Missing the point?

October 10, 2008

Wells still without water

    

 

(Isa 8:9 KJV)  Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.

(Isa 8:10 KJV)  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

(Isa 8:11 KJV)  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

(Isa 8:12 KJV)  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

(Isa 8:13 KJV)  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

(Isa 8:14 KJV)  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

(Isa 8:15 KJV)  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

(Isa 8:16 KJV)  Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

(Isa 8:17 KJV)  And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

(Isa 8:18 KJV)  Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

(Isa 8:19 KJV)  And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

(Isa 8:20 KJV)  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

(Isa 8:21 KJV)  And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

(Isa 8:22 KJV)  And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.

There really is no true light in them. Sadly it seems to apply to 70 percent of the  professing Christians and their poor pastors

And many of them have false, misleading internet sites just to show off, try to falsely be popular. They are empty wells.

International Standard Version (©2008)
These men are dried-up springs, mere clouds driven by a storm. Gloomy darkness is reserved for them.New American Standard Bible (©1995)
These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
These false teachers are dried-up springs. They are a mist blown around by a storm. Gloomy darkness has been kept for them.

King James Bible
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

American King James Version
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

American Standard Version
These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved.

Bible in Basic English
These are fountains without water, and mists before a driving storm; for whom the eternal night is kept in store.

Douay-Rheims Bible
These are fountains without water, and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved.

Darby Bible Translation
These are springs without water, and mists driven by storm, to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved for ever.

English Revised Version
These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved.

Webster’s Bible Translation
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Weymouth New Testament
These people are wells without water, mists driven along by a storm, men for whom the dense darkness has been reserved.

World English Bible
These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.

Young’s Literal Translation
These are wells without water, and clouds by a tempest driven, to whom the thick gloom of the darkness to the age hath been kept;

 

 Geneva Study Bible{8} These are {o} wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of {p} darkness is reserved for ever.

(8) Another note by which it may be known what manner of men they are, because they have inwardly nothing but that which is utterly vain or very harmful, although they make a show of some great goodness, yet they shall not escape unpunished for it, because under pretence of false freedom, they draw men into the most miserable slavery of sin.

(o) Who boast of knowledge and have nothing in them.

(p) Most gross darkness.

People’s New Testament

2:17 These are wells without water. Springs without water (Revised Version). They promise much but disappoint.

Clouds that are carried with a tempest. Mists driven by a storm (Revised Version). The thought is the same. These mists promise rain, but it fails to descend.

To whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For these apostates the blackness of darkness is reserved (Revised Version).

http://bible.cc/2_peter/2-17.htm

  True Christians Receive Spiritual Blessings From God and Pass Them on to Others.

But the others.. “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever” (II Peter 2: 17

This text describes under two figures false or counterfeit Christians referred to in greater detail throughout the second chapter of Second Peter. Wells without water and clouds that give no rain, but are driven by the storm, are fitting illustrations of people who put on the appearance of Christianity, but have not within themselves the spiritual life which would be a blessing to themselves and to others.

False Teachers
Outstanding among these wells without water are the “… false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. . .” (II Peter 2: 1.) These false teachers, we are told, will bring upon themselves swift destruction. They may be recognized by the heresies they teach, by their pernicious ways, and by their covetousness, as we may note in the first three verses of this chapter.

Presumptuous
Other unjust (lost) persons, whom the Lord knows how to reserve unto the day of judgment to be punished, are said to be “presumptuous, self willed” and “not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” These are professed Christians who habitually “walk after the flesh” and “despise government.” “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him…” (Titus 1:16.) Some of their sins are mentioned in detail:
 
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed; speak evil of the things that they understand not: and shall utterly perish in their own corruption: And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices: cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (II Peter 2:12-15).
  
Slaves of Corruption
 
Among these false teachers are those who promise liberty to others through their counterfeit gospels, though “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (II Peter 2:19.) In the last three verses of the chapter the apostle tells the truth about those fake Christians who are said to have escaped the pollutions of the world and then are entangled therein.
 
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:20-22).
 
Water of Life
Such is the graphic description of these wells without water. Surely the figure would be clear enough even if we did not have it explained elsewhere in scripture that Christians are to be wells or fountains from which streams of spiritual life go forth to water thirsty souls about them.
 
But we are not dependent on our own intelligence or imagination for an understanding of this figure. Jesus Himself declared, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
 
This “well of water springing up into everlasting life” is designed of God not only to be a blessing to the soul that is saved, but a fountain of life flowing forth to bless others: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Lest we should not understand this spiritual language, John plainly tells us in the next verse “(But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified)” (John 7:39).

“Freely Give”
So it appears from the scriptures that the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are intended to be a means of blessing to other people and not merely for us to enjoy. So Jesus told His apostles on one occasion, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
 
Paul told the church at Corinth, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” and reminded the pastors of Ephesus that Jesus said, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said; It is more blessed to give than to receive” (I Corinthians 15:3; Acts 20:35).

“As Many As”
This characteristic of a true Christian, that he has within him the Spirit of Christ so directing his own life that he becomes a source of spiritual blessing to others, is not, as taught by the false holiness cults, an extra special attainment of relatively few of God’s people in a “second blessing,” but is a proper trait of every true child of God.
 
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God . . . But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:14, 9).
 
Sad to say, there are multitudes of professed Christians who have not the Spirit of God, but they are not the children of God. They are “wells without water”: they themselves have never drunk of the water of life proceeding from the throne of God, and so they have none of this water to offer to others.
 
They are “wells without water”: they have the appearance of wells but they are only dry holes; they look like Christians but they have no life within. “

======== [From AAB, June 30, 1972. – jrd] 

 You Think You’re following after God  But You’re Not! You Think You’re Saved, But really You’re Not!

What a horrifying reality, to think you will enter God’s presence on the day of your death, but then, come to find out on that day, you were actually deceived, and you find yourself in hell. Such is, and will be, the terror of most who call themselves Christians today (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24; 2 Peter 2:2). They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (e.g. Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28). 

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. (Matthew 7:13)

How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22)

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)

You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood. Psalm 119:118

You rebuke the proud, the cursed, who stray from Your commandments. Psalm 119:21

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:27)

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22; see also Proverbs 8:35 & 16:22)

My son, let them not depart from your eyes, keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. (Proverbs 3:21-22)

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36 NAS, see also 1 John 2:3-5).

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15; see also Revelation 21:8)

Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27)

And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. (John 10:4-5)

These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. (2 Peter 2:17)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10a)

Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

THE INNER LIFE   Wells Without Water “The Inner Life Contrasted with its Counterfeit”

“These are wells without water.” 2 Peter 2:7.

It is one of the ever-working schemes and master strokes of the prince of darkness- and too successful is his exploit- to annihilate in the view of man, the essential difference which God’s holy word draws between the mere external profession of Christianity, and its internal and vital possession. And yet, while we concede that in every true disciple of Jesus these two extremes meet- the possession and the profession of Christ- at the same time we must remark that, existing apart and alone, heaven and earth, midnight darkness and meridian light, life and death itself, are not more essentially distinct from each other than they. To break down this broad, unbending line of separation, and thus to reduce the life-possessing and life-imparting religion of Jesus to a religion of mere sentiment, or of feeling, or of form- in other words, to the religion of death- is Satan’s grand and too successful scheme. It would be, perhaps, difficult to say from which field he has reaped a more appalling harvest of souls- that of a nominal religious profession, or that of a profane and avowed ungodliness. We speak not lightly, but it is our solemn conviction, that more souls have gone down to the regions of despair reposing in their baptismal vows, and sacramental grace, and works of human righteousness, than those who made no profession of religion whatever, except the religion of the infidel, the atheist, or the world. It is to this large and solemn class the apostle applies the searching words selected as the basis of our present remarks “These are wells without water.” The passage suggests two distinct and important topics of consideration: the character of the true believer, or what the real Christian possesses; the character of the false Christian, or what the mere professor does not possess.

The figure of “wells without water” is not only one of frequent occurrence in the word of God, but in its reverse interpretation it is highly expressive of the gracious character, and holy, dispensing influence of the true believer in the Lord Jesus. Reverse the awfully significant meaning in which it is used by the apostle, and you have the exact portrait of a truly Christian man. The ‘well without water’, supposes the existence of the ‘well with water’. And as the well without water is descriptive of the false Christian, so the well with water is descriptive of the true- and it is of him we are first to speak.

THE REAL BELIEVER in Jesus is a gracious man. He is a ‘living soul.’ He is the partaker of a new and a Divine nature, and is the depository of a heavenly and a precious treasure. In exhibiting him under the figure of the ‘well with water’, we are naturally led to trace the source of his supply. The well may contain, but it does not originate the supply. It holds the water, but it cannot create the water. It is dependent upon a foreign and a hidden source. From a depth which no line can fathom, and which no skill can explore, the precious fluid rushes forth, sparkling and bounding in the joyousness of its own independent and mysterious existence. It is thus with Christianity and the Christian. There is not a well of salvation in the gospel, nor a spring of life in the believer, which is not dependent for its supply upon a source extraneous from itself. The Lord Jesus Christ is that Source. He is the well-head of all salvation and of all grace. The well with water is the well that has its source in him, “of whose fulness all we have received, and grace for grace.”

God, the Fountain of life, light, and grace, has ordained that the Lord Jesus Christ, his own beloved Son, should be the well-spring, the one source of supply from where all the salvation of the sinner, all the sanctity of the saint, and all the grace and truth of the Church, collectively and individually, should be derived. “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” What a glorious declaration is this! How should our hearts leap for joy, and our souls thrill with gladness at its very sound! All the “fulness of the Godhead bodily;” all the fulness of the Church graciously; all the fulness of the sinner savingly; all the fulness of the Christian sanctifyingly; in a word, all that a poor, fallen, tried son of Adam needs, until he reaches heaven itself, where this fulness has come- is, by God’s eternal love and wisdom, treasured up in the “Second Adam, the Lord from heaven.”

From Jesus the well derives its water. In the description which we have of the creation of the world, there is a distinction observed between the “waters which were under the firmament and the waters which were above the firmament.” In the new creation not less striking and observable is this difference. The water above, is the “pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God,” and gathered together in one mighty confluence in Jesus; and by him brought down to earth and deposited in all true believers, who thus become wells with water; and so, by the dispensing influence of their grace and holiness, “water the whole face of the ground.” Thus the “waters are divided from the waters”- the water in the Fountain above, from the water in the well below.

But this truth will be unfolded more fully in the consideration of THE WELL ITSELF. The Christian, figuratively speaking, is this well, deriving, as we have seen, his supply from that hidden Spring to whom he is closely united. There is, first, the interesting fact upon which a preceding chapter has fully expatiated, and therefore to which we need but simply now refer- the indwelling of Christ in the soul. Christ himself enunciates the truth- “I in them.” Observe, these are not the words of the apostle, whose ardent mind and glowing imagination might be supposed to exaggerate a truth beyond its proper limits; but they are words of Jesus himself- of him who is the Truth, and who therefore cannot lie. “I in them.” Christ dwelling in the soul forms the inner life of that soul. The experience of this blessing stands connected with the lowest degree of grace, and with the feeblest faith; the lamb of the flock, the soul that has but touched the hem of the Savior’s garment, prostrate as a penitent at the feet of the true Aaron- in each and in all alike, Christ dwells. He has a throne in that heart, a temple in that body, a dwelling in that soul, and thus, as by a kind of second incarnation, God is manifest in the flesh; in Christ’s manifestation in the believer. Truly is he a well with water, who has “Christ in him the hope of glory.”

In addition to this is, the indwelling of God’s grace in the soul. Grace is a thing foreign to the natural state of man. His possession of grace is not concurrent with his birth, nor can it be his by right of hereditary law. No parent, however holy, can transmit a particle of saving grace to his posterity. The law of primogeniture, or the privilege of the birthright, is set aside in the kingdom of grace, whose subjects are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” But see how this mystery is cleared up in the conversation which Jesus held with the Samaritan woman, as he sat wearied upon the mouth of Jacob’s well “Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink, you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water.” This is the grace of which we speak, and this the source from where it flows into the hearts of all the truly regenerate. It is in you, Christian reader, “a well of water,” a springing well, mounting upward and ascending to the source from where it rises. God looks upon you, not as a dry well, but as a springing well- his own renewing, adopting, sanctifying grace, flowing into your heart- and thus ascending to Him from whom it proceeds, in holy desires, and spiritual aspirations, and divine actings- the living water seeking its level, and rising to its source. Blessed words- “Springing up into everlasting life!” As the first blush of morning is a part of the day, so the least dawn of grace in the soul is a portion of heaven. The well below, is the spring of grace- the well above, is the fountain of glory.

Yet a third blessing of the renewed state is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thus says the apostle; “don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” He would seem to say- “If you do not know it, you ought to know it as one professing godliness.” O what a celestial well- though in himself a poor earthen vessel, a broken cistern- is that regenerate man who has the Holy Spirit reigning in him, living in him- never to abdicate his throne, never to forsake his sanctuary, never to vacate his dwelling; never, by all the corruptions that are there, by all the slightings, and piercings, and woundings which he receives, forced to retire from the temple he has constructed, beautified, and made his own!

In view of these statements, who will, then, deny that all believers in Jesus are wells with water? What an exalted character, and what an enviable man, is the true Christian! All the resources of the Triune God unite to replenish this earthen vessel. No angel in heaven contains a treasure half so costly and so precious as that poor believing sinner, who, getting near to the Savior’s feet, and bathing them with tears of penitence and love, can look up and exclaim, “Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you.”

But we must not overlook an interesting thought suggested by the figure of the text. I allude to the dispensing influence of the well. What is the proper design of a well? Certainly it is not constructed for itself. It is designed to disperse abroad its fulness, and to communicate the blessing it contains. Unless the water of a well finds an outlet, it becomes of necessity stagnant and inert; and instead of being a well giving out and spreading abroad its sparkling streams, it is a still, lifeless reservoir, yielding nothing, and consequently receiving nothing. Striking emblem of the Christian! The knowledge and the grace that God has given you, though for yourself primarily, are not for yourself exclusively. God, in making you a well of living water- in other words, a possessor of Divine grace- designed to disperse abroad the streams; so that through the consistency of your walk, the holiness of your life, and the personal activity of your grace in the cause of God and of truth, it might find an outlet for the benefit of others.

What a well of spiritual knowledge is the true believer! To him it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, while from others they are hidden. Where may we look for an understanding of the revealed mind of God but to him? Who knows the secret of the Lord, and to whom does he show his covenant, but to those who fear him? Having ‘an unction from the Holy One,’ he knows all things. He knows something of that mystery, which no philosophy of man can teach him- the plague of his own heart. He knows something, too, of the value of Christ- his person, his work,
his glory, his fulness, his tenderness, his sympathy, his preciousness. He knows something of the character and dealings of God- as a holy God, as a sin-forgiving God, as a just God, and yet who blots out sin and remembers it no more forever. He knows, in some measure, what the intricacies of the Christian way are; what the narrowness of the narrow path is; what are the difficulties of walking with God; what are the conflicts, the trials, the tribulations of the Christian life- and the stream flows abroad.

What a well of holiness is the true believer! The Spirit of holiness inhabiting him, despite the corrupt sediment of his fallen nature, he contains and dispenses abroad that stream of holy influence which carries with it a blessing wherever it flows. Where do we look for true holiness except in the soul born again of the Spirit? A holy man is earth’s greatest blessing, is the world’s richest ornament and shield.

What a well of compassion is the real Christian! He it is who, taught the priceless value of his own eternal happiness, has affections of compassion for the souls of others involved in like ruin with himself. ” O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears!” says Jeremiah. “Rivers of waters run down my eyes because they keep not your law!” exclaims David. These men were mourning wells- and God has distinguished such. “Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done.” The Lord Jesus, the great mourner, who wept, not for himself, but for others, has his bottle for the tears of these wells of pity and compassion; whose sympathies, and prayers, and exertions, flow forth for the conversion of sinners, for the salvation of souls.

Wells of charity, too, are they. Where shall we look for the Divine cement, the true bond, which unites the heart of man to man, but in the one Church of God? Who is the true peacemaker, the diligent sower of peace, the zealous promoter of love, charity, and good-will among men, but he in whose heart the love of God finds a home? Who has such sincere pity for the poor, whose hand is more ready to relieve their necessities- than he who himself is a conscious partaker of the benevolence of God? Such, reader, are some of the characteristics of true Christians- the wells with water- dispensing wells.

There is yet another essential feature of a gracious state suggested by the figure, which we must not overlook. These wells with water are perpetually receiving as well as dispensing. Indeed, they can only dispense to others what is dispensed to them. We have intimated that believers are but wells. All their springs are in God. Listen to the acknowledgment: “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God! My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. O God, you are my God! early will I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.” And then comes the Divine answer: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” And then follows the response of the soul thirsting after righteousness: “Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not.”

Thus does the gracious soul derive all its grace from Christ, “who of God is made unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” He stands by to replenish the well as its resources are exhausted. When the water is low, he raises it; as it gives out, he pours in; and the more liberally it imparts, the more bountifully it receives. “The liberal soul devises liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand.” “There is one who scatters, and yet increases.” Who has ever become poor for God? Who has given freely that has not in return received freely? Who has ever laid himself out for the Lord, consecrating his substance, his influence, his time, his talents, that has not experienced a welling up in his own soul of the hidden spring, more than replacing all that he has dispensed? The grace that has been employed, the faith that has been exercised, the wealth that has been consecrated, the influence that has been exerted, the reproach that has been endured, the suffering that has been experienced, the health that has been expended, the loss that has been sustained for Christ; Christ has more than recompensed even in the present time-state. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”-is the precept- “and all these things shall be added unto you”-is the promise; and He who enjoins the precept, will make good the promise.
Such, then, are some of the characteristics of true Christians.

The reverse of all this we now proceed to consider, in an analysis of THE CHARACTER OF THE FALSE CHRISTIAN- THE GRACELESS PROFESSOR- THE SELF-DECEIVED. “These are wells without water.”

Let it be distinctly observed that they are spoken of as wells; that is, they are professors of religion. They have the “form of godliness.” They have all the external appearance of real grace and sanctity. Judging of them by their church, or by their minister, or by their creed, or by their party zeal, or even by their knowledge, we should at once rank them, and perhaps rank them high, with the true possessors of grace. So strong are some of the features of resemblance, that it needs the most skillful eye to detect the difference. Looking, not at the external construction of the well- the beautiful and costly materials of which it is composed- but looking within the well, we soon discover that it is a well without water. Again we remark, that, forming our judgment of them by their church membership, their correct orthodoxy, their showy Christianity, many would be deceived as to their real state, beguiled into the belief that they were truly converted. But when judged of by God’s word- alas, how awful the deficiency! Thus far may you go, professors of religion, and yet rest short of the reality. You may be baptized, may partake of the Lord’s Supper, may be enrolled upon the records of the Church, be thought a Christian, be respected as a Christian, be confided in as a Christian, and yet His searching glance ‘whose eyes are as a flame of fire,’ discovers in you nothing but a well without water, a soul without grace- religious profession without religious principle.

Thus have we shown that a godless professor, a false Christian, is but A DRY WELL. There is no inhabitation of the Spirit, no indwelling of Christ, no possession of Divine grace. No tears of repentance have ever moistened the eyes. There are no wellings up from the heart of holy aspirations after God, of loving desires after Jesus. There are no indications of the plague known, of the burden felt, or of the conflict experienced. No echoing of the apostle’s language, “Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” There are no breathings after holiness, no longings after Divine conformity, no desires to depart and be with Christ, no anointing of the Spirit. With all the light that is in his judgment, and his observance of days, and months, and seasons, he is but a dry well- a well without water. He possesses not the inner life.

Contemplate this affecting character in yet another point of light- the influence which a mere religious professor exerts. A well with out water! -what a miserable privation! The weary traveler after much endurance of thirst and suffering sees in the distance the inviting well. Rejoicing in the discovery, he quickens his pace, and lo! he finds it indeed a well, but a dry well- a well without water! His expectation is turned into disappointment, his joy into sorrow; and like the Savior who came hungry to the fig tree and found upon it no fruit, and retiring, breathed upon it his withering curse; so departs the traveler from the well which has so cruelly mocked his raging thirst.

Thus is it with a mere professor- an empty, graceless professor of religion. We go to him, hoping for a little lift in our journey homeward; we go, seeking for some sweet consolation in our deep trial, for counsel in our perplexity, for sympathy with our sorrow, for the communion of saints- but alas! there is no response, no echo, no vibrating chord- nothing in union with what we feel: the well is dry, and not one drop can we extract from it. Oh, is it not one of the bitterest reflections that can fasten upon your mind, that, perhaps, many a poor thirsty soul has repaired to you for instruction, for sympathy, for strength, and finding you a stranger to the mysteries of the Divine life, to the trials, the conflicts, and the joys of the Christian, has turned away in bitter disappointment, even as the weary traveler, parched with thirst, turns from the well without water. It is a solemn thing to be mistaken for a real believer, to be looked up to as a true Christian, and yet to prove destitute of the knowledge and grace of Christ! -to awaken hope, and to raise expectation, and to create an interest, and to inspire confidence, and when the test is made, when the trial comes, to prove but a graceless soul- deceived and deceiving!

And yet what numbers there are of such! We speak of Jesus-there is no echo. We introduce the subject of all subjects- the most interesting and momentous- the subject of heart religion- there is no response. We go into the detail of Christian experience, the warfare, the sorrows, the joys, the trials, the burdens, the progress, the hope of the Christian, but we speak a language that they understand not. “These are wells without water.” No ingenuity can elicit, no possible effort can extract, one drop of the living water. “We play the flute for them, but they do not dance; we sing a dirge for them, but they do not weep.”

Turning now to THE TRUE CHRISTIAN, in view of this sadly affecting character we have been attempting to portray, let me remark upon the deep humility which ought to distinguish him as a real professor of the grace of Christ Jesus. What are you in yourself but the mere well? The grace which you possess is a communicated grace. We have this precious treasure in earthen vessels. All that is really holy and gracious in us, springs not from our fallen nature, but, like “every good and perfect gift, comes down from the Father of Lights.” It is the spontaneous outflowing of the heart of God- the free, unmerited bestowment of his sovereign mercy. Then what meekness of heart, what profound humility of mind, ought to mark you! What a prostration of every form of self- self-confidence, self-seeking, self-boasting, that arrogant view of our attainments and doings, which mars the Christianity of so many- should there be, as reasonably becomes those who have nothing but what they have received, and whom free and sovereign grace alone has distinguished from others!

How precious ought Jesus to be to us, who has condescended to pour this heavenly treasure into our hearts, and to undertake its constant supply! In what way can we best prove our sense of his goodness, but by drawing largely from the Fountain, and by glorifying him in what we receive? Truly “the well is deep” from where we draw this living water! Our resources are inexhaustible, because they are infinite. Nor can we come too frequently, nor draw too largely. “Spring up, O well of grace and love, into our hearts! Let not our waters be shallow nor sluggish. O for more depth of indwelling grace! O for more fervor of holy love! O for richer supplies from the fulness of Christ! O for a gracious revival in our souls! ‘Come down,’ blessed Jesus, ‘as rain upon the mown grass!’ Breathe, O south wind of the Spirit, upon the garden of our souls, that the spices may flow out! Truly the well is deep, from where we have this living water; but faith can reach it, and in proportion to the strength of our faith, and the directness and simplicity with which it deals with Christ, will be the plenitude of our supply. “Drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved,” is our Lord’s gracious invitation to his Church.

Nor let us fail to learn the secret of receiving much from Christ- the free dispensing abroad of what we have already received. Be assured of this, that he will receive the most from God who does the most for God. “The diligent soul shall be made fat. He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich. There is one who scatters, and yet increases.” This is God’s law, and he will never repeal it; his promise, and he will ever, and in all cases, make it good. Go forth, believer in Christ, and let your beams of light irradiate; let your streams of grace be dispersed abroad; live for God, suffer for Christ, witness for the truth, and labor for man. Be such a depositary of this living and life-giving treasure, that others, less favored than yourself; instructed, guided, and strengthened by your wisdom, experience, and grace, may proceed on their way, glorifying God for the grace given to you. O to have the word of God dwelling in us so richly, and our hearts so intensely glowing with the love of Christ, as to be ever ready to open our lips for God- a well always full, and running over.

This, then, is the secret of augmenting our supplies of grace, even by scattering them- of replenishing our resources, even by exhausting them. Who, we repeat the question, has ever become impoverished by giving and laborings for God? Where lives the Christian steward whose fidelity to his Master’s interests has compromised the welfare of his own? Where is the Christian man who, with cheerful munificence, has consecrated his intellectual wealth or his temporal wealth to advance the truth and kingdom of Jesus, whom Christ has not reimbursed a thousand fold? Where is the believer in Jesus who has endured reproach and suffering, patiently and silently, for conscience’ sake, for truth’s sake, for Christ’s sake, who has not infinitely gained in the rest which he has found in God? Where is the active Christian, who, zealously laborings to dispense abroad the life-giving waters, has not felt, in the solemn retirement and calm repose of his closet, when pouring out his sorrow into the bosom of his Savior, or in holding close and holy communion with his God, the springing up into his soul of a hidden well of peace, and joy, and love, which has more than restored the energies he has exhausted, and recompensed him for the sacrifice which he has made?

God meets his people in all their works of faith, and labors of love. They are never alone. He meets them in the path of duty and of trial- both in doing and in suffering his will. He meets them, when embarrassed, with counsel; he meets them, when assailed, with protection; he meets them, when exhausted, with strength; he meets them, when faint, with cordials. If we take up Christ’s cross upon our shoulder, Christ will take both us and our cross up in his arms. If we bow down our neck to his yoke and bend low our back to his burden, we shall find our rest in both. “You meet him that rejoices and works righteousness; those that remember you in your ways.”

“How may I know that I am a well with water?” may be the anxious inquiry of many as they come to the conclusion of this subject. “O that I were quite sure that I was more than a mere professor!” But why ask the question? why be in doubt? Never was so momentous a matter more easily and speedily settled. “He that believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.” Thus, from yourself you need not travel in order to ascertain your true spiritual condition. No one can be a substitute in this great matter for yourself. It is a thing which has too close and personal a relation to you as an individual, to admit of a transfer of its obligations to another. You must feel for yourself- you must experience for yourself- you must have the witness for yourself- and you must decide for yourself alone. I repeat the solemn words- “He that believes in the Son of God, has the witness in himself.” And again says the same apostle, “Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he rejoice in himself alone, and not in another.”

Thus may you come to a right and safe decision in a question involving interests as solemn and as deathless as eternity. Seek this inward witness. Witnessing to what? -that your heart has been convinced of sin- that you have renounced your own righteousness- that you have fled to the Lord Jesus Christ- and that your soul is breathing after personal holiness. Do not, I beseech you, rest short of this. Here I must hold you. All your reasonings, and objections, and cavilings, and hair-splittings, and subtleties, and sophistries- they are but sparks of your own kindling, in the midst of which you will lie down and die, and die the horrors of the second death, if you are not fully awake to your real condition before God. Give them all up, I implore you. Do not be concerned about others; let your first and chief concern be about yourself. You have no time, just now, to analyze the motives, or sift the principles, or search into the character, or mark the foibles, and detect the inconsistencies of other Christian professors.

Every moment to you is more priceless and precious than all the gems of India; yes, one second of time saved, is of more value to you than a whole eternity lost! Once you shoot across the dark gulf of death, and land on the other side without the inner life- you may then trifle with your existence, and sport with your soul, and laugh at death and hell, and recriminate and reproach others, and brave your doubts, and invent your objections, and frame your excuses, and speculate, and refine, and analyze in theology, and play the fool, as you like- for “there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for (an eternal anticipation) of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” But you cannot afford to act so now. Your precious soul is in danger, your future happiness is in peril, you are in the hands of an angry God, and you are, in fact, fast coming to the close of your probation. To act the fool and to assume the lunatic now, would be more than a mere semblance of the melancholy and awful reality. O come, then, to Christ- I bid you, invite you, implore you to come to Christ. He will answer all your questions, resolve all your doubts, remove all your difficulties, meet all your objections, and quiet all your fears. Only come to Christ. To this one alternative, to this last resort, I would shut you up.

From this I cannot release you. You must come to Christ, or you are lost. He is all, and he has all, and he will freely give you all that you need. One drop of his blood falling upon your conscience, one beam of his love darting in upon your soul, one stream of his grace flowing into your heart, will make all right within; and the morning, when the sun rises in splendor, will not look more radiant, and the lark when it mounts heavenward bathed in its beams, will not sing more sweetly, than you when Jesus thus enters your soul, filling it with sunshine and music. Accept the invitation, “He who comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out” -and you are saved.

“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that your blood was shed for me,
And that you bid me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
“Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To you, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
“Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
With fears within and wars without
O Lamb of God I come!”
“Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yes, all I need, in you to find
O Lamb of God, I come!”
“Just as I am, you will receive,
Will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because your promise I believe
O Lamb of God, I come.”
“Just as I am, your love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be yours, yes, yours alone
O Lamb of God, I come!”

We may anticipate another anxious enquiry. “What course am I to adopt when the water is low, when the well is dry, when no effort avails to bring the living fluid to the surface? -in other words, when I find a spiritual drought and deadness in my soul, and cannot feel, nor weep, nor sigh, nor desire? -when to read and meditate, to hear and pray, seem an irksome task? -when I cannot see the Savior’s beauty, nor feel him precious, nor labor as zealously, nor suffer as patiently for him as I would desire?” The answer is at hand- Look again to Jesus. This is the only remedy that can meet your case. Search the Bible through, inquire of all the ministers who have ever lived, and still the answer would be- LOOK AGAIN TO JESUS. Go direct to Christ- he is the Fountainhead, he is the living Well. True, the well is deep- for its fulness is infinite- but faith, be it of the smallest capacity, can with joy draw sufficient to quench your thirst, and make your soul as a garden which the streams have refreshed and made to “rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

The Infinite and Eternal Well is near to you! Like Hagar you are within its reach. May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see that while all emptiness exists in you, all fulness dwells in Jesus- that, however low may be the living waters in the well of your heart, there is a fathomless depth in the heart of Christ- of love unchangeable, of all-sufficient grace, of immutable truth, of salvation from all sin and trial and sorrow, commensurate with your need, and vast as his own infinity. Never can your grace be too low, nor your frame too depressed, nor your path too perplexing, nor your sorrow too keen, nor your sin too great, nor your condition too extreme for Christ, because he is both Divine and human: thus uniting the nature that can relieve, with the nature that can sympathize. “Son of God! Son of man! how wondrous and glorious are You!” Weeping in lonely sorrow, and pining in sickening need, you may, like the banished wife of Abraham, be looking wistfully around you for support and relief. See! that relief and support are near! Rise- that relief is at hand! Christ is with you, Christ is near you, Christ is in you a Fountain of living water. Cease your sadness, dry your tears, arise! and “with joy draw water out of this Well of salvation.”

Be very honest and diligent in ascertaining the cause of your soul’s dryness. The correct knowledge of this is necessary to its removal; and its removal is essential to the effectual recovery of the inner life from its sad relapse. Is it indulged sin? Is it the neglect of private prayer? Is it the forsaking of the means of grace? Is it worldliness, carnality, unwatchfulness? Anyone of these would so grieve the Spirit of God within you, as to dry up the spirituality of your soul. Do not be beguiled with the belief that the real recovery has taken place, simply because that, conscious of your state, in common-place, meaningless regrets, you acknowledge and deplore it. “The sluggard desires, and has nothing.” Observe, he has his desires, but nothing more, because with them he is satisfied. There is no effectual rousing from his sleep, no earnest attempts are made to shake off the spirit of slumber, no resolute putting away of the narcotic which
produced and which protracts it. There is no drawing near to God, no looking to Christ, no seeking of the Spirit, no thorough mortification of sin, no coming out of the world, no pressing forward. It is the mere desire of the sluggard,
and nothing more. Let not this be your state.

Receive with gladness any awakening to a consciousness of your spiritual relapse, and cherish with prayer any real desire for a better state; but do not rest here. Seek earnestly, importunately, believingly, until you possess more abundantly life from Christ. Seek a gracious revival of the inner life- the life of God in your soul. Seek a clearer manifestation of Christ, a renewed baptism of the Spirit, a more undoubted evidence of your conversion, a surer, brighter hope of heaven. Thus seeking, you will find it; and finding it, your “peace will flow like a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea.”

O the joy of a revived state of the inner life of God! It is the joy of spring, which follows the gloom and chill of winter. It is the joy of the sunlight, after a cloudy and dark day. Jesus, walking in the midst of the grace which his own Spirit has thus revived, gently addresses the soul: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in the land; the fig-tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Give all diligence in the use of the means of grace, if you desire a flourishing state of soul. They are the Divinely appointed channels of conveyance from the Fountain. They are the tributary streams from the Great Ocean. You cannot possibly maintain a healthy, vigorous state of the inner life, without them. You cannot neglect, with impunity, private prayer, meditation, and self-examination; or public ordinances- the ministry of the Word, the services of the sanctuary, the assemblies of the saints. A slight thrown upon these must entail a severe loss to your soul. Some professors can go from Sabbath to Sabbath, plunged in worldliness, or eager in the pursuit of gain, in total neglect of the prayer-meeting, or of the weekly Bible lecture- those needed rests and hallowed pauses in the way- as if there were no such appointments. These are among the things which weaken the hands, and discourage the heart, and hinder the usefulness of the faithful pastor.

But a more painful calamity even than this, is the dryness, deadness, and barrenness which this neglect brings into their own souls. It would seem as if this were the punishment of their sin. They turn their backs upon God, and God turns his back upon them. They neglect to make the pool, and he withholds the rain that fills it. But, Christian professor, this must not be! The wells must be dug, the water must be searched for. We are told that “Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water” -or, as the margin renders it- “a well of living water.” And he is pronounced a blessed man “who, passing through the valley of Baca, makes it a well; the rain also fills the pools.” It is in this way of diligent, prayerful waiting upon the means, that “he goes from strength to strength, until he appears before God.” O, dig for this precious water! Search, O search, for this living grace! Make the pool, and trust the faithfulness and loving-kindness of God to fill it with “the early and the latter rain.”

No man shall wait upon the Lord in vain. “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” They who plough deeply the fallow ground, and in its furrows sow the precious seed, shall not lack the Holy Spirit’s descending influence, in silent dew by night, and in copious showers by day, to quicken and to fructify it. Only honor the God of grace in all the means of grace, and God will honor you by imparting to you all grace through the means. “The diligent soul shall be made fat.” Return, O return to the forsaken Christ, to the neglected sanctuary, to the despised means, and you shall then no longer have reason to exclaim, “My leanness! my leanness!”

What a truly appalling character it has been the endeavor of these pages to portray- an empty, graceless professor of Christ! Reader, is this your state? Examine yourself, prove your own self, and ascertain truly if you have “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Satisfy not yourself with external ceremonies, with the observance of days, of matins, and vespers, and frequent communions- with almsgiving and charities. Are you a well with water? This, this is the great and momentous question which, in the near prospect of death, and of the judgment that follows death, it behooves you to decide. Is Christ dwelling in your heart by his Spirit? Is your religion more than a mere outward profession? O, it is an awful thing to go into eternity with your Bible, and your Psalm-book, or your Prayer-book in your hand, but without Christ living in your soul; with the elements of the Savior’s love melting upon your lips, but without the experience of the Savior’s love glowing in your heart; to go reposing in false dependence upon Church privileges, and to have come short of the only true foundation upon which the sinner can build his hope of heaven- the sliding sand substituted for the Eternal Rock.

How exactly has the Lord Jesus met such a case! In one of his striking parabolical discourses, he has furnished us with a description of certain people who in the day of judgment will be found to have put in the plea of Church union, and Church ordinances, and Church privileges, as justifying their claim to admission into heaven; but who will be rejected on that very ground, to their shame and everlasting contempt. Listen to his description; “When once the Master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand outside, and to knock at the door, ‘saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I don’t know you. Then shall you begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and you have taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I don’t know you; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.”

And who, my reader, are these? Do not be deceived! They are not the profane, and the profligate, and the neglecter of means, and the despiser of ordinances; far otherwise. They are professors of religion, nominal Christians- “almost Christians;” individuals who had been baptized, who frequented the house of God, who were regular in their attendance upon ordinances, and who believed that, by their zealous labors, and their amiable qualities, and their charities and good-will to men, they would at last be saved. But, alas! they are deceived. With all this outward profession, they were unregenerated by the Spirit, were uncircumcised in heart, were unjustified by Christ, and had never become “a habitation of God through the Spirit.” Baptism could not regenerate them, the Lord’s Supper could not sanctify them, their own works could not justify them; and when with confidence they went up to the very gate of heaven, and knocked for admission, lo! they were met with the stern rebuke, “I don’t know you: depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.” O beware, we beseech you, of those public teachers who tell you that you were regenerated in baptism, and that the Lord’s Supper is the instrument of maintaining you in that state of salvation into which, as they teach, baptism introduced you. Give not place to such false instructors, such blind guides, such perverters of the truth, such soul-destroyers; no, not for one moment. Let not their eloquence entice you, let not their reasoning ensnare you, let not their show of sanctity beguile you. You have interests at stake too dear and precious to peril on such terms as these.

I leave these solemn, searching considerations to your prayerful reflection, passing on to another figurative representation of the Inner Life- in its relapse and recovery. ” http://www.gracegems.org/WINSLOW/Wells%20Without%20Water.htm 

 

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September 20, 2008

Pentecostals

  
A Balanced Approach to Pentecostalism by Andy Terry http://www.raptureready.com/
 
Pentecostals have hoed a row that’s been littered with alienation, misunderstanding, excess, heresy, scandal, self-inflicted wounds and bad press. Yet somehow, that old ship that set sail from the mountains of Carolina/Tennessee, picking up passengers at Azusa Street still sails on. Today, Pentecostals may be found on all of the populated continents of the earth and given time, will likely take root in Antarctica. How do those rugged people do it?  
 
Pure Pentecostalism, I believe, exists within the community of orthodoxy ( Non-Trinitarians not withstanding) but using a phrase like “pure Pentecostalism” can be likened to holding onto a fist-full of wind. Pentecostal congregations are a diverse lot, even within their own Denomination. Churches within the Assemblies of God are a prime example of this (Due to their congregational autonomy). Where some are solidly biblical in both theology and approach, others turn on a dime to chase every, and any doctrinal tumbleweed that blows through town.To synthesize this balanced approach, we will have to define first, our terms in the strictest sense, and hold their outworking to the plumb line of Scripture. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful benefits of scripture; not only does it provide a clear demarcation between truth and error, it provides a level surface on which to build. If the house is built on the solid, immobile foundation of the word, it will stand up to time and tide. In other words, we won’t have to continually revisit and retool to suit the whims of successive generations. My intent is to supply more than just a list of “grievances”. Solutions and suggestions are provided along with a roadmap on reaching those solutions.“What is a Pentecostal?” Simply stated, a Pentecostal is one who believes that the Holy Spirit of God continues to move as He did in the Apostolic Church. The Pentecostal looks to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to live a life that’s God-pleasing and purpose fulfilling. Within the Pentecostal zeitgeist, the gifts received on that 50th day following Christ’s resurrection remain with the Body of Christ until He returns for His bride. This again, is a “nutshell” definition. The degree of separation between pentecostals and nonpentecostals is much narrower than both persuasions would realize, boiling down to a debate over just which gifts of the Spirit have ceased to operate, and how the Spirit fills and empowers the Follower of Jesus. Within the Pentecostal view however, there are some very serious watershed division that literally determine the difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. “Oneness Pentecostalism” is a dire departure from historic Christian orthodoxy in its refutation of the tri-unity of the Godhead. This school shouldn’t be included under the pale of orthodoxy, regardless of whatever PR spin they apply to their public image. Their sheer numbers, combined with their simpaticos on the Trinity Broadcasting Network would give the impression that their doctrinal errors have been mitigated and that they’ve been given full acceptance. Unfortunately for historic Pentecostalism, this paints an inaccurate image, one that portrays pentecostals as a group that plays fast and loose with theology and doctrine.“ Problematic Pentecostalism.” The previous statement ( fast and loose) hits home far too often, and far too close for comfort. Generally speaking, pentecostals have often been hoisted on their own petards over issues that would have been avoided if the saint had simply exercised Christian discernment. I wish to stress that I’m speaking in generalities, addressing Pentecostalism as a whole.The substitution of experience for sound doctrine is perhaps the greatest problem that faces today’s Pentecostal churches. Sound biblical doctrine is treated at best as a “necessary evil”, or its simply ignored out of hand. This problem is exacerbated by two factors, inadequate theological/doctrinal depth within members of the Pentecostal clergy/laity, and a prevailing disdain for serious study. These factors create a self-perpetuating spiral of spiritual ignorance that opens the door for grave spiritual error and apostasy. The results of this doctrinal shallowness ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous but since we (believers in Christ Jesus) are all de facto spokesmen for the historic faith and the Kingdom of God, there’s nothing funny about the situation.

This doctrinal shallowness allows folk to accept the toxic teaching propagated by the likes of Hinn, Hickey and Copeland without an iota of critical examination. A legion of pentecostals sit like bobble-head dolls, nodding with approval any time these contemporary Gnostics open their mouths, and their teaching then propagates like a computer virus as well-meaning Sunday school teachers and pastors ape the message to waiting ears. Shallowness also allows what I’ve defined as 1“Mountain folk religion” to wend its way into the Pentecostal zeitgeist, destroying any and all credibility as apologists.

Consider the results of doctrinal shallowness carried to its ultimate end. Oneness Pentecostalism essentially sprung from a prophecy delivered at a camp meeting early in the last century. Had there been enough “Bereans” in attendance that prophecy would have been weighed in the balance of scripture and it would have been judged as a false prophecy and the error wouldn’t have seen the light of day. Then there’s the case of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. His pronouncements from the pulpit were accepted out of hand and we saw with horrible clarity, the results on our TV’s.

“Over the Top Arminianism.” I’m not picking a Calvinist fight with my Arminian brothers! My personal theology is a synthesis formed between the poles of these two theological worldviews and frankly, I’ve found problematic issues in both as they’re taken to their extremes. There seems to be a phobia among pentecostals that has many believing that they’re no more than a heartbeat away from loosing their salvation and being dispatched onto the HOV lane to perdition. I’ve witnessed both cases of folk “getting saved” every Sunday, and individuals receiving multiple baptisms over a two-year period. Personally, I see this as a process that cheapens both the gift of salvation and the sacrament of Baptism. In every case where I took the time to pray with the penitent, that individual simply needed to confess a sin before God and accept the grace of His forgiveness.

This mindset prevents believers from venturing a few steps away from the altar of repentance and duct tapes them into a spiritual bassinet. Have you ever wondered just how we can have folk in our churches who’ve been saved for decades yet remain “Babes in Christ”? It’s because they’re trapped in this mindset and until they embrace the liberty of the believer, they’ll not mature beyond the sinner’s prayer.

“ Towards Biblically-Balanced Pentecostalism.” There’s no “hidden revelation” or inside trick to curing these aliments that seek to undermine the Pentecostal worldview. My thesis is based on no other revelation than the revealed canon of Scripture. The prescription is a matter of public record and may be found within the pages of God’s word. This isn’t esoteric inside information that’s only available to the super saint; any believer can read, absorb and model this behavior.

Luke spoke of the Bereans in Acts Chapter 17:
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These The Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”( Acts 17:10-11 KJV).

Dwight L. Moody coined the phrase, “ The straight stick of scripture”, which conveyed the idea that pronouncements should be held to the standard of the Bible for accuracy and clarity. Our understanding of the world may change from generation to generation. Conventional wisdom ( or pop-ignorance) too has its own unique generational perspective. Holy Scripture is eternal and unchanging. Rooted in eternity past and projecting into eternity future, it is unchanging and unyielding to generational fickleness. What light does Scripture shed on the Pentecostal experience, or Spiritual Gifts? How are these gifts seen in operation, or dispensation? These, and other questions are answered clearly by St. Paul in his epistles, and by St. Peter in his dissertations in Acts.

“The Divine Purpose seen in Perpetuity.” The purpose of Pentecost often seems lost on many who would call themselves Pentecostal. For some, it’s a mere rush; much like a thrill ride. Altar-centered activity becomes their measure for the move of God in a service and the decibels equate to anointing. You can witness this though the comments of these folk.

Consider a worship service where a sense of reverence has permeated the venue. The speaker’s message has resonated deep within the hearts of hearers and a sense of conviction is now welling towards the surface. As the service is closing, many throughout pray earnestly, seeking for the grace and strength to move closer to the heart of God. Many who are outside of the family of the forgiven repent and seek our Lord’s gift of salvation. In the end, hearts are steeled, souls are strengthened and silent tears may even be shed. The gifts of the Spirit were operating with power in this scenario as evidenced by the clear, powerful proclamation of God’s word. Yet because no “message” was delivered and interpreted, no one “ran the aisles” or “fell under the power”, the majority of Thrill Riders would have dismissed that service as being dead! Ironically, the description above could be applied not only to Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, but to the entire program of apostolic preaching.

For others still, the purpose of Pentecost has been reduced to a mere “fix”. These are the individuals who will cross a continent to see the latest curious manifestation to roll onto the Pentecostal or Charismatic stage. Chances are, you may know folk who’ll trek hours to see a revivalist from Paul Crouch’s TBN lineup in some regional venue. Or, you may know of individuals who’ve made the pilgrimage to Toronto or Brownsville to “see” the purported revivals that took place in those locales.

Both of these take the Pentecostal experience and the move of the Spirit, and reduce them to the level of a day at the amusement park, or a peek at a train wreck! The Holy Spirit of our God hasn’t been given as an entertainment outlet or to be a means of wringing adrenaline from our pancreas. So what then, is the purpose of the Gifts of the Spirit and the objective of the Pentecostal experience?

“Purposes Revealed.” The arrival of the Spirit and the spiritual gifts, along with the objectives of the Pentecostal experience are intrinsically related and essentially can’t be separated. Jesus spoke clearly of the coming Spirit and His mission in John 16. At it’s essential core, the mission of the Holy Spirit is to draw all humanity into a relationship with their creator. Amplified, that mission includes convicting us of our abject spiritual poverty and moral bankruptcy, and convincing us of our absolute need for a savior who offers divine forgiveness and perfect love. Looking further, the Spirit comforts the repentant heart and breathes grace and assurance of Divine forgiveness. Yet in the midst of comfort, that same Spirit may also act as a sharp stick, scolding and admonishing us. I’m thoroughly convinced that when we hear our consciences speaking to our centers, it’s a result of being goaded by the Spirit.

The essential core of the Pentecostal experience is equally clear. Essentially, the objective of this experience is to empower us to be bearers of the Gospel and participants in the Holy Spirit’s mission in the physical universe.

St. Peter is the supreme example of this statement. Consider Peter; brash, impulsive, and rushing in where angels fear to tread. When the iron was on the anvil, he disavowed his associations with the Christ, and cursed those who insinuated the contrary. Yet when this Galilean everyman received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on that day of Pentecost, he was filled with a new-found power that allowed him to become a channel of God’s grace, mercy and peace. Stained-glass hagiography aside, Peter was a “Regular Guy” with the full compliment of normal hopes, dreams, desires and passions. His living legacies may be found seated in any pew of any church the world over. We all know “Peter’s”; those plain-spoken men who work hard, honest days with their calloused hands. We’ve seen these same men manifest the love of Christ to those in their worlds. As was the case of Peter, this empowerment is clearly the result of the Holy Spirit operating in the lives of these men (and women).

“The Promise and the indwelling presence.” The debate continues within orthodox, evangelical circles as to the validity of the contemporary Pentecostal experience. Positions and passions are varied but for a Biblio-historic view, let’s consider the following passages from St. Luke’s Acts of the Apostles.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and all who are far off – for All whom our Lord will call.” Acts 2:38-39 (NIV)

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and Arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them “Did you Receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Acts 19:1-2 (NIV)

Receiving the “Gift of the Spirit”, according to Luke’s account in Acts would appear to be normative by the account of Luke. In 2:38, Peter makes the clear, declarative statement that all who repent of their sins and call on the name of the Christ for forgiveness will receive that Gift of the Spirit. He further implies that the promise is open-ended, crossing generational, ethnic and chronological barriers.

We find ourselves thrust some 15 years into the future with Acts 19:1-2, where Apollos asks believers in Corinth if they’d received the Holy Spirit. A continued reading reveals that they weren’t familiar with the gift but when they availed themselves, the gift was received. “Cessation or Perpetuity?” This is the point of debate between pentecostals and nonpentecostals; do the “Gift of the Spirit” and the accompanying Spiritual Gifts exist in perpetuity, or did they cease at the closure of the apostolic age? Sincere, orthodox children of God exist on both sides of the debate and I would be both arrogant and wrong to use this question as a litmus test of one’s faith in God. Unfortunately though, there are those in both camps that sling arrows and accusations at the other, keeping phrases like “Apostate”, or “Blasphemer of the Holy Ghost” in their quivers. This behavior only alienates and destroys. “ Questions for the Cessationist.” We need to establish the fact that there are several “Gifts of the Spirit”.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Cor. 12:7-11 (NKJV)

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Rom. 12:6-8 (NKJV)

Often, both sides seem to loose touch of the fact that Tongues, Interpretations and Prophecies aren’t the sole Gifts of the Spirit. A reading of I Corinthians 12:8-10 lists a multitude of gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Miraculous Powers, Healing, Prophecy, the Discerning of Spirits, Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues. We see this list amplified and expanded in Romans 12:6-8, where we see: Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Encouragement (or Exhortation), Leadership, Giving, and Mercy. If we’re to say that the “Gifts of the Spirit” ceased at the close of the apostolic age, how do we reconcile the fact that the many or most of these gifts are operating within healthy, Biblio-centric churches? Too, what church could ever expect to be salt and light in their community without the presence of these gifts in their midst?

“The Prescription for Balance.” The Pentecostal experience MUST exist under the bright light of God’s word if it’s to remain biblio-centric and relevant to the move of God! The extrabiblical forays into frothy-mouthed kookiness and fanaticism have not only hijacked the Pentecostal worldview, but have deprived the bulk of the church of a major source of blessing as well. There is a struggle for the soul of the Pentecostal worldview, and its outcome will guide the future of Pentecostal groups and opinions. If biblio-centricity is lost, these groups will be at best, marginalized to the point total insignificance and at worst, become a bulwark of apostate zeitgeist. The outcome rests in the hands of those who’d call themselves Pentecostal. “ Against the plumb line of Scripture.” Scripture sets the precedent and provides the instructions for operation of Gifts of the Spirit and as the case of any doctrine or teaching of Scripture, it’s non-negotiable; we tinker with them at our own spiritual peril.

A clearer understanding is especially needed in the area of what some will refer to as “sign” gifts. A “Message in Tongues” is not a communiqué from God through the Spirit ( or Mary, in the case of some Charismatic Catholics). Simply put, its quite the opposite. According to I Corinthians 14, one who is speaking in tongues is communicating with the Lord, not channeling for Him. Typically, this error occurs when one assumes to have received the Gift of Interpretations. The “message” will typically be one of where the Lord places His “Good Cosmoskeeping Seal” on the worship service, or one that stirs up the congregation. Typically too, this is the result of doctrinal ignorance but sometimes, those wanting to stir up a service that’s perceived as being dead purposefully do it. This is disingenuous and just plain wrong! “Manifestations” are another area that demands examination. By manifestations, I’m speaking of those things that are rife within Pentecostal circles and range from the sublime to the ridiculous. They range from extra-biblical at best, to downright unscriptural at their worst. Pentecostals must stop excusing bizarre, disorderly conduct the like of that seen in Toronto. The God who created the cosmos at the sub-atomic level is a God of propriety and good order, not a Lord of bedlam and chaos. When someone starts shouting in the middle of a speaker’s message, the only thing being manifested is spiritual ignorance or just plain bad manners. Consider for a moment… When the pastor or teacher is delivering a sermon, a bona fide gift of the Spirit is in Operation and saints are being encouraged and equipped. Should we expect an orderly God to randomly manifest his presence in a way that degrades this equipping process? “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” I Cor. 14:40 (NIV)

Gifts are for service, and must be sought after. Each Spiritual Gift serves to build and strengthen the church, both on a local and universal level. Unfortunately though, a majority who claim to be spirit-filled can’t tell you what gift or gifts they’re received. Oh sure, at one point in their lives, they may have spoken in other tongues at the altar, but that’s the end of their story. If we’re to believe that tongues are the initial evidence of the Spirit’s indwelling ( A point that’s also wide open for debate), we should reasonably expect secondary and subsequent evidence of some other form of gifting. We do no service for the kingdom by simply reveling in an experience we may have had decades ago. Rather, we should seek out the gifts (and avenues) or service that we might be a greater blessing to the world around us.

Conclusions A biblically synthesized approach to the Pentecostal experience will not only place the church on a sound doctrinal footing, it will also invigorate the ministry of God’s Church on Planet Earth! 

 While the Plymouth Brethren even say they Believe the Bible is the Word of God, they too clearly do have this unholy, desperate and complicated need to reinterpret almost every passage  of the Bible suitable to their own liking. They also seem to like to eradicate the Bible references to judgement, reaping, sins, Hell, damnation, and I often still do wonder why? what are they hiding? fearful of? the real truth?

http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/dispensationalists-it-seems-to-compensate-for-their-often-rejections/

http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/i-rightfully-openly-oppose-all-these-false-bad-professing-christians/

 

 

 

September 6, 2008

Religious Topics of Interest

Topics of Interest
 
Topics of interest are listed  for your edification. Everyday issues of eternal significance are addressed from a biblical standpoint.  http://www.comprehensivechristian.com/Topics-of-Interest.asp

  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Keeping Christ in Christmas
  • The Secret Place of the Most High: What is it?
  • Be true to yourself and God
  • One of the Most Misunderstood Texts: Romans Chapter 7
  • The Preaching that is Commissioned by God
  • Joyful Desperation!
  • Divine Healing by Andrew Murray
  • Christian Worldview in a Crime Ridden World
  • Euthanasia Mercy Killings or Merciless Murders
  • What is the difference between True Revival and False Revival
  • Why the Church needs Revival
  • Why there is no Revival in Most Churches
  • Are you a Christian?
  • What is the Truth?
  • On Choosing Your Life-Partner
  • New Year, 2005!
  • Tsunami, “Saved alone.”
  • How to be an Overcomer
  • What is Autism? Is there a cure?
  • So Many Defenseless Victims of Neglect and Violence…
  • The Passion Of The Christ
  • False Pentecostalism And Man-made doctrines
  • Finally Free
  • 2004 New Year’s Resolution
  • Discovering The Star In You This Christmas Season
  • Some thoughts on taming the tongue
  • Victory in JESUS!
  • Decision Making
  • Addiction of today’s housewife
  • Death of a guru
  • Take Time To Be Holy
  • Exhortation
  • The God Of All Comfort
  • A Loving Rebuke
  • Reversing The Epidemic Of Spiritual Immaturity In The Church
  • Christian Prosperity
  • He Showed Himself Alive!
  • The Christian Soldier at Wartime!
  • Finding Our Way Back To God
  • Liars and the Lake of Fire
  • A thankful heart
  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • Without Love
  • Sobriety : the Lost Art
  • New Year’s Resolution for 2003
  • Christmas 2002
  • A, “Sacred Starvation?”
  • Christmas
  • Easter Season
  • A Word About “Revelation”
  • Follow your own heart …???
  • The Martial Arts and the Christian
  • Speak Lord, for your servant heareth!
  • Are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for Today?
  • Thinking of You…
  • How to find a good church
  • The nominal christian
  • Overcoming Fear
  • The Christian Cop
  • His face and Form was more damaged than any other man’s
  • Suicide
  • Abortion
  • Lord, what do you want from me anyway?
  • “How could God let something like this happen?”
  • Godly Parenting
  • Warning!! from the World Trade Center Disaster
  • How to live the separated life of a believer?
  • What to do if you are gay/lesbian?
  • What the Bible Teaches
  • How you can have a truly fulfilling marriage?
  • How to get to Heaven?
  • How you can have a True Friend?
  • What the Bible says about dating/pre-marital relationships?
  • How to be Forgiven of Pre-marital Immorality?

“Sad to say, the Lord is very grieved when He views much of our programs, service, worship, devotions etc.  Why? It is because, “this people honors Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.” (Isaiah 29:13).
 
We must all by God’s help first die to self, and all it stands for now as well.  
 
“There is really only one reason why we see no revival in most congregations in the world: Disobedience in the professing Christians in the Churches.  One of ways that disobedience is played out is in Self-Deception and Unbelief!
 
There is disobedience and self-deception on the part of pastors and leaders as well on the part of the laity. ”
 
 The pastoral self satisfaction and pastoral disobedience to God stops all revivals from happening.. I proved it myself. Any church can have next a revival, if the people in  that church start to meet regularity and to pray for each specific service that God would be manifested in it.. I asked to met with the pastor of my local church to pray one hour a week for his services, within a month a revival broke out in his Church to his surprise and not mine.
 
Men ought to pray and not faint, pray that the Lord of the harvesters will send his laborers into his field.
 
Increased personal Bible reading, prayer and obedience are clear signals that we personally are pressing toward maturity in Jesus Christ. For we cannot hope to lead any of the others to where we ourselves have refused to go..
 
Do see also 

July 27, 2008

Can a person change?

Now can a Person change themselves?  Is there hope for anyone?
 
Some people say that recognition of the problems, obstacles is basically 90 percent of the solution, and I really do also wish that next was true..
 
Now we all seem to meet all type  of persons in real life, the control freaks, verbal and human right abusers, Bullies, enslavers, liars, cheaters, imposters, pretenders, con artists too.  And we often simply do wonder why they do not change..
 
Here also is what I know for sure, the older the person is the more extreme, more severe, the more difficult the punishment has  to be on them to cause them to personally to change in their own  negative ways, for they are too set in them now too.   
   
Beware though — still today most bad persons resist changing, and do  employ false denial techniques of their wrongs, deny wrongfully their own need to change and next even build even more walls between them and others. You can see this bad approach used by  alcoholics now as well most of the time..
  
Being nice. kind, friendly  to a really bad person  is still also a complete waste of time, for they will not change their negative behaviors on their own, they see   no reasons to do so now still too. Sad but true. We cannot never control a bad person, a drug addict or an alcoholic, but we can learn all about it and learn firstly to control our own behavior, appropriate responses –including how we should behave in the relationship with the  sick and suffering and /or possibly manipulative addict or alcoholic, abuser.. 

 
In fact it is next impossible for anyone to try to to change others. I have seen many marriage fail cause the wife was naïve to believe she could change her husband instead of accepting him for who, what he was at the time of marriage. After all it is easier to change oneself than others too but wrongfully most people try to change others and not themselves. If it was supposedly easy to change anyone then we would not need prisons for the too often now habitually criminals in reality.
 
In reality also now whether you are talking now about a parent, a relative,  a spouse, criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts to what ever no one basically can be helped firstly who refused to admit they need help, and next also refuses thus next any help to change now as well.
 
And in truth the only people I have ever seen who manifested any  lasting, real changes were these people changed by God, who had next became born again, and to be fully truthful here too next half of them even got worse again next, a dog who returned to their vomit, they denied next the DENIED THE SAME FAITH THEY BELIEVED IN TOO.
 
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous rightfully says that only God can next heal, relieve the sin, the illness of addiction. It requires the addictive person to first confess they have sinned and next ask for God’s forgiveness, help. 
 
Too many a persons also do falsely deny who they really are, hiding behind prestigious or pretentious facade that they are unknown, cannot be discerned, read, known cause they are too complex.. you can fool some of the people some of the time, most of the people most of the time but not all of the people all of the time..
 
Jesus himself said a person can be known simply by what they do. good people do good things.. and bad people tend to do bad things. 
 
(Mat 7:18 KJV)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
 
(Mat 7:19 KJV)  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
 
(Mat 7:20 KJV)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
(Mat 7:21 KJV)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 
(Mat 7:22 KJV)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 
(Mat 7:23 KJV)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
 
(Mat 7:24 KJV)  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
 
(Mat 7:25 KJV)  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
 
(Mat 7:26 KJV)  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
 
(Mat 7:27 KJV)  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  
 
 
Helping others to change for the good is even more difficult today as well
              
  
Reality- Today many Children are also being falsely led to  believe that Gambling, Alcohol and Bad drug use is generally  safe. The average 18 year old has seen 100,000 television commercials encouraging him or her to drink. That’s why 80% of high school seniors have tried alcohol, 32% have gotten drunk in the last thirty days, 43% smoke marijuana, and about one third are smoking cigarettes. Most addicts die of their addiction and they take their family members down with them. The first step in any help program recovery is to get honest with yourself. Get honest even as to what the other person is really like.. Do not let them take you down the drain with them next too.. Control what you watch, read, hear and what your children watch, put the computer also in the family room where you can supervise it, see what they are doing with it. 
We all also must take any personal addiction seriously especially amongst teens, and the adults now too,  because 25% of North Americans die as a result of substance abuse. The average alcoholic dies twenty-six years earlier than he or she would otherwise. Drug users, alcoholics, cheaters, abusers, adulterers affect negatively continually too the lives of at least six others
 
Establish Boundaries, Set Limits, Set detachment.  One example of setting a boundary is telling a close friend, a loved one  that you prefer they not be around you if they are smoking,  drunk or high. Notice that it is specific demand, and you have to sit down and communicate this type of request explicitly with that someone. Setting a boundary like this is difficult because there is this tendency to hurt other’s feelings. But that is part of what is keeping you ineffective– your caring more about this person’s feelings than your own personal well being. Setting boundaries is about putting your own personal well being and even that of others first, and letting that be a guiding example of how to live. You know you are setting effective boundaries when you are taking back control of your own life firstly and starting to regain your own sanity–instead of being all wrapped up in the problems of a struggling smoker, rebel, drug addict or alcoholic. 
 
The fastest way for anyone to change is by prayers, them also praying, even by the prayers of others, reading the Bible as well.. valid support groups also still can either be pretentious, fake, wolves in sheep clothing,   or helpful?  Beware always of men and women, bullies, tormentors, control freaks,  persons, civil and public servants,  politicians, pastors, leaders, elders, who falsely do, will try to enslave you, oppress you, exploit you even while they claim they are proclaiming the truth, democracy, trying to help you, etc.,    Is 51:23 ..your tormentors {and} oppressors, those who said to you, Bow down, that we may ride {or} tread over you; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over.   

“Here are some things that you can do in order to practice detachment with the struggling pervert in your life:
-Don’t do things that they should be doing themselves.
-Don’t bend over backwards to rescue them or save them from natural consequences.
-Don’t cover up for their mistakes or embarrassing situations.
-Don’t rescue them from crisis or financial situations.
-Don’t try to fix them.
-Let go of any guilt you may have about them.
   
Detachment is not about denying your emotions. If someone close to you dies, for example, you will probably feel sad. You can’t choose this feeling. It simply is. But we do have the power to affect the intensity of this feeling, by focusing on the positive aspects of the situation. We can also change our thinking in an attempt to eradicate irrational beliefs that might be contributing to our emotional turmoil.

The goal is not to go without emotions, the goal is to achieve some level of emotional stability. We are detaching from the negative, irrational thoughts that stir up our emotions–like the guilt we might have if we think someone’s perversity, addiction is our fault.
Detachment is difficult and takes practice.” 
 
Summary: How to help a teenager that does not listen or how to make a bad person change to a good person.. are some of the very common search questions for this topic now too.. the critical word being change.. you can set clear boundaries, detachments, and  give wise verbal instruction to a wise person, or some kind of a reward incentive, but still he may or may not next listen to it and follow it.. a foolish person  certainly will not listen to good advice for a start, may need to hopefully learn the hard way with a rod of life’s correction LIKE THE PRODIGAL SON NEXT DID .. for  you cannot hope to change anyone still by yourself without God’s help, input in reality. Humble Prayer is the starting method in getting God’s help.
 
(Jer 14:7 KJV)  O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.
 
(Jer 2:19 KJV)  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
 
(Jer 3:22 KJV)  Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.
 
(Jer 5:6 KJV)  Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.
 

It also now seems that unresolved problems tend to make us seek God. How to draw closer to God. You have wanted God to speak to you for a long time. You have wanted to talk to God and get answers back. This  is an opportunity for you to have a dialogue with God. God too wants to communicate with you. You might have been in church, a crusade, in your room, or outside under the stars. You felt God’s call, but you didn’t know exactly what God wanted you to do. You knew you were going to do something special, but you didn’t know what it was. Now you can also find out God’s plan for you, and others too and the literature is all free too.   It teaches you how to hear God’s voice.  God will teach you many things you need to know.  Valid spiritual tools to help you make conscious contact with God: Praise, Prayer, Humbleness, Obedience, the Bible. Get yourself ready where God speaks to you  Do see http://pbulow.tripod.com/wait.html   and http://pbulow.tripod.com/voice.html   
 
Do see also
http://pbulow.tripod.com/
http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/hidden-agendas/  
http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/the-pretender-imposter-wolf-in-sheep-clothing/  
http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/control-freaks/  
http://www.socyberty.com/Advice/Are-You-a-Control-Freak.101788  
http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/wrongful-accusations/   
http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/verbal-abuse-is-always-unacceptable-too/

July 16, 2008

Just by me merely observing

Just by me merely observing in churches, on the net, in politics, elsehwere too, I too can see too many professing Christians act now even ungodly and next say wrongfully it is ok.. so do the bad pastors.
  
(2Ti 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
 
(Psa 19:7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
 
(Psa 19:11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
 
(Pro 13:13) Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. 
 
Jer 7:2 Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord. 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Trust not in the lying words [of the false prophets who maintain that God will protect Jerusalem because His temple is there], saying, This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord. 5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly {and} truly execute justice between every man and his neighbor,
 6 If you do not oppress the transient {and} the alien, the fatherless, and the widow or shed innocent blood [by oppression and by judicial murders] in [Jerusalem] or go after other gods to your own hurt,  8 Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot benefit [so that you do not profit].  9
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 And [then dare to] come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, [By the discharge of this religious formality] we are set free!–only to go on with this wickedness {and} these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes [a place of retreat for you between acts of violence]? Behold, I Myself have seen it, says the Lord. 12 But go now to My place which was in Shiloh [in Ephraim], where I set My Name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and [because] when I spoke to you persistently [even rising up early and speaking], you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 Therefore will I do to this house (the temple), which is called by My Name {and} in which you trust, to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole posterity of Ephraim. 16 Therefore do not pray for this people [of Judah] or lift up a cry or entreaty for them or make intercession to Me, for I will not listen to {or} hear you.
 
Jer 7:21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the flesh [if you will. It will avail you nothing].  22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this thing I did command them: Listen to {and} obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they would not listen to {and} obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels {and} the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts {and} minds, and they turned their backs {and} went in reverse instead of forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them daily, early and late. 26 Yet the people would not listen to {and} obey Me or bend their ears [to Me], but stiffened their necks and behaved worse than their fathers.
 27 Speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to {and} obey you; also call to them, but they will not answer you.
Yet you shall say to them, This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or receive instruction {and} correction {and} warning; truth {and} faithfulness have perished and have completely vanished from their mouths. 29 Cut off your hair [your crown, O Jerusalem] and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights, for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations (extremely disgusting and shamefully vile things) in the house which is called by My Name to defile it.
 
Jer 8:4 .. Thus says the Lord: Shall men fall and not rise up again? Shall one turn away [from God] and not repent {and} return [to Him]? 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem turned away with a perpetual turning away [from Me]? They hold fast to deceit (idolatry); they refuse to repent {and} return [to God]. 6 I have listened and heard, but they have not spoken aright; no man repents of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? Everyone turns to his [individual] course, as the horse rushes like a torrent into battle. 7 [Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them]. 8 How can you say, We are wise, and we have the written law of the Lord [and are learned in its language and teachings]? Behold, the truth is, the lying pen of the scribes has made of the law a falsehood (a mere code of ceremonial observances). 9 The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken [captive]. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom {and} broad, full intelligence is in them? 10 .. for everyone, from the least even to the greatest, is given to covetousness (is greedy for unjust gain); from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. 11

For they have healed the wound of the daughter of My people only lightly {and} slightingly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

Jer 8:14 .. For the Lord our God has decreed our ruin and given us bitter {and} poisonous water to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. 15 We looked for peace {and} completeness, but no good came, and for a time of healing, but behold, dismay, trouble, {and} terror!

Jer 8:22
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people restored? [Because Zion no longer enjoyed the presence of the Great Physician!]
  
 I said it before often if the Pastors too often act bad themselves how can I expect the others to be any better now too even in Canada?
 Look I am not alone in this view.. too many Canadian persons have noticed that we have much too many alcoholics in the governments, even as elected ones, even as leaders, Brian Mulroney was known for his boozing now too.. Regretfully still there  much too many alcoholics even in the Conservative party now for my liking,  , in this area too they are just as bad as the Liberal too it seems..  and who can forget Ralph Klein’s alcoholic outburts too, A man is certainly known what he is like by the friends he keep and having an brain damaged alcoholic as a friend, as a  drinking buddy is really no virtue, it is a sad recommendation,  a poor reference that you cannot even be now proud off.. The Prime Minister Stephen Harper a professing Christian Missinary Alliance Evangelcial too had said that the ex PM Brian Mulroney was a close friends.. he Harper now really better start to get better friends and appointees than his alcoholic drinking buddies.. and still not one cent of taxpayers’ money should ever be even used  to buy any alcoholic, alcohol  at any governmental function, expense account.. for we all know how bad alcoholism is and how much evil , suffering it brings, all alcoholics should be fired, especially all of the alcoholic the public and civil servants, all alcoholic  elected officials too  and  not rather falsely  rewarded with more alcohol for almost all of them are already known to be liars, cheat’s thieves, abusers, etc..

http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/07/18/the-pcs-said-the-liberals-were-crooked-but-what-about-themselves/

https://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/hard-to-tell-the-difference/

https://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/alcoholism-the-unacceptable-sin/

http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/and-if-the-righteous-scarcely-be-saved/

https://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/good-and-bad-unacceptable-theology/

 http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/pm-stephen-harper-needs-to-get-better-friends-needs-to-repent-himself-too/

 https://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/just-by-me-merely-observing/

 

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