts the salvation God Almighty afforded them through the flood, it was, “Let’s take it upon ourselves to reach up towards God Himself and make a name for ourselves, lest something happen and we be scattered all over.”

They weren’t trusting in God for anything, so soon after the flood. They were reverting back to trusting in themselves to accomplish something that caused even the greatest angel created to fall. I would venture to say, that Satan himself was whispering into their ears, “You don’t need God to reach heaven! You can do it yourself and then you can take credit for it all yourselves.” Because that is just what they attempted to do.

Now here is where I want to drop in some spiritual advice and principles. IN THE BEGINNING: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; . . .” – Genesis 1:26.

We were created in His LIKENESS. Not in the way He looks, God is a Spirit (John 4:24), thus we were to be a spiritual creation with attributes, characteristics and a nature LIKE God’s, but not to the full extent of Himself. Thus He formed us of the same material as the earth He created for His planned creation but He breathed a portion of His Spirit into us to create in us that likeness. (Genesis 2:7).

God, our Heavenly Father, Whom we tend to take after in spiritual ways, is a Creator, thus it only stands to reason that the man that He breathed His Spirit into, would have a tendency and desire to be creative. God knew this, God was not against that, nor is He against it today. BUT – where man differs is that God is Holy, Pure and Undefiled in any way. Man has a choice and ability to be Holy, but due to sin entering the world (to offer man the ability to choose) oftentimes man chooses NOT to be Holy. However, this does not negate some of his abilities, such as wanting to create and to gain and pursue more knowledge, etcetera.

Those who chose to build a tower to the heavens, to make a name for themselves rather than honor the name of God Who redeemed them from destruction through the flood. They would ascend to the heavens, however long it took, and they would do it on their own.

Now understand something. From the very beginning God, our Father has had a plan for His own Kingdom, governed by Christ Jesus. That was from the very beginning. Even in the Garden of Eden right before Adam and Eve where expelled, God promised this would be the case. This Kingdom would be for those who CHOSE to honor and worship God for Who He is and not forced as the world’s kings like to do.

Christ Jesus prepared the way for us to enter the Father’s Kingdom, it is our choice whether we want to be a part of it or not. Anyone, any people’s who choose a way other than the one ORDAINED by God Himself, is trying to create their own “heaven” or paradise without God. There can be no such thing, no matter how accomplished man THINKS he is. He will NEVER have the power, knowledge or wisdom that God, Himself has. It will always be just a small very minute “likeness” of the real thing!

So, God knew the heart of man. He knew the arrogance and pride and he knew man would at least continue to attempt what he wanted rather than what God wanted, no matter what and since it was NOT God’s time or place, He did just what they feared the most; He scattered them over the earth and confounded their speech so that they were no longer just one language. Do you ever wonder why all over the world there are ancient structures still partially standing that have so many similarities and yet are different in their own ways? God didn’t confound their knowledge, just the way they communicated, think about it. God still retains control of His creation.

Why do you, the readers, think there have been empires rise and fall due to wars and such. They war with other nations to make those nations subject to themselves. Always trying to conquer the world as it were. But they are only able to go so far before something hinders their progress!

So here we are now, in the age of technology and advancement (remember, nothing new under the sun) and yet we have peoples of all nations willing to give up their sovereignty and their individuality, why? Because we can govern ourselves and be united as one and make a name for ourselves and we don’t need God! Arrogance and pride! Don’t forget, history just loves to repeat itself and why not; there are those who refuse to acknowledge the truth in history and as in the world we are living today, there are actually movements to try and ERASE history. Why would someone want to even attempt that? Here’s the answer; to keep people blinded and thus subservient to their wants and demands.

That old say, “Knowledge is power,” is true and well known even to those that want to rob others of knowledge! But God’s children have a knowledge that can’t and won’t be erased because our Heavenly Father has made His plans known to His children. What we see going on has been prophesied through the Scriptures and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. There WILL be an attempt to establish a one world order, but it will be weaker than any empire that ever came before it and it will also be the shortest lived according to Scripture.

You see, this kingdom won’t just try to create its own heaven, but will actually declare war against God and His children. Now understand something; we have always had persecution for believing in Christ Jesus to one degree or another, but this will be like nothing we have ever seen before and the ground work is right now coming to the surface.

According to Scripture, God’s Holy Spirit filled children will not suffer God’s wrath though we might suffer some of the persecution, but it is the same Holy Spirit within each of us that is keeping the final foundation of the one world order at bay. When that is removed from the earth, the Anti-Christ and his false prophet will be able to step to the forefront and deceive and amaze those that were blind to the truth. But here’s the thing; there will be those who WILL remember others prophesying and predicting what they are going through and there will be a remnant that WILL acknowledge Christ Jesus to there own death. God ALWAYS has a remnant that will be true to Him, for you see it throughout the whole of Scripture!

So, as a Christian, a child of God’s, who has been forewarned and also given assurance of His Hand upon His chosen, why are some panicking today when God has promised over and over and over again to take care of us? If you believe the Bible and the lessons that God has left for us in the text, you will know that He will not let His children starve or go without clothes. It doesn’t mean things might not get a bit uncomfortable compared to how we have had it, but it means our NEEDS WILL be met by God Himself!

We are in a time when we will have to grow up and mature in the spiritual maybe a bit faster than was necessary in the past, but you trust in the Holy Spirit to take care of that for you. You pray, or communicate with the Lord on a daily basis and ask Him what He wants you to do for this day and don’t worry about tomorrow. You open your Bible, even if it is to read just a few Scriptures at a time and you ask the Lord to reveal the Spiritual Truths behind what you are reading and He will NEVER let you down in a request like that.

Then you take that, your prayers, the Word of God, your faith and you spread THAT and not fear, doubt and panic to your loved ones and your neighbors. THAT is how the Body of Christ will grow in strength! When the Body of Christ is stronger, than we as individual members of that Body will gain even greater spiritual strength. Comfort one another with the Word of God.

I will tell you that I went through a similar thing during the year 2000 when everyone was panicking about Y2K, which turned out to be a dud! Big time. Yet, I witnessed peers, whom showed great faith in the past, turn to mush when it came to the possibilities of what MIGHT happen. They took it upon themselves to prepare for something they had no idea would take place or not! Literally, they had more faith in the predictions of Y2K at the time than they did in the Lord’s ability to care for them and I have NEVER forgotten that experience or lesson.

If you are a Christian, it is one thing to be warned by prophesy and dreams, but it is quite another thing to become fearful and panic and decide that YOU yourself will have to take care of tomorrow! You have no idea what tomorrow will hold individually, but as a Child of God, He has PROMISED to look after His children.

Now, do you have faith more so in the predictions of what tomorrow holds, or do you have faith in the Father’s promises to care for you as His child? Only YOU can answer that!!!

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors!” – Matthew 24:29-33.

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3 John, Verse 9-11

3 John 1:9-11, “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”

Oh my! To be at the brunt of the Beloved Apostle and acknowledged Elder to the Church at that time. Can you say “upstart!” Yet in his continuing discourse with his beloved friend, Gaius, the Apostle chooses to use this as a lesson in what is right and wrong; to put it a bit more bluntly, what is good and what is evil.

Evidently, the Apostle sent a letter to the church and it was either intercepted or this man, Diotrephes, took it upon himself as leader to decide whether it was worth their time or not. Now just imagine, this was back in approximately 90 A.D.. The church was still in its infancy, people were meeting in groups where ever they could to learn and to worship the Lord corporately. Even that early on, there were rivalries for leadership. Remember also, John was most likely the last Apostle to have known Jesus Christ before His death and Resurrection! Yet, to some, even back then, it didn’t elicit any respect for his knowledge and wisdom.

If you can read these accounts and look around, not just the world, but locally where you each live, and not realize that the Bible is ALIVE and relevant even today, I would like to talk to you about being spiritually reborn!

Evidently this man looked upon himself as a self-appointed dictator, deciding which direction the church under his control should go and it didn’t matter, for what ever reason, the experience and wisdom that others displayed. He definitely demonstrated a prideful arrogance, an inflated ego to be sure, apparently jealousy that others garnered more respect, all for what he apparently, for whatever reason, he considered his right. It is apparent from these brief comments from John that this man had forgotten that the “church” was established by Christ Jesus and that Jesus IS the head of the church and that the Holy Spirit is the Representative of Christ to the Church!

We can only assume that his pretext for behaving that way was in the excuse that he was contending for the truth; which by all apparent pretexts was an outright lie! For him to refuse the Apostle and other brethren traveling as well, was actually doing untold harm to the early church. It is obvious that when John spoke of false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing in other Scripture, he had someone like this man in mind.

As many of you who have followed my teachings over the years, you know that I, with my wife had vowed to the Lord to go where He wanted us to go and to learn all that we could from where He placed us and the Lord, took us at our word. We have been involved serving in many churches and learning. As I have stated before, learning, and especially when the Holy Spirit is involved can come in a couple of dramatic ways. You can learn how to do things the right way under the mentorship of someone led and listening to the Holy Spirit, AND, you can learn how NOT to do things under the leadership whose ideas are such that it fits into the cliché, “it is either my way or the highway.”

Let me tell you something; I respect every servant of the Lord who has had a formal education and yet I wouldn’t trade all I learned for a formal education. It is not that I am better learned, for I am not, but what I have learned has been based on real-world experience, the leading of the Holy Spirit and lots and lots of questions to Him AND prayer! We have had to rely so much upon the Holy Bible as our textbook and because of it, though my memorization skills are below par, my application of the Word is based on real-world learning. We have been under people very much like this Diotrephes and when we asked the Lord to let us remove ourselves from their “ministries” it was not until the Holy Spirit Himself gave us leave. But we learned, oh how we learned. Maybe that is why, this letter from the Beloved Apostle strikes home so much.

Sadly, due to time, apathy in the church organizations and the rise of political correctness and the misuse of Scriptures such as Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” the proliferation of this type of behavior is very prevalent in many of today’s churches. So many of these “personalities” forget that their ministry is a SERVICE to the Lord AND to others. They are not, “high and lifted up” above the sheep, but rather, they need to remember that they need to learn first from the Master, the Great Shepherd, before they can serve in the capacity of teaching (feeding) others.

A true shepherd must be firm, yes indeed, but he must temper that firmness with gentleness, kindness, compassion, mercy and graciousness. He must also approach others with the right motive; that is, is the motive coming from a love for others with the hope for each with an eternal objective, or is it with the motive of making sure they follow your set of rules. The motive in your heart WILL come out in the way you approach situations. Now, admittedly since so much is done in print and in social media today, sometimes the motive is obscured in the text, but if it follows Scriptural guidelines, then the SPIRIT should come forth as opposed to just the LETTER.

Our example should always be Christ Jesus. God’s own Son, Who was with Him from the Beginning, the Word, made flesh to dwell among men. The Bible says that everything that was made was made by the Word, yet He didn’t come down to stand on a pedestal above everyone else. He made Himself to be lower than Who He truly was to teach that very same thing. A true shepherd, called to serve the sheep of the Lord, has no business placing themselves on a pedestal ABOVE the sheep! Yes, an under-shepherd called by the Great shepherd must teach, must feed the sheep, but not to lord or master anything over them, but to lead them by example and word into truth.

Diotrephes either forgot that or didn’t know it from the start, but rather seen an opportunity in this new and growing “religion” to make a mark or to carve out a spot for himself and no one, no matter the experience or knowledge was going to tell him any different.

Now notice, according to the Apostle, this man didn’t just REFUSE other true believers, but he excommunicated his own people, as it were, from his church if others did receive these other traveling ministers and teachers! What other, than a self-styled dictator is that?! It appeared that he was exceptionally power-hungry, mad with keeping control of things within the “church.” John even goes so far to say that this man was openly MALICIOUS with his speech towards those who were called and others in authority! Because of social media and the use of camera-phones and such, we see this very thing happening all too often all around us.

Yet the Apostle makes it clear, that if he is able to travel and visit his friend Gaius, he will most certainly remember this other “upstart” and more or less remind him of his place! These types of people do NOT like to be confronted openly and especially with the Word of God. They have no excuses and no place to hide behind their lies and deceit. Their power or what they perceive as power comes from doing things in secret and in the dark and especially with others who have the same agenda. Their continuing in what they surmise as power continues in the form of fear and intimidation. Isn’t it amazing, as I bring it up often lately, that even after two-thousand years, human nature has NOT evolved even a little. Now I say that meaning, without the creative power of the Holy Spirit to make us a new creation.

Here is where John uses that example as a lesson to all readers and it is a confirmation to other Scriptures that God, through His Holy Spirit can turn anything into something good for the believer. “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” He who does evil has not seen God. In other words, he has absolutely no idea Who God truly is! True believers do and it is evident in what they do as a form of loving to one another and even to those who despise them.

In this letter, John gives us two extremes and there is no doubt which is which. Gaius, whose life is actually based in service to others and especially to those doing the Lord’s work, and Diotrephes, who desires the spotlight all to himself, refusing to even acknowledge those doing the Lord’s work, all under the guise of being “religious.” Again, I have to say it, how like what we see so much today. Big, mega-ministries, and I use the term “ministries” lightly, always wanting more, more people, more money, more power, more prestige, all in the NAME of “religious” works, but all the while instead of sending out, instead of encouraging others in good works, instead of sending out to make disciples, bring them in so I can make disciples! Yet they hold up the same Bible you and I read and try to emulate, they say some of the same “Christianese” speak that we use in our conversations about our Lord, yet always with a twist, or emphasis on more, more, more! And sadly that more is hardly or ever about more souls in the Kingdom of God.

To some today, some of this just seems normal. There are so many denominations, so many independent churches or religious organizations, how is one to know what is true and what isn’t?

We know from the Word of God, a changed heart, a changed and reborn spirit, results in changed behavior. Maybe not immediately, as the Holy Spirit changes people gently, but there is a change. No more is a born-again person always thinking about just themselves. They start to consider and thing about others. That is the indication of the spirit of man being changed by Something greater than themselves. The “religious” person will talk the talk, but their actions, their lifestyle will reflect no difference.

I have used this Scripture so much and here again, even though a “religious” person might be saying all the right things, they can’t keep it up for long, for what a person TRULY loves, that is what they will want to talk about and there is a VAST difference between religious things and the deeper things of the spiritual.

Now again, really look at what this Scripture is saying and especially in the light of what the Apostle John has revealed so far in this letter:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45.

What is the treasure in your heart? What is the motive behind what you do? It WILL display fruit; good fruit or rotten, evil fruit. It is a Spiritual Principle that cannot be denied. Those who have served the Lord for years will always recognize the truth in Luke’s Scripture.

Are we, those of us who claim to be Christians, true followers of the teachings AND examples of Jesus Christ; are we being only religious, or has something changed deep within causing us a love for one another to grow and a desire to learn more spiritually? Only the individual and God, the Father can TRULY answer that, but, our actions might give a hint!

Next post we will begin with 3 John verse 12.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Come Home To Me Again

For the past 4 posts of Jeremiah, I had left the Prologue off that I was using. Yet, looking back at the posts AND some comments left on Facebook, it is obvious that some are not looking at these prophetic words in light of today. So with that in mind, I am using the Prologue again, just as an introduction to the Jeremiah verses. Thanks for your understanding AND be blessed in the Lord!

Jeremiah has been called to warn the people of Israel. When you read Jeremiah, if you substitute the United States for Israel, you will realize that the Book of Jeremiah is not just historical, but extremely and divinely prophetic. Jeremiah, except for certain verses is rarely taught on today and yet, with the condition of the United States as a Nation, we NEED, we MUST take the words of Jeremiah to heart!

Here we see the plea directly from the heart of a Loving and Merciful Lord that is calling out to those who claim Him as Father to come back into a relationship with Him. All He asks is that they acknowledge their sinful ways and He’s ready to be a Father to them again. Also look at the implication when He states He will give them shepherds after HIS own heart. Like today, many congregations have gathered under shepherds that will tell them what they want to hear. So it was back then, and so it is today.

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Straining Out Gnats

“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” – Matthew 23:25.

My wife and I usually have our coffee early on and we talk about the latest things going on and how they relate to the Bible and Bible prophecies made by the Lord and His disciples. We have both been discussing the “smoke-screen” that this COVID-19 political (as opposed to health) scam has been in impacting daily lives all over the U.S. and indeed the world. This message was really inspired by her and the talks we have been having.

First, let me say that yes COVID-19 is real, it is a real viral condition, but though this strain is new, it has been around in the form of the flu in one way or another. So what makes this one so different? The massive deaths, you say? The world-wide spread, thus the “pandemic” you say?

Come on people, as a Pastor and one who loves the Lord and His people, our God gave you independent brains to think things out for yourselves and the gift of discernment to differentiate between spiritual truth and falsehood! I don’t mean to come across as rude, but I have witnessed some far-fetched ideas and things from others claiming to be “servants” of the Lord.

Yes, people are getting sick. But they are also getting better with stronger immune systems. People are dying, yes, but they are mostly those that already have compromised immune systems, just like how the yearly flu causes deaths in those susceptible. Just because the government agencies today wish to inflate the statistics, (yes, the truth has come out), doesn’t mean those stats are the truth and yet, so many accept them as truth and in fact the media AND liberal social media sites continue to push those falsehoods! In fact, according to statistics I provided to my followers on Facebook a month back, the flu season between 2017 and 2018 was far worse than anything we have seen from COVID-19 today! What them makes this so different?

The media and the politicians, mainly the liberal politicians but there are even conservatives that see a chance to pursue their agendas using this as a political smoke-screen. Why, Brother Roland, that’s a pretty negative thing to say about a country that has been such a blessing! Negative or not, the truth is found to those who choose to open their eyes and look for it.

Now I want you to look at this popular, well-known Scripture and understand in the spiritual context with which it was given, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32. What is the Apostle saying when quoting Jesus? There are people all over the world who know the Lord, intimately, and yet are still enslaved to the nations and governments in which they live. Yes, in the natural. But not so in the spiritual!

Look at the context in which this was recorded;

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:31-36.

Jesus is clearly speaking in spiritual terms and in fact, the Jews He was speaking too, could not fathom the spiritual implication, but kept referring to His words in the natural. He actually chastised or admonished them because of their lack of spiritual insight.

Now I don’t want you to miss an important distinction here. In verse 32, Jesus says “the truth will MAKE you free.” In verse 36, He says “if (when) the Son MAKES you free, you shall be free indeed.” Jesus is literally coming out and telling the Jews, that He IS truth! Therefore, if you have Jesus Christ abiding within, you HAVE the TRUTH abiding within you!

This is why the world, and those who have friends who have not been “born-again” cannot recognize the truth for what it is. This is why those that are unsaved, will look at a Christian, a true Christian, and say they are just conspiracy nuts. Yet, the Lord will ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, lead His children to sources of the truth where the dark cannot hide it!

But here’s the thing; COVID-19 is NOT the danger. It has been blown out of proportion for a reason. It was actually let loose upon the world to start instituting the liberal agendas that are worldwide.

Before I go on, let me state this again; if you have a compromised immune system and especially in the areas of respiratory problems, then you NEED to walk in wisdom and “common sense,” and not take necessary chances, but I DO say this not just concerning COVID-19 but any strain of flu as well! The flu kills more people every year, BUT, the media AND the politicians have not made a big, day-to-day spectacle of it. The regular flu, does not garner the headlines and attention of COVID-19! Notice, everyone is focused on that title, COVID-19. By doing that, rather than admitting it is a virulent strain of the flu, they are making it more horrific every time it is mentioned; again, a smoke-screen! But why?

There are liberal leaders who are doing things behind the scenes while everyone is focused not just on COVID-19, but on our response to it, our responsibility to one another, whether we truly care for fellow man or what ever. While we are debating the merits of something that comes and goes each and every year (the flu), because the media (which is owned and paid for by liberals), is keeping each and everyone’s focus centered on that AND keeping everyone divided into camps of compliance or non-compliance!

My wife and I and many of my peers have been praying now for a very long time, and it started with the political fiasco in our nation and several others, that the Lord would bring to light those things that have been done in secret, in the dark. When we prayed for that and things started coming out, we had no idea how widespread God would take the sincerity of those prayers! Yet, just as things were starting to be revealed in MANY countries, all of a sudden, we had an almost instant pandemic on our hands and those involved in trying to keep things secret and IN the dark are telling everyone that we should be concerned with dying from COVID-19.

Let me tell you this to those of you who don’t know my background; though I am a minister, a servant of the Lord, I have always had a career with which to pay my bills and to live on. I have never taken money for ministry except for a brief stint, a couple of years, as Assistant Pastor at an Arizona Calvary Chapel. Even then it was more of a stipend than an actual salary. But, for a while after that, though I had been involved in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Appliance Service for years, I decided to drive long-haul truck for a while.

Through that trucking experience I witnessed and experienced a whole other mission field, but that is not the point I’m wanting to make. I drove mainly refrigerated trailers, hauling meat and temperature regulated produce and such until I quit long-haul and started hauling sulfuric acid for the mines in Arizona. But something I learned about the trucking industry that not everyone is familiar with. When there is a major catastrophe or situation within our cities and the coroner’s office and the morgue becomes overrun, they may have to rent or lease, the refrigerated trailers to store the bodies of the dead when there is no where else.

What we are being told in the news daily and by our liberal politicians is that COVID-19 is SO bad, and the deaths have been so many, that anyone who would think about it would start to see refrigerator trailers parked near the morgues and most likely overrun the parking lots. Yet we don’t see even a hint of that in the news and THAT would be newsworthy! We have seen major cities set up triage centers in the parks, with no occupants and even the Navy sending hospital ships to help the overflow of dead with having to depart due to nothing happening. Even missions organizations like Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, had to pack up and leave New York because there was not the activity that was reported.

Smoke-screen, smoke-screen, but why? Because those who read AND study their Bibles knows there are other things at work, spiritual things that love the darkness and that use the corruption and egos of power-hungry individuals who have an agenda that goes against the values of the Lord! While people are paying attention to COVID-19, and Christians are concentrating on praying for that to disappear, the real enemy is working behind that smoke-screen to accomplish his one-world agenda and making note of who is compliant and who is not.

As Christians, we SHOULD be praying for the Lord to reveal the truth about COVID-19 and to have Him remove the “smoke-screen” as it were. BUT – we should also be praying for all the other things that are quietly and ever so carefully taking over and replacing the values that the Lord established for this nation especially, and then ask the Lord to open the eyes of the people and especially His children so we can concentrate on what is most important.

In essence, we are doing what Jesus accused the religious Jewish leaders of doing; “straining out the gnats,” the little nuisances and swallowing hook-line and sinker the very things that will destroy us as a nation that was once united.

Understand this; the Anti-Christ will come forth as it’s most likely he is right now waiting in the wings for the liberal agendas that will call upon him. But, right now, because the Holy Spirit IS revealing truth, and the Church of Christ Jesus IS aware and praying, the Anti-Christ’s hands are tied more or less from coming on the scene unfettered. The One-World Order WILL come about, because the Bible, the very Word of God says it will. We will NOT be able to stop it, nor do I believe we should. For in doing so, we would ALSO be praying against the coming of the Kingdom of God, (even though not meaning too), for our Heavenly Father has a plan, a wise plan AND a timeline.

What we should be focusing on however, is not dying from COVID-19, but we should be focusing on Spiritual Revival, not like we have seen in the past, but like we heard and read about when the Church, the True Church began. We NEED to be praying for unity amongst ourselves as brothers and sisters; yes, there will ALWAYS be those factions that skew and twist the Scriptures, but we need to be praying for spiritual wisdom, for the Holy Spirit’s leading and direction, for focus and discipline in what we need to attain.

Remember, when Jesus Christ touches foot in the clouds and that trumpet sounds and those already dead in Christ rise, and then those remaining meet Him in the air, the ONLY hope of salvation for those left behind is the strength to stand up for Christ Jesus and not deny Him in the face of certain death. Remember this, the enemy has always wanted God’s children to suffer. This means those who do face certain death by NOT denying Christ will most likely not always meet with a swift death. It will be a horrific time to still be around, much like in the early days of Christianity, if you have given any thought to what the Bible and especially Revelation speaks of.

COVID-19 is the gnat, believe it or not! It was meant to take our eyes off of what is really going on and again, I am not saying it is not real, what I am saying is it is not something that God’s children need to be fearful of. If you are afraid of catching it and dying, don’t be, you might walk out of your home and be hit by someone in a drive-by shooting! I’m not being sarcastic in that, a Christian should NOT be concerned about natural death for again, the Word of God tells us, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27. We have an appointment, a schedule with natural death and we will NOT die until God says it’s time to go home to be with Him.

What however we SHOULD be focused on and concentrating on instead of this man-made smoke-screen, are the souls searching and questioning and if we give it some thought and we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we might be able to use this situation to speak to the lost about the Lord and His gracious gift of Love.

Remember, we are not OF this world, Jesus has MADE us free from the “morality” of this world, rather we are citizens of a vastly different, spiritual and heavenly Kingdom. But until the Lord DOES call us home we have to live here. Why not use these things that the enemy wants to use to distract and even destroy us with and use them for the Lord’s work. After all, when we do get Home and get to stand before Him, all this and all that is unfolding even now, will pale in comparison when He says, “Well done, for you are and have been a good and faithful servant!”

In closing, let’s not worry about the “gnats” of the world, but rather seek the Holy Spirit through prayer to the Lord to let us know what is truly important in relation to what we should be doing for Him and for one another. COVID-19 has taken up enough of our attention, now let’s focus on where the REAL “camels” are and start battling in the Spirit against them!!!

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Faith – ‘Nuff Said!

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3 John, Verse 5-8

3 John 1:5-8, “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.”

Sad to say, but hospitality, true hospitality seems to be a lost art in the modern church. With the “church” becoming institutionalized it has robbed individuals and those with a ministry of mercy and even giving, of the ability to do as John’s beloved friend Gaius was known to have engaged in.

Hospitality is an important theme in the New Testament writings as attested to some of the comments that Jesus, Himself stated. You can see what He said in Matthew 25:34-40 when He was speaking to the multitudes and His disciples. He told of how the King will reward those who clothed and fed, visited and gave relief to strangers, and how when doing it for them, they were doing it unto Him.

In the reverse, or the negative, Jesus shares, as written in Matthew 25:41-46 what the outcome is to those who refuse or ignore mercy and hospitality to strangers. The truth is, you will still find some hospitality in the smaller, rural-country churches. Sadly, in the large mega-churches, it is easier for the assembly to purchase a hotel room for traveling missionaries and evangelists than it is to open their own doors and give strangers a taste of personal care.

Many today will argue why this is the most convenient and so forth, but as with all things Biblical, there is a reason WHY the Bible has these Spiritual Principles written down for our remembrance. This is another reason, and I KNOW I harp on it a lot, but this is another reason, why the teaching of individual ministries as related in the Bible in the New Testament and especially in the Apostle Paul’s writings is so important. Yet today, and especially in the large, churches, it is not taught or what is taught is a watered-down version of the truth in the Scriptures because so many mega-church pastors, desire to KEEP their members to themselves, rather than encouraging them to go out and emulate the Lord’s way of making disciples!

There is a personal connection to hospitality that is often missed in today’s society and its churches. Jesus taught His disciples over two-thousand years ago to make preaching the Gospel and especially in new cities, personal. He even told them, as He sent the disciples out, to search out people with good reputation and bless them and the very city that welcomes them! As I stated, today, it is very much a lost art. But with Gaius, it WAS a lifestyle to him. It was his way of ministering or serving others; and without meaning too, it caused his reputation to become well known within the growing church.

Which leads me to verse six. John touches on the rewards involved. Though it was obvious from just this little bit that Gaius was not showing hospitality for rewards, the Beloved Apostle is quick to point out that as with ALL giving from a pure motive and a cheerful heart, there are rewards for that service.

First, he became well known for his hospitality. This of course opened the door for more opportunities to show hospitality to others. Yet John is also hinting at the future rewards available to those who give whole-heartedly of themselves. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find Jesus stating this, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” – Matthew 10:40-42.

Now think of what Jesus is saying. You may not be a preacher, a messenger of the Word of God, but if you receive one and open your heart and hearth to them, you will be entitled to the same reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ! Jesus is setting forth another Spiritual Principle here. If you receive one in My name, He says, then you are doing as much as receiving Me. Why? Because it was the Holy Spirit of Christ Himself that sent the minister!

It is evident that God, the Father, WILL pay back all our good deeds done unselfishly! I once heard it said and I can’t remember where, that “God’s kindness will crown the kindness of godly man!” We see it all through the Gospels especially and yet the Apostle John is touching on it here.

Here is another part of John’s statement in this verse that unless you think about it, you might miss it; “If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, . . .” What is John saying here other than commenting on the future rewards? Remember what Jesus commanded the disciples; take no coin, no extra clothing, but go as you are. Why? Because it gives to those the disciples are going too, the opportunity to receive a minister, a servant of God and the Word and to be the blessing to them that is “a manner worthy of God.”

Remember, Jesus said to leave a blessing if the home and the city is worthy or to brush the dust off and curse the home or city if it is not worthy. In other words, if you are the one distributing hospitality, don’t just give the traveling servants a friendly goodbye and farewell, but help them with adequate supplies to get them to the next place. Today, it would be like filling up their gas tank in their automobiles and giving them some food or groceries and some finances for the journey to get them to the next place they are going. John goes on to say if you do this, “you will do well.”

Now going forward you will see that the Apostle gives a reason for doing this. There is ALWAYS a logical and wise reason for the things we do in the spiritual realm; “Because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.” They were going out, being led by the Holy Spirit and were not relying upon unbelievers or the unconverted. Those who travel for the Lord, whether Evangelists, Teachers, Prophets, etc., do so trusting that their needs will be met by the Lord. The Lord has PROMISED to meet their needs and He relies on His children to be the ones to supply those needs in faith and in liberality.

Now understand something; in most cases they were and are even today, traveling to teach the faithful and to preach to the unsaved, presenting the Word of God that has the power to heal the lost spiritually. So it is not that the unsaved are not loved by God and should not be loved by us, with compassion and mercy, but we do NOT want to give the impression that God Almighty, Who supplies ALL our needs, according to His riches in glory, needs the help of the unsaved and unconverted. It is the appearance while preaching the glories of the Kingdom of God. Servants are trusting in the Kingdom of God and those who are citizens of that Kingdom, rather than the kingdom of man or of the world.

One thing you do NOT want to do, while preaching the NEED for the Kingdom of God in one’s life, is to take from the unsaved, which in turn MIGHT cause them to have a false sense of self-righteousness and a belief that their good deeds or works alone is enough! It takes Spiritual Wisdom to labor in the Kingdom of God and I’m saddened to say this, but it is a direct and sad statement of admonishment AGAINST the way many large churches and other religious organizations raise money today! Think about it! Especially in the light of Scripture.

If we are in intimate communion with God, our Heavenly Father we should remember that it is a special obligation AND service to the servants of the Lord who in faith believe that God will supply their needs for the direction that He is leading them in service to others. We often state that “whom the Lord calls, He also equips,” but we need to remember that He also supplies their needs to perform what He equips them to do.

Now John is pretty much “preaching to the choir,” as it were when he commends Gaius in what his friend is already doing. BUT – by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this is not just a reiteration to Gaius, but a statement to ALL believers in the Lord.

“We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.” Thus John is reminding us that we are fellow partakers of the work that these servants of the Lord are involved in, when we also help them in their endeavors. We act upon the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance in relation to their work, thus we also fulfill our work and ultimately it is the Lord Who is blessed. Just as when we do for these servants, it is as if we are doing for the Lord, so John is telling us we are ALSO partaking in the work they do. Yet again, this shows us the interconnectivity of the Scriptures and how, when you delve into the Spirit of the Word, it does NOT contradict itself, but rather confirms and enforces with authority the Spiritual Principles laid out in print! How truly AWESOME is that, when we can see the plan of God so vividly in His Word!

I KNOW I say this so very often and more so of late, but this again just demonstrates the importance of the Body of Christ, working in unity, peace and love with Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit at the Head of that Body. Everything fits together nicely, just as a healthy body should!

Next post we will begin with 3 John verse 9.

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Hope Strengthens The Weak

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5.

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” – Romans 8:24-25.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” – Romans 15:4.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13.

“Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech– . . .” – 2 Corinthians 3:2.

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Our Hope Is Our Spiritual Strength

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:28-31.

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