FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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WATCHMAN ON THE WALL


1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Mat 23:)



There are as many reasons for becoming a minister of the Word as there are people in the ministry. And a person's reason for joining the ministry may very likely not be the reason for their remaining in this position.

This is true of the congregation in the pews as well. Where one person might attend church because it is "the thing to do," another might sit along side such a one with a heart driven to seek the Lord.

But there is nothing to say that the one who is complacent about their church attendance might one day be the one who seeks to be a servant; and that the seeker might backslide and become complacent.

We are human. Change is a part of our makeup. It's the direction we face that makes the difference as to where we will arrive at the end of our changing.


Jesus had to confront the many who elected themselves to be the Servants of God. These leaders of the church were called Pharisees, Sadducees, Priests and Scribes. Such men as these had placed themselves as overseers of the Church of God, with the apparent intent that they were hearing from God, and Sheparding the sheep of God's flock.

Jesus made it abundantly clear that these self-appointed leaders were neither hearing from God, nor were they concerned at all with those they had charge over.


When a person takes on the position of overseer, that is a minister of a church, they become responsible for the care and education of those they are in charge of. This is not unlike a parent with a child, or a teacher with a student. If the parent or the teacher fails, the student is likely to fail as well.

In regards to Worldly things, failure can make the difference between a happy and successful life here on earth, or a disaster. But in the realm of the Spiritual, failure on the part of a minister can make the difference of eternal bliss and eternal damnation.

The position of Minister of the Word can not be taken lightly.


The Pharisees and the Scribes took their role as leaders of the flock lightly. In fact, the flock to them were nothing but a means to a personal end for themselves. Instead of serving the flock, or serving God as they purported to do, they expected the flock, and even God, to serve them. This is not unlike the leaders of the churches today.


For a non-believers who have1 taken the role of leader because it is a comfortable job with some esteem, or because it was expected of them, what God has to say about their position would mean little to them. And, considering that should the Minister not believe in God, what can be expected of those who attend his (or her) church?

And if the Minister is not directed toward God, and he is not directing himself to God, then he is very likely directing everything toward himself, which includes a comfortable life for himself.

And the same could be said of those who sit in the pews listening to him.


Non-believers aside, for there is nothing that can be done for them, those who have taken on the robes of authority in God's Church must consider the importance of that position they have taken, or that they have been elected to.


1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Mat 23:)


You may have read this at the top of the page. The position of Scribe and Pharisee is a very important one, not to be taken lightly. The rulers of Jesus' day took their job lightly. This is what Jesus had to say to them:


13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, (Mat 23:)


The position these men had taken upon themselves is an important one. But they didn't want to hear that they were doing poorly, they wanted to hear how wonderful they were, and how well they were doing.


There are no Pharisees in the Christian churches today (although they are alive and well in the Jewish communities to this day). But the roles they held are very much present and thriving in the churches.


Scribes were the ones who copied the Words of the Bible, and therefore they knew those words better than anyone else. They were the ones a person went to if they had a question about the Bible. In a word, they were the lawyers of the day.

Today we would call those who purport to know the Word, regardless of what denomination, cult or religion, "Theologians." They are the ones who tell the churches what God means when He speaks, and the ones whose words the Preachers follow.


The Pharisees were the ones who made their presence known to the masses. While the Scribes (Theologians) work behind the scenes, instructing the teachers and writing books; the Pharisees could be seen sitting in the gates or on the steps of the Temple with their disciples and others listening intently to their every word. (Luke 2:39 - Doctor means: teacher, Rabbi. See Mat 23:7.)


Today we call these teachers: Pastor, Preacher, or Priest. They stand behind a podium (usually) speaking to many thousands of listeners who accept their every word as the Words of God, or they may only be speaking to a handful. Regardless of the size of the flock, their purpose and aim is the same.


In the days of Jesus, and for hundreds of years before, there was one group of people that held a very important position that no one paid any attention to. They were visible to all, but no one saw them.

These were the Watchmen on the Wall.


From the time of our earliest ancestors, once there was more than one person on this earth, there was danger ever present. This has been demonstrated by Cain and Able. And in the case of Cain, it was clear that the greatest danger was not from without the camp, the family, but from within.

Because of the ever present danger, a watchman was posted on the wall of the city with the sole responsibility of watching for any threats. Unseen, unheard, unnoticed, the watchman watched.


16And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. (Ezek 3:)


Notice that Ezekiel did not volunteer for the job of watchman. He was given the job. And along with the job he was given, came this warning:


6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ezek 33:)


Even though Ezekiel did not ask for the job he was given, nonetheless he would have to pay the consequences if he did not faithfully perform his duty to the ultimate.

An example of this can be seen in the Roman guards who watched over the Apostles. When it appeared that the prisoners had escaped, the guard was ready to commit suicide rather than endure the punishment that would be inflicted on him for having lost the prisoner.


Watchmen are unseen and unheard. But when the watchman blows the alarm, he is more apparent and has more influence than does anyone else in the city. Even kings pay heed to the watchman.

Supposedly.

However, this is not so, at least not necessarily so.


Jesus and the Apostles presented warnings that neither kings, nor the church rulers of the day paid any heed to. Because they paid no attention to the Watchman, their city, and their nation fell.

Today we have many watchmen blowing trumpets of silk. We hear a lullaby message of "Peace and Safety" from the preachers and the Theologians who preach that there is nothing to worry about because they have found an escape route for all those who listen to them:


2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1Thes 5:)


13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. (Jer 6:)


When the time comes, and the escape route, their ship of hiding, is found to be as secure as the Titanic, what will those who have been relying on their escape say to those who built and sold the ship?


1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; 3Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 5Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. 6They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. 7Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? 8Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. 9And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

10Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar: 11Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 13Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 15Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; 16To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD. (Ezek 13:)


While we have prophets and teachers who are teaching that there is nothing to worry about, there are others, often in the same camp, who are blowing false alarms and providing false information as evidence of their claims. The end of the world has falsely been declared numerous times since Jesus told us it is coming. But as many times as we have heard such failed claims, we still listen to and follow those who have proven they are not hearing from God:


20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deut 18:)


It appears that God is very serious in regards to those who speak in His name.

We find that if a prophesy does not come true, it is not from God. And if that prophet is not speaking for God, he is to be stoned.

I wonder if there would be so many false prophecies if the consequences for such a prophesy was still in effect?


In the 70's it was common to read about prophesies regarding the end of the world that was to be within a very few years. All kinds of wild evidence was given as proof that all was in readiness. We read of amazing things happening right at the doorstep of Armageddon.

Yet, 30 years later we are still here, much of the "evidences" have been proven false, and yet we still listen to the same prophets giving us the same spiel.


Punishment will be great for the lax watchman, and perhaps even greater for those who presume to blow their false warnings, putting the populace to sleep and causing them to pay no heed to the true warnings. But just as severe as the punishment the watchman must endure, so is the consequences that will befall those who do not listen to the warnings of the watchman who is blowing the true trumpet.


2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. (Ezek 33:)


I have discussed the role of the Pharisee, the Scribe and the Watchman (Pastor, Theologian and Prophet). These are grave positions to find oneself in (although rarely seen as such). But what of those who are not called to be in the ministry? What of the people who have placed their trust in leaders of the church they attend?


Let's look again at the Words of Jesus:


1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Mat 23:)


Whatever they say to do, that is to be done.

"In the mouth of two or three witnesses." Let's see if we can locate any other "witnesses":


17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:)


"Obey them that have the rule over you."

Notice that they (meaning those who have the rule over you) must give an account. I don't think those who have the rule believe this, or that they recognize the severity of their position.


36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Mat 12:)


If this is true of those in the pews listening to the ones who say they speak the Words of God, how much more so is it true of those who have spoken the words?


It is our job, those of us untrained in the ways of God, to do as we are told by those who have the rule over us. Jesus Himself gave us that commandment.

However, there are thousands of conflicting "Words of God" being preached in the churches today. How are we to know if we are listening to the True Words of God and not just another false prophet? After all, as shown above, if we trust someone to be the driver of our car that has never driven before, or who does not know where they're going; we, as passengers in the car will end up in the same location as the driver, or fall over the same cliff he drives off of.

Although we are to follow the instructions of those who have the rule over us, it is our job to discern the Truth of the words being spoken, and who we are to allow to have the rule over us.


29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:)


We are told to obey those who have the rule over us. Jesus said we are to obey the Pharisees and the Scribes because they have the Words of God.

Yet, here we have the Apostles themselves disobeying the commands of not only the Pharisees, but the High Priest as well.

And this Jesus did Himself many times. How can we correlate these acts with the commandments we have been given? And how are we to know the Word of God if we don't receive it from those who have the rule over us?


In times past is was customary to read the Bible in services. This is particularly true in the Synagogues up until the time of Jesus. Commentaries and explanations were not given as part of the Gospel as it is today. Commentaries were given of course, but they were given separate and apart from the reading of the Bible. These were the "Oral Traditions" that Jesus condemned: commentaries that were taught that superceded what was written in the Word.

These "Oral Traditions" are with us today in the form of Bible Commentaries, Articles of Faith, and other such writings that are to be believed in spite of what the Bible says to the contrary. Cults are famous for having books written by man that are to be considered as more accurate than the Bible, but it is no different in any of the other denominations. All have books that "explain" what God "really meant" to say.


So, again, how are we to know what to believe if we can't believe those standing behind the pulpit? The Apostles said they (and we) are to obey God rather than man. They didn't even have the New Testament to go by, and Jesus wasn't there to instruct them, so how did they know what God was telling them to do?


11And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:)


26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:)


Then it's the Holy Spirit that will teach us the difference between the Truth and the false.

But how will we know if we have the Holy Spirit? Don't the churches say we receive the Holy Spirit at our baptism? If this is true, then that means we already have the Holy Spirit and will recognize the Truth from error. But if that were true, why are there so many false doctrines going around being preached and believed by those who have been baptized?


21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:)


In many places we are told that we must keep the commandments of Jesus, and love Him. And this is the process that is required in order to receive the Holy Spirit, which is required for us to know the difference between the True and the false.


15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Tim 2:)


At the time this was written, there was no New Testament, so what did Paul mean when he said "to study"?

There are two aspects to this statement. The first is that what the Apostles taught from, and what Jesus always quoted (and never said anything contrary to) was the Old Testament. Today we often hear that the Old Testament no longer applies. But Jesus did not seem to agree.

The other aspect of this statement is that the word "study" means to: "be diligent, labor." In other words we are to:


12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil 2:)


I know there are many popular churches that teach works is a nasty word and does not apply to one's standing with God. But Jesus didn't seem to know this because:


27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Mat 14:)


12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:)


As in the ministry, there are two separate and distinct groups of people who fill the pews of the churches. There are those who Jesus called "Tares," and those Jesus referred to as "Wheat," that is, those who bring forth fruit to repentance.

Tares are not likely to be reading this article because it isn't telling them what they want to hear. Tares follow this admonishing:


3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:3 - see also 1Tim 1:5-6; Ezek 33:30-33)


Wheat, that is, the Harvest, the True Church is made up of those who possess (or better said, are possessed by) the Holy Spirit and are seeking to follow the Lord, His will for them, and are not following the dictates of the church they attend as much as they are the Leading of their Lord. These, the True Church, may very likely be reading what I have to say, but do not need to do so because they already know the main thrust of what I have said here because it is now planted, or is being planted in their heart.


5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (1Tim 1:)


30Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 32And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. 33And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. (Ezek 33:)


It is the job of the clergy to teach the Word as it is presented by God to us. It is the job of the leaders of the churches to seek the Truth, and to listen to God, disregarding the teachings and doctrines of the denomination they belong to. This is not done, as is evidenced by the multitudes of denominations and doctrines in the world; as well as the ever-present shifting of these denominations toward the thinking of the World (Ecumenicalism).

This being so, it is up to each of us to seek the Truth as God has intended it for us. To fail to seek the Truth, and to follow the commandments that God has given us, is to face the high probability that our names will not be written in the Book of life.

As seen above, the clergy will have to stand responsible for what they teach. What almost all churches of today teach, or at any time since the Apostles is what Paul referred to as "milk."


11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:)


Milk is for babies. We are told we must grow past milk and begin to partake of strong meat. Newcomers to the church, that is babies, are given milk to enable them to grow. But a person who is given nothing but milk after he should have been weaned does not grow strong, but he grows weaker. How does one know if they are given milk rather than strong meat?


1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And this will we do, if God permit. 4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Heb 6:)


Please read the above Scriptures carefully. Notice that there are two groups of people being discussed. One group of people never matures past the stage of needing milk, the basics of Christianity: and the other group consists of those who "go on unto perfection," following the lead of the Holy Spirit to become one in Christ, a possession and follower of Christ (which is the meaning of "Christian"). Carefully observe what happens to the other group.


In the churches, especially the Protestant churches, a person is considered a full-fledged Christian, ready to stand before God and receive all the rewards He has to offer the moment he or she enters the door of the church, gives their profession of faith (often read from a tiny piece of paper read by a clergyman) and are baptized. Most people, it appears, hang their confidence of Eternal Life on this premise.

But what, may I ask you, will be the outcome if those preachers who give such a message are wrong?


From the time a baby is born he is pampered, coddled, and told how perfect he is. Along with this coddling the baby is told fairy tales to help illustrate the complex issues of life.

As the baby grows he discovers that what he had been told as a baby is not entirely the truth. He finds that he is not as perfect as he has been led to presume. He discovers that there is no Santa Clause, Easter Bunny or a free lunch. He learns that there is a life beyond the cradle.

In the church this is not so. Anything learned beyond the milk of doctrine a person is given is considered "heresy." In time past (and I believe a time coming as well) those who grew beyond milk, and taught others to do the same, are now seen as "Martyrs" or "Saints."


We are told to obey those who have the rule over us. In every church there is offered milk in abundance to all those who partake of the service. Mixed in with this milk is pablum of fantasy to help new converts understand certain principals and concepts given in Scripture. As a faithful follower of Christ, a new convert is to hear and obey what they are given by the rulers of the church they attend. They have no better option, at this time.

But as the convert grows, and learns for him or her self what is the Truths of the Word, both from one's own reading, and the experiences they "endure" as they follow the Leading of the Holy Spirit, they are expected to grow on into perfection, that is: Maturity:


11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Cor 13:)


1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. (Gal 4:)


49And he [the child Jesus] said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:)


We are to be subject under those who have authority over us, and to learn all we can from them, assisting them, and refraining from causing them grief (Heb 13:16-17). But as did Jesus, when the time comes for us to leave the tutorship of those placed over us, we must leave all, and move on into perfection:


1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:)


5For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (Mat 19:)


2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2Cor 11:)


2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Rev 21:)


5For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:)


29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:)


26If any man come to me, and hate [assumed to mean "love less" in this instance] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (Luke 14:)


29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:)


Have you left all to follow the One you call "Lord?"

Have you "Counted the Costs"?



NOTES


It should be kept in mind that not all churches are as those portrayed above. There are some (becoming increasingly fewer) that teach the True Word of God as best as has been revealed to them. But even the best of these are bound by the restrictions and the doctrines of the church they belong to.

The churches, those who wish the best for their congregation, are like a one room school where everyone is taught at the same time and the same pace by the teacher, year after year. If the "teacher" directs his lesson toward the most advanced of the students, then he will lose those who do not have the same capabilities or interests as those of elite. So, like the schools of today, the lessons are directed toward the slowest of the students so that "none are left behind."

If conducted correctly, there can much advantage be gained from such arrangement as that of the one room school. As we learn, there are scores of important information that escapes us when it is presented. This may be a result of not recognizing its importance at the time, or it might be caused by one's concentrating on other things when such an item is presented, or it could be caused from it coming at a time when we are not emotionally involved with learning, therefore not receptive to the information given. In a setting where one is exposed to the same information over and over, even though it be given to others in a lesser class, we are able to pick up on that information when we are prepared for it.

An added bonus to the one room concept is that those of a lesser class can be "prepared" for receiving information they will learn as they hear it given to the higher classes.

However, if the school only teaches to the first graders and not to the progressing classes as well....?

The clergy of even the best of churches have a difficult task, the which I do not envy them.


Because of the restrictions placed on the clergy, and their desire to provide the necessary milk to those who are yet babes of the laity, which usually comprises the bulk of the congregation, regardless of how long they have been attending church, it is imperative that each believer who desires to move ahead in the lord as they should, endeavor to round out their Spiritual life through their own efforts.

My desire is to provide "meat" for those of adequate growth who wish to "consume" the Word, and to move ever forward in the Lord.

By saying this, it might be assumed that I think I have all the answers that a person needs to present themself "approved" before the Lord. This is far from true. Although I speak as one with all the answers, thereby placing myself in the same position as those I criticize above, I do not believe anyone should consider what I say as "gospel." Every word that I say, or that anyone says should be, and must be given the most diligent of scrutiny. In the end, whatever you decide to believe, or to rely on, will be on your head, even though the ones who teach falsehood (or sincere error) will have to face the consequences for their teachings.


Rely on no one's interpretation of the Word, except the One who wrote the Word, and that is the Holy Spirit of God.


19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)


Theologians are like doctors and lawyers and mechanics. They start out with a premise, a conclusion, then work everything toward that end, ignoring evidence that points elsewhere. If it is the mechanic who is presupposing, the most you might end up with is having to pay for a new motor where all you needed was a spark plug. If it is the doctor who has misdiagnosed, the most you might lose is a kidney (or possibly your life) where what you really needed was vitamin pills. If it is the Theologian (and thereby preachers) who has ignored evidence that would disprove his theory, the most you might lose is your Eternal Soul.



 

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